So many adventures, so little time-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
IT’S indeed more fun in the Philippines. But here’s to hoping that we do not just limit ourselves to the packaged fun, where we only see the well-maintained lawns and longest ziplines, but also peek into the nooks and crevices where the real beauty lies amid poverty.
Last week was my type of week. It was one adventure after the other, but then the week ran out and I had to return to work. Bitin is such an inappropriate word.
Sunday last week, I was up before the drunk budots in Bonguyan Beach have even stopped drinking to ride the bus on my very first trip to the Agusan Marsh.
The following day, I was back on the bus again on the way home for one day of work Tuesday before rising up once more before the first light of morn came out and be feasted on by the mosquitoes outside Ateneo de Davao as I waited for the vehicle that was to fetch me on our way to Bukidnon. The Bukidnon trip was to observe a Philippine eagle chick in the wild.
True, these trips are for special reasons that not any adventure-loving Pinoy would be invited to. That doesn’t mean they cannot explore on their own the less trodden path and appreciate more what we have.
In the process, we learn to see the wealth in all its natural form, so wealthy indeed, we do not need one single mining company on our shores to bring in the dollars. Adventuresome people are willing to spend so much just to trek these places. They’re the ones who invest so much on their equipment, may it be cameras or mountaineering gears, with just one desire, to explore.
Tourism from birdwatching alone can draw in so much. But no, we would rather let the foreigners flatten our mountains to bring home the minerals buried there, while training their Filipino puppets to parry the criticisms and deny to high heavens that their industry causes landslides and floods and breaching of tailings pond. All these are forces of nature that they do not have any control over, they’d want all of us to believe. The sad part is, even government wants us to believe them.
Wasn’t that what the people were protesting against in the first place before you paid your way to get your hands on those minerals? That landslides and floods will come because the mountains will be flattened? You came and the landslides and floods followed. Now the mining companies refuse to admit it is how they have denuded the forests that is causing all these.
Had Lucifer figured much longer in the Bible, he would also be to blame, I’m sure.
Nature is the only cause of floods and landslides; man has nothing to do with it. Repeat that a million times, and maybe we will start to believe their lies.
The past week, there was Semirara saying, no tunnel collapsed because they do open pit mining. Okay, there may be a mistake in how the information was passed on, but the fact remains, miners were killed because they were buried by soil. Whether it was in a tunnel or out there in an open pit, the fact remains, the monstrosity of the open pit that used to be lush mountains dropped earth on the miners and killed them. Whether it was a tunnel or a landslide, even a mudslide, no longer matters when put side by side with what that falling of earth has taken: human lives. Argue on the side of the miner’s death, then we might just have an intelligent discussion going, but argue where the earth moved, then I will slam the door on you.
There is Philex, no less than its senior vice president, saying they should be allowed to return to normal operations so they can rehabilitate their tailings pond that spilled chemical-laden tailings into the rivers and streams because they need to fill up the pond with tailings so that it will not spill over. The way these people are speaking exposes how they think of the people – bobo.
Notice how two major events regarding mining hogs the headline now; expect more soon as the national government will twist the arms of all those who will resist the entry of mining companies, and kill a couple or more to prove their point; conveniently covering this with the red tag they so love to place on anyone who dares speak out his or her mind.
In the meantime, there are so many natural resources that would have made those It’s More Fun in the Philippines collaterals even more fun are being turned into red silt and dead trees. While Filipinos gape and gawk at the newest mall. Maybe, the mining companies got something right: the bobo part.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 17, 2013.