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Thursday, May 26, 2011


Earlier today, my son and I were on our way home from his swimming lesson when a sidewalk vendor carelessly threw the plastic covering of the box he was holding (not sure what it was). The plastic wrapper flew straight near my right foot so I stepped on it before it flew away.
I pray that somehow my message to the man will sink in and make him think about and care for the Mother Earth and that he spreads the word to his own wife and little kid. I pray too that Manila will never be heavily flooded again.

I asked the man, “Manong, wala po ba kayong basurahan?” (Sir, don’t you have a rubbish/garbage bin?) Then I tried to look behind him and around his mini-shop to locate the bin.

He replied, “Wala.” (None.) Then, he pointed to the sidewalk. He frowned and stared at me with half open mouth showing his dirty yellow-brown teeth with a big black dirt or maybe left-over food, sticking out of his lower teeth. Yes, I saw it to my dismay! I wanted to step back but stayed where I was.

It’s probably stupid of me to continue the conversation that I started with this fellow but I picked the plastic wrapper up from under my right shoe and folded it into half.

Then I said, “Kaya po nagbabaha dahil sa basura.” (It floods because of rubbish.)

He shrugged and motioned to throw the plastic wrapper to the sidewalk.

With a hint of a smile, I told him, “Itatapon ko po ito sa tamang basurahan.” (I will throw this to the proper bin.)

Cluelessly, he said, “Huh?”

I repeated what I said.

Then my son and I walked away while I was folding the plastic wrapper into smaller square to fit into the back pocket of my denim shorts.

Many of you would probably not do what I did and argue that I shouldn’t have. The man looked harmless so I did. I’m just glad he didn’t bite with those scary dirty teeth. Gross!

Nonetheless my point is, why people do not care? Half of Manila is flooded every typhoon season and was heavily flooded, 10-feet up or more, during Ondoy (Pepeng) typhoon two years ago.

One of the main causes of flood is all the plastic wrappers, bottles, cups and all the imaginable and unimaginable waste are thrown not into their proper bins or recycled. They are swept away into the drainage system which then block the rain water from coming through. Hence, the flood.


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