As an agricultural country, we should be more concerned and responsible for our actions towards our environment. But history has proven that we keep repeating the same mistakes. Environmental issues in the past are still the environmental issues of today. I thought that experiencing the effects firsthand would be the final straw that would drive people to take actions but I was mistaken.
When you turn on the TV, go to some news channel to check the recent happenings, you always see and hear the same things over and over again. A large-scale landslide occurred, destroying millions worth of properties. Or a barangay is in waist-deep flood, displacing hundreds of families. If both are not present, you can always count on that there is a tropical storm coming which is almost guaranteed to destroy homes and compromise the source of income for our farmers and fishermen.
With decades of experience with calamities and still no changes, it’s hard not to think that Filipinos have already given up. We became numb to such things that after one occurrence, we just shrug, accept that we are unfortunate and repeat the cycle. Yes, we are very resilient, that in the face of any calamity we can still manage, but will we really just let it be? Floods are becoming more common, typhoons are becoming super-typhoons and the weather is getting more unpredictable. Can our resilience really keep up?
With all of this happening, I can say that our country is not walking a path towards prevention and solution but is instead, marching at a steady pace towards certain collapse. The younger generation is becoming less and less informed. Information now can travel almost instantaneously, that’s why it is ironic that people nowadays are more ignorant than before. The media has become so profit-oriented that they only show people things that would earn them the most, even if it means bending the truth or making a joke out of an important fact.
For example, it is a fact that deforestation, illegal logging and irresponsible mining are a constant problem that our country has to face. It is a problem not just because of the fact that the many forests of the Philippines make it special, but because it is our only shield against air pollution and climate change. Climate change is also a fact. Why is it a fact? Because we have observed and experienced that over the past decades, weather patterns have changed and the overall temperature is rising. This would translate into what we are experiencing right now, stronger storms and more intense weathers.
The main takeaway here is the realization of our own actions and that we should be more aware of its consequences. You do not have to plant trees or donate money to organizations, even simple actions like disposing your garbage properly and reducing waste as much as possible are already a great help. These things would hardly even change your daily routines, so why not do them. Individually, it would probably change nothing, but collectively, it can mold our future.
Let us be aware and have a caring attitude. Be active in making a change; don’t just wait for others to act. The next step is up to us. — Delfin S. Ayyang