Out of the silent planet

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By May Anne Cacdac

The Iron Maiden

Thursday, June 12, 2014


THE widespread and dumbfounding tree cutting and road development in Mt. Kabuyao are heartbreaking. The range of emotions one feels when he hears news of this magnitude is almost indescribable.

“Hurts like your first heart break,” I could almost hear the Commander saying.

When Giovani, (Vani to us), told me the Baguio Water District was going back to the site for another inspection on our water sources within the area and that she was tagging along, I was more concerned on her safety than what the inspection team might potentially find there.

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But my fears were put to rest when I learned she called her kuya Larry Fabian to tag along. Now at least I know someone will look after the newbie and I am assured of photos.

Thursday morning came and went and not a word from both. Thursday afternoon and very strong rains and still nothing.

It was only the following day when Vani got back to me. And while I was not really counting on her story until Saturday to be published forMonday, she gave me an advancer.

“Ate, grabe pala talaga ang nangyari dun. Naubos po ung 4 gig ni kuya Larry para sa pictures,” she said.

Vani is totally new to this so I figured she was just a little shaken.

Then came Larry’s pictures.

I was speechless for a while. Until I found the words. Cuss words.

I may not be what you will recognize as an environmentalist but I am no Ice Queen either. Grave abuses like this make me cry.

To think trees stood where the gravelly road is now is just painful.

One of Larry’s pictures was of a fallen tree which bears signs they tried to burn it.

And then came the story of Vani where I read a stream was totally covered by debris.

This stream supplies several barangays in the city and Benguet I learned. As a result, these barangays will suffer water shortage. As if the city is not suffering enough from this.

In the first report of Vani before the return inspection, Engr. Salvador Royeca, GM of BWD, already mentioned turbid water in two of its sources as a result of the road construction.

These sources were rendered useless already with Royeca expressing fear they may no longer be rehabilitated.

Ironic that Rep. Nicasio Aliping Jr. (or his brother as he earlier insisted, does it matter?) wanted an eco-park in that area. An eco-park without trees, without water. An eco-park at the expense of an ecosystem which has existed there long before those monstrous backhoes came into the picture.

“Out of the Silent Planet” is a song from Iron Maiden’s 12th studio album “A Brave New World” released in 2000.

Part of the song goes:

“Withered hands, withered bodies begging for salvation
Deserted by the hand of gods of their own creation
Nations cry underneath decaying skies above
You are guilty, the punishment is death for all who live.

Out of the silent planet, dreams of desolation
Out of the silent planet, come the demons of creation.”

Dark lyrics. But these are dark times. Yes, it seems we’ve been deserted by a god of our own creation.

How long the people will keep silent is not known. But we know the planet, once angered, cannot hold its silence for long.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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