Battad - Plant trees now!-A A +A
By Benny Balweg
Saturday, July 14, 2012
“WITHIN the next twenty-five years, Baguio and La Trinidad will experience greater water problem. Before that comes, plant trees now!” This is the gist of the advisory Dr. Emeritus Fortunato A. Battad gave in his message to the BSU retirees last Thursday, July 12, 2012, where he was Guest of Honor and Speaker in a program held by the members of the BSU Retirees Association on the occasion of the first anniversary of the organization. And he said this with obvious urgency. “If your theme in this program is “Enhancing BSU-RA,” then enhance it, plant trees,” he tersely emphasized, “what we borrowed from nature we give back to nature!”
Battad said what he said is not just because of “my passion for trees, as titled one of his books, but because of his penchant for prognostic approach. An agriculturist president who finally turned the Mountain State College to the present Benguet State University, he had observed that water is a dire need of Baguio and its immediate downriver neighbor La Trinidad. In fact, as he recalled, a major concern in BSU that he had to contend with was its water system. He solved that at the cost of losing a friendly tennis match with a helpful linkage partner.
After incumbent BSU President Ben Ladilad gave a preview of his administration plans to develop BSU, especially in the line of agribusiness, in his inspirational message, Dr. Battad did not fail to suggest the planting of more trees in designated areas. The strong suggestion got appreciating second from that retirees, especially Dr. Emma Keith, who intends and nodded to espouse a resolution to that effect in the coming monthly meeting. I could only imagine the acquiescent smile of Mike Bengwayan from amidst hid man-supported greeneries in Longlong where, wondrously, mosquitoes do not seem to thrive because of a kind of trees he has planted and where he produces his own cooking gas from his petroleum plants. “If you take care of mother earth, she will take care of you the more.” Mike intimated to me when I visited him. Battad further suggested for Dr. Ladilad to show his development plans to Dr. William D. Dar, Dr. Emil Javier and Dr. Obien to get more ideas for improvement along their respective lines of expertise. Dr. William Dar in particular because of his world view of development that he has acquired as a four-termer executive head of ICRISAT in India.
Himself as model, Battad reminded the BSU-RA members to still take care of their grandchildren teaching them to plant in their backyards and area of influence. No professional success can make up for failure in the family, he boomed. “He talked about his own achievement and those of his children and even grandchildren that he guided or helped guide, ngem pudno met (but it is true).” Retired Mentor Lino Bocalan heartily approved.
(Incidentally, Prof. Bocalan was the one tasked with former Administrative and Board Secretary Romulo Apolonio to make ready the special plaque for the would-be invited guest speaker.)The speaker even revealed that he got married to one that provided him with wide enough piece of land to plant orchard trees, like oranges, mangoes, santol, rambutan, and samples of exotic ones. But to make the story short, to be a credible speaker invited to deliver an inspirational message, it is good to know how to say what you want and to say but it is better to have lived them.
Function rooms/halls in Baguio and La Trinidad, Benguet have been agog with cooperative activities these days. That the Cooperative Union of Baguio City (CUBC) and Norweslu have been kept on their toes providing pre-membership education seminars and seminar workshops to interested coop members, affiliates and no-affiliates alike, is an encouraging sign. People are getting greater awareness of cooperative ventures Cooperativism is impacting on people’s lives. The Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) is doing its regulatory job more seriously. It is even now serving as conduit of funds meant for livelihood projects coming from government agencies.
Congratulations to Rosalie “Sally” Abarquez for her efforts to rehabilitate a problem-laden coop. Instead of giving up, she has accepted the challenge of being elected to the position of Director in the new Board of Directors. That’s the way, madam, never say “die”! Robert Jaworski had just appeared on TV repeating his undying motto, one that produced a legendary team.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 14, 2012.