Ocio: Beyond Sendong

"BEYOND Sendong is about a long walk to adapt to climate change. It is about addressing the root causes of Poverty, Hunger, FLOODS, Homelessness, and Hopelessness. Yet, behind it is the call to healing the Spirit of this nation and all of humanity. It is the call to do our civic and moral responsibility to love and serve God, family our country and the rest of the world beyond self."

Beyond Sendong is about addressing the root causes of Poverty, Hunger, FLOODS, homelessness, and Hopelessness.

Sendong is the Filipino apartheid as a nation. It is about a people deprived of the opportunities to live decently in their own homeland.

It is about the wicked ways of a people against their own environment in a country so devastated by destructive logging, mining and pollutant power generation and related industries. It is about a hundred million people whose hope have vanished in the hinterlands and still frustrated in the revealing promises of development in the low lands. It is about a hundred million people mostly congested and displaced in the city slums. It is about us, separated as a nation and family; and wandering in foreign lands. It is about the corruption of the human soul, spirit and the means to govern justly. It is about the prostitution of our electoral processes and the subsequent shameful corruption in all levels of governance.

Beyond Sendong is a long walk to freedom in us to free our people from hunger, poverty, homelessness in our own land. Sendong is about a battle and a war which we cannot win in the downtown city streets but in the toil of the idle, eroded, dry and degraded hinterlands of the nation which are so unevenly distributed and developed by a few landed estates. It’s about the deprivation of the people of their own dignity as humans which they themselves created for themselves.

Beyond Sendong is about a long walk to adapt responsibly and appropriately to Climate Change.

Beyond Sendong is about the survivors of Sendong and similar calamities and those that are yet to come. I saw it coming when I fought against illegal logging in the city council in the late 90’s and when Task Force Macajalar lead by Orlan Ravanera was thrown a grenade or when I wrote about our chocolate rivers in 2010 but not as soon as it happened in December 17, 2011.

It can happen again and again and again. We have started our own adaptation measures even before it happened but none would have been a more profound lesson by learning it through experience when my community in Tibasak and many others more were completely wiped out on Dec 17, 2011.

Beyond Sendong is about conquering our fears to challenge the tide of corruption neglect, destruction of the environment and sheer greed among the few. It is about organizing people and keeping organizations together to make a common goal called SULOG-One Sendong is Enough!

It means no to destructive mining practices and fighting for it with our lives. It means breaking the bread and conferring with the good men and women of this nation and city to talk about what can be done for the environment like Atty. Carrasco of the Carrasco Law Office, counsel for the petition for the Writs of Kalikasan, Mandamus and Environmental Protection order we filed at the Court of Appeals VS Mining; in fellowship with SULOG leaders-Nixon Baban of Bangon Kagay-an, Ben Contreras, Renato Tibon, Ralph Abragan of Save CDO Now, Oscar Caiña, Rona Contreras, SULOG sec-gen Tito Mora and friends.

It is about networking with such other groups with similar objectives here such as those from the Cordilleras, the Sierra madre, Palawan, Balingasag, Iloilo, Camiguin and abroad like Green Peace, Permaculture Research and Food First Development advocacy groups. It is about sending a message to our people to get involved and be partakers of nation building.

Beyond Sendong means challenging a careless government policy to use destructive coal which pollute our environment and the economic bondage to greedy monopolies in ostensibly supplying us with sufficient energy but handling the industry to greedy corporate interests. It involves an advocacy to use renewable, cheap, home based and ecologically and economically viable nationalized energy industries like hydro, solar and wind energy.

It is saying no to eco-terrorism and rehabilitation of our watersheds destroyed by years of exploitation and neglect.

It means to be advocates and active participants in the quest for environmental justice and to be actively enlisted as warriors against environmental terrorism. It is about a government agency and leader like Edwin Dael and the Cagayan de Oro CLENRO who risk lives in relentless efforts to confiscate equipment and illegally cut logs, minerals and natural resources and the people involved. It is about the courage of a Ralph Abragan at the City Mining Board to speak out for our behalf.

Beyond Sendong is about converting eroded and extremely dry lands to become productive. In the early 1990's, I started to plant trees and bananas. I thought no earthworm would have ever lived in this extremely hot, dry, eroded and cogonal area.

My neighbor said, not a banana ever survived there. However, I thought, if I can make this land productive, then people could have a model for their eyes to see, and if the Filipino will open his eyes, then poverty, hunger, soil erosion, hopelessness can be solved by example. It is therefore about faith and work to heal our lands.

Beyond Sendong means looking beyond the eroded lands and adapting to the FLOODS which are left of us, poor Filipinos. It is about having the reason to believe that it should not happen anymore in our lands. As soon as the trees which we planted and are still to plant will have grown enough like this and when integrated organic gardening and livestock raising shall have been fully developed.

It is about building eco-sustainable communities for our people. It is about finding solutions to the problems of Climate Change through Sloping Agricultural Land Technology. It is about growing fruits, vegetables, staple crops, livestock.

It is about empowering our people to grow their own food, means of shelter and permanent a means to relocate with those provisions as the flagship program of our government. It is about private individuals, families and communities following this pathway. It is about a paradigm shift of our priorities in public and private spending to address the basic needs of human existence.

Beyond Sendong is about healing the Spirit of this nation- its people and the land.

It is about repentance, faith, prayer and conscious efforts to build a just and humane society. Beyond Sendong is about love of God, family and country. Beyond Sendong is about Spiritual and civic renewal. It is about answering the call to prayer, repentance and change from our personal and communal wicked ways so that God can heal our land. Beyond Sendong is above all, a journey of faith toward Spiritual and Societal renewal toward a Creator who made the world for us to live and be thankful for.
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