Saturday, November 7, 2015

La Mesa Watershed is the only remaining urban forest in Manila. It provides 90 percent of the city’s oxygen, yes, that much. With over two thousand hectares of trees, La Mesa serves as the pollution dump of the city. Sadly, this forest reserve is facing a serious threat that many of us is worried about — sustainability.

To give a bit of background, the La Mesa Watershed was a project founded by ABS-CBN’s Sagip Kalikasan program. People then were concerned about Manila’s increasing pollution, and they thought that making a forest reserve would help in preserving the ecosystem in Manila and at the same time, prevent pollution from worsening. A nationwide movement was initiated by thousands of people concerned about Manila’s environment. Sadly,the fire that was once blazing in the hearts of the Filipino has been challenged by the winds of the world. Commercialization has made its way to the country, and everyone is eager to make the country as industrialized as its neighbors. The people, consequently, are caring less for nature. The conservation of La Mesa is now none of the people’s concern. It has become obsolete, its existence is even obsolete to many.

Last Saturday, we were given the opportunity to visit the reserve together with our school’s Eco Council. The goal was to help the environment by planting trees in the area and along the way, learning more about La Mesa. We were able to plant around 470 trees that we hope, even in the slightest way possible, would impact and make a contribution to the environment. The experience was satisfying, as we all know, at the end of the day, we were able to contribute. We hope that one day, we could go back to La mesa and see the once 471 seedlings transform into trees that would, in its own ways help preserve the natural environment in the city. Not all of those seedling will make it through the test of time though. Drought, storm, and other calamities caused by the imbalance of nature will be all present and will one day wreak havoc on those poor plants. Some of them will die and fail to make it through the test of time. But nevertheless, we as a group of students concerned about the environment know that our purpose is more than just planting seedlings, and that purpose is to reignited the fire of environmental concern and awareness of the people. You — what was the last thing you have done to contribute to this cause. When was the last time you contributed in preserving humanity’s only reason of existence? When was the last time you helped bring nature closer to the world?