Groom to Beautify, Or Stay as is

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Beware, ye fair sex, of any product intended to make yourself attractive in the eyes of a beholder, so as not to fall later into fit of despair.

For the cosmetics you use for hair, face and body carry the chemical element, mercury, used in manufacture of cosmetics. But the mercury used could be more, way above set standards and, if inhaled periodically, brings health problems.

That, together with improper disposal of such products with high levels of mercury also affects others, including immediate environment.

These facts have set the tone of Baguio City Vice-Mayor Faustino Olowan, who authored an ordinance   making it official decree of the city to ban any manufacture, distribution and sale of cosmetics having mercury content that’s above standard set by the Department of Health’s (DOH) Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA sets mercury content of cosmetics at 1 part/per/million, or one milligram of something per liter of water.

Olowan’s proposed ordinance hurdled first reading at the Baguio City Council.

Under the ordinance, violators will be fined (first offense), fine and suspension to operate business (second offense) and fine or imprisonment or cancellation of business permit (third offense).

Further, any, convicted, shall render community service.

Olowan’s brainchild ordinance comes very timely on the heels of a finding by an environment sentinel that 15 out of 14 creams being marketed in Baguio are suspected to contain mercury which are disproportionate to FDA rules and regulations, thereby posing health threats to users, non-users and habitat as well.

Olowan’s move puts high premium to the health of thousands of women in Baguio City and neighboring areas.

For these women – and some men – can sigh with relief in purchasing their cosmetics, more assured that what they buy work to beautify themselves, make them sexier and fragrant when sniffed, instead of giving them skin wrinkles or adding more lines to their faces.

Taking cue from Oswald Damlosen, 68, a highlander who retired three years ago from work, took up farming in his home in Benguet and successfully turned around his family’s failing landholding into a successful venture, said last Sunday, “Mayat ti inaramid ni bise-mayor Olowan. Ta ibagak kenyam ti pudno Ah Kong, halos amin nga babae, dakkel ti gasgastusen a siping para laeng ti cosmetics da.”

“Mabilbilang la ti babae nga rumwar ti balay da nga saan nag-iyapros ti cosmetics iti rupa ken bagi da, mamati ka kenyak,” Oswald explained.

“Ket nu nag-kurad ti kudil da panggep ti peke nga cosmetics, ayna, pakawanem, ta nu nakita da nga naglinis ti kudil ni lakay da, ad-adda a kuna da, dila ag-kurad ti kudil ni lakay ko, ta pareho kamin nga kurad-kurad!” Oswald said.

Cosmetics “ket dagiti produkto a gatgatangen nga i-apros yu wenno ikud-kud yu dita rupa ta barbareng puminpintas pay ti rupa ket talyawen dika a mamin-duwa wenno mamintallo, wenno produkto nga i-apros dita bagi ken kili-kili tapnu ag-alingasaw a nabanglo ken makapa-awis ti asinnu man nga mang-angot kenyam,’’” Oswald said of his understanding about cosmetics.

Then Oswald stared at Ah and said, “Sika ngay, Ah, apay ag-ususar ka cosmetics?”

Ah nodded negatively, answered, “Rubbing alcohol, wen, ta i-apros ko iti kili-kilik ta awan met paggatang ko cosmetic.”

Oswald smiled, answered, “Good, good, what you’re using, per se, is not considered cosmetic but an antiseptic.”

Kinds of cosmetics include lotions, body creams, gel, hair spray, perfume, cologne, shampoo, eye shadow, mascara, lipstick, bath jellies, moisturizers, whitening creams, among others.

Now, mercury is a common ingredient found in beauty products like creams, lightening soap, eye makeup, mascara and others.

Olowan knows too well   health risk to people from chronic and prolonged use of cosmetics with high mercury content result in scarring of skin, skin discoloration, skin rash and depressed immunity against bacterial and fungal infections.

Olowan is well aware of mercury’s toxic effects, which include damage to brain, lungs and kidneys. Symptoms are: sensory impairment (speech, hearing, vision), jumbled or disturbed sensation and lack of motor coordination.

Use of cosmetics, this borrowed charm, is generally indulged almost by all women in Cordillera Administrative Region and Region 1, in the belief to make their skin fairer or white, Oswald said.

Which makes Ah foolishly wonder if this isn’t in contrast to their (our women) being naturally born brown?

By all means, a white skin is doubtless agreeable; it communicates a charm to the whole womanly figure, imparting an air of animation.

Still, use of cosmetics fill the skin pores with ingredients of which the cosmetics are composed and the possibility of health threat rests upon any who constantly uses such products.

Take the whitening cream, for example. Does it really matter for a woman to acquire that coveted whiteness of the skin when one is indeed born natural brown, technicolor or dark (some say black)?

Many women Ah talked with last week say it does matter to them to have that coveted white skin, even their black hair dyed to brown.

“You wanna have a look-alike image of a white foreigner, eh?” Ah asked them, pressing his case.

“Yes, why Not?” the women bluntly answered Ah, warning, “And nothing you can do, Ah, against our wishes, have you?”

“No-no-no! None at all,” Ah answered, backing off from the women. No argument to that, and rested his case.

Such scenario just brought to Ah’s mind of a poem by a black gentleman. He titled his poem, “When U black, U, Black.”

The poem was a humorous swipe against white-skinned people, some who sometimes can be haughty or vain. The poem:

When I was born, I was black’
When I grew up, I was black;
When I went in the sun, I was black,
When I got cold, I was black;
When I was scared, I was black,
When I was sick, I was black,
And when I die, I’ll still be black.
Now, you white folks. . .
When you’re born, you are pink,
When you grow up, you are white;
When you go in the sun, you get red,
When you’re cold, you turn blue;
When you’re scared, you are yellow;
When you get sick, you’re green,
When you are bruised, it’s blue;
And when you die, you look grey,
So why you all callin’ us, COLORED FOLKS!!!

Remember, the Mightiest of all Artists draws with magnificent stroke of art of features of Cordilleran or lowlander woman from start in the womb.

But then it’s left to a woman’s coquetry or toying, after growing up, to alter God’s work, in accordance to her taste of making herself more beautiful.

Such accordance of wanting to become more beautiful than any other woman by using cosmetics is highly suspected by Ah as root cause of the start of a woman’s jealousy which started when earth was young.

How? You ask. Well, you know much that God made Eve out of one of the ribs of Adam, the bible tells.

Well, one time, Adam went home late in their Garden of Eden. Eve became suspicious and angrily yelled, “You’re running around with another woman because you’ve fallen prey to the charms of her cosmetics, admit it!”

Adam answered, “What woman? What cosmetics? You’re the only woman here in Eden. Aw, shucks, woman, cut off your suspicion!”

That night, Adam fell asleep but was woken by Eve who was suspiciously poking his ribs.

Adam said, “what are you doing?”

Eve answered, “I’m counting your ribs!”

Admiration of Cordilleran and lowlander women has not made Vice-Mayor Olowan forget how agreeable our women are, and what graceful and engaging vivacity even the least beauty among them are able to heighten and set off their charms, if even without use of cosmetics

Many of such respectable women Ah often mistakenly call,” plain-looking,” but aren’t, for they are beautiful in their own ways, you’d often hear them say, “Naiyanak nak nga kastoy, nangisit, ordinary la a pintas, ket mapnek nakon.” Elegantly said!

It’s, perhaps, owing to this circumstance, their faces possess such clearness, as it’s certainly, from that cause, that gardens and meadows derive that charming verdure, which is here so remarkable.

Be that it may, Ah, now offers his own cosmetics from his cabinet medicine for you to buy.

Ah has a cosmetic celebrated throughout the lands of CAR and Region 1, that even women having reached fortyish or over will have the same sexiness like when they were sweet sixteen.

Ah’s cosmetic never destroys your complexion, dear ladies (like some of your paints and lotions, do), instead removes freckles, pimples, black spots and “kuretret” that when friends meet you in church or elsewhere, they’d jealously pinch you, whispering, “Hoy, Maria (should your name be Maria), share mo man sekretom nu apay ag-ruprupa ka pay laeng a sixteen years old!” Ayna! Maka-paapal ka met!”

Ah’s cosmetic cleanses your teeth, too, to be white as pearls and your lips, red as roses.

Little application of Ah’s cosmetic to the eyebrows makes it into a miraculous wave, while transforming low foreheads to as high as you please, dear women readers.

Come, all ladies from all corners of CAR and Region 1, come, buy Ah’s cosmetic. That you would be fair and exude youngish beauty and be wonderful, for Ah’s cosmetic makes your problems flee forever.

For men, use of Ah’s cosmetic will make   your backbones ramrod straight – even when your manly and romantic charms have already fled you.

Come, buy it  for it’s terribly in short supply and Ah caters only to “first come, first serve.”

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