A Batangas I haven’t seen before

I love Batangas because it’s the nearest decent beach place there is. But Friday and yesterday, I found another reason to love “The Destination for All Seasons”. One is A’s house, which totally reminded me of houses in Cerritos. The lush surroundings and the artfully designed home is total love. I now get why A is willing to brave the traffic to frequently travel to their Batangas rest house. And why he keeps offering for people to stay there. He wants to share the absolute beauty of the place. 

WWF’s Pao orients us

 

Another reason why we were in Batangas is to plant mangroves with WWF. Talking with Pao and Kim, we learned so much about the horror of what we do to our Earth. Now as we go along, pardon me because I’m not literate in environmentalism. The great thing about my job at Pascual is that I’m growing in so many ways, including learning to love the environment (which I never was a fan of. Simply because I had no interest and found everything too technical or difficult to understand.) Yesterday, we trekked to Brgy. Papaya in Nasugbu, Batangas to plant mangrove seedlings. We took a short boat ride, which, to me was relaxing, even if it was just a mere 100 meters’ ride. 
PascualLab employees going on a boat ride
With R.

There’s something about being on a boat, surrounded by water and nature, that just refreshes the soul. We “docked” on an islet type of place where we were to plant our seedlings. I felt like we were on an isolated, abandoned island! Some drew the Pascual logo on the brand while waiting for the rest of the seedlings to arrive. We waded in calf-deep water and some even took a half-body dip. It was a short activity, lasting about two hours long, but it was a different experience. There was a lull in the activity as we waited for the rest of the seedlings to be transported but I guess it was a blessing in disguise because we used the time to listen to Pao’s stories and ask him more questions. What we learned from him and Kim:


1. As we dug holes in the sand, we would come across product packages and even picked up a Starbucks cup! These items are not available in rural Brgy. Papaya (mostly fields around. No groceries, no establishments) and not consumed by the locals. Pao says that these are washed ashore all the way from Manila Bay. We think that what we do only affects us and the areas near to us, but it affects so much more! Learning this made me more conscious about how I conduct myself in my environment and how it might affect others. 

2. Boracay water is toxic. Woe is me as Boracay is my absolute favorite place in the world! But since the Philippines, much less an island like Boracay, does not have an effective sewage filter system in place, everyone’s island waste is dumped in the ocean. Imagine the volume of people in Boracay. Then their waste is just one ocean area. Kim says that the water has a high choleric toxicity level. Meaning the bacteria that carries cholera. (See, I always sound so stupid when talking about the environment. So many technical terms!)

3. Taking what I said in item 2, where we do not have an effective sewage filtration system, I was appalled to realize that all of the Philippines’ waste just gets dumped into the ocean. That’s alot of waste to burden our environment with!

4. There are small, yet impactful things we can do without having to spend any money. In fact, you can even save dough! In the office, keep your airconditioning at 24-25. Pao said, “Let me guess. Alot of you wear jackets in the office, right?” And we were like, “Yessss!”. Which means, we’re using alot of unnecessary power by having the temperature so low when we end up wearing jackets anyway. (If our department had it our way, we would not have aircon on at all, or just keep it at a higher temp. We’re very lamigin.)
Planting mangroves
Overall, it was a fun learning experience. It did not feel like work at all and I love being a little bit more environment-savvy. 🙂 WWF is holding an auction and one of the cool packages is a chance to swim with the butandings. Here’s the clincher. While most tourists go butanding sightseeing, you get to experience it the WWF way, which means you get to tag the butandings. 

Go Pascual!
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