Black and white
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - September 10, 2020 - 12:00am

Nobody, I believe, would oppose to any effort that would restore nature's beauty. Because of the rapid and constantly changing activities of man in line with his increasing needs brought about by recent developments, we cannot stop facing the consequence of this, the degradation of environment. We have heard many dispiriting stories about the activities of humans which have a major impact on the degradation of the environment.

We may not be able to bring back our environment's old glories but at least they still serve us and the generation to come. I can only wish the old days as children when we took a bath and brought gallons of water from the Butuanon River just a few meters away from our home. But now the river is undergoing rehabilitation.

In particular, I have known the town of Alcoy every Sinulog presentation in which the contingent has always taken its major inspiration from what the town is known for-the Shaman. The presence of those black birds was a great manifestation of a vibrant environment in their presentation. But not only these birds, the town is indeed rich with dolomite rocks that recently, when broken or pulverized, being used to fill in the wide beach of Manila Bay. Unregulated, such environmentally disruptive activity taking place in the area would trigger imbalance in the activities of life leading to the extinction of certain living organisms.

Such white rock feature provides artificial cover-up of the bay as if it is a wide stretch of beach resort to provide people in the areas to experience the feeling of being in a white beach without necessarily going to other provinces that offer natural white sandy beaches, such as in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Although laudable efforts have been undertaken to clean the bay but still environmental authorities have admitted that the bay is still well below its clean and safe status, there is still a presence of coliform content, more tons of garbage. They fill the black sand with the artificial white sand and so making the whole process like filling the unclean and unsafe underneath.

Back to Alcoy, Cebu, where dolomite rocks were sourced out from, I laud the provincial government's effort to stop the activity as there is no previous environmental study to determine possible environmental impact.

It is after all not bad to take part of environment’s minimal intrusion in one place for the enhancement or rehabilitation of the other. It's like taking what's considered abundant in one place and recognizing what's missing in another. But this isn't as simple as one sees it. It takes an impact study to determine the potential damage and the seriousness of the damage to the environment and its immediate community. Let us remember that it does not take just a year for nature to recuperate but more years or thousands of years to heal.

I know progress without change is impossible. But it is the kind of change which will render the least impact on the environment.

We may be covering a place's black surface with white sandy substance and causes irreparable long-term damage to the environment, the whole human activity becomes futile.

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