15 October 2007

Take a stand today for Nature

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

In my treks and travels with friends, I have seen how tremendously blessed we are with natural resources. Fresh water flows freely amidst lush greenery. At night, nocturnal creatures sing in a celebration of life while fireflies hover about.

However, in this same light, I have also seen the wanton destruction of the very source of our life: mining for gravel in Quezon, dynamite fishing in Nasugbu, carving off the side of the mountains for roads and houses in Baguio, Laguna, Manila, and Batangas, serving of endangered species in Tagaytay, and garbage everywhere. You see the wonder of nature and the destruction of man, and you know that the clock is turning rapidly towards the destruction of these beautiful things. These are just a handful of places, now imagine that happening to the rest of the country!

I think that, in order for us to be truly successful in bringing about change in the way we treat Mother Nature, two important things must be done:
(1) Educate. Let the people know what is happening. In this case, I applaud the efforts of the documentary teams in our local TV stations for their work in environmental issues. Recently, Channel 7 reported news about the Angel Wing Clam, a delicacy found in the waters of Aklan which is being harvested even in the off-season which has caused its rapid decline.

Another documentary showed seahorses being dried up for export to China, Hongkong and other Asian countries where it is being considered an aphrodisiac. To which custom I simply must shout: HELLOOoo! MODERN MEDICINE HAS SOMETHING FOR THAT! Leave the poor, defenseless seahorses alone!

(2) Alternative livelihood programs
Our fisherfolk, farmers, and people living in these areas have to put food on the table, and they have no other alternative but to do what will give them the most money. Their philosophy would be, why look after the welfare of these animals when my own family is dying of hunger? NGOs have been successful with their ecotourism projects; the government can likewise step-up similar activities in the countryside as livelihood sources.

I actually have a third item on my list; it's the active reinforcement and implementation of laws that are supposed to protect our flora and fauna. Empower the guardians of nature by providing them with the necessary equipment and salary to help them do their job efficiently. But this third item may just be the most difficult to enforce, unfortunately. Such is the reality in our beloved country.

So we must do what we must. Educate ourselves and those around us. Begin by segregating and recycling trash. I am proud to say that my wife has started a trash segregation scheme at home.

There are small things that we can do to help the environment which matters a lot when everybody will do it:
(1) Throw your plastic wrappers in garbage bins; recycle, segregate trash; don't let faucets drip; turn off lights when not in use; carpool.
(2) Do not buy products from endangered species! Support my advocacy not to eat Tawilis! Include the seahorse, angel wings clam, and other endangered species in the Philippines.
(3) Spread the word about these endangered species so others can have informed choices.
(4) Volunteer your time or contribute to an environmental cause. Check out Hands on Manila for activities
(5) Go out and experience nature! Visit La Mesa Ecopark, a success story on how organizations can make a difference. Or join an ecotour of the World Wildlife Fund and see for yourself how truly blessed we are, and what we stand to lose if we don't act now.


  1. Anonymous3:52 am

    naku immersion talaga siguro ang pinaka da best option diyan .. well di na rin siguro nating kailangan yun kasi nakikita naman natin yan everyday.

  2. I applaud you for doing your part. One of the most shocking things for me was visiting the Philippines, a tropical paradise in my eyes, and seeing trash everywhere.

  3. Airwind: Well... siguro nga makakatulong rin yung immersion kasi nagiging manhid na tayo dahil araw-araw nating nakikita, parang normal na. Sometimes it takes something out of the ordinary for us to realize that some things we accept are not exactly the right ones.

    Ed: Thanks. Yeah, trash is indeed a major problem here.

  4. Anonymous1:22 pm

    Hi Sir Nick! Musta? When was this?:( sana next spelunking makasama ko:( -Gelaine

  5. Gelaine: Kumusta rin! I heard about your accident. Magpagaling ka muna po ha

  6. Anonymous7:41 pm

    Statement well delivered. Thank you very much. We all know taking care of our environment is everyone's responsibility and your entry reminded me for that.
    We are practicing proper waste disposal and at least I had started for that. I wish I can devote some of my time joining activities like environmental conservation...

  7. Dodong: It's easy to volunteer your time and effort sa nature conservation. Mas maganda kung may kasama ka, mas masaya.

  8. By the way, add din kita sa blogroll ko :D

  9. Anonymous6:35 pm

    tama ka dyan pero mahirap talaga mag-educate ng mga tao. sasa bihan ka pa pakiaalam mo...

    as if di mo rin hangin at paligid ang dumudumi...

    i'm drafting a rant about phil tourism's problems...sana matapos ko na tagal ko na sinimulan nun

  10. it is very hard to educate people if they already embrace some destructive ways as part of their daily life. sabi nga, it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

    on the news last night, some scientists were ecstatic about the discovery of an unknown species on the deep sea of the celebes sea, but the excitement was shortlived when they also found out that even in the deepest part of the sea, garbage/plastics are all over. sa mindanao na yun ha, pano na lang kung titingnan ang manila bay?

  11. Tutubi: Perhaps we can also target schools. Imbibe on the young the importance of conservation.

    Zherwin: I did a bit of research and came up with this:
    Yahoo! News

    Darn, binganggit nga yung garbage. Nakakahiya.

  12. Wat, could you perhaps address Ed's trash comment? Why do so many people here, of all economic levels, simply throw their trash everywhere? And, why don't more people insist on the unsightliness being cleaned up? As a Filipino, I'd love to hear from you on the subject. For instance, it upsets me that I cannot look down into the Abacan River channel from any of the Angeles City bridges because of the piles of garbage down there in the reeds. Sometimes you must feel like a salmon swimming upriver, in a river laced with basura.

  13. Phil: Your left me staring at the screen for quite a while. I don't know how to answer your question, actually. From a personal experience, we've been simply putting all our trash in bags and then give it to the garbage truck when it arrives. Even when we do the garbage segregation scheme, we also expect these trash to be picked up. When the trash does not get picked up, that's when the problem arises because people usually put their trash in a "designated" place and expect it to be picked up. Even though the government is doing an information drive for people to keep their trash and wait for the garbage collector to arrive (ex. infomercials in cinemas and in TV), it's being largely ignored.

    There was even an effective TV ad which said "Ang basurang itinapon mo, babalik rin sa yo" (the trash you throw will eventually return to you) and showed a door being opened and into the house came flood waters with garbage which the woman threw in the estero (canal) earlier. Likewise, we have the "tapat ko, linis ko" drive implemented in the barangay level.

    However, I think that it still hasn't sunk into the collective's minds that this garbage problem will eventually affect them and ignore the signs altogether (ex. water once drinkable from the faucet is no longer healthy). People just want to get rid of their trash the easiest, most convenient way. And that's to throw it when they want to, where they want to.

    And though laws are have been laid down for offenders, I am quite sure it's not being enforced.

    People need to see the garbage problem as a personal problem, and work together as a community to segregate and recycle trash.

    And what are your thoughts about this, Phil?


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