While many of us elect to ignore Pasig River on a day-to-day basis, this young photographer endeavored to show the life it held and how it was thrumming with an energy many of us don’t expect.
Job Ochoa, currently an Environmental Sciences student at Ateneo de Manila Univeristy, talks about the importance of his discipline and how it creates conversation about the current state of our environment. He is also a talented photographer and juxtaposes his hopes for our current environmental consciousness alongside his beautiful photos of a slowly healing Pasig River.
“Decades ago, Pasig river was incredibly barren, unbearably putrid and extremely toxic; it was dead. Just yesterday, I went on a study tour that went through most of Pasig River, and I barely saw any trash, I could breathe without wanting to puke, and, surprisingly, I could see life,” Ochoa wrote, describing the very river many of us gave up on.
While its current state is still a far cry from ideal, it has also come very far from how it used to be. And even though it has largely recovered, we are still called to help it along. Earth will heal if we leave it be, but it will prosper if we help it out. It’s one thing to leave things alone to grow without any interference, it’s another thing to proactively aid them to thrive towards fullest potential.
In a gorgeous set of photos, this student showed the life that still thrived in the Pasig River. He showed the joy it could still bring and then talks about how it could do even more if we all just played our part.
And, because so many people live by the river, he talks about wanting it to be safe, free from pollution. Man has contributed to how polluted the river became back then, but now we can help not just curb that, but also completely make amends for the damage we dealt in the first place. The same species that mistreated the river and its surroundings can also be the species that finally turns things around.
“We don’t just want the river to be clean. We want the river to be safe for people. We want it to be a venue for people to spend their afternoons together. We want it to be income generating. We want a holistically better river,” writes Ochoa, highlighting how helping the river would also, eventually, help us.
We, as a species, have contributed to the degeneration of not just this river, but also of our environment as a whole. And we are the ones who will eventually suffer for how we have hurt our surroundings. Many of us say we want to pave the way for a future for those who will come after us and yet we do nothing to help alleviate the hurt we’ve inflicted on the Earth. One way to show this desire is to care for the world around us enough to make sure it’s still around and prospering for those who will live here. Because we will not be the only ones living here.
Our damage has reached almost every corner of the world but we can help turn that around.
“So much goes into caring for the environment, and the call for environmentalism goes way beyond ES majors, but to all disciplines. In a seminar I had listened to, I had learned that DOST claims that Environmental Science currently has the smallest budget among all the sciences in the Philippines. That needs to change,” says Ochoa.
“ES majors aren’t the only ones living on earth, everyone does.”
See more of his photos here: https://www.instagram.com/ochoa.jpeg/
What ways do you think you can help out the enviroment? Comment below and let us know!