“Life Now Begins at 80”

by Bobby Reyes

| Photo by Mussi Katz via Flickr/Commons CC0 1.0

Part VIII of an “EDEN America” series

In early February 2015, I attended the World of Concrete Trade Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Nevada. I participated in the event as an accredited member of the media and covered it for our website. And also as a guest by a leading American cement manufacturer, which operated a huge exhibit area, sponsored a presentation on its ultra-modern cement products, and hosted a cocktail party with an open bar for some 500 of its leading clients and honored guests.

I learned so much new data about the “World of Concrete.” For instance, the fact that the so-called “Portland cement” lasts only for 40-years. But a state-of-the-art manufacturing process came up with a new cement that doubled the life span of “Portland cement.” I attended the presentation of my host, the cement manufacturer, and learned more about the new type of cement, which they can also produce as a fast-drying product. Yes, they use it to repair highways and repave streets that can be reopened to vehicular traffic in less than 10 hours — after they pour cement mix in the section being repaired, under ideal operating conditions.

“… learned more about the new type of cement, which they can also produce as a fast-drying product. Yes, they use it to repair highways and repave streets that can be reopened to vehicular traffic in less than 10 hours — after they pour cement mix in the section being repaired, under ideal operating conditions.”

In 2007, former Philippine Board of Investment (BOI) Gov. Ben Sanchez and I discussed a new dictum: “Life Now Begins at 60.” We published his article about our hypothesis. We concluded that because of the advances of science, especially in medicine and healthier lifestyles — people especially in developed countries — and healthier lifestyles, they lived longer.

And it so happened that I attended the “World of Concrete” with my best Jewish-American friend, Joel Bander, who was the publisher of the Pinoy Watchdog journal. (We adopted Mr. Bander as an “Honorary Filipino American” in 2001.) And voila, I recalled that prophet Moses led the Israelite people out of Egypt at 80. The trek of the first version of “God’s Chosen People” took 40 years, and Moses died before they could arrive at “The Promised Land.” Moses died at the age of 120. Joshua, the handpicked successor of Moses, led the voyage, and they accomplished the mission. Ergo, I added 20-more years to the adage that former BOI Governor Sanchez discussed in his column of Nov. 4, 2007, Life Now Begins at 60.

Yes, the suggested mission of Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) and Overseas Filipinos to become “God’s Chosen People” by the 22nd-century will not be easy. It will not also happen overnight. They have to live longer, more productively, to make it happen.

Especially among America’s more than 600,000 nurses and 25,000 physicians of Filipino descent and their patients, “life indeed now begins at 80” for many of them. More and more people in countries like the United States, Japan, and other developed countries live longer.

“Yes, there is an urgent need to inspect and retrofit (or even demolish and reconstruct) skyscrapers, especially residential condominium towers built more than four decades ago and where hundreds, if not thousands, of people, live or live or work.”

I also came up with a series on how Filipino national policy and decision-makers should prepare for a magnitude-9 earthquake in Northern Japan in March 2011. I suggested the mandatory inspection of buildings, especially in Metro Manila, where they constructed many high-rise towers in the 1960s. They built many of the said buildings with “Portland cement.”

As Googled, “on June 24, 2021, Champlain Towers South, a 12-story beachfront condominium in the Miami suburb of Surfside, Florida, partially collapsed. Ninety-eight people died.” They have not yet invented the advanced new cement that doubled the life span of “Portland cement” when they constructed the Florida building 40-years ago.

Perhaps teams of OFW civil engineers (that are specializing in structural engineering) and OFW construction crews can bid to retrofit tall buildings in North America. Yes, there is an urgent need to inspect and retrofit (or even demolish and reconstruct) skyscrapers, especially residential condominium towers built more than four decades ago and where hundreds, if not thousands, of people, live or live or work.

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