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Showing posts from 2015

Mt. Sto. Tomas, ABS-CBN, and the Baguio We Want: a short story about vigilance and action

Mid-morning, May 1, residents of Baguio launched a petition asking the tv network ABS-CBN to change the venue of a thanksgiving concert that was going to be held on the set of the popular teleserye, Forevermore. The thanksgiving concert was scheduled for May 10 in Sitio Pungayan, which is inside the Mt. Sto. Tomas Forest Reserve, a vital source of water for Baguio City and surrounding areas. People here were worried that the concert would cause further damage to an already suffering watershed. The details are in the petition . Within 24 hours of the petition's launch on, over a thousand people had signed it. While the petition was circulating on social media, people were also making calls and connections, asking for help from anyone and everyone who might have a line to ABS-CBN decision-makers. People who signed the petition called or wrote messages to colleagues, former teachers, childhood friends, public figures, journalists, former tv stars, staunch environmentali

A Visit to Lias, Barlig (first of two parts)

Wanderlust strikes again. We made our way to Lias on April 27, 2015, a place in the Mountain Province we'd never been before, because I broke a glass in our bedroom in the first week of April. Muttering irately to myself, I grabbed a spread from an old newspaper and began picking up the larger shards of glass. As I placed the broken glass on the newspaper page, the word "Lena-u" caught my eye. It was the title of an article about a local delicacy in Lias, which would be prepared during the coming Changyasan Festival on April 28. Intrigued but also in a hurry to clean up, I used my phone to snap a picture of the paragraph containing the phone numbers of the author and festival coordinator, Sixto Talastas. Then I swept the floor, bundled up the broken glass in the said page from the Mountain Province Exponent and dropped it in the bin, article and all. But lena-u had worked its spell on me. I had to get to Lias, no matter what. There is no rhyme or reason to wande

The Tragedy of the Privates

Some of you may recall that sometime last year we had a visiting scholar, Camote, Ph.D . He has been in the field since August 2014, but sent us this short essay reacting to the culling of approximately 60 trees by SM , in Baguio City. Stock photo of Camote, PhD. Taken July 2014, towards the end of his fellowship in our kitchen. THE TRAGEDY OF THE PRIVATES*  News travels quickly through the underground networks of plants. Leaving aside the anguish that coursed through our roots as the trees on Luneta Hill fell Saturday night, I offer up this food for thought for the human communities of this city. Image credit: Sherwin Cabunilas and Bringing 182 to the Supreme Court. In 1968 Garrett Hardin wrote a seminal essay in Science Magazine entitled, The Tragedy of the Commons . His ideas will be familiar to many. Hardin used the metaphor of medieval European herders to argue that in a commons, a shared resource with open access, all rational individuals will seek to maximise