Welcome 2013-A A +A
By Rox Peña
Thursday, January 3, 2013
THE first day of the year marks a fresh start, a new opportunity to make improvements. But as I drive around town on New Years Day, I see that we are off to a bad start. Piles of uncollected garbage are everywhere. The streets are littered with spent firecrackers, fountains, trompillos, kwitis, empty beer bottles and food wrappers.
Firecrackers which are supposed to drive away evil spirits seem to have done the opposite. The air is filled with pollutants which will linger in the air for the next few days. Hundreds were injured by firecrackers and several houses were burned. My heart bled for the 4-year old boy and the little girl who died because of stray bullets.
During the New Year’s Eve mass, the Priest talked about the traditions we have during New Year which are supposed to bring good luck. Some of these practices are collecting twelve round fruits, eating tikoy or ‘kalamay’ so that luck will stick, wearing polka dots or red shirts and having coins in our pockets.
But the priest went further. He said we should not just collect round fruits, we should pick those which have no black seeds. Kasi malas ang itim. We should avoid eating meat from four-legged animals because ‘luck’ might run away. We should skip eating meat from those with feathers because ‘luck’ might fly away. We should also avoid eating fish because ‘luck’ might sink or drown. Ano pa ang kakainin natin???
Of course the priest was only joking. The moral of the story however is that while it is not entirely bad to follow these traditions, we should not rely on ‘pamahiin’ to have a lucky 2013. It’s our faith in God and in ourselves that will lead us through 2013.
Don’t have a New Year’s resolution yet? Here are some suggestions from Earth 911 (www.earth911.org). For 2013, I pledge to….
Cut back on food waste. A lot of resources goes into food so when we plan our meals carefully, we save a lot of natural resources.
Make a recycling plan for hard-to-recycle items. Paper, plastic, metal and bottles are easy to recycle. But how about car batteries, old cellphones and electronic items? There are recyclers for these items in the Philippines too.
Buy less, buy local. Buy what you need, not what you want. Buy things which are locally produced or grown because it saves a lot of energy from hauling.
Use reusables. For parties and other events, avoid using disposables.
Support recycling initiatives. Look for environmental programs initiated by environmental groups or local government and support them.
Do-it-yourself (DIY). You cut back on waste because you're buying less, it can also help you save money.
Happy New Year everyone!
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 04, 2013.