|Estero de Paco view from Pedro Gil sans trash|
The Pasig River is 27-km long that stretches from Laguna de Bay to Manila Bay. Unlike the Thames, Seine, Chao Praya or any other river in the world, the Pasig River has been deemed biologically dead in the 1990s due to 80 years of abuse brought about by over population and pollution. Several efforts were undertaken by past governments to clean the river but have fallen short because of lack of funding and technology as well as difficulty in relocating the informal settlers.
|with some of the active River Warriors|
|spotted five aerators along the canal|
The River Warriors are also responsible for the MRF (material recovery facility) which transforms the garbage collected into usable products such as the hard tiles that are installed on the walkway along the canal (below).
|tiles made of trash|
|the newly renovated Paco Market|
Pasig River has at least 48 esteros. The next section targeted is the area of Malacanan Palace - specifically Estero de San Miguel.
Our impromptu afternoon stroll in Estero de Paco is more like a do-it-yourself tour. We started at 3:30 pm and ended past 5pm, over two hours. We started off at the corner of San Marcelino and walked down Pedro Gil where Jude pointed out the art deco buildings along the way (lucky for us he lived in the area since his University days as a medical student and loves architecture).
|art deco Bellevue Theater built in the 1930s|
|walk-mates Charlotte and Jude|
The walk was leisurely, meandering down the canal's path until we reached the end at the railway tracks across South Super Highway. We were looking for the MRF and accidentally met the River Warriors who were in a prayer meeting. We doubled back and chanced upon the first masonic lodge in the Philippines on San Marcelino.
|Kids touching Charlotte's dreadlocks|
|and me matching the flora (photo taken by Jude)|