CSR for Marikina River?

BY: Pancho Adelberto Hubilla • May 06, 2018

I always enjoy going to Marikina for the simple reason that it is the only city in Metro Manila that evokes order. I distinguished what makes Marikina more orderly than the other cities in the Metro Manila areas. Immediately noticeable is that its streets are clean. The streets appear to be cleaner because the electrical and lampposts are just that, posts. There are no hangings or posters or what have you. It does not announce Mr. or Ms. Politician’s sponsorship for mass weddings, mass circumcisions, nor even mass suicides. I believe they invest on it because people can be seen maintaining the cleanliness even on weekends. The traffic set-up and management make it comfortably navigable inspite of some old and narrow streets. Vehicles are assured that road sinages are correct and updated and they will not be funneled into dead end roads. Pedestrians move unobstructed and in an unobtrusive movement too. There are quaint food places that cater to good taste and reasonably priced. A sense of ownership to the distinctive character of Marikina can be sensed in short interactions with residents. There are cleaner and orderly areas outside of Marikina but usually these areas are the private and walled communities.

The Marikina River bank area is one public space that has bridges rather than walls. It is uniquely charming that the circumferential jogging paths along the Marikina River are linked by pontoon bridges. Easily observed too is that while Marikina River is not totally litter free it is clean compared with the other water tributaries in Metro Manila and it does not stink. If it occasionally emits odor, no one has suffocated to death yet, none that I heard about. In my uneducated mind, I say that it is still a living river because people can be seen bait fishing and they are getting fish, not internet trolls. People plant crops along the riverbanks and vegetables and corns are sold every morning along the jogging paths. I presume that the jogging paths provide a livelihood augmentation opportunity for nearby residents because native delicacies and coffee are being sold too. Funny stories are free add-ons when you buy from these vendors. Monuments and activities reflective of the Filipino can be seen along the jogging paths. There is a continuing work to remove aquatic plants that hinder the river flow, litter removals, and what appears to be dredging, It is presumed that the Marikina Local Government Unit is doing all of these improvement, preservation, and maintenance efforts. That is the upside of the Marikina River and the circumferential jogging paths.

The downsides are that some people are not fully conscious of the need for cleanliness along and on the river that just freely litters. You may occasionally hear loud adolescents cursing if you go on jogging in the evening. I presuppose that public cursing may be the new manifestation of bravado or machismo and it did not bother me albeit it may dampen some enthusiastic souls. The jogging path still reflects too patriarchal mindset. Only male urinal are available at comfortable distance. It appears that whatever or whoever are exerting their darnedest can use some help to really preserve the Marikina River and continually improve the open space to be enjoyed by the public.

The Corporate is not aware of the specific entity that has responsibility for the Marikina River nor is it associated with any political personality or vested interest group in Marikina City. This article is intended as a shout out for the public open space enjoyed by everyone and anyone. It is also intended to tickle the social responsibilities of the great corporations. The preservation, improvement, and maintenance of the Marikina River is not only a salute to the environment but also a gift for humanity.

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