Pandan Antique Philippines

Appeal to the Manila Standard

December 22, 2000

The Editor
Manila Standard
Manila, Philippines


I am writing you in regards to the proposed dumpsite on Semirara island in Antique that the Metro Manila Development Authority has thoughtlessly considered to be the answer to Manila’s waste problem.

It is sad to think that a beautiful, peaceful island that relies on the sea for its livelihood and is also a bird sanctuary be made into a receptacle for Metro Manila’s trash. The neighboring islands will also be affected and this includes the Boracay tourist resort, which is less than 50 nautical miles away.

I have been living in the United States since 1968 but my sentiments are deeply rooted in Pandan, Antique, and the town of my birth. Pandan Bay connects to the Semirara waters and it rends my heart to think that Semirara will become an eyesore, a household name that has a trashy connotation, and a place stigmatized as the garbage capital of the Philippines.

Aventejado, the Metro Manila mastermind for the Semirara dumpsite, falsely told the people in Manila that the islanders have no objections to the dumpsite. He therefore ignored the people’s protests at a public hearing in San Jose last December 15. Some of these islanders and neighboring towns had to be on the road for more than one day just to get to San Jose! They don’t deserve to be treated this way.

Sometimes I wonder if being poor and underprivileged like the residents of Semirara and the nearby islands are justifications for their being overlooked, trampled upon, and treated like dirt by those who should really look after their welfare because the latter have been blessed by better wisdom and resources.


PRO, Pandan Antique Foundation