Health And Family

The health benefits of being punctual

WELL-BEING - Mylene Mendoza-Dayrit - The Philippine Star
The health benefits of being punctual
JCI secretary general Albert Alday.

When you are late or you are waiting for others who are late, stress builds up inside, from a slow sizzle to a rolling boil. Your mood gets ruined, your schedule messed up. You may miss a flight, miss an event, ruin a relationship, cancel a deal, or lose a promotion. All because of being unmindful of time.

Being on time, on the other hand, promotes a lot of positive benefits. People who are punctual are disciplined. They have goals and follow a schedule. They are focused and respectful of other people’s precious time. It’s also a sign of one’s integrity and honest character.

Living a healthy lifestyle of eating nutritious food, sleeping adequately, drinking a lot of water and exercising regularly requires discipline. It requires goal setting, following a schedule and persistently working on goals. That’s why I said those who are consistently on time are most likely healthier. Those who are consistently late are subjected to more unnecessary stress and may lack the basic virtues to work on their wellness.

A foundation of time consciousness and honesty is crucial to the formation of responsible citizens. This is a clear mandate that the government took to heart when Proclamation No. 1782 was signed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on May 21, 2009 declaring the month of June as WATCH (We Advocate Time Consciousness and Honesty) Month and enjoining all schools, colleges and universities to undertake programs and activities to instill deeper awareness of honesty and punctuality among the youth and the entire society.

Thirteen years later, the main proponents of the program, the JCI Senate Philippines led by its president Henry Juan Tong and the Department of Education led by Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte, jointly conducted the 3rd National Summit of Project WATCH at the Baguio Teacher’s Camp in Baguio City from Aug. 3 to 5 with around 700 educators from different schools all over the country.

According to 2021 to 2022 national chairman Ernest Evangelista, “from just JCI Senators implementing Project WATCH, we now have more than three million advocates composed of JCI senators and JCI members, educators and formators, students, non-academic employees, parents, multi-sectoral advocates, religious leaders and members, and many more.”

JCI Manileña president Alexandra Dayrit.

For an advocacy program to succeed, he added, “it’s got to be sustainable. And for an advocacy program to be sustainable the program implementers should always assess and set strategies for the program to adapt to the always-changing environment, and should always track its goals. However, this is just half the requirement for an advocacy program to succeed. The other half is to learn and practice what we are advocating for.”

Punctuality is intertwined with discipline and self-mastery, with integrity and respect. Being punctual shows that you are sincere and a person of your word. Hence, make it a habit to be present at least 15 minutes before the arranged time. Some say it’s also a sign of humility as being “fashionably late” seems to connote a huge regard for one’s own worth.

If time is gold, then it has value; thus being late is like stealing because you are taking away something precious from another person. That may be a harsh way of putting it, but it’s the truth nonetheless.

JCI senator Cesar Ochoa is the visionary who conceived Project WATCH. His goal was “to re-inculcate and mold the minds of the youth” in order to promote “an honest and punctual society to bring about progress.”

Ochoa launched the project on Jan. 11, 2008 at the Ramon Magsaysay High School, which was led by then Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte, a JCI senator himself. A memorandum of agreement was signed that day between JCI Senate Philippines and the Department of Education headed by Secretary Jesli Lapus.

Summit director Cecilia Dy said that “honesty and punctuality are two values that our present culture really needs to improve more, with the challenge posed by social media, wherein fake news and fake messages are prevalent. We need to go back to history, when the Filipinos were punctual and valued the sense of honesty highly, and this is what Project WATCH aims to achieve.”

This is one trend that should go viral. It’s time to advocate for time consciousness and honesty. Pinoy time (Pinoy always late) no more.

The WATCH Summit prime movers (from left) JCISP national vice president Cecilia Dy, founder Cesar Ochoa, JCISP national president Henry Juan Tong and national chairman Ernest Evangelista.

* * *

Post me a note at [email protected].


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with