manila is a filthy place whether we admit it or not. just look around and you'll see trash sitting on the sidewalk, be it a small cigarette butt or a plastic bag full of garbage dismantled by a dog or a scavenger. why is it that manila as one of the cleanest city in the world would elicit laughter for the mere absurdity of the idea?
from my earlier post public toilets many filipinos are dirty people, peeing on walls. i pointed out that part of the problem is the scarcity of toilets. i believe the same goes for trash. i've learned not to be part of the problem and hold on to my trash until i can find a trashcan. there will be times that i would go home, check my pockets and there would still be candy wrappers inside. where are the trashcans?
my daily commute home involves a bus ride to the LRT Buendia station. from the drop-off point to the station, the long walk is not enough for me to find a trash can. a few times sidewalk vendors would improvise and make cartons or baskets as trashcans. most of the time, the street corner suffices as resting place of filthy stuff. as one throws his trash on the sidewalk, another will follow, throwing trash on the same spot. soon enough the trash piles up and people would instantly recognize the spot as the place to throw their trash. some supporters of the cleanliness campaign, such as i, would even throw trash on that spot without feeling any guilt. trash piled up on that space indicates that it's a space for garbage.
it's really a pity that even if you are disciplined enough to throw your trash at the right places, you'll only be frustrated knowing that the right places are the trash bin on your office cubicle or your trashcan at home. i hope local governments would provide enough trashcans to at least contain our uncleanliness. i wish they also provide huge garbage drums or containers to at least enhance the view of our streets. a small payatas or smokey mountain is almost at every other street corner of manila. covering it would also help to eliminate the foul smell of garbage. somehow our answer to this is just cover our nose, pass by the pile of garbage and do nothing about it. then i can' seem to figure out if the metro aides or those pulis oysters help at all. yes, they do clean up the streets, but somehow it defeats the "tapat ko, linis ko" idea. we tend to rely on them to clean our streets, throwing our discipline out the window.
is there still hope? i believe so. i started with myself and try to lead by example, never mind the frustrations, i'm still waiting for help from anyone. it all starts with us. i just hope i have the authority to slap that woman on the jeep eating nuts throwing the shells out the window. sometimes a good slap in the face is an excellent wake up call for us.