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Look: Turquoise Blue Waters of Manila Bay

Updated

By VIANCA GAMBOA

The once pristine Manila Bay has long deteriorated. There were rehabilitation efforts in early 2019, but after an initial clean-up drive and desilting, the operations had been mothballed for later. No one seemed to mind. There were other more pressing issues. To many, Manila Bay was a hopeless case.

It seems like Manila Bay, however, has found a way to reinvigorate itself during the lockdown. Residents around the Mall of Asia area have been noticing the transition of Manila Bay’s waters from murky to a glistening turquoise blue “that can pass for Boracay’s.”

These photos and videos, including an upload by Usec. Benny Antiporda of DENR himself, sparked various opinions on Twitter threads, Facebook comments, and captions, which read “How the Philippines would look like without Filipinos,” “the virus could be letting Mother Earth heal,” and “Kailangan pa ng virus para maging maayos ang Pilipinas (it takes a virus to see improvements in the Philippines).”

BUT IS THIS REALLY A GOOD SIGN?

Conflicting theories surfaced on the internet, too as some netizens debunked this phenomenon and compared it to previous news in 2014 on DENR’s investigation, which claimed that Manila Bay’s “discoloration” might have been caused by illegal disposal of chemicals in the water or algal blooms, a rapid increase of algae fatal to marine creatures.

https://twitter.com/angel_ecube/status/1243064010414501889

Some people also believe it can be likened to what turned the canals of Venice from murky to blue. The absence of ships and cargos in Manila Bay as a result of the no-sail policy of the Enhanced Community Quarantine ongoing in Luzon. Dramatically reduced human activities and boat traffic on the surface can apparently cause sediment accumulation and silt to stay at the bottom.

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DENR has yet to confirm the real situation of Manila Bay but one thing ‘s for sure—the waters may look clearer, but it doesn’t mean they’re less polluted.

Although a portion of the bay was declared safe for swimming, the water quality is still very much as toxic as it was as of this time, so don’t dive in just yet (but anyway, we’re on quarantine).

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