18 March 2010
We spent a whirlwind day traveling Mindoro on rocky roads from Concepcion to Mamburao to Sablayan back to Concepcion. It was from an early tuna festival activity at 7 in the morning to visiting Sablayan villages affected by climate change. Mindoro is the seventh-largest island in the Philippines. It is located southwest of Luzon, and northeast of Palawan. It is one of the biggest rice granaries in the Philippines and we were there to see how dry it was this summer.
We were brought to Sablayan by Lito Tiongson of WWF Philippines. He brought us to Barangay Lagnas where the roads were getting massively eroded during heavy monsoon rains in the past years. The irrigation system re-allocated the water flow from the main river system to some rice fields and habited lands now useless to anyone but quarry operators. Many river beds these summer months look like this:
Then we visited a really sad village where the flood waters brought in a huge amount of mud into peoples houses, the local church and the local high school.
Barangay Victoria has an abandoned church which still has pictures on the wall of the stations of the cross. The Psalm still written in Tagalog on the blackboard in front near the altar “Dyos ko, ako’y ipagtanggol at iligtas, Panginoon.” Lord, protect and save me, oh Lord. This was a heartbreaking sight.
WWF Philippines works in Sablayan to explain the difficult concept of climate change – what it means to have rising sea water levels; stronger and extreme weathers in the rainy season and drought in the summer season. The term now in use for conservation here is ADAPTATION – what to anticipate and how to proactively react in these trying times.
And to look up past entries, go all the way down and click into << older posts. Or go to the Archives on the upper right column of this page.