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Getting Down and Dirty

The first International Coastal Cleanup in the Philippines (sponsored by Coca-Cola) happened today at San Dionisio, Paranaque. I joined my friends at One Chemistry Films to cover the event (for free!) so I was up by 3am this morning since we needed to be at the venue by 6am. As our cameraman, Malai said, it was all for a good cause.


My OC boys πŸ™‚

I dressed appropriately; donning my favorite comfortable shirt, black leggings and my ever-reliable prima crocs. I had a cup of coffee and a pastry for breakfast (it was 3am! I didn’t have the energy to prepare a proper breakfast).Β  The boys picked me up a little before 5am and after a brief stopover at Ortigas to get something from another OC fellow, we headed for San Dionisio.

We arrived at the venue a little after 6am. The Coke tents were already set up and there were already a lot people from Coke, different schools, the navy, the police, and various government offices. It was immediately clear why the organizers chose the San Dionisio beach as the venue for the clean up. It was a long stretch of (dirty!) beach that would be able to accommodate the large number of volunteers.

We immediately went to work.

The boys and I trekked through the long stretch of trashed beach and started capturing the event on digital video. It was nothing short of overwhelming–seeing so many people gathered together for such a noble cause. I didn’t hear anyone complaining. There was laughter and a lot of bad jokes thrown back and forth.

age doesnt matter

age doesn't matter

This guy even brought his whole family. Too bad I didn’t get a picture of his daughter. She was just so adorable!

Perhaps the most overwhelming part was when we got stuck at the middle of the beach where it was the filthiest. It was the first time I ever walked on “solid trash”. Every piece of area I stepped on was just positively littered with garbage that it was ridiculous! What was astonishing is that in this area, where the trash level is at its highest, is where the group of Coke employees gathered. This was their spot. Considering that their company sponsored the event, I guess more was expected of them but I think snaps are still in order. We spent quite a lot of time with the group and I didn’t hear a peep of complaint from any of them despite the obvious challenge they faced.

Even the players of the Coca-Cola Tigers stopped by. Despite being surrounded by trash, the volunteers still took the time to have their pictures taken with their basketball idols. (Sidenote: I found out today that Kenneth Duremdes is way hotter in person!)

As for me, I’ve never felt this good for a long time. I was tired, filthy and hungry but I wouldn’t hesitate doing it all over again. It’s such a wonderful feeling seeing all those people working for one cause. If only everyone had that same positive attitude everyday; I don’t think we’d be in such a mess.

  1. clare
    September 21, 2008 at 9:48 am

    i remember that place, madumi nga doon talaga.

    did the cleanup take away all the garbage or just as much as they could in that one day? kasi from what i remember super dami talaga yun, parang di kakayanin ng mano manong linis ang total cleanup nun.

  2. September 21, 2008 at 7:17 pm

    my group left at around 9am and the place was getting really cleaned up. The filthiest part of the beach still needed work but all in all, the volunteers did a pretty good job.

  3. Vic
    September 22, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Hazel!

    May I include your blog as part of our official documentation? Would also like to request for a CD of photos if this is ok with you. πŸ™‚


    (Constructive criticism also welcome so we can improve for next year’s ICC!)


  4. Den Relojo
    September 22, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    That place is nothing compared to Tullahan River. “Countless” attempts were done to clean it and yet the river is still as murky as it has been.

    As a proof: http://www.daylife.com/photo/060ib993Qhf8a

  5. September 23, 2008 at 5:40 am

    hi vic!

    Just one suggestion: maybe you could place water and first aid stations nearer to the volunteers next time. I noticed that there were several tents scattered throughout the beach which marked some of the groups’ work areas. Maybe these can be converted to water and first aid stations. Just in case someone has an accident, at least help will be more accessible. Heatstroke can also be avoided. πŸ™‚

  1. September 21, 2008 at 11:08 pm

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