CSR: Paddle The Waters Not The Litters


If there's two things I can't stand, it's probably blood and germs.  I'm the type of person who won't allow anyone to sit on my bed in their day's clothes.  I don't abide by the 5-second rule when a piece of food falls off the plate.  I would use a tissue to open door knobs in a public restroom, and I always carry alcohol in my bag to instantly disinfect my hands when i come across something icky.  I'm a self-confessed OC person and I'm not ashamed of it.    

On Saturday, May 18, 2013, I made a huge exception (in my standards) and it actually felt good.  Together with some friends and other volunteers, we paddled the shoreline of Mactan where most of the pumpboats dock for scuba diving and island hopping adventures, and joined Island Buzz Philippines in their ocean clean up.  Standing up on a paddle board with a punctured trash bag in tow, we combed through the coastline picking up garbage.  I shrug at the things we saw and picked up: from soiled diapers, rubber soles, PVC pipes, empty cans, alcohol bottles, cigarette butts and the many, many plastic products: bags, water bottles, cups, spoons, forks and paper plates.  (Yes, paper disintegrates but the plastic lining remains.)

When you're out there in the sea enjoying the water sports and activities, you tend to not notice these things.  But as you look closely on our shoreline, that is where you will see all the "action".  It wasn't very easy standing up on the paddle, trying to maneuver the board and positioning yourself to pick up the trash that drifts in the sea.  There were times we had to just jump off the board to pick it up with our bare hands!  On one corner where there is a riprap, I could already see a build up of litter.  I could've just turned a blind eye and let my other companions do the dirty work, but something stronger than that brought me to the area and just do it!  From a distance, I could already see liquor and plastic bottles trapped in a pile of seaweed.  Oh and the stench was just unbearable!  But I managed.  I still shudder at the thought that I dipped my hands in those waters to pick up trash.  But i'm proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and doing it.   Refusing to open a public door knob with my bare hands won't remotely affect the state of mother earth, but I know this will.  So I literally braved the murky, smelly waters and approached that corner and started picking up trash.  What a humbling experience but well worth it!  

Mactan has some wonderful beaches and marine life.  I just hope we can create more awareness to take care of our beaches.  As an interior designer, I love to make things beautiful.  If picking up other people's trash is one way to make our beaches beautiful, Island Buzz Philippines can count on me again to join the next one!  

In the murky, smelly waters of the riprap where there was a build-up of trash in the corner.  (Had to sit on hero's pose heaven forbid I lose balance and fall into those waters!!!)  

Scooping up a cigarette butt.

My friends Ciara and Bernz with their stash of trash.

Our reward: a dip in the deep part of the sea to cool off and still enjoy the waters (not the litters)! 

If you want to try SUP in Cebu, contact Island Buzz Philippines @ buzzybudlong@yahoo.com

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