whales

I am not into marine conservation thing and stuff. My exposure to the richness of our oceans’ resources doesn’t go beyond the gastronomic pleasure of eating grilled tangigue (Spanish mackerel).

But a couple of weeks ago I was touched by news about dolphins dying under mysterious circumstances. It was not the image of dolphins breathing their last that touched me. It was the image of them alive, swimming thousands of nautical miles just to hear Bon Jovi sing “Living on a Prayer.”

If you think I’m making this up, here’s the AP news, dated April 19:

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. – Since winter closed in on a family of dolphins that had been living in two New Jersey rivers, many observers felt the animals were living on a prayer.

On Saturday, the body of another dead dolphin was spotted in the Navesink River just outside the Middletown home of rocker Jon Bon Jovi.

If it’s confirmed to be part of the group of 16 dolphins that had spent half of last year in the Shrewsbury and Navesink rivers, it would be the sixth to have died. (AP)

What prompted these charming creatures to leave the deep and die outside the home of a 1980s spandex rock star? The question has profound environmental significance because it hints at how the 80s pop culture could have contributed much to the destruction of Mother Earth.

Remember how Greenpeace last January filed a P10 million civil damage suit against broadcaster and 80s creation Korina Sanchez for polluting the environment from years of applying Spray Net on her hair? Greenpeace estimated that Sanchez had used up enough Spray Net to melt a glacier the size of Mount Apo. This is true. I asked Greenpeace Southeast Asian campaigner Von Hernandez about it and he said, “Ha?”

Anyway, I made my own investigation and everything suddenly made sense. The song “Living on a Prayer” is from Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet album. It is the band’s signature song. Meaning, vocalist Jon Bon Jovi is cursed to sing it every day, even while peeing into the Navesink River.

Released in 1986, the album is featured in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, a musical reference book edited by Robert Dimery. Now, the musically-inclined dolphins must have taken the book seriously. For many years, they’d been wondering how Bon Jovi was able to produce the sound “umba umba um / umba / umba umba um” in the song and get away with it.

Dolphins sing low-frequency songs or emit whistles and clicks to attract mates, keep track of offspring or locate prey. They have yet to create music that can charm an entire generation now and irritate it

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20 years later. They will give their blowholes up just to listen to Jon Bon Jovi sing “Living on a Prayer” live.

A similar occurrence took place in the Philippines last February, where at least 200 melon-head whales were rescued from the shallow waters of Manila Bay. Experts said a sea quake might have damaged the dolphins’ eardrums and disoriented them.

But to an observer who believes in the cosmic connection between marine mammals and showbiz oddities, the whales’ visit in Manila had something to do with Korina Sanchez. Around that time, Sanchez and Sen. Mar Roxas had revealed what their gift for each other will be on their wedding night: their virginity!

The whales were there to tell the two that all creatures of the deep would rather have the Spray Net story anytime.

SUN.STAR, APRIL 28, 2009