Mother, Mother Nature and the Last Eden

EYES WIDE OPEN - Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

There is nothing more comforting than a mother’s care and warm embrace. I know it, you know it. A mother gives all that she can so that her children may live a life better than hers.

And so today on Mother’s Day, let me put the spotlight on the mother of all beings, she that we must all protect, Mother Nature. Everything we need to survive comes from her and through her – water, sun, air.

Yet, we often forget to care for her as she cares for us. How carelessly we have ravaged our bountiful natural resources. Our seas are teeming with garbage – from heaps of plastic waste to spilled oil; our mountains have gone bald because of mining while farm lands have been turned into subdivisions.

Defending the Last Eden

How do we change this? We can start by supporting the efforts of those fighting tooth and nail to protect our environment.

Just early this month, I drove up to the mountains of Baras, Rizal to join a diplomatic reception hosted by Masungi Georeserve Foundation titled “Defending the Last Eden.”

From the gate, driving deeper inside Masungi, I saw a blanket of lush green forest and majestic rock formations as far as the eye can see.

The event, held one early Friday morning, gathered members of the diplomatic corps to raise awareness on the importance of this last green corridor, said Ann Dumaliang, managing trustee of Masungi Georeserve.

The reception was held at the charming Silayan, a repurposed hilltop al fresco hut that gives visitors a 360-degree panorama overlooking the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and the Metro Manila skyline.

It was the perfect venue to talk about the urgent need to protect the environment. Silayan’s design elements are hand-crafted with love and passion by local craftsmen using sustainable materials, including reclaimed timber and cogon grass.

Mother Nature rolled out her red carpet that morning. There was a euphony of birds chirping, a fresh breeze and the warmth of the morning sun.

In the crowd were Her Excellency Ambassador Laure Beaufils of the United Kingdom; H.E. Ambassador Christian Lyster of Norway; H.E. Ambassador William Carlos of Ireland and H.E. Ambassador Titanilla Toth of Hungary.

The event also welcomed Jumpei Tachikawa, First Secretary of the Japan embassy and Natalia Rankine-Galloway, Political Officer of the US embassy.

It was a sight to behold – a morning of deep discussions on the problems surrounding Masungi with members of the diplomatic corps intently listening to the numerous environmental issues facing the country.

The speakers included Atty. Galahad Benito, an expert on environmental laws, human rights lawyer Sol Taule and political scientist Dr. Antonio Contreras.

They talked about threats against environmental defenders, conflicts in our laws and the lack of laws on preserving the environment in the Philippines, among other pressing issues.

“You’re not alone...The international community is focused on human rights issues and that of environmental defenders and the overlap among climate change, environment change and human rights. And we are also very aware of our role in terms of protecting, raising awareness and convening,” said British Ambassador Beaufils.

The esteemed diplomats, usually dressed to the nines, donned casual clothes, rubber shoes and sunglasses as they joined a hike in one of Masungi’s discovery trails after the talk.

Being there at Masungi reminded me that there is so much we need to do to preserve our resources as these affect our daily lives.

Water, power supply

We are already feeling the many problems caused by the lack of care for our environment, from water to power shortages.

This is the reason we need to protect our natural resources, including the Marikina River and other sources of water. As consumers, we also need to be conscious of our consumption of water and electricity.

It’s already the dry season and the transition to El Niño in the latter part of the year are serious tests for water concessionaires like Razon-led Manila Water.

It’s good that the east zone concessionaire announced that it would continue to provide 24/7 water supply, especially during the summer season.

Manila Water maintained that its business continuity plan remains in place to continue water services for its 7.4 million customers in the East Zone.

These include the maximization of the 100 million-liter-per-day (MLD) capacity of the Cardona Water Treatment Plant, which draws water from the central portion of Laguna Lake; the operation of deep wells that can provide an additional 115 MLD and the operation of the 20-MLD Marikina Portable Water Treatment Plant, which will treat water from the Marikina River.

It also aims to harness water from the eastern section of Laguna Lake.

Sustaining the water cycle

It’s also a welcome development that Manila Water is focused on sustainability pillars to ensure the viability of the environment which sustains the water cycle.

At the same time, the company still urges the public to do its share in conserving this precious resource.

Along with conserving and recycling water, we should also harness renewable sources of power to lessen the impact on the environment.

Mother Nature

Indeed, there is so much that needs to be done to protect Mother Nature, including defending the last remaining pockets of paradise such as the Masungi Georeserve.

Yet, we often forget to do that. Like our mothers, Mother Nature gives all that she can. Until she can’t anymore.

As we celebrate our beloved mothers today, may we also remember our duties as children of the Earth.

*      *      *

Email: [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @eyesgonzales. Column archives at EyesWideOpen on FB.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with