This was my third time to hear Regina Lopez talk about the esteros.
The first was at a press conference in 2010 where she presented her plan to rehabilitate the Ilog Pasig.
The photos show the sorry state of the esteros before the clean-up…
The stretch of Estero de Paco from Trece de Agosto to Apacible.
The estero behind Paco Market leading to Trece de Agosto.
And this was Estero de Paco’s headwater.
A formidable task for the lady boss of ABS-CBN Foundation, but she was relentless.
“I even approached the top executives of GMA-7,” Gina Lopez told PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a previous interview.
My second encounter with her was in 2011 at the Summit Media office.
She spent an hour talking up the river warriors, who have been helping her in cleaning up the Manila esteros.
The third time was yesterday, September 24, Torre Venezia Suites when Gina showed the accomplishments of her advocacy to date.
What used to look like this…
Estero de Paco, from Apacible to Trece de Agosto section
… is now this!
To see how the other areas were transformed, VIEW PHOTOS OF ESTERO DE PACO: BEFORE AND AFTER!
She’s unstoppable. Now Gina Lopez is off to cleaning and beautifying the creeks on Pasong Tamo and Culiat in Tandang Sora, Quezon City as well as the whole stretch of river on Guadalupe.
That’s just one (actually, the main) reason why you should be at the Quezon City Memorial Circle on October 6 and run for Pasig River.
Reason #1. You run, you do something for the 16 esteros in Manila and Quezon City.
At press time, 50,000 people have already registered.
Gina exclaimed, “We need more runners!”
Reason #2. Run for only 300 pesos (student rate is 150 pesos).
To register, visit Run for Pasig River booths in SM Mall of Asia, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, and Chris Sports Outlets.
Or, click this link for more details.
Reason #3. Run with celebrities, the likes of Anne Curtis and her boyfriend Erwann Heussaff, Kim Atienza, Karylle, and Kim Chiu.
In Cebu: Paulo Avelino and Jason Abalos
In Davao: Maja Salvador, Arron Villaflor, and Bryan Termulo
In Los Angeles: Joem Basco, Bangs Garcia, Paul Jake Castillo, and Jake Cuenca
Reason #4. Run… just for fun.
The organizers underlined, “For the Manila leg, we have 5K and 3K only. There’s no competition.”
On the same day, there will be eco-runs in Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, and Los Angeles!
Don’t forget to bring water bottles.
Reason #5. Run for “One Philippines.”
Gina said she has five success indicators for her project:
1. Environment- “clean water, clean air”
Paco Market before the clean-up drive…
…and after cleaning the estero…
3. Peace and Order- “There’s 40 percent reduction in crima rate.”
4. Health- “85 percent of the families said they saved 819 pesos a month…”
5. GNH- Gross National Happiness
“Money doesn’t give you happiness,” Gina Lopez stressed, citing Bhutan as an example.
“It’s a happy country. When my brother visited, he said the King was biking into the market,” she intoned, adding, “And he said there was a lot of marijuana… for the pigs.”
Laughing, she remarked, “Bhutan probably has the best lechon. Pigs die so high and happy, and they go to heaven!”
But she turned serious when the topic shifted back to the run, “Think of it as helping the Philippines. This is a run for the future!”
- Karen Pagsolingan
Photos: Faizza Tanggol of ABS-CBN Foundation