Malinis na Philippines
It was Thursday and it’s Halloween in the Philippines! Did I expect ‘trick or treat’ and costumes for my kids? Oh Yeah! I can’t forget my oldest daughter’s face when we were in America, we were going from house to house and she was getting as much candy as she could say ‘trick or treat’, and this was when she was 1 and a half years old! As a pirate, she has no one to share her treasure of candies for days!!! But in the Philippines in the town of Naic, here’s what happened! I was told a day before that this was the day of all saints, all of us had to go to the cemetery to embrace those who passed away in memory and prayer! Here’s a thought: why was there so many Halloween costumes at Toy Kingdom? Where were those costumes gonna be used in anyway? A party for kids? A party for adults?
In the morning, after breakfast, we all got together and went to the cemetery! Wow! Ang ganda naman! How can I explain this? Some of the tombs look like houses, it turned out there were restrooms and beds inside! After the mass, we visited my husband’s relatives who passed away! We were walking along in what looks like a maze in-between tombs and I felt like crying, not because there were so many dead people in there, no no no!! It was because of small mountains of garbage next to almost every burial ground! I felt dizzy from the smell of melt candles, street food and cigarette smoke. When it was getting darker, we passed by a small river… a river of trash! I was asking Joel, my husband’s cousin, how can it be, such a nice place trashed and desecrated by those who are visiting their relatives and friends who passed away? Inside the tombs were malinis na malinis, but outside were piles of candy wrappers, plastic cups from taho and Jollibee! Didn’t it somehow insult the place of memory and sorrow??
That night I came back home and couldn’t sleep! I was thinking of the reason why cultures and countries are so different! In America, people don’t even consider throwing candy wrapper on the ground after opening it. Why is it so different here in the Philippines? The next morning, I woke up and realized I can’t change people’s minds. If I would complain about the dirtiness around, it would make no difference at all! Every Filipino balik-bayan or local resident knows about the problem without me pointing it! There was nothing else I can do but take a trash bag and clean! My relative’s kids and their friends were playing around the house, so I offered them to play a different kind of game: to pick up shiny trash and get candy after! We walked to the nearest public church and started cleaning! My daughter picked up her first candy wrapper and said to me: ‘Mommy, treasure?’ I replied “No, trash. Yes, trash treasure!!!!” Aha, and that’s how it was born, the game “trash treasure!”
I told the kids they were all pirates looking for trash treasure and we ran for every candy! They were all running and laughing and I thought it was the most fun game we have ever played! We picked up 2 whole bags of basuracomposed of 90% candy wrappers. Apparently, people like to eat candy during the mass! We all went home together, cleaned our hands and ate candy 🙂 The kids were so happy! My husband Eric and I decided to organize a non profit organization which will include volunteers with a big heart for their country. Our main purpose is to go to the streets of the Philippines and pick up trash! We wear white, so when our clothes will be clean again we will see that our work is done.
So far we have cleaned three places: the church in Sabang, Naic Cavite, outside the elementary school of Sabang, Naic Cavite and the public beach in Bucana, Naic Cavite. I wanna say extra Thanks to everybody who were with us: Alex &Alexine Lojera, Shane, Arwen &Arian Torres, Nicole Baylosis, Lulu, Joel & PJ Torres, Kaye and Sen sen Setera,
Our goal is to set an example for our children in the Philippines, to love the earth, to take care of precious Mother Nature since she’s all we have! Remember, we can’t change people’s minds but we can influence them! To clean the inside of the house is not enough, we need to be aware of what is going to happen when our kids walk the streets of the city! You are a true citizen if you take care of your land! Please join our forces and support us! Cleanliness is next to Godliness! Every event will be spotted on my Facebook page, for those who are interested please contact us at: