Category: Nature

FROM WHERE WE DRINK: The Panigan-Tamugan Watershed Tour

The Tamugan River’s surface water, as part of the entire Panigan-Tamugan Watershed, said IDIS, is very critical to heavy metal and bacterial contamination from nearby unsustainable industries. “These include rampant use of pesticides and herbicides for monocrop banana and pineapple plantations, forest land conversions, sewage from poultries and livestock farms and other pollutants,” said IDIS. And so, the group had painstakingly devised initiatives and efforts to rehabilitate the river, saving it for future use. And I am ready to see how everything fared.

Nature’s Ironic Truth

This piece was published in my previous blog “Breath of Knowledge” but I was not able to maintain it because I forgot my access codes. Haha. So I am transferring it to its new home. Hope you like it.

I wish to wear a brilliant fabric, but not on this long strand of dark velvet rivers

Embedded with silver white pearls

In which harshly woven by detrimental dressmakers

That emergence is totally regardless

I wish to have the nature’s fresh scent, but not on this asphyxiating fume

So grimy and so gloom

That this unfavorable chamber who breath devastation

That will completely impair my fragile ozone

I wish to watch a verdant mountain, but not on this pile of stinking mess

So putrid, so used and discarded

The sprouting future where maturity was absolutely concealed

That made ones prospects a full-blown regress

I wish to provide a cozy aviary, but not on this bronzed deep-rooted stool

In which once a leafy sky-scraper

And touch the cerulean sky, but was replaced with infrastructure

That thought to make some job truly lighter

But now I wish to change the starving planet

Who thirst for mending such nuisance

And bring back the garnet twilight

And envision the hope in vast expanse

To lead the world in fortunate chance.

Bobbi Petalurca | February 13, 2009

Isa Kang Hampaslupa!

What would you do when someone tell you this?? Would you cringe? Get mad? Would you spit insults back?

Me? Not anymore. Rather, I would be honored and proud.

This morning, environmental group Greenpeace Philippines revamped the term and gave it a more dignified meaning. To be a hampaslupa is to support to our local and organic farmers by patronizing organic produce and promoting ecological agriculture.

The term ‘hampaslupa’ was used to degrade someone’s morale as it means destitution or lowly status. It is a rough, literal translation of the Spanish expression pega la tierra which is derogatory during the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.

However, its denotation also paved way for Greenpeace’s noble cause. Hampaslupa is literally translated as “to hit or till the soil”, an activity generally done by farmers.

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Greenpeace began a campaign dubbed as #IAmHampaslupa Regional Youth Forum in Davao today as a call on the youth to participate in promoting the importance of organic farming and the role of farmers in the producing safe and healthy food for all.

“If we want good, safe, affordable and nutritious food, we need to connect, converse, and support our local farmers, especially those who practice Ecological Agriculture to continue with their labor,” Greenpeace in a statement.

Greenpeace defined Ecological Agriculture as a farming system that works in harmony with nature. It is beneficial not only to the environment, but also to the livelihood of farmers in the face of a changing climate. It means that crops are cultivated without the use of synthetic fertilizers and genetically-modified organisms (GMO) as it may harm the environment and poison the consumers. It protects the soil,water, climate and promotes biodiversity.

The organization also encouraged the youth to challenge the presidential hopefuls in including Ecological Agriculture in their presidential agenda as a solution to food insecurity issues, among others.

I have been a patron of organic products especially when No-to-GMO became our advocacy call in our Environmental Communication class. However, I would be hypocrite if I would say that I don’t consume french fries and burgers from famous fast food chains. I did. Just like you do. Why? What would you buy if you have in front of you a bottle of coke for 12 pesos and a bottle of calamansi juice for 20 pesos? If you are tight on your budget, you would choose the carbonated drink. But you have a lot of extra money, it still depends, right?

It is our lifestyle. We might not noticed it but it has affected our health. And perhaps, we are afraid that we will be teased for being health conscious. But why would you care about what they say. A saying I read on Instagram says, “Remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.” It applies here.

And by the way, it is food. Don’t make food end your life instead of keeping you alive. So we better chose what can keep both inside (body) and outside (environment) us healthy, well and safe.

This time, let’s not get mad when we are called hampaslupa. Let’s make it a stand. #IAmHampaslupa Are you?

You can start your campaign by signing up here: IAmHampaslupa.ph and urge your next president to be a HAMPASLUPA!

Bobbi Petalurca