In answer to the Governor of Bangkok’s call for residents to help in cleaning up the Rachaprasong area, which had become a makeshift home to hundreds of anti-government protesters for more than two weeks prior to Wednesday, May 19th, some Filipinos joined this morning’s clean up, which started in Silom Road.
Many different kinds of people, from ordinary Silom residents clad in shorts and a T-shirt, to the more made up faces in the persons of Academy Fantasia contestants, were there promptly at 9am in Lumphini park. After a short program, where the Governor , M.R.Sukhumbhand Paribatra, spoke about the theme of the clean up, “Together We Can”, volunteers proceeded promptly to the different areas, starting at Silom.
It was a very organized affair, with people ready to hand out gloves and masks underneath the Saladaeng BTS station. There were people giving out black plastic garbage bags when we were starting to clean up, and along the whole stretch of Silom, there was water, soda or green tea being given to volunteers.
An announcer was thanking everyone through a public address system hooked up to a pick up truck, driving slowly along Silom as volunteers cleaned. In Thai, the announcer also reminded people of free lunch at Lumphini Park, and when we ran out of water while scrubbing the streets of Silom, the announcer was quick to ask Silom residents for more water so we can continue with our work.
There was no need for leaders to shout out orders, as people, with their gloved hands, scooped up garbage from the streets and into garbage bags. Some went on to cleaning ATM machines and phone booths. Others, worked on taking off stickers from street posts. And some of us who had the energy, went off scrubbing one side of Silom Road from end to end.
There were all kinds of people; Thais, farangs (Caucasian foreigners) and us, the few Filipinos. We were joined by Ms. Helen Villanueva from the company, Pedigree. More wanted to come and help, like Josephil Saraspe. But after hours of waiting for transportation from Phet Kasem to Bangkok, they had to abandon the desire to help, and settle on the fact that they did try to get to Lumphini in time for the clean up.
Filipino Expats in Thailand