Greenpeace Southeast Asia

All Souls Day: Daisies and ginko leaves no longer adorn cemeteries by Jenny Tuazon

garbage, flood, dead peopleThe Church observes All Souls Day today as the living remembers their dearly departed. Filipinos commemorate this day and make it a point to visit the tombs of their departed loved ones and offer prayers. I remember when I was younger I used to go with my parents to the cemetery. I was always in awe of the place. The appalling tranquility and solemnity of the cemetery used to have a grip on my being. The surroundings take my breath away (figuratively) because lovely flowers, thick bushes and shady trees adorn the place. I always bring a good book to read as I wait for my parents finish cleaning my grandfather’s tomb. The cemetery’s serenity gives me not a creepy feeling but a cool, peaceful one.

But just this Saturday I received a word from my friend that she took photos from a cemetery in Angono, garbage, floods, dead peopleRizal as part of her hobby being a novice photographer. I saw the photos from her blog and was greatly distressed to see that this cemetery looks so different from the memory I have as a child.

The cemetery is still submerged in floods since typhoon Ondoy hit the country followed by 4 more typhoons. Plus, it is polluted with so much garbage because it’s located near a dumpsite. I could no longer think of any reason why this happened.

Flooding will only get worse with the increasing incidence of severe weather events brought on by climate change. Unless we clean up our act and cease from using bodies of water as waste dumps, the risk from toxic pollution worsened by extreme weather events will only get higher.

It is time that we as individuals count ourselves as among the people who are expecting world leaders to commit to a legally binding, timely and deep emissions reductions that are equitable, ambitious and fair at the Copenhagen Summit this December backing it up with necessary funds for natural forests protection and going for a smart grid that utilizes wind and sun power, while meeting the needs of the poor.

Jenny Tuazon

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