Editor’s note: Global data has shown animal farms and the livestock industry destroying forests and polluting bodies of water. Livestock farming accounts for the use of 70% of the global freshwater and 38% of the world’s land-use conversion. Check out One Green Planet’s 10 shocking facts on factory farms and water pollution, and learn how our incessant appetite for animals as well as animal by-products like eggs, dairy, cheese, pollute our water with animal waste, aside from pollution caused by animal farms dumping antibiotics, hormones and bacteria in our bodies of water. Going on a plant-based diet, after all, may be the most heroic thing you can do for our beautiful islands.
Fernando Amorsolo, Botong Francisco, Felix Resurrección Hidalgo, Jose Joya, Ang Kiukok, Juan Luna, Vicente Manansala and so on. If toxic sewage can turn four teenage turtles into mutant ninjas named after famous painters, then Boracay would have had its own version a long time ago, named after our renowned Filipino painters of course, and not just four but a whole lot more. Some hotels, resorts and lodging houses in the island have been found by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to be illegally discharging sewage or wastewater to the drainage network, which is meant only for rain and surface overflow.
We may never know if such sewage can mutate a turtle into a ninja with mad skills in martial arts, or if it goes bad, a giant monster that wants to get in the ring with Godzilla and destroy a whole region in the process. But we know one thing is certain to happen regularly in the island: When there are heavy rains, the already strained drainage system of Boracay becomes overwhelmed; triggering a flood of malodorous, murky water which creates muddy puddles that Peppa Pig and her brother George wouldn’t even play in. This then causes Boracay’s streets to turn into its own version of Edsa during rush hour. Thus, when the government ordered a six-month closure of the country’s world-famous tourist destination so it can be rehabilitated, the news came as no surprise to some people.
If you’ve recently been to Boracay, you would really wish the sewage there can mutate turtles into ninjas so they can kick the butts of people who just throw their cigarette butts and other garbage anywhere they please. But this is real life, people, and that kind of stuff never happens. It is up to us to be the heroes not just of Boracay but of the environment it so desperately needs right now. Time to choose the teenage mutant ninja turtle role you are meant to perform.
Leonardo (Leo) – the encouraging leader of the ninja turtles. Be like Leo, lead people in a movement that supports a good cause. You can organize a voluntary environmental group that conducts clean-up drives in your barangay. If you see people who throw trash anywhere, you could do what Leo does with his two katana blades and chop these meatheads into minced meat, but that would be overkill. Just talk to them nicely and say they are helping the environment when they dispose their garbage properly, this might encourage them to join you.
Donatello (Donnie) – so you are into inventing things like tech genius Donnie; you can use your skills to help Mother Nature. Some have already created inventions that are helping the environment like those biodegradable bags made from cassava root and natural starches or the six-pack rings made of barley and wheat that sea life can eat safely. If you have a staff (as in people, not the stick Donnie uses), you can collaborate to invent a lot of stuff as more brains accomplish more things than the brainy loner.
Raphael (Raph) – the ninja turtle with an aggressive nature but is intensely loyal to his brothers. If your temperament is like Raph, you can use your aggressive spirit in approaching people and offering flyers of your clean-up group and inviting them to also be volunteers. Should they decline and just throw the flyers as they walk away, time to be like Raph and use your sai to make human kebabs, or be sensible and use it to pick the crumpled flyers to throw in the trash can. That way, you could intimidate, um, influence them by example.
Michelangelo (Mikey) – the free-spirited and goofy jokester of the bunch. Just like Mikey, you provide the comic relief for the group and inspire them in challenging times. Being a volunteer for a cause is not easy. Members try to make a difference but can be discouraged when they see people being indifferent. This is when you come in. You can use nunchucks same as Mikey’s to whack your associates’ faces so they soldier on, or be like Mikey and cheer them up so they march forward with smiles on their faces.
One does not need to have sick ninja moves to be a hero. A simple move of picking up litter and disposing it properly is already a heroic deed. Small deeds when put together make a great impact. So do your share, be a hero.