I spend my weekend on an event where we talked about on how to care for our environment. There's a lot of simple tips I discovered that can really go a long way, if implemented. A lot of people want change in the Philippines especially on its environmental aspect. "I support this!" they would exclaimed, but they will not do nothing after that. I hope a lot of people would do the walk and not just talk and talk. As they say, "The power to change starts with you."
Seeing photos like that above makes me feel that there's still hope for the Philippines, a lot of it. These efforts to clean up Estero de Paco and the rebuilding of Paco Market simply energizes me to give more care to our Mother Earth. Thanks to Gina Lopez and the whole Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig team for their collective effort to bring back Estero De Paco to it's old self.
Cleaning up Estero de Paco is not just a walk in the park and doesn't happened overnight. First, the 1,350 squatted families was relocated to Calauan, Laguna, where they were given affordable housing options and some livelihood training. Their shanties were dismantled and Kapit Bisig Para sa Ilog Pasig, mostly helped by students and military personnel, proceeded to dig up and remove tons and tons of garbage left behind by over eighty years of abuse to the waterway.
After the Estero De Paco was clear of physical garbage, it was time to erase the pollutants that was left behind. They must done it in the greenest, most eco-friendly way possible.Coco coir was mixed with helpful bacteria that are known to decompose garbage and is used to treat wastewater and sludge. The coir would act as a filter against larger contaminants and as a stabilizing material for the banks of the waterway, while the bacteria worked on eliminating harmful toxins from the water. To combat the possible erosion, those special vetiver grass was also introduced. The grass would also help to clean the water, filtering it over time.
Soon they will reintroduce aquatic life on Estero De Paco. Cleaning this waterway is so significant since this is connected to the Pasig River, Laguna De Bay and Manila Bay.
Bringing it to it's old glory will not be possible without the help of Kevin Harris who is very much involved in raising funds for this project, and Maja Olivares-Co which took the challenge of designing of the all new, and more eco-friendly Paco Market.
This is such a fitting gift for the waterway, that will celebrate it's 100th year this 2011 :)