Ateneans gathered at the Gazebo grounds today during the activity period to participate in the first Ocean Run, the main event of the Ocean Awareness week organized by Ecotenista. This year, the theme revolved around saving the Davao Gulf, the second most densely populated marine habitat in the Philippines.
Students showed their concern by preparing banners that said “SAVE DAVAO GULF” and posters that promoted proper ocean management with statements such as “No to illegal and overfishing” and “Do not pollute our seas.”
Lemuel Manalo, Internal Head Coach of Ecotenista, started the run by clarifying to bystanders that the event was not a protest, but was an advocacy run that serves as a reminder for all the Atenean students to be sensitive about waste disposal. He added that 70% of our waste goes directly to our seas, consequently harming our marine life.
Daniel Mañacap, the head of Ecotenista Advocacy then took the floor. “What we are doing here is not just for fun or nonsense. What we’re doing here is something to let you know the state of our oceans. We hope you can learn from us and aid us in our cause,” he said.
Mark Damos, a member of Ecotenista, then lead the group of students by sprinting around the Ateneo grounds, starting from the Gazebo Grounds, to Thibault Hall, Roxas Grounds, Dotterweich Grounds, then back to the Gazebo.
Lorraine Estor, a second year Environmental Science student, shares her experience. “It was quite embarrassing because people were teasing us, but it was fun because I felt like an environmentalist by supporting the advocacy of protecting the ocean and the Davao Gulf,” she said.