Media Coverage

Cleaning up and running for Pasig River

About a month ago, I was viewing tapes from the time we started the cleanup and the first run for Pasig River. We are now on our fourth run and in our fourth year of the Pasig River cleanup. It’s very moving.

From a bird’s eye view of four years, it feels like the energy of the run moves things, makes them happen. From the chopper, one can see a wave of people running. Segue to scenes of squalor and dirt becoming places of beauty and harmony. It’s dramatic. The video interspersed one after the other making the energetic link palpable.

Our problems are big. There can be no greater frustration than to see something not right and feel helpless. Therein lies the significance of the run — and of signature campaigns for that matter. That’s deeply empowering.

The problem is big. But we can tackle it if we join forces. Hearts and minds. It does something magical. A wave is created in the firmament of collective consciousness which, if supported, eventually manifests in the physical realm.

Whenever I talk like this my son looks at me with a quizzical look, as if asking what I was talking about. It’s scientific, the physical comes from the non-physical. Reality comes from ideas. Change comes from a groundswell of people wanting something more.

And so we have the run today. The first time focused on one city. And the first time we are biking, rolling and running. Ambitiously and with very little exercise, I decided to bike because I have a really good bike that rolls fast with minimal effort on my part. When I realized I might even make it back for the 5K run, I thought why not?

Well, that’s until I biked twice around the UP oval this morning, making it 5K and then proceeded to run. And then I thought, “Hmmm this is not going to be as easy as I thought.”

How I wished I had started training earlier. I took a session on chi running with Cliff Eala (0917-8133658), who is one of the only two certified instructors in the country. If you intend to make running or if running is a part of your life I highly recommend that you call Cliff. Chi running makes running much more effortless. The principles make sense and Cliff is a great teacher.

So I got really tired. But after stretching and massage at my power plate, showering and then shiatsu massage again, I was so filled with buoyant energy. I felt — wow! I am going to do this every Sunday. Thank God for the run!

Forty percent reduction in crime, significant improvement in health and the economy, 97 percent more peace of mind, life satisfaction... we are very good.

The Paco market is finally up and running after considerable effort. Even the community around is shaping up. From 458 sacks of garbage that we were collecting every month, it is now down to four! Our strategy of dividing the barangay into blocks has worked. The two water companies have been very cooperative but we still haven’t successfully addressed the sewage problem. I still have to get to the day when I walk down the estero and there is no longer any smell.

Our plans for the estero include planting fruit trees. We have accessed the services of Nikki Wallace, who has a master’s degree in biodiversity from Australia. She wants to plant different species of trees because each tree attracts a set of birds. So if we have different trees then we will have different species of birds and they will mate and have lots of kids — now isn’t that cool? No family planning here, just lots of birds, lots of fruits, lots of green. We are going to have such a beautiful city!!

I have another dream. That we can jog along the esteros. In UP there must have been thousands of joggers that Sunday. Filipinos like to exercise and Sunday in UP is great because there are no cars! So imagine if the esteros were beautiful with trees and green and clean — with clean water flowing! Wouldn’t it be great to jog along that? That’s where I would like to go. Then maybe people will not just go to the malls and start enjoying nature instead! Fostering and nurturing a connection with nature is very good for the soul.

Source: The Philippine Star | September 30, 2012

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