Malilong: Tone that thing down, stupid (or we’ll call the police)

Frank Malilong
·2 min read

That was quick. Thank you, Sambag 1 Brgy. Capt. Ailien Guardo.

Almost the entire week, last week we endured the unbearable sound from the karaoke/sound system of our backdoor neighbor until our two granddaughters could not take it anymore. They had online classes and could barely hear the instructions from their teacher because of the noise.

I complained to Kap Guardo through text and in less than five minutes, she replied, saying, after she asked for my address, that she was sending a tanod to verify my complaint. It turned out, however, that the tanod did not know where I lived and returned to tell Kap that he heard no noise where he went.

My fault. I assumed that I was known enough in Sitio Espongklong where I have lived for more than 30 years, but it was not so. Reminds me to put a big identification sign on my gate. I am not a politician anyway so I have no reason to fear that strangers will come knocking on my door asking for doleouts.

Anyway, the tanod finally located us the following morning, in time to hear our neighbor’s sound system blaring in utmost oppression again. Three minutes after he left to check its source, our neighborhood was peaceful and quiet.

I know that I am not the only one who had a similar unpleasant experience with “music”-loving neighbors and we all surely appreciate the ordinance that Councilor Raymond Garcia introduced and which the City Council passed last week, imposing stiffer penalties for violations of the anti-noise ordinance.

That it had to come to this, a threat of fine or imprisonment to compel people to observe common sense is unfortunate. Whatever happened to the Golden Rule — do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you — or plain good manners and right conduct?

Not everyone enjoys their kind of music, especially when it is loud and definitely not from six a.m. to nine p.m. Other more intolerant neighbors would have probably stoned the house where the noise came from instead of asking for assistance from their barangay captain. I actually considered that option once or twice last week but desisted because, among other reasons, my arms are not too strong for my aim to be accurate.

Those who may suffer in the future and might be similarly minded as I once was do not have to take the law, literally, into their own hands anymore. Garcia’s ordinance provides sufficient relief. The fine for using “high-sounding, high-powered and amplified machines, radio, audio system, compact disc players, and musical instruments” is a hefty P1,000 to P5,000. The other penalty is even scarier: spending six months in jail with other prisoners who might give you Covid-19.

Tone it down, people, or we will call the police.