|Lourdes School from my window|
A friend from out-of-town was supposed to fly to Manila for a short vacation but a problem at work didn't allow her to leave as planned. She called and asked me to use her hotel booking as the 3-night stay was already paid for. Since I've been working at home, a change of scenery sounds great---so I packed my bag and lap top and drove about 15 kilometers to Astoria Plaza. Astoria Plaza is a 5-minute walk from my old office building. Two friends and former colleagues joined me for breakfast every morning to enjoy the breakfast buffet.
Took these photos from the window of the suite--yes, it was a suite! How lucky can a girl get? There's the tower where I worked for 12 years---the Philippine Stock Exchange Center.
I was enjoying my quiet time but the smile faded when I saw the smog-covered skyline. These photos were taken a little before 9 a.m. Looking towards the west at EDSA and beyond, a thick layer of smog blanketed the city. This is the quality of air we breath everyday.
According to the United Nations, Metro Manila is one of the five most polluted cities in the world, with an estimated 4% of the vast metropolis's disease-related deaths linked to air pollution.
For decades, there have been measures in bringing down air pollution levels to acceptable standards---there's the Clean Air Act of 1999, but pollution seems to get worse every year. The government has been seeking public support to turn Metro Manila into a healthy metropolis. Taking public transport or car-pooling is encouraged, walking or using bikes, use of energy-efficient products, and conserving electricity are few tips to curb individual air emissions. MMDA opened bike lanes around the metro and even lends bikes to commuters.
I hope we'd see more electric-powered jeepneys on the roads instead of the usual diesel-fueled jeepneys. Clean air should be an individual concern if we're looking at a better quality of life.
Feel it...Breath it...Believe it...and you'll be walking on air.
Linking to Our World Tuesday