By: Ben Emata

One of the things I wish our government should control is gambling. If you agree with me, our country perhaps is number one in gambling around Asia We have cockfighting on Sundays nearly in all towns; the “hantak”, the number games daily, the Jai Alai, the card bacarat games, the Casino games, fiesta gambling games, madjong sessions, etc. All these things help make our people lazy and poor.

Many of us do not look for work because we can earn some money sometimes in gambling places. The problem is most of the time one is losing money and stay penniless the rest of the week. This thing brings problems in the home like quarrels with spouses, undisciplined children, lack of foods on the table, deprivation in the family and everything follows. Even school expenses for the young kids are utterly sacrificed or affected badly.

Everyone of us thinks gambling is a good diversion from problems. It can improve health thus making people strong I may agree at times on such stupid proposition but the problem of cash is there and haunting all of us. It is even worse than anything. I would say that eight out of ten Filipinos who indulge in any kind of gambling are hard-up of money. On top of this is the other vices like drinking alcoholic beverages and excessive sleeping habits. Almost always a gambler is a lazy man like a dog who sleeps if not eating.

A week-long cockfight usually is held during town and barrio fiestas. It is a daily affair when people conven for gams. I don’t know so much now but when I was still in our city we used to have big cockpits in Carmen and one in Gusa. Every town had cockpit too and hold indisciminately all kinds of games every week and on special holidays. At the end of the day, you will easily know the winnrs and the losers just looking at their faces The losers walk with shoulders down and the absence of good mood. The winners are talkative and smiling some of them even counting cash.

The bad effects of gambling is the owner of the place get richer while the players get poorer, The latter almost always dispose of their assets or property to finance an ugly habit. Some gamblers who do not have properties resort to stealing or other crimes to have cash for the games. It is really terrible and we never realized such foolish effects of stupid games.

In short most gamblers are having difficulties maintaining their families. Their children go astray and undisciplined and even become school dropouts. In some cases it is the husband and wife who go to gambling places leaving the homes to the young kids. There is going to be a failure in the homes as well a in the children. The home is like being hit by a giant tidal wave and everything goes down forever.

The worst is gambling is addiction and like smoking or drug attachment, is very hard to cut off and away from it. I should know because I once was addicted to cigarette smoking and I really had hard time breaking away from it. I had to stop the habit because my children were entering the secondary education and money for cigarettes was not part of my budget. Thanks God I was able to get out of smoking habit and unwittingly realized its bad effects to my health. Without prejudice to the cigarette manufacturers I wish our government controls this problem. BEN EMATA Bennex News Service

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