EDITORIAL - The trash comes with the territory

The Freeman

It should come as no surprise that trash generated in this year's Sinulog is much larger than those generated in the previous years. Not only is the population growing, so is the Sinulog. More and more people are coming to see the festival. And because people generate trash, then it should follow that the more people there are, the more trash it will be.

Kudos should be given to the city government for quickly disposing of the trash, larger though it may be this year. And instead of bitching, it should brace for even larger amounts next year. Better still, it may start planning for better and quicker ways to deal with the problem. What it should do first, however, is not to mope and curse but accept the trash as simply a part of the Sinulog phenomenon.

Remember -- everyone is trying to promote the Sinulog. What that means is that everyone is trying to attract more people to come. It should follow that since everyone is trying to make everybody else come, everyone should be prepared to deal with the consequences of their coming. Surely, you cannot expect people to come and just lie somewhere like immovable sacks of rice.

The people who attend the Sinulog will eventually generate trash because of the things people do naturally -- eat, drink, have fun. But the people who attend the Sinulog, thanks in no small measure to the all-out effort to entice them into coming, will not be in their few dozens, who can be made to deal properly with the trash they generate.

The people who attend the Sinulog, thanks in no small measure to the all-out effort to entice them into coming, will be in their hundreds of thousands, even perhaps in their couple of millions. Whatever the number, it will be in their unwieldiest measure. But that is precisely what all those efforts have been trying to achieve in the first place. So instead of bitching about it, let us learn to deal with it.

Sure, we can cry ourselves hoarse about discipline, cleanliness, respect for the environment, etc etc. But try factoring all that into the reality that is the Sinulog, where crowds are so dense there is hardly any space even to breathe, much less find a trash can that is non-existent. So forget about the amounts of trash generated because that is a reality that we will have to contend with for as long as there is the Sinulog.

What we should be bitching about is the unruliness of the crowds in the streets in the after-Sinulog parties. Where are the policemen, barangay tanods and other peace-keepers when they are needed to control those who take over the streets and prevent vehicles from moving forward, blocking their way and terrorizing their occupants by banging on the sides or jumping on them and rocking them, spraying them with beer or worse, spray-painting them.

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