THE FRUIT OF THE PANDEMIC

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It was late of Juy 2020 that I made friends with my neighbors. I lived in this neigborhood for over 5 years but I never get acquainted to anyone in our area. When the pandemic hit and we all stayed in our homes, the people we always see are the ones close and near to us.

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I made myself busy during the lockdown by learning new dishes, spending more time with my dogs, gardening and fitness. Every afternoon I will do some walking or jogging or just simply walk my dogs. Some of the kids in our neighborhood also got into jogging and I met most of them because of our common interest. Every after jogging we end up in our park and there was a time that we noticed that the park was trashed. We decided to clean the park and while cleaning one of our friend suggested that we should do the cleaning regularly then I suggested "Why not we clean the baywalk?" because we live close to the ocean and most of the time its trashed. We spoke to our other friends and we made a decision that on every Sunday morning we will do the clean-up.

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At first most of us joined. A week after some didnt showed up, our number were decreasing because some have other matters to attend to. But we did not quit and kept going. We met other friends and they joined us in our advocacy. Some of them are into photography and was able to document out clean-ups since then. We were able to name our team as Deca Baywalk Youth but later changed it to Deca Baywalk Warriors since some of us in this group is no longer youth :). You can check our FB page for more photos and schedule of our clean-ups https://m.facebook.com/dbyorg/?tsid=0.6450216972231506&source=result. Due to the restrictions in the previous months, we weren't able to do much clean-up in our baywalk.

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We encouraged our neighbors to join us in our weekly clean-up but we didn't expect much. Most of the time it was just us but we receive donations of sacks, gloves, masks, food and sometimes money for us to buy what we need. We were able to get the attention of the City Mayor of Talisay, Samsam Gullas and they helped us spread the word. They donated signages, huge trash bins, gloves and several cleaning materials.

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We were also invited to join the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary but up until now our application was not processed though we continue with our clean-ups. We were also invited to do some charity works with them.

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There are weeks that we don't do clean-ups due to the huge waves in the ocean or we have some important things to do but we make sure to do it the week after. It was honestly frustrating at times that the lack of discipline of the people is the main reason why we can't make our oceans free from garbage for a long period of time. We can't stress enough how disgusting or annoying it is at times whenever we were about to start our clean-up. A lot of people are still very irresponsible when it comes to their waste disposal. I will let the photos do the talking.

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The least we can do as concerned citizens is to at least do our weekly clean-up even though we know that in few hours or days it'll be trashed again. We believe that maybe, just maybe someone will get inspired by the work we do and will do the same thing in their area.

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