Last February 14, 2011 our block was tasked to participate on an event called "Love Manila Bay." It is a clean up drive led by Councilor Nino dela Cruz, several schools including my beloved Pamantasan, some Local Government employees and NGO's, Girl Scouts of the Philippines, Boy Scouts of the Philippines, and Philippine Coast Guard.
As early as 8:00 AM, we were summoned at Roxas Boulevard near the US Embassy and arriving there in a morning rush hour was of course a bit chaotic.
I met up with my two blockmates at Jolibee near D. Jose Station in Avenida. Unfortunately, we were experiencing a Mabini-bound jeepney scarcity at that time, but luckily after some 20 minutes of waiting we saw a jeepney with exactly three available seats, I was about to step into the jeep when a lady from nowhere came and got into the jeep before me. I still entered the jeep and tried to sit at the for-Thumbelina space on the passenger seat (coccyx lang ng vertebra ko ang nakaupo). After some time, I realized that my leg muscles couldn't bear the stress of my position, so I sat on the floor instead (para akong Badjao na nanlilimos). I fanally got the chance to seat almost at the mid trip already.
We arrived at 7:30 AM and the program was about to start. There's a music band, media (ABS-CBN and RPN), some photographers and usi's (usiseros). Each one of us was given a pair of rubber gloves. Tools like shovel, walis ting-ting and rake were also distributed among the students. The program began with our Philippine National Anthem, a prayer and a lengthy speech from Councilor dela Cruz.
|the man resposible for this activity, Councilor dela Cruz in yellow.|
Before we started cleaning, some people were bathing at the dirty waters. Old and young, men and women, they all enjoy bathing at their public beach.
The high school students were so eager in cleaning the bay, some were still at their uniform. The boy scouts and girl scouts too were actively participating in the clean up drive. Loud music were played while we're scraping the shore. I do take pictures while most of us were already picking up the garbage (sa totoo lang, limang kalat lang ang pinulot ko). The coast guard team used their inflatable raft, equipped with long catching nets and ready to clean the distant part of the bay. I wish could join them.
After 2 hours of cleaning, plastic bags, bottles, broken glass, styro cups, slippers and small candy wrappers were among the collected garbage. I saw a garbage truck, the collected garbage were not so plenty as I first thought. Snacks and bottled water were given after the clean-up drive.
|free cookie snacks after the clean-up drive|
|Bay Walk Bodies or them?|
The Manila Bay is one of the best natural harbors in the world, a historical battle happened here (Battle of the Manila Bay, where Spain was defeated by American ships in 1898), we also have here the famous Manila Bay Sunset. Too bad people turned this bay into a septic tank, neglecting its cultural and economic importance. I just hope someday this bay will be comparable to Miami's.
When the activity ended, we stayed there for about 30 minutes more, playing the when-you-throw-the-stone-in-the-water-it-will-bounce game. The mechanics is simple, you'll just find a stone and throw it to the water with your fullest force, the greatest number of bounce will win the game. Note: never try throwing the stone at someone else's chin, seriously it hurts.