Abellanosa: Cleaning the Manila Bay

Fringes and frontiers

CLEANLINESS is next to godliness. So who would not be happy seeing a clean site such as the publicized shores of Manila bay? Obviously, there is no way for us to view what is clean except to speak of it “as it is.” What is clean is clean. Period. No one in his or his right mind would say that the pictured portion of Manila bay is not clean enough in comparison to what it used to be.

However, it is one thing to be objective in our description of things, and it is essentially another thing to use “objective things” with subjective intentions in order to appear objective. It thus causes some discomfort when good things are used for wrong reasons.

This is the case with die hard supporters of the administration who were quick to use the Manila bay clean up to solidify their antagonism towards those who are critical of Duterte on specific issues. One netizen for example said, “tatay Digong may have a foul mouth but at least he has cleaned the Manila bay.” A worse comment in Facebook reads:

“This is the real people power! F*** you Aquino Administration. F*** you kriSTD, F*** you Abnoy, F*** you bam aquino... credit grabber! zero votes for the YELLOW TRASH this coming election!”

Sometimes, logic is not appreciated in the world of practical politics. When we want people to focus on what they feel, i.e. how angry and dissatisfied they are, reason has to be shut or be disabled from operating. Precisely, the propagandists of the administration would not move an inch in their commitment to crush, scorn, and curse their critics. They would refuse to listen to opposing views even if what is asked is merely the reasonability of claims or the logic behind the propositions that are forced to be connected even if they couldn’t be.

That the Manila bay should be cleaned is obviously not an issue. Environmental cleanup in fact is a matter that should have been on top of the agenda of all administrations. Who are we to think otherwise if something is implemented for the benefit not just of us but also the future generations?

It is sad though when people, blinded by their emotions, reduce or limit their reading of things based on their political convictions. We support social and political icons either because we love something or everything in them or we hate the very same things that they seek to criticize or destroy.

We must be careful, however, and always do constant checking with ourselves. Truth to tell, these political icons or politicians don’t know us personally (unless if one is a handpicked paid propagandist). Our excessive praise and worship of them could make us irrational. When we become irrational we expose our motives. We might, one day, end up waking up alone and awake to the fact that we have fully become hateful, bitter, and wallowing in our own discontents with the universe.

So to set the record straight and to be fair, the disappearance of the phenomenal garbage in Manila bay is worth the admiration. It is to some extent an achievement. But there are many issues that are confronting this country, and we cannot conclude and just say that “finally” everything is okay with the Philippines simply because of what happened to Manila bay. Neither should the Manila bay clean-up, granting that it is an achievement of the administration, put into question the valid points against the ongoing extra-judicial killings.

Obviously, some blind followers of the administration would still refuse to think of the same. Fanaticism of course can do a lot of wonders. It can even create saints and deities out of murderers, thieves, and womanizers.


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