In this modern day and age, we’ve turned poop and most things associated with it into either jokes or cusses, often contextually referring to poop or the act of pooping as funny, embarrassing, or downright disgraceful. But we also live in an age where we can joke about it because we no longer have to worry where it all goes. Pozo negro services, like that of Malabanan, are easily available to us, and we can rely on water treatment facilities to make sure we have clean, poop-free water.
The first known toilets were constructed nearly 5000 years ago at Skara Brae. This was during the time when the hunter-gatherer mode of survival evolved into humans living together in settlements. Thanks to poop smelling bad and our naturalized aversion to things that smell bad, we instinctively know to get rid of it. This instinct caused budding civilization like the Romans to create sewage systems, bathhouses, and public toilets.
But even in the course of developing ways to separate poop from living spaces, people in cities with big populations still preferred to do number 2s in pots, and subsequently throw them out on the streets. This began to cause health problems. Many sicknesses rose from this unhygienic standard of living, and in turn, many people—men, women, and children—died of diseases.
Just last 2015, pozo negro services proved to be a very necessary provision when it was found out that many Filipinos are constantly getting sick and dying because of unhygienic conditions. Take the story of Suzette Flores who lost a son in a matter of not more than 24 hours due to bacterial meningitis. The child, Rob Ezequiel Garcia, might have gotten the infection from ingesting fecal matter.
According to the same report, 55 people die daily due to lack of better and more hygienic sewage systems and water treatment facilities in the Philippines, the most vulnerable to this is the urban poor. There’s just too many people cramped up in cities that there’s no other way to poop than leave a big one in open spaces or put it in plastic bags and throw it out with the trash.
Even in the modern day and age, the sewage systems still play a very vital role in our survival as a species or more so should our appreciation of pozo negro services. The next time you sit on your throne, ponder upon how fortunate you are that you live in more sanitary conditions, unlike others.