Rest In Fish: Tawilis

Originally authored on January 26, 2019

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What really caused the steady decline of endemic TAWILIS?

The proliferation of fish cages is way beyond the established carrying capacity which should just be 10 percent of the 94,000 hectare lake as against the current of over 60 percent occupied by big fishing companies. Of course, this caused the lake to reach the point where conservation efforts would no longer be effective.

The inventory of 76 migratory and endemic species were now down to 15 or less. The catch of the most endemic, TAWILIS dropped to more than 80 percent.

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In 2012, Supreme Court released the Writ of Kalikasan to stop the further issuance of clearance to fish cage operators. There was an unsettling issue in 2014 of Pusod Taal Lake Conservation Center where 28 commercial and backyard piggeries were illegally discharging animal wastes down Lipute River which is a tributary of Taal Lake. “Whatever happened to environmental laws?”

Barring the quality of water in Taal Lake, do the present overcrowding of approximately 6,000 cages located in different municipalities surrounding the lake spark the deterioration of TAWILIS quality if not, its mortality?



* – credits to the owner/s for the pictures

How to Strike A Balance

Originally authored on October 4, 2015

A paradise beyond Boracay before the neoliberal policies where blindly implemented by the government. Semirara, one of the three major islands of Caluya in Antique, is home to Panian Mine, the largest and only open-pit coal mine in operation since 1999 in the country. A huge investment by DMCI in a rapidly changing climate both in politics and biosphere. A place where extracted industries are placed at the heart of national development policy, corruption, elite capture of wealth, toxic waste dumping, tailings leaks, labor abuses, blatant land grabs in cahoots with local government agencies are the norm.

Go Zero!

Originally authored on January 31, 2018

Our planet cannot save itself and scream: “ENOUGH!”

How much waste floats around in our oceans? Do we take into consideration the amount of trash we’ve dumped in garbage sites?

Most of our garbage ends up in the sea or landfills, and this is where the cycle continues. The fish eat the trash, and people eat the fish. The animals eat the garbage and people eat the animals. Go figure! The degeneration of the earth would mean our demise!

Surigao: Bleeding Our Paradise To Death

Originally authored on April 4, 2016

A heart-wrenching image, the barren mountains tell their own story.

Our country is the fifth most endowed in mineral deposits, it is third in the world in gold, fourth in copper, and fifth in nickel – not to mention having sizable deposits of iron, chromite, cobalt, and platinum. This could go a long way towards alleviating poverty and driving our economy forward. But why is it not working for our people?

Who Benefits From Gold Mining? NOT LOBO, BATANGAS!

Originally authored on September 24, 2015

Throughout history, our non-renewable mineral resources have enriched a few at the expense of the entire nation and our natural heritage. Fully aware of the massive consequences of mining, multi-sectoral groups denounced the pre-development works of Egerton Gold Phils., Inc, which had already drilled 173 holes for the exploration wherein each approximately 1 kilometer deep to check for gold deposits. The group sought the suspension of further drilling and cancellation of mining agreements involving the project. Lured by the promise of job opportunites, the barangay captains consented, not realizing what open-pit mining entailed. Lobo is home to 40,000 people as well as to Mount Baloi, a watershed that provides potable water for the province of Batangas. The process of separating minerals from ore by the use of mercury and lead would eventually mix with the water would endanger the lives of Batangueños. The contamination will also poison and kill marine life in rivers and lakes in the same area.

Why Should We Care If Mine Tailings Spill?

Originally authored on October 5, 2015

Dubbed as the heart of the Philippines, Marinduque is the geographical center of our country. Coincidentally, the island is shaped like a human heart, making its monicker quite fitting. However, it’s prolonged been ravaged at its very heart ever since the open-pit mining at Mt. Tapian in 1969 was used to produce copper concentrate. Placer Dome, a Canadian company, co-owned 40% and managed the corporation. Soon, several open pits were set-up, tunnels to drain, and dams were built to serve as storage of mine waste directly flowing to the rivers. Agricultural fields were inundated, drinking water was contaminated. Fish, shrimps, and other food sources were instantly killed, causing loss of livelihood for the local people which made it challenging for them to survive.

Old Manila’s “Last Lung”: The Arroceros Forest Park

Originally authored on August 7, 2017

In the middle of the polluted downtown Manila area is the 2.2 hectare mini-forest of indisputable historical and archaeological value. Arroceros was derived from the Spanish words rice dealer, the trading post where Filipino dealers engaged in barter with Malay and Chinese traders in the 16th and 17th centuries. It also became the site of the historic Fabrica de Tabacos in the 19th century and was a military barrack during the American era.