Moments passed, my excited self jumped off from the LPG fueled cab and merged into the crowd whose faces were like sun rays happily touching the recently dewed grass.
The sky was blue. The water was calm. Under the new Mactan bridge, my self got curious with a green thing, not the one you think though. I am referring to the formerly known as plants but now on a separate and special category, algae. They can be foods for the swimming beings never tired of what they are doing. Or, they can also be man’s buddy in checking whether nature’s fluid is still fresh and safe.
Science says that fishes are our ancestors. However, wherever the windows of my soul will land on, we can see bodies of water filled with foreign substances that had poisoned school of fishes mercilessly. If I had the gift of talking to them and hearing their cries, I guess my ventricles have been ruptured because of pity. I can only presage how rude their curses to the humans already. Some of them might have said how heartless we are.
After catching some of their brothers for festivity and getting some as a source of protein for muscle building, here we are now turning their environment into darkness. Garbage and other toxics are swimming with them and eventually strangulating them until their gills give up. How could we do this?
Looking at the situation from above, the flying beings were aghast. The under world where some of them depended on for their food is devastated. In grief, the birds chirp for help. They had inkling that soon this brutality will go upland. And they were not wrong after all. Trees are cut without replacement. Their homes are destructed by the ruthless hands. From the nest, their babies fall on the ground and consequently die under the heat of the sun. Their colorful cousins are held captives for showcase and recreation.
After being hit by a bullet, some of them are stuffed with cotton to be made into inhabitants on the walls of manmade structures. The open air where they romance with each other and where they travel in groups is being invaded by insidiously poisonous gases. This has caused a lot of them to suffer from sickness. Sooner or later, they will disappear and join the world of molecules.
This is the present scenario. Irresponsibly, the birds and the fishes are murdered by their supposed care takers. A chain of lose-lose situations that will eventually be blown out of proportion.
While the tragedy is happening, I found some light. Our visit with the natural habitats made us shook hands with the unsung rangers. They are humans but they dedicated their services in saving mother nature as opposed to what their brothers are doing. They have preserved environmental morals by upholding ethics over convenience.
Dr. Danilo Largo is one of them. He allocated some time to be affiliated with international organizations in response to the call of taking care of the algae. More than their plant like structure, they have multiple purposes essential to make the ecosystem cycle in good shape.
Talking to fishes is the unique quality of Mr. Timotheo Minguito. As one of the rangers, he expresses his feelings to them by having conversations with them. More to that, his care is represented well by his management of the Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary. This has made the sanctuary as a point of reference as a successful model to other sanctuaries in the country. With this, the fishes are protected and are ensured to have an uninterrupted life cycle for the purposes of sustainability.
A diver by heart, Mr. Bernard Peňa brings diving enthusiasts in underworld exploration. However, he made sure that everything falls within the four walls of responsible recreation. Safety and other environmental standards are part of his highlighted reminders. This means that we can still visit the places that are not ours without having the threat of destructing them.
Mr. Nilo Arribas of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines is another ranger who dedicates his time letting other people appreciates the beauty brought by the presence of the birds. With this simple approach, he was able to create awareness among individuals, families and perhaps communities in general. Hopefully, this awareness will be hightened and will be translated into responsible actions of protecting the lives of the birds.
These people made me realize that the catastrophe faced by the fishes and birds may not be everlasting. Their freedom to swim and to soar may not be curtailed if we plant what these rangers have done to become seeds of good virtues and practices deep in our hearts.
Our trip was over. Time to leave no trace and to head back home. My soul spoke to my mind.
Lip service leads us to nowhere. Being mum about it does not help either. To be nonchalant of this issue is not the solution too.
Many have the qualities to be the rangers to fight for the freedom and the rights of the fishes and birds. Like us they also have those. However, only very few have the heart and the strength to do what is right. A lot of us are afraid of being condemn for being overacting or impractical since there are more urgent concerns highlighted in the tabloids which is directly to answer the basic needs of mankind.
This has saddened me. For what good is a man, if he cannot be responsible for the greater cycle of life.
In the corner of my blue room, I sit quietly. The sunrays have just kissed the curtains of my window. From a not-so-far-away tree outside my crib, I heard the birds not chirping but challenging me to fight for them and for their underwater friends.
In response, I made a pact with them through the thin air. I whispered that as long as I can, I will be their ally. You are a part of me and I am to you too.
No one is higher. Everyone is equal and interdependent. And our relationship can be best enhanced if we pay respect and show genuine love that obliterate greed and fear.
Let us fly with them. Let us swim with them. And let them be our friends.