“Hakot” Crowds at the February 12 Manila Bay Synchronized Sunset Viewing

The February 12 Manila Bay synchronized sunset viewing was a success in the sense that hundreds of people turned up to show just how misinformed they were.

One picture says it all, really.



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Simply put, the site of the proposed Manila Solar City development will rise on the CCP side of the bay and at this time of year, sets at a point in the middle of the bay.  (For more information regarding the various points where the sun sets on Manila Bay, please click here.)


Students from a high school near Manila Bay.

It seems children from the Malate Catholic School and a nearby Maritime college were grossly misinformed about the sun’s trajectory, something that ought to be brought up with the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education.

The fact that these kids turned up by the hundreds, along with people whom I assume were their teachers, gives me the impression that these children were merely used to swell up the number of people attending the SOS Save Manila Bay Synchronized Sunset viewing.

Was this made part of their academic requirement? Were their parents informed that instead of going home after class, they were made to stand on the boardwalk to form a human chain?  If this were a media event paid for and arranged by still unknown “benefactors” were these children made to sign the appropriate waivers? Was the Department of Labor and Employment informed?

And the biggest question on my mind, really, is do these children really know enough about the issue to make an informed opinion?

It would be absolutely SICKENING to find out that these children are just being USED/EXPLOITED for a well funded AGENDA.  It takes money to mount such an event and have a couple of three TV stations cover it — especially on a date that coincides with the proclamation rallies of candidates running for the 2013 elections.

120220132158Apart from the high school children who were there, there were several dozen students from a nearby maritime college (a school that trains Seamen) and I shudder to think that these future seamen don’t know that the sun sets at different points on the horizon depending on your location and the time of the year.  What kind of education are these future ship officers getting?

The thing is, contributing to the mal-education of these children are the likes of Paulo Alcazaren, Jim Libiran, Carlos Celdran, and others in the SOS Save Manila Bay Facebook Page.

On top of erroneously saying that Manila Bay’s sunset will be blocked or will disappear because of the proposed Manila Solar City reclamation project, this group continues to put out pictures that grossly misrepresent the issues at hand.

Apparently, a lot of people are being told that the reclamation on the bay will span the entire length of the bay from the US Embassy to the Manila Yacht Club.


One of the many “urban poor” holding up a well made wooden placard (a whole board costs P800) with nearly perfect lettering.

Proof of the extend of the misinformation was that I heard some of the kids and even of the elders thoughtless repeating the mistaken claim.

Never mind that the plans for the reclamation have been made available to the public through TWO consultations last year, one of them held at the Aristocrat Restaurant near the Malate Church.

A fact that some members of SOS Manila Bay continues to deny.

What all of this tells me is that there is a prevalence of “agendas” and “economic interests” masquerading as an “altruistic advocacy” hinged on deceptive practices that only do a disservice to the public.

There are those who openly confide that they have an interest in helping the Manila Goldcoast Development Corporation navigate its way through becoming “socially acceptable”.

And there are those whose only interest is that the proposed reclamation will mar the view of Manila Bay from their condominium window.

The others who probably supported the synchronized sunset viewing were probably owners of buildings and establishments along Roxas Boulevard.  And I wonder, really, if these building owners and restaurant owners are actually up to code when it comes to their waste water treatment systems.

Here’s a report from the PIA on the state of waste water treatment of residences and establishments in places surrounding Manila Bay:

There are only 48% of private homes with hygienic septic tanks. Of the household surveyed in the five provinces, some 29,933 are non-compliant and only 27,408 have approved septic tanks.

There are even lesser commercial establishments with hygienic septic tanks at 31% and factories at 24%. There are only 522 establishments and 33 factories which have provided adequate human waste disposal facilities.

As to commercial establishments which have constructed wastewater treatment facilities, there are only 1,599. Also only 20% of factories have this treatment facility since only 109 of them are compliant.

It is no secret that the waste water coming from the houses and buildings as well as restaurants are the number one cause of water pollution in the bay.  This is not to mention that active shipping and port operations in the area contribute immensely to the bay’s pollution — not to mention fertilizer and pesticide run off from farms in provinces surrounding Metro Manila. (For an article on the state of water pollution in Manila Bay, click here.)

So, really, it’s kind of hard to take “Save Manila Bay” seriously when it seems they don’t have an inkling about where the sun sets and what really keeps Manila Bay polluted.

20 Replies to ““Hakot” Crowds at the February 12 Manila Bay Synchronized Sunset Viewing”

  1. Mother Earth is being treated horrendously by the inhabitants on Metro-Manila, and it is tragic and sickening at the same time. Just letting untreated SHIT run into the bay is just as despicably disgusting an act of savagery that any allegedly ‘civilized’ world city can perpetrate on Momma Earth.
    If the corruption plagued city-council stopped and really just concentrated on a real world 21st century waste treatment facility the water may actually turn helthy again in 20 yrs.. But NO, to busy stuffing the people’s money in their pockets to bring Metro-Manure up to the world class status that its citizens and visitors would appreciate and are truly entitled to.
    A truly disgraceful situation that should no longer be igNOYed.

      1. Of course there is some sort of treatment going on, but not in all areas of Metro-Manila. It surely is not working or nearly adequate/up to the standards that would make the Manila bay waters clean. The color and stench of the water is all you need to experience to know that Momma is being woefully mis-treated.
        Who could ever blame Mother Earth for puking all over the inhabitants of that city which is causing her such harm? Truly SAD.

  2. @Paul. I think the synchronized viewing is a great opportunity for them to see that the sunset will not blocked by the reclaimed land


  3. I have yet to see a Filipino Captain, or Officer in a Cruise Ship. Most of the Filipinos, I saw, were servants….working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, at U.S. $200 per month…
    Hakot Crowd , or Hakot Demonstrators, are part of our Political landscape…this is the reason, we have many Squatters….where politicians, get bodies for the Hakot Crowd. Now, they are using students. Maybe the teachers got, the “bonanza” , for requiring the students to become Hakot Crowd…

  4. The problem isn’t sunset viewing but the historical significance of the area and failure to consider master plans offered by Burnham.

        1. Imagine removing the reclaimed land in front of Baclaran, Paranaque to re-align to the old plan. It will be good bye to MOA.

    1. Monk, ang daming mga “conservationists” who point out the historical significance of one thing or another.

      Yes, maraming nangyari sa Bay, but more importantly, how do we keep the “historical significance” of the bay alive in the minds of people?

      I think, organizing tours on the bay would be great, parang Pearl Harbor.

      Pero, has any one of these conservationists seriously pressured the local government or national government to redevelop the bay for this purpose?

      I think, walang ganung effort.

  5. There is a disconnect between the purpose of the event and the real issue. The event emphasizes the beauty of the sunset. The real issue is the pollution of the bay.

    But I thought: what does underwater pollution have to do with a sunset?

    Put plainly, the pollution that killed Manila Bay is underwater, and thus would have nothing to do with how Manila Bay’s sunset looks. It can even be argued that smog and pollution give the Manila Bay sunset its beautiful color. So if you want to preserve the sunset, preserve the pollution!

    I still favor the reclamation because it’s still the better way to save the bay.

  6. Retirees or empty nesters would love to look out from their balconies or windows and breathe in the spectacular sunset scenery in front of them.

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