In the midst of our semestral break, a student may take the opportunity to rest and enjoy the days, but a passionate youth with advocacy will do something to be productive for the community.
It’s the celebration of the City of Smiles from October 26-28, highlight dates of Bacolod’s Masskara Festival, when few volunteers from different sectors and organizations joined an activity for a sustainable and clean celebration of one of the most colorful and fun festivities in the Philippines. Organized by Sea Waste Education to Eradicate Plastic or SWEEP a non-government organization in Bacolod, volunteers stationed on the major festival site to promote the responsible celebration of the festival.
Eldemar Sabete and Junius Dale Capus, active members of Humanist Alliance Philippines International Junior joined the cause and became waste watchers, tasked to standby in a certain area with segregation stations to ensure that tourists will segregate properly their waste as part of “Clean as you Go” policy.
October 27, 2019, from the time we started, 4:00 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at 19th Street, Lacson located near the Bar 21 restaurant. We were tasked to secure that all the food stalls around the area will not use plastic gloves, and tell people eating to properly segregate their waste as residual, “damog” or food waste, and reusable. There are some stalls who didn’t follow the rules they have agreed before the opening happened. So our responsibility also is to remind the personnel of the stall to disallow the production of plastic gloves and other plastics utensils. There are also some stalls who were tolerating their costumers by cleaning up the tourists’ waste. When in fact, it should be the tourists’ responsibility to make sure that their garbage is properly disposed of and segregated.
At the same time, our local artists also extended their voices to remind visitors from time to time to throw their trash and waste properly.
A week after the festival, the organizers called for a meeting among volunteers to evaluate and at the same time, assess what happened during the volunteer’s respective duties during the festival. We also talked about the good and not-so-good things, also the things that we can improve next time. The volunteers were also asked to share their salient observations from the activity.
I think the bottom line is, we all want to celebrate a happy Masskara or any festival in this country, however, we tend to forget to discipline ourselves out of enjoyment during our merry-makings. If we continue to tolerate ignorance and apathy among Filipinos, it means that we are also raising a nation full of chaos in the near future. That’s why we should promote a culture, as Filipinos, to adapt and insert more just and sustainable efforts in every situation, for a better future of our nation.