Monday, March 1, 2010

Not an Earthquake Nor a Tsunami

Yesterday morning, Rene, Elise and Nacho had some pool time.   The kids enjoyed their dad's company immensely - splashing, paddling and watching him do a headstand underwater with his legs sticking out...

But I took a short walk to the beach and this is what I saw...

The sea was rough in the deep part, one local said.  The clouds were slowly churning and the sky above us turned from sunny to cloudy then to sunny again, then to cloudy again - alternating too quickly.

The 8.8 magnitude Chile earthquake just occurred the day before.  Argentina had an earthquake too, and so did Okinawa, Japan. Victoria, B.C. "dodged the bullet" and Hawaii was just waiting for the tsunami to happen.  A Level 2 tsunami alert was up for countries all over the Pacific Ocean.

If you look closely at the picture, you will see a speck by the water, which is actually a honeymooning couple who walked all the way with their arms around each others' side.  They stood on the water, just gazing at the sea.  If something happens, they would instantly die together.  Very romantic.  But realistically, we were not in real danger because our shore is facing the Sulu Sea, and the tsunami threat on the Pacific Ocean would probably hit Samar and Surigao since they are facing that ocean.  In between us and those places, there are the islands of Cebu, Bohol, Negros and some other Mindanao islands. 

Another reason for not worrying is --- Palawan is earthquake free. The Philippine Daily Inquirer announced this on its headline in mid-January.  We used to live very close to the Marikina Fault Line and it has not moved in the last 500 years.  But with what happened this weekend, residents in Rizal are worrying.

A day after, a commentary on the PDI article came out on the net, warning against migration, reminding everyone that Palawan is environmentally threatened.  The whole island will not be able to provide agriculturally all the produce the growing population requires.  There are also not enough major rivers to make sure that water will be of enough supply.  And being an island, there is a waste disposal challenge.

The local government and the very supportive citizens of Puerto Princesa knows this.  And Mayor Hagedorn has taken the necessary steps by making environmental protection the center of his agenda so Palawan will not be another Boracay nightmare!  I remember the ecoli scare in the '90's!  This year, waste disposal is number one on their list.  Even now, 90% of all barangays are on a zero waste program.   According to the city tour guide, the fine for littering is: P200 on the first offense, another P200 on the second offense, and imprisonment on the third offense.

If we want to live in Puerto Princesa, we have to make sure we do our part in protecting the environment.  I think we can segregate trash and compost and conserve water...

What am I talking about?!!! Heck, everyone has to make sure that they take care of wherever they live! And every leader in this country, from mayor to president, needs to make environmental protection the number one on the agenda! Argh!


  1. That is good to hear that Palawan is trying to avert Boracay type nightmare and serious about their environmental protection. I was in Boracay in early 80's, there were no resorts then. We were searching for the Negritos Nomad, Boracay was one of their stops. A good friend of mine from University of San Carlos was doing a thesis on them. It was an ordeal to get to Boracay, took us three nasty days from Cebu. Boracay was beautiful but somewhat eerie...isolated. I distinctly remember I was always thirsty, aching foot, profusely sweating and bugs/mosquitos bites galore. Boracay sure has changed from what I've seen and heard.

    1. Yes, and there is now a Shangri La Hotel and a Starbucks!

  2. Hello, My name's Andy and I live on the Island of Okinawa that you mention in your blog article.As you know we had a Tsunami disaster in the mainland,nuclear reactors melting down etc.I've been looking into the possibility of moving to the Philippines with my family,but want to pick a relatively safe spot.Palawan looks very beautiful and while researching about tsunami risk I came upon your blog.I wonder if you could contact me directly so as to give us a better idea of what the possibilities are.I know that freehold is basically non-existent for non filipinos and I'm British and wife's Japanese.My email is
    Hope to speak with you soon.Regards,Andy

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