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Sustainable development: the key to protecting the environment

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Aside from fighting the preposterous leyenda negra by attempting to bring back the Spanish language in order to redeem our Filipino Identity, I have another advocacy: environmentalism. But so much has been written about it already. Any views from me will be a mere drop of water in a filled bucket. All I can say is this: much of the Philippines before, especially during the supposedly “exploitation-filled” Spanish times, was a haven for nature fauna and flora. This beauty inspired the creativity of many a poet and artist. But many of these natural wonders today are either gone or polluted. All this in the name of capitalism inspired by US WASP greed and avarice.

The desecration of our natural resources is a major factor for my travels. My travels are fueled not solely by my passion to search for traces of our country’s Hispanic past, nor are they spurred exclusively by a responsibility to document maltreated Fil-Hispanic heritage sites. I feel an urge to visit our country’s natural wonders because I fear that one day, any time soon, these natural wonders will soon disappear. Or that they might meet the same fate as the Pásig River or once lush forests that are now commercial centers. That is why I keep on taking pictures of beautiful sceneries. Those photos are for my children. When they grow up and these natural beauties are gone, they would still be able to see them, at least through my eyes in all the pictures that I took.

I fear not for myself but for my children. Let me just borrow a few lines (written in original Tagalog spelling) from Filipino folk band Asin to explain this fear:

Ang mğa batang ñgayón lang isinilang,
¿May hañguin pa cayáng matiticmán?
¿May mğa puno pa cayá siláng aaquiatín?
¿May mğa ilog pa cayáng lalañguyán?

Right now, it’s not enough to be simply “environmental” in order to save our natural resources. Protecting the environment nowadays is not just about throwing one’s waste in a designated trash bin or turning off electrical appliances that are not in use. It is not just about tree planting events. This is not just about hating illegal logging. Environmentalism is something that “needs to be done”, and without harming the economy.

The keyword here is sustainable development. The International Institute for Sustainable Development explains this much better:

All definitions of sustainable development require that we see the world as a system—a system that connects space; and a system that connects time.

When you think of the world as a system over space, you grow to understand that air pollution from North America affects air quality in Asia, and that pesticides sprayed in Argentina could harm fish stocks off the coast of Australia.

And when you think of the world as a system over time, you start to realize that the decisions our grandparents made about how to farm the land continue to affect agricultural practice today; and the economic policies we endorse today will have an impact on urban poverty when our children are adults.

We also understand that quality of life is a system, too. It’s good to be physically healthy, but what if you are poor and don’t have access to education? It’s good to have a secure income, but what if the air in your part of the world is unclean? And it’s good to have freedom of religious expression, but what if you can’t feed your family?

The concept of sustainable development is rooted in this sort of systems thinking. It helps us understand ourselves and our world. The problems we face are complex and serious—and we can’t address them in the same way we created them. But we can address them.

Click here and here for more information about sustainable development.

Act now.


Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 6 (Malate, Manila)

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Malate love!

Ships line up the horizon.

Against the Manila sunlight.

♪ All these happy people, where do they all come from? ♫

Urban tropics.


Manila street art.

Weeping over their incarceration.

Early morning fishing.


Badminton by the bay.

The ubiquitous buco juice!

Low tide.

This should have been a lovely sight -- if not for the sludge and garbage.

A sight to behold -- and to pity for. =(

Posing near a news-hungry, one-legged old timer.

1322. Yeyette is so enamored with this building. She wants to have a space for us there soon!

A two-week infant!

I remember a cousin who has been to other countries telling me that beaches there fronting urban areas are still clean and enchanting. What we have here is a national embarassment. Is this such a big problem for the national government to fix?

My wife deploring this travesty of nature.

It's extremely disappointing to see these young Manileños enjoying a place that is very harmful to their health. But where else can they go with a meager budget? Many Manileños are still poor. Indeed, we have one of the stupidest and inutile governments in the planet in terms of environmental protection (among others). Tsk.

This coming May elections, we should vote for those who will prioritize the utmost and SINCERE conservation and protection of our environment and natural resources. I emphasized the word SINCERE. Ergo, it means NOT Loren Legarda.

¿Baquit di natin pag-isipan | Ang nañgyayari sa ating capaliguiran | Hindí na masamâ ang pag-unlád | Cung hindí nacacasira ng calicasan ♪ (taken from the song MASDÁN MÓ ANG CAPALIGUIRAN by Filipino folk band Asin)

A heartrending scene, at least for my wife and I: children as young as our own kids playing in a polluted beach sand. Indeed, our children's generation will face a much bigger challenge in the very near future. It's bigger than famine, bigger than war, even bigger than strife -- the destruction of our ecological systems. This is the only planet we have got. Thus, we have to put a stop to this utter disrespect to nature. SERIOUSLY, the pollution of our environment should be considered as a heinous crime. We have to spread the love not only toward each other. We should spread our love toward nature as well.

RELATED LINKS Love, love, love, Malate Love! (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 2 (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 3 (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 4 (Malate, Manila) Spread the love! Malate love! PT. 5 (Malate, Manila)

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