Skip to main content

Save the Philippine Nature and Environment Starting with Pasig River, Manila Bay and Boracay

This is a view of the Pasig River and the nearby Arroceros Forest Park. The river was declared biologically dead in the 90's while the forest is dubbed today as the "last lung" of Manila.


My love for nature and the environment is something that I want to keep to myself as much as possible. But since I have this ambition to help my co-Filipinos in improving their lives, who am I not to share my visions in protecting and caring the nature surrounding the nation. It is for us. 

Well, I am planting vegetables and medicinal plants the whole year round. In simple ways, I am helping the butterflies, birds, insects and worms experience the supposedly cycle of life they were brought in this planet for. And my neighborhood, maybe, just maybe, a little percentage of the air they’re breathing is filtered by the plants we have in our mini garden.

My Mini Gardens. Planting is a hobby of mine and my wife. It makes our hands wet and dirty but also our weekends very relaxing. It feels great when nature is near you.




Let me begin with this interesting story.


The Mangrove Forest of Lobo, Batangas
Back in 2018, I was given the opportunity to visit a mangrove forest in the southern part of Batangas. We call this place Lobo. With enthusiasm, I was able to capture great photos of the forest while at the same time enjoying the walk together with my wife and friends. That walk reminds me of something - the environment and the coming summer. Nature will again be explored and be walked upon by humans. And that probably, with lack of awareness and discipline, more garbage and pollutants will be left behind again.

Before we go deeper into this blog post, enjoy for a minute these wonderful shots of nature – the Mangrove Forest.



"Take care of the tree, if you care for me." This is a simple reminder that caring for the trees and plants is something we must possess within ourselves. You will see a lot of reminders like this in the Mangrove Forest of Lobo.







That short visit allowed me to take shots that may influence us a bit on our approach towards nature and the surrounding this coming summer months. For instance, there are signages that tells us to be fair with nature. That walk also reminded me that nature is not selfish. It will share with us what it has, provided we will also share with it the love and care it needs.

Here is a few more pics from that visit to the Mangrove Forest. It will remind you how sweet it is to be with nature.






Here's another story that will invite us to bring nature closer to us.


The City Parks of Singapore
When I was in Singapore, way back 2014, I can still imagine how great was the government there in protecting, conserving and improving the nature. It was a very small country, about the size of Metro Manila and with a population of around 5 million. But citizens play their basic role – loving the environment. In my almost 2 years stay as an OFW here, I’ve seen parks, gardens and rainforests well-maintained and cared. It’s a city in the forest in fact.The Botanical Garden, Sentosa and the Gardens By the Bay are just some of Singapore's great wonders of nature. Amidst the busy way of life, people still have one outlet for stress, and that is the green and blue and environment they have around them. Take a look on some of my photography collection for that.

Singapore has water catchment system designed to conserve, clean and save water for the whole country.



Everywhere you go in Singapore, you will see plants and trees. Despite having a warm weather, Singapore is maintaining its surrounding cool and comfy.






Aren't we envy of this country? While we have plazas in our respective towns, they're obviously not as beautiful and maintained as those in Singapore. To make something beautiful, what I learned from Singaporeans, is not about big funds and expensive projects. Sense of responsibility, consideration and discipline is the biggest factor in having a beautiful environment. In fact, it requires no big effort to make our towns and cities here in the Philippines green and clean. True. And this is where I want to focus on next.



What Can You Do as a Filipino?
The message I want to convey in this post is this: give nature a chance to heal and grow itself, with our care and help. We don’t necessarily have to go out there, plant seeds or young plants just to promote our advocacy as nature lovers. No, we don’t have to do that. Nature can heal (even destroy) itself provided we will not harm them again and again. What I simply mean with that can be best understood by these:

Let us NOT litter even the smallest candy wrappers and cigarette butts. 

Let us NOT leave carbon footprints in the camping parks we stayed. 

Let us NOT throw our wastes on the canals, rivers and seas. 

Let us NOT over-harvest the plants, trees and animals in our wonderful nature. 

Certainly, we can always do our physical and mental efforts to restore back nature’s beauty and friendliness to humans. In the past several years, I believe our human efforts of greening this earth have eventually paid off. A news article surprisingly tells us that “the earth is greener today than 20 years ago”. It was the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the US that verified this significant development. And guess what, the credit mainly goes to China and India, countries known to high pollution in the air, land and sea, with their huge efforts in agriculture and tree planting. You can read the full article here.

There is no significant information from this article about the efforts NGOs and the government in the Philippines are exerting, to make the country greener. But I believe there are massive efforts to get nature revival and rescue done. Take this news for example.


Significant Efforts to Revive the Philippines Environment
In the Philippines, many are doing their role and part in cleaning and greening our sick environment. Kudos to these people. The Pasig River, for example, is now cleaner than it was 20 or 30 years ago. Just this 2018, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) was globally recognized for its great effort to restore back Pasig River into its clean condition – though it is still not fully the case today. The commission was awarded with the Inaugural 2018 Asia River Prize given by the International River Foundation. You can read the full article here.

Thanks to the Filipinos with a loving heart for the environment. While there are more efforts to be exerted, we are almost getting there – a Pasig River where we can catch fish and fetch water, just like in the old days. Well, some says fishes are starting to multiply in the river already. This is probably because the surrounding esteros in Metro Manila were rehabilitated by their respective local groups, with the strong leadership of PRRC.

I happened to photograph myself the beauty of this river just recently. This is how Pasig River looks like in the early morning. What a scenery!

Morning View of the Pasig River




The reality slapping us everyday is that many of us, the Filipinos, have no care for the environment at all. I have written a lot of blog articles exposing our attitudes, the lack of discipline in particular, that we struggle to change into something better. It is enough for me to share those facts, truths and realities. What I want to share now is how we can move on from being a sick country to a healthy and green one.


Start cleanliness from our homes.
Buy trash can, trash bags or any strong and secured waste disposal materials. Observe the rules of waste disposal in your local community. Know when garbage trucks come to pick up the garbage and if possible, only move out your garbage for disposal during that time. And pay attention to this: Do NOT just leave you garbage in the open street vulnerable to cats and dogs. These animals will punch holes on them leaving you and your neighbors with scattered garbage all around the street the next morning. In barangays with no trucks to pickup garbage, best to dig a hole where garbage can be disposed.


Do your part in the community.
Yes, you have a part, duty or role to play when it comes to cleanliness. Debris flown by winds or running water must be picked up by you if it comes from you. Be responsible. See to it that your trash cans are well-covered and that you have the broom and dust pan to clean up the dirt. And hear this: Do NOT clog the sewers or canals with solid wastes. Also, be considerate to others. Throw your trashes to the garbage cans and not on the street.


Finally, give at least a little 1% care for your surrounding and the environment.
When you go out, for a picnic or just a stroll in the park, pick up that litter in front of you. If there are 100 candy wrappers that you’ve seen, please pick up at least one. The 99 guys next to you, hopefully, will pick up the remaining. That’s a day when pollution in the nearby future just got prevented – and it could have started from your 1% effort.


We are inch by inch helping nature to heal itself. Pasig River revival efforts, Boracay island rehabilitation program and the now the Manila Bay rescue; these are concrete evidences we care for our environment and it should continue. The right thinking we must build in our minds is that our actions today will determine our fate in the future. And it is just two things:

Live or die in the nature we choose to exist. 



Related Posts

Lobo, Batangas – a Place of Wonder and Simplicity



The Story of Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, the Philippines




About this Post
We need a clean community. We need a greener and breathable space. To fulfill these needs, we must act – silently or out loud. This blog article just shared with you how wonderful it is to witness a clean and green environment. And that small or big effort to unclog the clogged, clean the unclean, green the razored forests and mountains, it will surely make a difference in the nearby future. Do your part. It will take nothing from you but that stress from a witnessing a polluted environment day and night. May you spend your summer trips and escapades with that tender loving care for our beautiful country the Philippines.

This blog post is made possible by Knowriel.com, an education portal guiding the Filipinos on becoming modern entrepreneurs.

Comments

Most-Read Posts of the Month

“I Love Baguio City” - My Travel Story in the Summer Capital of the Philippines

The Strawberry Farm, Burnham Park, Mines View Park, the Mansion, Wright Park, Lourdes Grotto, and Session Road; these are among of the popular landmarks in the more commonly known “Summer Capital of the Philippines” – Baguio City. Why so? Well, the temperature here seldom exceeds 26 degree centigrade. During the cold season of December to February, the temperature falls down to even below 10 degree centigrade. The record low temperature was 6.3 degree and that was on January 18, 1961.

How to Travel to Baguio City?
Going to this cold city in the mountainous province of Benguet, Philippines is a six to seven hours travel by passenger utility bus from Manila. Starting from EDSA, traversing the NLEX, entering SCTEX, exiting the province of Tarlac and going through the neighbouring provinces of Pangasinan and La Union, and then exploring the zigzag road of either the Marcos Highway, the Kennon Road or the Naguilian Road, the coldest place in the Philippines will be reached. Baguio is about 2…

"Business as Usual" as the Filipinos Define It (Vulcanizing Shop, Sari-Sari Store, Bakery) – Part 1

I asked the shop owner about these old unused tires on what are they doing with it. The Vulcanizing shop owners says, “Oh, someone will pick up those tires and pay us 5 or 10 pesos each. Sometimes they just take it for free”.


Vulcanizing Shop - A Classic Example of Filipino Business
You’ve most probably seen and been into a local, typical vulcanizing shop like this one in the photo. The business concept is very simple. Here’s a customer with his flat or deflated tire and the vulcanizing boy will repair it using a rubber compound patch, a heating tool, and an air pump. If it’s a regular car or van tire, repairing one may only take 10 minutes the cost of which is around 30 to 60 pesos. If it’s a tire from a truck or bus, it could be around 30 minutes and the repair would cost the vehicle owner around 100 to 150 pesos.

Here’s the thing. A shop like this one could potentially earn a revenue of 1000 up to 2000 per day just by repairing a flat tire. Why? Well, with thousands of vehicles like j…

MONTEMARIA

Catholicism from another perspective – this is how I understand the pilgrimage site of MonteMaria in Batangas City, Philippines. It was a huge site development project with the 96-meter tall Mary, Mother of All Asia statue as the centerpiece. You have to see it for yourself to believe!

What (not Who) is MONTEMARIA? Just for clarity, MONTEMARIA is the name of the 130-hectare township or development site project. Also, Montemaria is a place in Batangas City to which the site more likely is named after. The statue or monument or tower is called "Mother of All Asia - Tower of Peace". You may simply call it Tower of Mary or Statue of Mary. The surrounding place meanwhile is known as the Mother of All Asia Shrine.

Holy Week in the Philippines
We visited this place during the Holy Week of 2018. During this week, many Filipino Catholics are visiting religious places which is part of what they call "Visita Iglesia". It is not uncommon for a pilgrimage site like the MonteMaria…

“Pasalubong” – What Makes this Filipino Word Very Special?

Probably next to the beauty of a tourism spot, if it’s about the real reasons for traveling there, is our search for the best “pasalubong”. It’s the tagalog word for “gift” or “souvenir” and it can be anything from foods, toys, clothes, handicraft, furniture, soaps, wearables, or household items. It’s practically anything, big or small, cheap or expensive, edible or not. And for as long as that special item was bought somewhere else and then given to someone as an act of love and kindness – the true purpose has been served.


A simple gesture of “Salamat po” (Thank you) for sharing that pasalubong is enough to make you feel the love and kindness back. There is the best pasalubong for kids, for grandmas and grandpas, for a favorite grandson, for a close neighbor or friend, for the workmates, for the boss, for a former enemy, for a religious brother, and even for a complete stranger. Yes, indeed!

Well, “pasalubong” is actually different from a gift for birthday, wedding, or special gatherin…

Sidewalk Vendors

You’ll often see them. You’ll buy from them. But when they become part of the news, you’ll get to hate them – some of you. They are people like us who simply wants to earn a living. They have a family to feed. This is the business they call “marangal” (dignified). And we call them…
Sidewalk Vendors

Let me define what (or should I say “who”) a sidewalk vendor is.

Here in the Philippines, there is a notion that if you’re a sidewalk vendor, you mostly likely belong to the lower class of the society. For one reason, why sell on the sidewalks or streets of Metro Manila and other cities if you can sell on approved places particularly the market. For another, selling in the street on a daily basis is a risky activity – you’re prone to illnesses, effects of air pollution, dangers from vehicles passing by, and unsafe condition of your store or shop.

In a third-world country where job opportunities are scarce for people with lower educational attainment, there is no reason to doubt that poor people…

A Walk to Divisoria - Filipinos Love this Place!

“Divisoria” - almost every Filipino knows this word. The millennials even call it “Divi”.



We paid another visit to Divisoria. Same as usual, it is so crowded that more than half of your energy will be spent on bumping people, spinning round and round to find a better direction, and on walking back and forth, up and down. Of course, finding that product and bargaining for its price is where the remaining energy will be spent.



We arrived there at around nine in the morning and streets are still not too busy. But you will notice that shoppers are on their feet rushing towards the popular 168, 999, Tutuban Center, Divisoria Mall and 11/88 shopping malls. (Any idea why the malls' names are numbers? Chinese thing? I’m not sure. That’s a trivia.) You can see the excitement on them. With a few bags, themselves and that money on the pocket, it is like going into a shopping war. Meanwhile, sellers are all set up with their products too. Their energy is always on top, some are shouting while…

Filipinos Very Own Jeepney is in Manila and Everywhere in the Philippines

Jeepney symbolizes the culture of the Philippines. This is the primary means of transportation of the Filipino people. This vehicle can be seen anywhere in the country. There is no city, town or barangay that has no jeepneys to represent them. Jeepney is the life of the people in the Philippines.

On the Photo: Jeepney Blessing Ceremony
Children and adults in this photo are excited about the blessing of this new jeepney. Coins were thrown on top of the jeepney and they scrambled for it. For the jeepney owner, this is the start of a new day, a new business venture. Jeepney like this one, which has a stainless body costs around P300,000 to Php400,000 and is mainly used as a passenger utility vehicle.


How many jeepneys can you see here?


How about here?

Riding a Jeepney - How it Feels to be in It
Riding on the jeepney might not be that comfortable and convenient to all. If you are tall, you have no other choice but to bend your neck a little. If you are fat, worst case that the driver will charg…

Lobo, Batangas – a Place of Wonder and Simplicity

Simple life? In the beach or mountain side? Lobo is the place to be.

This Holy Week 2018, me, my wife, two of our friends, and their parents, visited Lobo in the province of Batangas.

There are three passages going here. One is thru the main town of Taysan, Batangas via barangay Dagatan. The other one is via Gov. Antonio Carpio Road, stretching from Batangas City to barangay Mapulo also in the town of Taysan. Both passages will merge into barangay Bacao in Taysan. The road from here are zigzag that the local people have called it “bitukang manok” (chicken intestine – like). Green mountains and narrow roads will make your travel more exciting in going here.


The third one is thru Batangas City entering barangay Libjo. This path is quite longer than the first two. Also a bit zigzag but as you are traversing roads mostly on the beachside, the driving experience would be full of wonders. Aside from the ocean view, there are landmarks here that will make you say to the driver to stop for …

My Red Owner-Type Jeep Driving Adventures in Cavite, Philippines

About a year ago, I was really fortunate for having this second-hand owner-type jeep. Since then, I was given the chance to drive on nearby places here in Cavite I always wish I had been into before. I am also happy to say that my low-cost camera now has a good companion in blogging, a low-cost red jeep. I could say that telling good stories is now a bit better for I can capture the right views at the right angle, at the right point (not when I used to commute and take photos from the passenger’s window, just like when I travel to Baguio City years back). Now, I can pull over and take the best shots I can, though not at all times.


My Red Owner-Type Jeep 
And so I have this great experiences in exploring the inner side (places not often talked about) of the province of Cavite where I had been living for almost a decade. Places like Pala-Pala, Trece Martires, Aguinaldo Shrine, Indang and Tagaytay are now within reach, of course with some money for the gasoline and eating. The previous blo…

The 100 Million Filipinos and Our Basic Rights in the Philippines

We have the right to education, healthcare, security, good services and affordable quality products, among others. But do we understand really the extent of our rights to these things as a Filipino citizen? And our duty to abide by the laws of the land and to promote democracy, are we aware of that? Our privilege or special right to something, do we care about it?




It was Abraham Lincoln, former president of the United States of America, who in one of his speeches said this:


“…that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”


I remember these same words quoted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in one of his speeches. That was long time ago, during his first-year term I believe. While I cannot remember what the event was, what is clear to my mind until today is that he’s fulfilling at his capacity and political will the meaning of that statement.


The Philippine Government of the People, by the People, for the People
Let me translate th…

Talk to Us

Name

Email *

Message *