By Icoy San Pedro

AT LEAST be honest. Throwing one’s garbage just about anywhere is one national headache that is really short of being classified as an inborn trait. This sense of entitlement just about sums up our thug life as a people and it thrives around the belief that one can do it, as long as no one’s watching. This seeming affliction is likewise almost a mental thingy in people, with the accompanying denial that one is free of it. Now that may be a tough pill to swallow but try telling that to marine animals after they have choked on your plastic refuse.

I’ve watched many of those documentary films online about cleanup drives in some of our waters in 2019 and even till now, the results are really both amazing and touching sites to behold. Touching because what else could be said of the commitment of the communities and volunteers who heeded the call to clean the beaches and our waterways?  Then, amazing  of course, because of the amount of trash they have hauled with each dive and beach drive. No one can imagine how long have these been sitting under the ocean, feeding and poisoning  the very food we feed our families with. For perspective alone, trying wrapping your head around the idea of three thousand sacks of garbage taken from one area alone. 

In terms of the spirited disposition of the volunteers captured in these many documentaries, it reminds me of the energy of children… during Easter Sunday egg hunts. Look how many eggs I’ve found? The same spirit could also be seen among the volunteers, look how many kilos we’ve recovered!

Sad thing is, it’s the rainy season again and tis the time for flooding in many areas of the city. Aside from our poor drainage systems that barely accommodate the volume of water in its pipes, what else is there that causes flooding in our streets? Garbage. In one photo taken by a friend, city workers were dismayed at the site of an opened manhole along a major street, which revealed a clogged opening filled with used plastic and empty bottles of mineral water.

Meanwhile, back in Manila and its surrounding areas around the bay, while this practice (or mindset) of garbage disposal still exists, government and civic group efforts to maintain the already-rehabilitated Manila Bay are still continually met with criticism. One might assume that some people are earnestly praying for the dolomite beach, that symbol of political will, would be overrun by garbage once again with every typhoon and flooding that comes. As a finale, that is the final trait that defines us, toppling down what’s already been built to prop our own without much care for those who benefit. 


Source: Mindanao Times (