April 2016

eastwind journals30 Apr 2016 12:04 am

TOXIC MAYNILAD WATER urgent consumer advisory

Maynilad admits ‘high manganese level’ in its Laguna Lake raw water supply
eastwind journals 182
By Bernie V. Lopez


Consumers in the southern concession area of Maynilad (Alabang and vicinity) are advised –
not to drink tap water or use it to wash rice or cook soup or brew coffee
because of “high manganese level in the raw water supply” from Maynilad’s Laguna Lake source, as admitted by a Maynilad letter to consumers (see their letter below). Maynilad advised the use of cloth filter, implying that their state-of-the-art water treatment plant at Putatan indeed failed to filter manganese.


MAYNILAD LETTER TO CONSUMERS click photo to blow up and read


Manganese poisoning involves –
This urgent advisory is being sent to consumers because Maynilad’s advisory is insufficient. They simply tell consumers to put a cloth filter on their tap, and/or let tap water stand for a few hours to let allow manganese sediments to settle at the bottom. They did not say if they can fully filter manganese dissolved in water. These are naïve solutions from a prestigious utility which promises safe clean water.
Maynilad has not given vital data, like current levels of toxicity, DOH allowable limits for humans, effects and symptoms of manganese poisoning, and if the Maynilad treatment plant can really fully filter out heavy metals like manganese dissolved in water. They said their water supply is “still within the parameters set by the Philippine Standards for Drinking Water” without giving quantitative figures.

The Maynilad letter blames the current drought and El Nino “causing more sediments such as manganese … to enter our water treatment facility”. Putatan supplies 100 million liters a day of water to less than half a million consumers.

There are hundreds of factories (circa 350 in the 90s) which throw toxic wastes in Laguna Lake, but get away with it by simply paying an “environmental fee” to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), amounting to millions per year. It is not known if LLDA uses the money for environment clean up. Water sampling conducted about twenty years ago revealed the presence of about 30 toxic heavy metals in Laguna Lake, which is the largest but shallowest lake nationwide. The accumulation of heavy metals in 20-odd years in a lake supplying water to homes is alarming. Perhaps it was a wrong strategy from the onset to tap Laguna Lake water. Should operations of lake firms be suspended until a study is done on their wastes? Should LLDA’s ‘environment fee’ be abolished as it induces more pollution, legalized by ‘fees’, rather than solve it?
Once manganese enters the soil through garden watering, it may seep into the underground water table system, which is irreversible. Its residue may be found at the bottom of home water tanks. It is not known if boiling neutralizes manganese. We are not even sure if drinking water sourced from Maynilad, purified by reverse osmosis, can remove manganese. At “high levels”, as Maynilad puts it, will it be safe to even wash dishes with tap water? Manganese is the tip of the ice berg. There are more deadly heavy metals such as mercury.


The law requires water utility firms to supply clean safe water to consumers. Should Maynilad be held responsible for inability to foresee long term problems in the use of the Laguna Lake source in spite of its sophisticated treatment facility costing billions of pesos? Is this a mismanagement issue?


Should Maynilad be compelled to stop supplying toxic water if they cannot treat it, and look for alternative sources, which may be non-existent, or may take years to fulfill? Will a water crisis force Alabang and neighboring areas to revert back to getting untreated water delivered weekly by trucks, which is inefficient and unhealthy, and may cost as much as ten times more? WE HOPE THIS THIS ARTICLE CAN REACH MAYNILAD TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO ANSWER ALL THESE QUESTIONS. Bernie V. Lopez, contributing columnist INQUIRER, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
An American reply to China’s-recent-missile-test
This guy is trying to say – let the Filipinos do the dirty work and die for us.
“The US should just lend their HIMARS (U.S. light multiple rocket launcher mounted on an army truck frame, 300 km range) to Pinoy soldiers and let the latter test-fire those mobile missiles as often as they like, directed towards the Spratleys islands or where there are Chinese ships roaming around. The Pinoys can claim that they are just practicing with their new toys and the US can disclaim responsibility.”
5 eastwind Meditation Posters
INSERT poster 26b 31a 32a 38 39


eastwind journals22 Apr 2016 08:14 am

beyond human intervention – climate change / refugee crisis

American reply to China’s-recent-missile-test
Let the Filipinos do the dirty work and die for us.
“The US should just lend their HIMARS (U.S. light multiple rocket launcher mounted on an army truck frame, 300 km range) to Pinoy soldiers and let the latter test-fire those mobile missiles as often as they like, directed towards the Spratleys islands or where there are Chinese ships roaming around. The Pinoys can claim that they are just practising with their new toys and the US can disclaim responsibility.”
Climate Change – EU Refugee Crisis
eastwind journals 181
By Bernie V. Lopez


man must begin to understand
how tiny he is in a vast universe
at times he is nature’s master
at times he is nature’s slave
at times he harnesses the storm
at times he chases the wind
he can harness and fashion nature
but he can also cower in helplessness
when nature seeks vengeance
against his greed and lust
wisdom is chasing the wind – ecclesiastes
vanity of vanities, all things are vanity
rivers go to the sea yet the sea is never full
words are eloquent yet empty of meaning
what is crooked cannot be straightened
what is missing cannot be supplied
the greatest wisdom i have learned
is that all wisdom is chasing the wind
in much wisdom there is much sorrow
he who strives for wisdom strives for grief
ecclesiastes 1:1-8, 14-18 
The Climate Conference in Paris was an exercise in futility. The agreement of 175 nations to optionally make their own targets on reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions has no teeth. 82% of these gases are human-catalyzed carbon dioxide. Is climate change irreversible and beyond human intervention?


To reverse the situation before it is too late, we have to abolish cars, industries, stop energy generation or simply reduce population by 80%, in other words, commit global suicide. US, China, and India are the three largest greenhouse-gas culprits. With their faltering economies, survival is first national before it is global. The US did not sign the Montreal Protocol under pressure from big business, which is stifled as a result. Greed is viewed by environmentalist as the foremost catalyst to a climate-change global crisis. In the next few years, trillions of dollars will be spent to address climate change, and the dent may be very small.
They were in frenzy in Paris, celebrating a seemingly monumental achievement, the planet standing united against climate change. True, there are and will be creative innovative solutions. But most may be very expensive for an ailing global economy. And their overall impact may not make a real dent. Many say we can do something about it even on the backyard level. But will that ‘something’ matter or do we just want to feel good that we are not giving up without a fight?


An increase in global temperature of just two degrees Celsius means unimaginable global disasters, that the sea level could rise a few meters in a few decades, drowning tthousands of cities and millions of people. Extreme climate change is already happening – floods, droughts, famines, forest fires. These are not predictions but a reality.


Scientists pose that, on the macro level, with hundreds of variables, climate change is so complex that it is still essentially a mystery today. It defies a central solution. They say it is, like El Nino and earthquakes, partly caused by inter-planetary alignments of the Earth with the sun and other planets. Man, even if he had deep scientific knowledge, has no control over these cosmic forces. They talk of a cycle of tens of thousands of years of ice ages that have come and gone. They say our brand of climate change had been determined as far back as the last ice age. It is useless to point fingers. Whether it is Man or cosmic forces or both that cause all this, the situation may be irreversible, beyond understanding and intervention.


There is one school of thought that says we can do it, we can fight, and we feel good we have a sense of achievement. But are we really achieving or is it an illusion? There is another school of thought that says climate change is inevitable and beyond human intervention, that we are trapped and are helpless. Yet it does not mean we just sit in the dark. Somewhere in between perhaps lies an answer if there is truly one.


NATO’s vast resources is not enough to contain the flood of refugees. NATO cannot police the entire Mediterranean. No EU-Turkey deal can stop the refugees. They can build walls, set up barb wires, but they cannot contain the refugees, who would rather die than go home.


Already the refugee crisis has polarized brother against brother in the host nations. They are fighting each other in the streets for or against the refugees, who stand at the roadside watching in awe and silence. A new type of deadlier war is evolving, not nation against nation but nation against itself. Will EU nations implode soon? Is the EU Refugee Crisis beyond human intervention?
Despair is the catalyst to a flood of unstoppable suicidal humans, an irresistible force and there is no immovable object yet. It is the law of equilibrium. Heat seeks cold. Poverty seeks wealth. Despair seeks hope. War-torn people seek peaceful places. Chaos seeks harmony.
Even if there are really no terrorists among refugees, the earlier benign migrants who have been in Paris for 15 years are suddenly fired up by western drones killing women and children. Ordinary waiters are radicalized and become instant jihadists. Terror technology transfer is rapid and easy through the Internet. The cry for the caliphate spreads across the globe like wildfire. Terror technology grows more sophisticated by the minute.
Is this one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse? Is this the era of tribulation that precedes the thousand-year peace prophesied in the Book of Revelation. If the refugee crisis is beyond human intervention, is this God’s way of showing His wrath for our greed and corruption and indifference and cruelty? Or is it simply Mans self-destruct nature? eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com


eastwind journals13 Apr 2016 07:39 am

CAN REED BANK BRING PEACE? dealing with china

Dealing with China – Bread not Bullets
eastwind journals 180
By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
the way we look at things molds our destiny
the world does not form us
we form ourselves within the world
our destiny is in our hands
our neighbor’s destiny is in our hands
what we think is what we are
if we think bread we shall be nourished
if we think bullets we shall perish
if we think peace we shall inherit the earth
if we think war it shall engulf us
Click photo to blow up
The Google Earth Map pre-labeled by the author shows two opposing US-China military triangles eyeball to eyeball. China’s ‘Missile Triangle’ consists of Woody Island in the Paracels, and Fiery Cross Reef and Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratlys (read more – China’s-Missile-Triangle).’
The US ‘Base Triangle’ consists of Subic Naval Base and Clark Field Airbase in Luzon, and Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, which are part of the 5-identified bases in the recent Supreme-Court-endorsed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which in turn is complimentary to the Philippine-US mutual defense agreement Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).
Right smack in the middle is Reed Bank (Recto) where the multi-billion-peso exploration of a Philippine-British consortium (Philex Petroleum Corp. and Forum Energy Plc.) was recently stopped by the Department of Energy, upon recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs, due to the ongoing Philippine territorial claims at a UN court in The Hague, which is expected to be decided upon in early 2017.
Reed Bank, a mere 70 nautical miles from Zambales, is part of the Philippine’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as provided by the UN Conference of Law of Sea (UNCLOS). There is debate whether the recent Philippine Baseline Law lessens or strengthens territorial claims based on the UNCLOS provision.
According to 3D seismic surveys of a UK-based energy exploration firm in 2006, there are 3.4 trillion cubic feet of gas in Reed Bank, 21% more than that in Malampaya. Gas benefits our energy needs because it cannot be easily exported in large volume as much as oil through pipelines. China earlier filed a protest with the Philippines concerning the Reed Bank exploration.
Is a trilateral partnership among China, the Philippines, and Britain possible? This is the key to peace – bread not bullets, our military alliance with the US descending and our economic alliance with China ascending, a sparrow perched on the bear’s shoulder and flying with the eagle wingtip to wingtip. There were previous talks of a mining partnership between Philex and the China National Offshore Oil Co. Ltd. (CNOOC). Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
the giant and the ant
we, a puny ant
can shape our destiny
with the giant
if only we believe we can