Typhoon “Mina” leaves its traces in Manila.

Philippines 2011. As walking along Roxas Boulevard yesterday morning, I had already forgotten about the typhoon that hit the Philippines over the weekend. We were in the mountains of Puerto Galera at that time and didn’t understand why everybody was so worried about us going camping. Seeing what was going on here, I began to understand.

What it actually means to travel around an archipelago in a monsoon time became clearer when we took a boat from Bulalacao in Southern Mindoro to the Island ahead of the coast – going in a small bangka while a typhoon is out there, causing huge waves, was quite scary, to be honest. Anyways, being back in Manila on a sunny Saturday morning everything seemed to be forgotten.

A huge amount of waste

Until,  just a few meters ahead to the right, I find a shocking huge amount of waste right by the shore. As coming closer to a huge mass of people dressed in green T-Shirts, the mass of trash is scarily increasing. My first thought brings me back in time when I was having a presentation in High School at the age of 12 or so about the trash collecting kids of Manila and their destiny – I wouldn’t even think of getting closer to the black soup.

Mina sending greetings to the shore of Manila

As I learn from the head of the cleaning crew being interviewed by PA TV, the huge amount of trash is the result of Nanmadal, or how the locals call the typhoon, Mina. He asks the Filipinos, or rather the people in the whole world, not to throw any plastic into the oceans. “When do you think you will be finished with cleaning the shore?” – It might take until Sunday, another 3 days of hard work.

Find more of my memory bubbles from the Philippines


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