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A Call to Action: The Destructions We Didn’t Notice are Going on in the Philippines and What We Filipinos Can Do About It Today

Home to over a hundred million Filipinos, life in the Philippines unknown to many goes with hard to swallow realities. Behind the beauties of nature lies a culture of madness. With politicians always onto heated debates aired on national television, recurring problems the people is facing, meanwhile, are often neglected, ignored, and never even talk about. And mind this. Even the usual news about drugs, criminality, and corruption, some local authorities pretend to be deaf and dumb.

Why not we talk about some of these problems up close and personal? After all, the resolution of these issues is for our common good – we the Filipinos.

Here is my premise.

The words of mouth of the local folks, let them be heard. Not the scripted topics on afternoon news but the conversation that airs around the barangays, towns, cities, and communities, let’s bring them up as topics in this timely post.

Coupled with what I am hearing and seeing, I would like to express my honest opinion about each problem Filipinos are facing with the help of these photos which I happened to gather over the past years. These photos will finally break their silence. There is a story in each one of them that is something worth your time to read, understand, and act upon.


Electricity Consumption
This first photo reminds me of the ever-increasing consumption of electricity in the country.


Electric Posts Along a Busy Road

Our consumption of electricity keeps on increasing year after year. In 2016, residential consumption of electricity was reported at 12.7% increase from 22,747,049 MWh (2015) to 25,631,254 MWh (2016). There are about 25 million households in the country today and that reported figure translates to electricity consumption of roughly about 25MWh (or 25,000 KWh per year, or 2,083 KWh per month) per household/residence.

Why is this a problem? Why not have a look on your recent electricity bill!

If you are consuming less than 300KWh in a month, you’re pretty good in saving electricity. You could have only one TV, one refrigerator, 2 electric fans, 5 to 6 lights bulbs or fluorescent lamps, one computer, one washing machine, and few electric appliances that are seldom used in a month. During summer, months of March, April, and May, it is still normal if you go up to 500KWh. But if you are above 1,000KWh, you are among of the thousands of households that are big electricity consumer.

2,083KWh a month is huge! At 10 pesos per KWh, you’re then paying around 20,830 pesos!

Who’s the culprit in the rising electricity consumption of the Filipinos? Well, according to the Department of Energy, our air-conditioning units are the biggest reason for electricity surge. But I don’t think that alone is the reason. Here’s what is unheard of.

One; you’re mobile phones, laptops, and tablets are big electricity consumers too! Each device consumes 2 to 5 KWh each year! That happens when you’re charging your device 2 to 5 times a day. But how many devices does your family have? One, two, three? Five to ten, absolutely! So at 5KWh per device, at 10 devices, that’s roughly 50KWh per year. How much is the money involve? 500 pesos worth of electricity per year. Two; these days, many of us do not hand-wash anymore and we're always looking for something cold. Three; our internet modems are turned on 24/7. We keep our TVs, sound systems, gaming consoles, and other desktop computer plugged in forever. Yes, even if they’re not in use, when they’re plugged in they consume electricity.

We waste electricity in many ways and most of us are unware of the situation that this affects our way of living in the Philippines. One of the obvious is the energy crisis we are experiencing - rotational brownout to complete power shutdown is going on in many areas of the country.

Traffic Jams
How about life on the roads? Below photo reminds me of my travel along EDSA, that very frustrating night heading back home.

View from Inside a Passenger Utility Bus Traversing EDSA

Commuting along EDSA is a complete disaster for many Filipinos each day. Studies say that billions of pesos are getting lost to the Filipinos. This is in terms of coming late to work which reduces company productivity, delays on deliveries affecting customers’ output, too much time spent on the roads resulting to fuel wastages, and many other daily activities that are time-dependent. In particular, 3 billion pesos a day is the estimated economic loss from traffic jams in Metro Manila alone.

Fire Disasters
This next photo was taken during one of my travels to Manila. According to one of the bystanders whom I talked to, the place was recently havoc by fire.

Community in Manila Damaged by Fire

When it comes to fire safety, particularly in many residential areas, Philippines is way far behind the standards. Fifteen to 17,000 incidents of fire throughout the country are recorded each year. Seriously, these untoward incidences are taking hundreds of lives and damaging millions-worth of properties. Thousands of families ended up homeless. The reality is this. The big problem lies on the lack of education of many urban settlers in terms of housing standards. Many erect their houses using light materials, electric lines are installed without the full inspection of certified electrician, many settlers resort to illegal electrical connections (or jumper connection), houses are very congested ignoring the importance of spacing, firewalls, fire hydrants, and fire exits during the construction stage, still many families use fire-prone candles and kerosene lamps, and communities have narrow roads causing fire trucks and rescue volunteers to find it very difficult to get into the place. Ignorance even becomes obvious when tenants fight firemen during actual fire responses for no logical reason.

What to blame? Poverty? No. Poverty is not the cause of fire disasters. It is our lack of knowledge about fire safety – that’s the plain truth.

Environmental Problems in Coastal Areas
I got these photos from one of my friends living in a coastal community. The view looks fine but from what I heard on documentaries, life of people in these places are getting tougher and tougher each year.

Fishermen on their Boats During Sunset

Coastal Community in an Island in Batangas Province

Even in coastal communities, problems related to housing, environmental protection, and reliable sources of living exists. With fishing as the main source of income, fishermen still lack the support of the local government in terms of creating sustainable fishing grounds. These days, many fishermen navigate hundreds to even thousands of kilometers to fish because there are no more fish to catch on the nearby seas. If not competition from bigger fishing companies using huge and sophisticated vessels, illegal fishing activities continue to happen everywhere. Take for example the fishermen from Zambales who used to go as far as the Scarborough Shoal just to have a good catch. Tuna fishermen from General Santos travel day and night to reach far ocean grounds where tunas are thriving.

After days of sacrifices, fisherman in the coastal communities ended up having just enough to feed their family for a day or two because every fishing expedition requires ample amount of money for boat’s gasoline, food, and fishing bait. And what about the continuous degradation of coral reefs?

Uncontrolled Urbanization
If you’re in doubt of the social and environmental problems existence, seeing these photos will prove it to you otherwise.

View from Boracay Island in the Philippines Showing Hotels Built on the Mountain Side

Series of Hotels Built in an Island

Park Goers Biking Near a Site Under Construction

Another issue that is quite unnoticed the Filipinos is facing is the uncontrolled urbanization in many tourism spots in the country. Many investors build their hotels and resorts on mountain sides with almost no care for the ecosystem there. Because of the confidence that this move favors local tourism, local government permits these investors to establish their businesses even if the community will be put at risk of landslides, environmental damages, and effects of man-made disasters.

Another alarming issue is that new subdivision constructions or housing projects keeps on killing natural habitats in many places in the country. With no effective waste disposal systems, garbage in these new communities goes to the rivers, grasslands, and road sides jeopardizing plants, animals, and local residents.

These are some of the alarming images I happened to capture near my place in Cavite, Philippines.

Housing Project in a Town in Cavite, Philippines


Carabao and a Crow and a Hospital Built Nearby

Garbage Dumped Along the Road

Here are some more photos to prove that these issues are happening in a wide scale.

Housing Project in Tagaytay City

Houses Built on Mountain Side Near a Plantation in Baguio

Progress in the Philippines can be unstoppable at this point. In a way, economically speaking, this is good. But the fact that these alarming situations happening around are getting unstoppable too is something we need to act on as immediate as possible.

On Going Construction of a Hotel in a Grassland

Modern Buildings Erected in Ortigas Center

Deep within, as I examined, corruption still is what fuels these wrong doings in the society.


The voices of the activists are not enough (and had never been enough over the past decades) to change the minds of these corrupt people juggling the minds of the Filipino people. And we are so tired of it! Aren’t you?

We now know the problems and issues. What then should we do now?

The good people in the government fighting these injustices are not enough. More good people whom chose to be silent or neutral for many years should take part, and they really should if they want change. Voices alone is insufficient. It needs action (literally moving your body parts) over and over again for injustices to stop.

With all respect, let me give you my suggestions.

Maybe if you’re an educator, you can do your part by sharing lectures to your own community. If you are a businessman or businesswoman, you can participate on community projects concerning environmental protection or social welfare. If you’re a student, you can volunteer on clean-up drives or information dissemination campaigns. If you’re a typical office or factory worker, you can donate direct to the charitable institutions of your choice.

Forget about the fundraising campaigns that benefits only the organizers rather than the real cause’s beneficiaries. Save your money and directly give it to the groups or people or to the individuals who needs it the most. Go to hospitals and hand some cash assistance to patients in need on-the-spot. Feed the street children on-the-spot. If you’re after creating a business that would help your community, do it with good intentions. Stay on the legal side of everything.

Planting is the simplest way of protecting the environment. Aside from giving inspiration to other with this blog, planting is what I could say the part I am sharing to the Philippines society.

Think for second of what you can do today for the beauty of nature in these images to last forever.

Clean River in Ilocos Sur, Philippines

Man Posing in a Beautiful Falls

Rocky River in Central Luzon Captured from Inside a Tour Bus

Amazing Water Wonder in Abra, Philippines

Seashore Full of Round Stones in Batangas

We can do a lot to solve our problems. It is never too late to act.


That moment when you reach out to a neighbor or relative during her tough times, that is an act of kindness we can resonate further to the entire nation if we only aim to. Helping others in simple ways is already helping the community and that can even go as far as helping your own country - the beautiful Philippines.

I am encouraging you to act today.


About the Author
Noriel Panganiban is A Filipino blogger and like many of the Filipinos, he's an advocate of good changes in the Philippines. He's neither an activist nor a social justice warrior. Noriel is just an ordinary citizen who's aiming for fairness and equality, peace and harmony. Thru this blog ProjectPilipinas.com, Noriel wants to inspire Filipinos and non-Filipinos to do their part in building the nation in such a way that it would be able to provide better quality of life to the future generations. For more inspirational posts, keep on exploring this site. For more information about Noriel, you may also visit his website Knowriel.com.


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