Sunday, October 14, 2007


Mottainai - a Japanese concept which means "understanding the value inherent in all things and not wasting something that can still be put to use". This concept have helped Japan progress in spite of the scarcity in natural resources. Giving importance to the little things they have, they were able to maximize its use and even gone as far as maximizing the use of things considered wastes.

The Philippines has been blessed, luckily, with a lot of these natural resources but unfortunately we don't seem to care. We only care when disasters strikes like the flooding in Ormoc, landslide in Leyte, landslide in Aurora and Quezon. I remember that even Baguio City, a place on top of a mountain suffered flooding. We kept experiencing disasters that if one will only think about it are not considered natural at all but instead man-made. Then we put the blame in the government, in the bureaucracy, in politics as well as the corruption that goes along with it. But we forget to blame ourselves, the people.

We always want our lives to be easy. In everything we do, we don't want to sweat it out. Even me, I admit, would like things to be easy. We'd rather cross a busy road risking life and limbs instead of using the footbridge, throw a candy wrapper outside our car as we don't want our vehicles to get dirty, or leave a soda can or cup anywhere we want instead of holding on to it if we can't find a garbage bin . We always want an easy way out. But when we are talking about the environment, we really don't have to sweat it out. All we need is discipline. I remember before, during my grade school years in our Character Building Activities (CBA) Subject, everyone were required to bring a small plastic bag everyday and that all our refuse should be placed inside if we can't find a garbage bin and to be disposed once we reach home. This I practice until today (minus the plastic bag) and ever since have been a part of me. It is quite easy to do if you follow it by heart.

In the past few days, Metro Manila have been devastated by the news that the only garbage landfill supporting them was closed. The end result, a lot of garbage were not collected and the only remedy was the recommendation to lessen the refuse by each household. Though currently the problem have been solved, still I don't think that the end remedy is for Metro Manila or the Philippines in general to keep on using landfills. I think we must go further beyond the concept of landfills.

Metro Manila's waste problems is actually easy to resolved if and only if the government and the people will help each other. The government- laying out a more concrete waste management plan and the people- strictly follows this plan. Mottainai still follows the concept of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

I remember before how the Philippine Government and some NGOs promotes recycling and proper waste segregation.

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