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It’ll take long to clean up Manila Bay

/ 05:10 AM February 07, 2019

In his excellent article about the need to clean up the oceans, including Manila Bay, Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Bjorn Jahnsen wonders if he will be able to swim in the bay before his tenure ends here in four years’ time (“Saving our Oceans,” 2/3/19).

Obviously he’s being diplomatic about such a wish, as I reckon it’ll take much longer than that to clean up our bay, once famous for its sunsets but now notorious for having become “a toilet that hasn’t been flushed in years.”

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It’s been just under 50 years (specifically 1974) when an Australian diplomat and his daughter dove from the Marcos yacht into Manila Bay, to swim as well as water ski with then President Marcos.

In his 1997 book “Abiding Interests,” the late Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam wrote that it was his assistant, Peter Wilenski, who happened to be in Manila for an Asian Development Bank meeting and was invited by the Marcoses for a day on their yacht, not just to swim but dance with Imelda while two bands played on board.

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Today, anyone on a yacht in the bay would need to sail out a few dozen miles, with or without bands playing, to be able to even think of getting into the water!

ISABEL ESCODA, Cebu City

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TAGS: Bjørn Jahnsen, Inquirer letters, Isabel Escoda, Manila Bay rehabilitation
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