You know, one thing that I noticed since the first time that I visited the Philippines back in 1990, and all through the years is that when you enter the house of most Filipinos, it is very clean! Even the most poor of people who have not much more than a shack display the utmost of cleanliness. It always made me feel good to see this in Filipino households.
If you accept my statement that Filipino households are kept very clean and sanitary, I wonder how we can reconcile that with my next statement… Did you ever notice that if you go to the beach here, or some other “nature spot” there is trash everywhere? Certainly, this is not true at every tourist spot, but it is true at many, maybe even most. You go to the beach and there are wrappers from potato chips, coke cans and that kind of stuff littering the scenery. What was once a beautiful natural spot is suddenly a garbage dump! Why? Is there no pride, or sense of urgency to keep the environment clean? It appears not.
It is so unfortunate to see this. Another thing you will often see is that the water itself is filthy dirty. Here in Davao, I have been told that raw sewage is dumped directly into the Gulf, and because of that the water in Davao Gulf is not suitable for swimming. You pretty much have to go over to Samal Island to find clean water that is good enough for a swim. Sometimes, if you are in a particularly bad spot, the water in the sea is visibly littered, and even smells bad.
If a kid has a bag of chips, or some candy, is it hard to put the wrapper in a garbage can? If the kid is careless, why can’t the parent tell their kids to clean up their mess? Honestly, I find it quite disgusting, and disheartening when I see kids throwing their trash on the beach, in the water or on the streets. I often want to say something, but it’s not my place to tell other people’s kids to clean up their mess. Or the adults, for that matter.
One of the sad things is that the country is constantly begging for more tourists to visit. I have contact with a lot of tourists who visit Davao, and I hear from them often about litter, dirty beaches and such. Wouldn’t it be easy to just clean up after yourself and keep things pristine? To me, that should be the goal. How many people are unemployed, hungry for food, can’t find a job? Put them to work cleaning up the environment of the Philippines! Why not?
Take some pride in your country, Pinoy! Clean things up! Keep it that way! I love the Philippines, but they really need to address this issue!