Friday, April 18, 2014

Some thoughts on a Good Friday

For a change, this will be our first Good Friday in many years that we are staying home instead of going out for Visita Iglesia. For me, this comes after many years of spending Good Fridays in my father's hometown in Cabatuan, Iloilo where we usually went during the Holy Week. It is a nice change in pace as we didn't have to drive around. And it seems a good thing after seeing all those posts about traffic congestion along routes typically used by travelers to go to the churches in and around Metro Manila. 

The more adventurous go to the provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, Pampanga and Tarlac either for religious trips (e.g., Visita Iglesia) or recreation (e.g., swimming, hiking, etc.). These trips are usually by car or motorcycle and lead to congested roads in many areas, particularly near popular churches. Private vehicles are the main modes of transport because there  are less public transport vehicles operating during Good Fridays. Tricycles rule many streets in the absence of jeepneys and buses despite the demand for their services on this day.

An inconvenient and rather irritating sight through what many people claim as expressions of faith in the form of Visita Iglesia, alay lakad or, what a friend has termed as bisikleta iglesia (for the cyclists) are the piles of garbage along the routes. Ortigas Avenue, Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway, which are the most popular routes to Antipolo Church, for example, are basically trashed and quite literally considering all the garbage accumulating along these roads. These are by-products of people claiming to go on pilgrimage but forget that they also have a responsibility to the environment. Most of the trash are non-biodegradable; plastics that need to be processed if not recycled. These are the same wastes that clog streams and drainage systems that eventually lead to flooding during the wet season. This is something that I think people should also reflect upon as they impose their waste on others and disregard the environment while claiming to do so in the name of pretentious faith. After all, it is a grave sin to the environment and to your neighbor when you are irresponsible with your garbage.

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