What is your earliest memory of swimming in the sea?
I was 8 years old. It was the first time I was on the beach. It was something new, and it was always an anticipated event on the next summer seasons to come. I can’t explain how I felt that time; happiness or maybe even beyond that. My brother and two sisters were happy. So were my parents and grandmother. I have yet to swim in a pool that time, but choosing to go to the beach was I guess the better idea. It was and still the best choice.
Until now, I’ve considered the sea as a frontier of happiness. The tranquility and the majestic view of the meeting of the horizon and the heavens. Life; I feel being alive near the sea. There’s always that feeling of self-healing. But the discovery does not stop there. I myself haven’t tried snorkeling or diving or swimming with the turtles, but those are already included in my bucket list. Forgive me, for I have no luxury of viewing the wonderful coral areas and fish environment there in the blue. I’m but one of the greater number of people who still wishes to see what lies beyond the shore.
But what if there’s nothing to see there anymore? The current news of succeeding rape of our oceans, destroying the biodiversity, this saddens me. The thought that the ocean as my next to final frontier will just be lost in history and fairy tales. No,this can’t be. This shouldn’t be happening.
It doesn’t strike me much at first, but just last year, when I went with my mother to Malaysia, we visited the World Fish Center. On their presentation, they said that the Philippines have a large area of coral reef farm, but they don’t have enough data to measure exactly how large it was and how it supports life of the fishes and other living things. Back then, I missed the presenter’s point of showing the importance of these coral reefs. But I felt proud for being in a country with a large reserve of coral treasures. Then the current news of sea-rape that happened, it finally struck me. The gift of Mother Earth I was proud of is now being taken away by opportunists. And all I can do is to be hurt.
Then I also realized the current situation of the beaches of the land. The untouched beauty before are slowly being turned into resorts and vacations spots. There is nothing wrong with it. What makes it look bad is the mistakes visitors do. Trash everywhere, plastics everywhere. Hence we can say the beautification and the destruction are our own fault. I’m quite sure it has been a lesson since we were at grade to preserve the beauty of nature even by using simple ways like cleaning our surroundings and such. I guess when we grow old, we tend to forget these things. We need harder lessons of life to be able to realize a lot of things.
It’s never too late to take action. As the old Chinese proverbs says, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best is now,’ these apply to our seas as well. With the current actions of the government in apprehending the destroyers of the Philippines’ natural treasure, we the citizen should take care of our seas in our own way. Next time we go partying at the beach, never leave anything that can disgrace its beauty. If we go diving, it’s enough to see the reefs and the fishes and not disturb their peace. Don’t patronize the purchase of sea ornaments if we know how they were harvested. Simple ways build up to greater things. It’s always time to act and to take part.
The value of the cause of saving the ocean and whatever lies beyond it is simple: keep the sanctuary alive to keep the living things alive. The world of the living does not end in this generation; I believe there are hundreds more to come. What do you think our future sons and daughters will wake up to? A polluted ocean and a toxic sea? We owe our condition to the people who cultivated our surroundings to make our life easy. That includes reservation of wonderful sights of the ocean. All we need is a thought of paying it forward.
The seas and the oceans keep us alive. Let’s give back by keeping them “living” as well.
Let us support each others’ initiative in maintaining the beauty of our seas. You can start by getting informed through the Save the Philippine Seas website. It doesn’t matter how big or small our actions are, this will eventually result in a bigger and better future.