Issue of April 14, 2019
Mt. Province

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Nosy neighbor and loud karaoke

Dear Manang,

There are neighbors in my building who are so curious about everything in everyone’s households. There is one who particularly asks about what my family is having for lunch then later begins to talk about the lives of our other neighbors or what happened to them the other day. I guess I am annoyed because I don’t really have time to engage in gossip with housework and three growing children. I don’t have anyone to pass her gossip to and just passively listen. I want to tell her to stay away but I don’t want her to talk about me to other people. Should I just put up with it? -- Tracy, Happy Homes Old Lucban, Baguio City

Dear Tracy,

You are so right in not passing on the news about other people. I hope you don’t participate by confirming or adding details to the talk because that way you are fueling the fire. Keep your door closed, if you don’t want them to know you are home. If it so happens that she follows you into your house when you arrive, then just let what she says enter one ear and go out the other. You can make her participate in your cooking by asking her to help peel camote or potatoes. She might not want to dirty her fingers and avoid you. Then you have positively pushed her out. I fear for you if you tell her you don’t want to hear gossip because these types will conjure nasty tales about you. Try to change routines so she can’t predict your presence. But you will just have to quietly listen.

Don’t participate in talk,


Dear Manang,

Our neighbors are in competition with each other from 5 to 11 p.m. as they sing from their home videoke machines. It is ear shattering to hear off key singing and music not to my taste. Is there a law that regulates or prevents it? Should I complain to the barangay? My fear is they might find out I am the complainant. What can I do? -- Mario, Maria Basa, Baguio City

Dear Mario,

You are both lucky and unlucky that there is the “Silent Night” Ordinance that prohibits loud music from karaoke singers in the barangay from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. All you have to do is call the police and report it. You need not be named when the police visit the noisemakers. The noisemakers will first be asked to tone down the music and if they don’t heed, there is a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, P3,000 for the second offense, and P5,000 for the third offense. The person can also be imprisoned for the offense. I guess they start at 5 p.m. so they can be satisfied with singing by 10 p.m. Only if they continue after 10 p.m. can you complain. Meanwhile, the best remedy is to go over and ask them nicely to tone it down or you can offer to pay for their singing lessons. Am sure they will heed.

Ask nicely,


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