National Geographic usually features breathtaking and scenic views of nature. To have your home country featured on its pages would be considered a source of pride.
If we tell you that the Philippines caught the attention of National Geographic, and photos taken from our country are now up on their official Instagram account, how would you feel?
Initial reactions would probably range from excitement to pure happiness. After all, we are a nation that enjoys taking pride in our own.
However, a quick check of the National Geographic Instagram would have you know that Pinoy Pride isn’t actually applicable in this situation.
You see — we were able to get the attention of NatGeo because of all the wrong reasons. Instead of photos of our scenic beaches and wonderful tourist spots, we are depicted through photographs of Pasig River and Manila Bay.
If you have lived in the Manila for even just a portion of your life, then you already know these do not belong to the country’s best. Given the choice, this is not what anyone of us would want the world to see.
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However, National Geographic raises an important issues by giving these sights global exposure. It sheds light upon the dismal state of pollution and environmental neglect in the country.
In so doing, NatGeo and photographer Randy Olson raise awareness of the world’s plastic waste situation.
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The Pasig River and the Manila Bay both used to be majestic bodies of water, but years and years of plastic waste have reduced them to this.
Can you imagine just how bad its effect on living creatures that reside on these waters could be?
Filipino netizens had mixed reactions about this: