Raul Ilogon .
THE Philippines is a very beautiful country with scenic spots that can be reached with minimum jeepney fare. Take Cagayan de Oro for an example — beaches and nature parks are just with in city limits.
But there is a big but! Garbage is everywhere!
I always feel proud in showing my guests and foreign friends our beautiful nature spots. They love it but I know they are grinding their teeth because there are garbage litters everywhere. It is severe to the point of spoiling the natural beauty that surrounds us.
I’m so proud of our natural scenic spots at the same time, embarrassed sa atong pagkahugawan!
The situation was dreadful during the last Holy Week. Pilgrimage sites were littered with tons of garbage. There was no exemption — from Luzon to Mindanao. It was a national shame. My daughter said, “People are worried about a nuclear war but it is our garbage that is slowly killing us and our planet.”
When I was in elementary school, we were taught that cleanliness is a virtue. In fact, it’s next to godliness! We always cleaned and scrubbed our classroom floor immaculate using the trusty lampaso. During my time, it was common to see school children bringing brooms and bolos for the campus-wide clean-up.
I don’t have the perfect answer but allow me to share my thoughts with this historical timeline:
Pre-Hispanic – the Datu and the royalty owned slaves.
Spanish Era – the Don and Doñas had muchachos and muchachas.
American Occupation – the officials and well-to-do had house maids.
Oresent day – we have barangay street sweepers.
Filipinos have always expected somebody else to go after our trash!
I thank God that I was introduced to mountaineering. Be it in the mountain or city, true mountaineers carry in their hearts and live by the words:
“Take nothing but pictures
Kill nothing but time
Leave nothing but footprints.”
But all is not lost. With Laguindingan winning the prize for having the cleanest coastline in the whole country, there is hope. I will write about it my next column.