Last post of the month, my wonderful readers!
Something new on the blog; I just installed a flag counter, so we can see when new friends from all over the world join us:)
Today’s story of substance delves into a problem that is all too real, despite what naysayers would have you believe.
The proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the pondering!
See you on Friday, for another thought-provoking story:) If you’d like to support, please click Follow, to the left of your screen…:)
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Rochelle adjusted her body for the bumpy ride ahead, one protective hand on her round belly, the other covering the surgical mask that covered her face, as if doing such would really shield her and her unborn baby from the toxic air in the city they called home.
An elevated city at five thousand feet above sea level and surrounded by mountains and pines, one’s first thought would be of a serene place to visit, or even live, its cool climate rejuvenating when compared to the muggy heat of the rest of the Philippines. And at one time it was just that, a utopia of fresh air and beautiful scenery.
But as which is often the case with so-called development, the more people came the less Baguio looked and felt like the pure mountainous getaway it once was.
One of the main primary offenders in this sad destruction is the most common form of transportation in the country; The Jeepney. With origins going all the way back to World War 2, they started off as jeeps left behind by American forces, with a few innovative Filipinos seeing the potential for these war-time vehicles to have a second life, thus, after a few modifications, which included extending them and throwing a roof on the back, they were rolled out onto the streets of Manila as the newest form of getting around.
The idea caught on fast, the Jeepney, with its long back capable of holding about twenty commuters, spawning a whole new industry, which rapidly spread to just about every city and every province in the newly-freed nation.
Little did those innovative minds know what they were unleashing upon there people, with only time showing the effects these vehicles would have on the health of generations to come.
Rochelle knew of this history all too well, being reminded of it every single day of her life, covering her face whenever a Jeepney would pass by, raised to ignore the dirty black smoke as it was the cultural thing to do. But now that she was a mother with Baby growing inside, fear was what weighed on her heart the most. She had read some of the most recent studies on pollution, and in doing so learned a new word: Magnetite.
It was a mineral found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. The same mineral produced by engines, especially diesel, which was the kind of engine used in the countless Jeepneys that filled just about every paved street and dirt road in the country.
With terrifying thoughts of her poor unborn child ingesting its first exposure of this disease-creating pollution through her inhaled breaths, she couldn’t help but think of the awful image of her precious baby looking like some kind of Benjamin Button. An old man baby, traces of an old persons disease already in its brain.
But in a society that refused to change there was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and although she tried to avoid going out as much as possible there was simply no escaping the air she had no choice but to breathe.
As the Jeepney’s hellish engine roared to life Rochelle thought of the only possible way she could try to provide a better future for her unborn child. She’d raise him or her with the facts and knowledge of what had to be done to stop this mass killer that most were too obstinate to change for. She’d make sure Baby was educated from day one, and as he or she aged, steering them in the direction of public office. A tough and sometimes deadly pursuit in this part of the world, but a position of power would have to be held if real actual change had a chance.
As Rochelle held her stomach and did her best to hold her position in the ever-shifting Jeepney as it barreled down city streets like a clumsy tank, she managed to smile a bit underneath her surgical mask, at the thought of her Baby being president.
After all, anything was possible.