A few weeks ago, I got to watch this documentary special on Discovery channel about the geographical changes which occurred on Earth for billions of years. It showed positions of continents, plate tectonics, how high intensity earth quakes moved huge chunks of land, and major volcanic eruptions which shaped the world we live in today. A huge part of the documentary also discussed how climate drastically changed. It was a thorough documentation of what the Earth used to be and how it currently is.
Honestly, I didn’t get to watch the whole program yet it seriously left a great impression on me. Nevertheless, it didn’t stop me from thinking what kind of world awaits us in ten, twenty, or fifty years down the line. The part where so many islands are now submerged hundreds of feet below sea level really frightened me. We are faced with greater problems which we can barely reverse: deforestation, global warming, overpopulation, disease, poverty and the list just gets longer. Every year, the water rises, and it’s happening a lot faster than before. At this rate, it alarmed me to think that the Philippines will slowly but surely be wiped out of the global map.
I never really thought I’d live to even witness how the waters of the Pacific will slowly claim all 7,107 islands of our country— until after last Saturday. I forgot to factor in typhoons in the equation, that rain fall can really put a city under water if it goes out of hand. But it happened that day. There were no warnings. Little did I know it has begun.
None of us thought it could flood at subdivisions where homes have never been flooded before, but it did. Logically, people won’t prepare for something they don’t think would happen, but it did. Okay, maybe we thought about it but we just didn't give a damn to care enough. And so we're faced with the consequences.
Many succumbed to drown in the strong currents of the flood. So many families lost their homes. What’s more devastating is the aftermath of typhoon Ondoy. Surely, there will be more casualties, many people will fall ill due to lack of sanitation in evacuation centers and some will not survive due to scarcity of food. How will these people rebuild their lives? Surely it must be painful to lose everything at once when you worked hard for it so long.
If I could start again, a million miles away
I would keep myself, I would find a way.
-- Trent Reznor, "Hurt"
Now is the time, more than ever, to help our fellow Filipinos. It's not just about self-preservation, we have to work together. Yes, we have to rebuild. The way I see it, this is the perfect time to start over. We have to realize that we need to restore our ties with one another and with the Environment to ensure a livable future for all of us. I've never seen so many people genuinely concerned with their fellow Filipinos. To those who continue to pray, volunteer and send relief to those affected, I'm very grateful. For that I say I'm glad to be Filipino, because this is what we're supposed to be doing.
After this catastrophic event, we should be focused on the real problems. Let this not be just another "tragedy". Just because Pinoy tayo, it doesn't mean dapat masanay tayo nang naghihirap, we must also learn to prevent this. I seriously cannot bare to think that my future descendants will be left to live in a world just like in Cormack McCarthy's The Road. If the world turns into a total wasteland, it's only because people wickedly pursued their own selfish interests. I apologize if you think I'm taking it way too far, but we cannot keep on tolerating simple things like improper waste disposal, water pollution, illegal logging, ozone depletion and more. It all adds up into something destructive, as we now can see.
We all have to do our part too. I'm not perfect, I am one of the guilty ones who have in more ways than one contributed to the Earth's destruction, but I urge everyone do something and help save it now.
I recently got in touch with Haribon Foundation because of my work. We interviewed Ms. Annabelle Plantilla, Executive Director of the said organization who also happens to be an Environmental Planning graduate from Miriam College. It was very encouraging. We did this for an episode (Watch it on QTV, I'll announce the date) which focuses on how we can work together to make a difference in society.
To do my part, I plan on adopting a tree and supporting Haribon's cause for reforestation and sustainable development. Visit www.haribon.org.ph to know more about the Adopt a Seedling campaign. Pledges to adopt 1 tree starts at Php75.00 only. If you can't plant it yourself, at least give what amount you can to have it planted. OR in your own way, like what my friend said, at least plant some trees at your own backyard. We have to start planting trees as soon as we can. Of course, let's not forget to reduce our waste and start disposing of our garbage properly. Also, water is so precious so we better start saving it before we have nothing more left to drink.
As the pain sweeps through, makes no sense for you
Every thrill has gone, wasn't too much fun at all
But I'll be there for you as the world falls down.
--David Bowie, "As the World Falls Down"
We have to turn this around. We can't abandon this mission because the world is dying. To those of you who were affected by what happened, please don't lose hope. We've to pray harder, be stronger, put our trust in the Lord, and in one another to make this happen. Please spread the word!