Garbage culture

By: Editorial April 01,2018 - 08:56 PM

Holy Week has yet again seen a stinking trail of evidence that Filipinos have embraced neither the spirituality of ecological stewardship nor the principle of responsible tourism.

From the beaches of Santa Fe municipality in the island of Bantayan, Cebu to the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, pilgrims and tourists strewed garbage everywhere but in the right places.

In the face of such blatant carelessness towards creation, the old adage bears repeating: cleanliness is next to godliness.

How can the faithful expect to become godly when they appear unwilling to give that sign of devotion that is proper waste disposal?

How can tourists expect to return to a place that has become a part of their lives, a place of rest and recreation when they leave it mired in dirt?

Keeping our pilgrimage and tourism sites spic and span starts with a sense of ownership of and responsibility for the earth among devotees and travelers alike.

Ecological fees such as the P30 that the local government of Santa Fe charges per visitor are not free passes for littering.

Dependence on others to clean up after oneself is not a hallmark of the devout or of the well-traveled but of the failure to grow up.

Given that the general public is still caught up in a twisted señorito mentality that expects others to act like human chattels tasked to deal with their mess, local governments and shrine administrators must improve their communication campaigns for correct waste disposal.

Leaders of resort islands like Bantayan can play public service announcements about waste segregation in the vessels coming from mainland Cebu, and set up more signs that teach visitors how to take care of their garbage.

Receptionists at commercial accommodations should be trained to orient guests prior to check in about the right ways of handling of trash.

Keeping creation pristine is nothing Herculean. It can be as simple as taking garbage along to throw in cans at home in case there seems to be no bin nearby.

The Filipino does not need to go abroad to understand the importance of caring for the earth and of keeping clean. He only has to remember kindergarten lessons.

Then creation would not be deprived of its power to regenerate or be left out in man’s celebration of Easter.

The alternative is business as usual, with the wastelands of the world signifying man’s increasing drift from the divine, masked by impotent rituals.

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TAGS: culture, Editorial, garbage

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