“In an age when man has forgotten his origins and is blind even to his most essential needs for survival, water along with other resources has become the victim of his indifference.” Rachel Carson
By Alex P. Vidal
Please don’t nominate us for the ice bucket challenge.
We will just donate.
If we feel like participating in the promotion of awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research, all we need to do is donate cash.
No public announcement.
No ice dropping demonstration.
No self-congratulatory video gimmick that focuses primarily on fun while others are watching, giggling and cheering for all the world to witness.
We find the challenge as a clear example of substituting a trivial activity for more genuine involvement in charitable activities.
We may sound like killjoy to excited ice bucket enthusiasts, but if our intention is golden, just donate.
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t celebrate!
Let’s go straight to the point. We don’t need to dump cold water on our heads if our intention is purely to raise money for charity.
The challenge may have adverse health effects on participants, especially adults like Justice Secretary Leila De Lima (Et tu, Leila?).
What if we have typhoid fever and other respiratory ailments that prohibit us from getting wet?
Instead of helping solve the problem on ALS, we could end up the ones shaking and trembling in the emergency room.
And find ourselves the recipients of cash donations from friends instead of the ALS research.
Experts have already warned of the potentially inducing vagal response which might, for example, lead to unconsciousness in people taking blood pressure medications.
In many places where the challenge was recently practiced, a number of participants have sustained injuries but were not all reported in media.
Sources said at least one death has been linked to the challenge, with another thought to be from a variation on the challenge, jumping feet first into water.
We can’t waste water only for this instant pop culture phenomenon and brief videoed spectacle.
Ilonggos are saddled by water crisis owing to the recent furor involving the Metro Iloilo Water District (MIWD) and the FLO Water Resources, Inc. headed by Bombo Radyo tycoon Rogelio Florete Jr.
It’s an insult to MIWD consumers to waste water in the challenge when there is no drop of liquid in the buckets and others can’t take a bath and drink potable water on time.
We can’t afford to be insensitive during the crisis.
When water utilities and their bulk water providers are at loggerheads, water becomes a premium.
And we need to save every drop of water specifically for the household use. Not for celluloid gimmicks.
The problem is we are easily smitten by almost all the myopic activities that emanate from the Western world.
And we are good in copying them—for fun first; and, perhaps, for charity second.
We are always guilty of gaya-gaya or sunod-sunod or copycat. We lack the originality. Many of us have become poor trying hard copycats.
And we also drag our senior citizens in this slapdash challenge without any regard to their safety and health.
We have enough of such water-related gimmickry in the Philippines.
In our barangay (village) in Iloilo City where we celebrate the Feast of St. John The Baptist every 24th of June, we splash water on friends and passer-bys, and participate in different games.
We line up on every street and alleys with water guns in hand early in the morning and “shoot” the first “victims” spotted walking or passing by.
We do it with fun and excitement since time immemorial, but for purposes of religious celebration and festivity as part of our culture and tradition, not to raise funds for charity or research.