By Erma Edera
Soraya Lawson has been living in the Manila Bay area since 1985, and considers the place as her first home.
“Okay lang po na mapaalis kami pero hopefully maibalik ang ‘Greater Manila’ tulad ng dati (It’s okay if we are told to leave. Hopefully greater Manila would be restored to its old beauty,” she said.
Barangay 667 Zone 70 officials also remained hopeful for the rehabilitation.
“As a barangay na malapit sa bay, naniniwala pa rin kami na pwede pang maayos ang Manila Bay. Every week magpapadala kami ng mga tao na tutulong sa cleanup operation para mas mapabilis ang pag-aayos,” they said.
(As a barangay located near the bay, we continue to believe that Manila Bay could still be rehabilitated. We will send people every week to help in the cleanup operation and speed up the rehabilitation)
“Sa tingin namin kaya marehabilitate lalo na kapag katulong ang mga government agency para maibalik ang maipagmamalaki na sunset of Manila Bay. Hopeful kami na marestore ito,” they added.
(We think it can still be rehabilitated, especially with the help of government agencies, so that we can be proud anew of the sunset of Manila Bay. We are hopeful this can be restored)
All the way from South Korea, ASEZ We Are One (WAO), an international volunteer group consisting of young adult workers, caught everyone’s attention as they chanted “Save Manila Bay. We love you!” during the solidarity walk along Roxas Boulevard.
“We are conducting voluntary activities in Manila Bay several times already starting from 2013 every year.“ James Choi, ASEZ WAO pastor, said.
“I am very amazed because when we came here and brought our Korean campaign before, its only our members are present but now many people are here to clean Manila Bay. So I think this is a great beginning of change,” he added.
Meanwhile, John Dave, an eight-year-old boy, who was swimming in the bay on the first day of rehabilitation drive, said that he will miss taking a dip at the famous bay every weekend. He felt disappointed after a policeman ordered him to stop swimming.
“Sinipulan po ako ng pulis, sinabihan po ako na bawal na magswimming at pinagbihis po. Nakakalungkot po,” he said.
(A police man called me and told me that I can’t swim here anymore, and that I should get dressed. It makes me sad)