Tubig: Too Big A Problem
(Note: Tubig is the Filipino word for water. I used it to rhyme with “too big.”)
Emblazoned in all the speeches delivered in this contest, both before and now, is the greatness of that chemical compound that we call water. “Greatness” may not be an appropriate description but using “significance” instead of “greatness” to describe the immeasurable utility of water is more inappropriate. Perhaps, if there exist a description greater than “greatness” then let greatness be stricken off this speech and make that word stand to declare humanity’s gratitude for the multitude of benefits derived from water and to express our adoration for the wonders that it brings.
But seemingly, the gratitude and adoration we are expressing and professing are pure “lip service.” We recognize the bountiful blessings we get from water only in words but our action contradicts the essence of such recognition.
It is ironic that while we enshrine water in our speeches we entomb it through our acts. Indeed, we continuously bastardize the water systems. Little do we realize that while we are entombing water it is our own death certificates we are signing, it is our own graves we are digging. What is difficult to reconcile is despite the fact that we recognize how essential is water to life, our acts negate that recognition.
Perplexing is the fact that we know how water quenches our thirst and cleanses our bodies, and yet we indulge into wasteful utilization of it. We probably are thinking that the supply of water is endless. As some of us may have wrongly thought that when the rain comes the water supplies are replenished. Scientific studies have proven otherwise. As a matter of fact, the world’s water supply has been reduced by half over the last seventy years. What would happen in the next seventy years especially with the world’s population expected to balloon all the more? And what must we do?
Aside from the thirst-quenching and cleansing properties of water, we derived many other benefits from it. It is not only drinking, washing and cleansing that we do with water. Even cooking is performed with it. We may not have the trees without water as well. Tiny seeds need to be caressed by the sun but without water that nurtures its growth it will not grow into a tree. Additionally, the bodies of water play hosts to living things that God designed for our consumption. So, what is even more perplexing is the fact that we know how huge are the economic benefits we get from the bodies of water and yet we indiscriminately destroy the coral reefs found in them – the coral reefs that are essential to life that the bodies of water are hosting. Not to mention the factories and millions of households that inconscientiously release toxic chemicals and undesirable wastes into the bodies of water. And again, what must we do?
Yes, we verbally adore water but we literally adorn the water ways with harmful and destructive garbage and unsightly feces. Our adoration we manifest by making the bodies of water just another garbage site. Our adoration we express by making the bodies of water a huge “pozo negro.”
Though semantically awkward, I attributed greatness to water for reasons that have been aforementioned. In recognition of the greatness of our heroes we built for them monuments. We did the same to water! In recognition of its greatness, we built for it monuments. Where? There in Payatas and other garbage dumpsites in the country. What monstrous monuments we have built? And I doubt very much if people are unaware that those humongous and horrible monuments are releasing toxic chemicals poisoning our groundwater supplies. And for nth time let me ask, what must we do?
What do we do with the dwindling water supply? How do we prevent the continuous destruction of the coral reefs in our bodies of water? Can anything be done against the factories, business establishments, and households who are releasing toxic wastes and harmful materials into the water systems? How do we address the perennial problem of garbage disposal? If the aforementioned will not be attended to with urgency, the future looks bleak and uncertain.
Help me discern if this is a case of ignorance or a simple stubbornness. Why can’t people realize that the destruction they bring unto the underground water supplies and the different bodies of water is a destruction they are indirectly inflicting against themselves. And not just against themselves, but against me, against you, against all of us.
Our distinguished members of the board of judges, I believe that it is the time to be serious with an advocacy for water preservation, an advocacy of the protection of our water supplies. And please allow me to ask our beloved guests and friends. Are you here because you care about our water resources or you are here only because you love to watch battles of eloquence such as this. Allow me as well to ask my worthy competitors their intentions for joining this verbal joust? Is it for an advocacy or for glory? Are we here to promote the advocacy of having to stop the annihilation of our water systems or we came here for the glory of winning a contest where the advocacy for the preservation of water resources is but an abstraction, nothing but a theme.