Bayani Fernando Introduces New Bill to Replace Handshakes

We were going to make fun of this, but...it actually makes a bit of sense?

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) On October 10, 2018, Marikina Representative Bayani Fernando introduced House Bill 8427, or “An Act to Promote A New Pilipino Gesture of Goodwill and Praise.” The bill encourages the replacement of handshakes as a way of greeting with a new gesture, with the Philippine Information Agency being tasked with promoting the new greeting.

To be known as “Pagbating Pilipino,” the proposed new gesture involves “gracefully laying the palm of the right hand over the center of the chest with simultaneously a slight head nod and an appropriate verbal greeting.” However, the bill isn’t necessarily meant to strengthen the Filipino identity or create something new or unique to the culture; by reducing or eliminating hand contact, it seeks to minimize the chances of transferring communicable diseases.

During his time as chairman of the Metro Manila Development Authority, Fernando was known to introduce some rather unconventional solutions, such as arming Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforcers with bolos and the wet-rag scheme in 2005, which involved the use of a wet rag to nudge pedestrians back onto sidewalks to stop them from obstructing roads (we could use a scheme like this again, TBH). All of which now seem pretty tame in retrospect, considering the state of current events. So the proposed new greeting actually doesn’t sound all that wacky. After all, who knows where people's hands have been? It might even be a boon to the germophobic, and we can’t wait to find out what the “appropriate verbal greeting” will be.

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