Continuing vigilance for Naga trees and happy five years to CFM
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas (The Freeman) - October 19, 2019 - 12:00am

While awaiting the results of the reassessment report for the Naga trees, while also awaiting the positive response to allow CSO representation and a tree pathologist to join the reassessment team, we call on all tree supporters to continue prayers for God to lead this campaign to preserve and protect our trees.

With very limited time given us humans to protect ourselves from the climate emergency, we need to plant, preserve, not cut our trees for our oxygen supply, as anti-flood support, as air purifier, among other vital functions of trees for life in this planet!

The running priest, Fr. Robert Reyes, the lead co-convenor of the National Coalition to Save the Trees generously shared his time with the Naga tree supporters last Thursday, October 17. As he was with senior Naga supporters, he mindfully decided to run some distance and mostly walk to tie ribbons around the trees scheduled for cutting. He also blessed the trees that have been cut. “Da, pari na g’yud na ga-bendisyon,” an elderly tree supporter remarked.

Fr. Reyes’ presence called attention not only to the environmental value of trees. Fr. Reyes came to remind all about the life from God given to all through the trees, the source of oxygen we need to survive. How can you allow cutting off the source of oxygen for people? Is not the cutting of trees tantamount to cutting off oxygen and killing people as well?

Surely, roads can be widened without sacrificing the trees?

Prayers, prayers, prayers from all please and support for trees in Naga and elsewhere to be protected and saved!

With the Naga trees in our prayers and thoughts, we are happy to join the 5th year anniversary celebration of the Cebu Farmers Market (CFM) whose goal is “to bring to urban-living Cebuanos the freshest, tastiest, healthiest fruits, herbs, vegetables, seedlings and products. Straight from farms attended by organically-practicing farmers and naturally-processing food makers, CFM continues to protect the health of people and nature through their no GMO, no synthetic chemicals. No -cides. No plastic-policy.”

Managed and operated by Communities for Alternative Food Ecosystems Initiative, this valuable historical account of CFM.

“After an intense and successful campaign in 2014 to stop the seed trials and entry of anything GMO (genetically modified organisms) to Cebu, a group of passionate farmers and campaign organizers decided to give the consumer public an option. How about an alternative to the mainstream unhealthy chemical-laden, fat and sugar-heavy fast food, convenience store-bought foods? How about our very own farmers market where the buyers get to meet the growers of their food and get to know what is put in their food and how it is grown? And how about buying food that is not only healthy for their families and for the soil on which their food is grown, but also supports the farmers and food makers directly?

“On an early sleepy Saturday morning last October 18, 2014, in the parking lot of the beloved Handuraw Pizza beside Gorordo Avenue, eight tables were set out by farmers from as far as Naga, Barili, Argao, Carcar, Sibonga, and the remote hilltop farms of Cebu City --Cambinocot, Tabunan, Mabini, and Guba.

“Then slowly but surely, customers came, Cebuanos and foreign ex-pats from Europe, the US, Korea, and Japan. CFM schedules are Mondays (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at Mango Square; Wednesdays (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at EchoStore, Streetscape; Saturdays (8 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at VIBO Place, Escario Street.”

Come today and support the CFM, not only a buy-and-sell marketplace for goods but also, a culture change hub for food!

FR. ROBERT REYES
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