Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Lost Grounds

Lost Grounds

The loss is more than a loss of destination for adventure lovers. It is a take on centuries of time, resources and worst of all lives. It is a deprivation not only of the affected communities but also of the whole nation.

Polilio, Infanta, Real in Quezon and Dingalan, Gabaldon, Baler in Aurora by land seem worlds' apart. To get to Polilio, you take the Rizal, Laguna route entering Siniloan. Gateway to Gabaldon and Baler is Bulacan and Nueva Ecija just way off Cabanatuan. Looking at the Luzon map, both places are at the east coast of the Philippines connected by the Sierra Madre range and the Pacific Ocean. Linked to Infanta and Baler farther North is Palanan Isabela but little is known about the place as it is not accessible by land. (This may be just the last frontier.)

Once upon a time, both places are alternative destinations to the highly commercialized and populated beaches of Batangas, Cavite and Zambales. In the 90's Quezon and Aurora fit the Lonely Planet's character of a travel adventure: remote, exotic, natural and still accessible.

Then, only trucks, 4X4s can bring you to the east coast. Reaching the ocean takes hours of bumpy ride if not days. With the road infrastructure initiated by the government in the mid 90's, these places have become accessible via almost any type of vehicle. Real has become the favorite of cyclists and motored bikers and trike riders. Baler became popular as the surfing capital made popular by Action Asia and Apocalypse Now. Initially I thought these roads were meant to bring the produce of the remote dwellers closer to the center with these eco tourism benefits just trimmings. Only after Yoyong and Winnie did I realize that these roads were meant to speed up the denudation of the forests. Cut trees can easily be transported to the mainstream and out of the country.

Like most outdoor lovers, we received this tragedy with sadness, despair and even helplessness. Once, our pristine playgrounds that give us natural high have now become danger grounds. One is no longer safe. Even a drizzle can now kill. Little did we know that the flash floods that claimed the lives of 6 "excursionists/campers" in Siniloan in November 2000 was just a foreboding of the damage that has been done to our forests; denudation beyond the threshold which will no longer hold the soils and the water.

Seeing the aerial coverage of the news stations and hearing the personal accounts of friends who attempted to trek through broken roads and ridges in mud and water, the message is clear. There are no more resources for us to relish in our lifetime. All have been lost.

We lost our playground. We have fewer destinations to go to. A small price compared to the livelihood and lives lost. And nothing compared to the loss of time and natural resources.

Has our crusading been totally useless? I hope not.

chito.razon 8dec04

sana po nagustuhan niyo ang sinulat ko.


From: Kyamer
Date: Wed Dec 8, 2004 6:29 pm
Subject: Re: [palmc] Lost Grounds

Hey Chits,

Good job! Ang tanong sino ba sa e-group na ito ang active na nag-babasa ng mga literary works mo?

Eh article na sa Trailnotes ang ginawa mo, husay mo talaga. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.


From: "WARREN"
Date: Thu Dec 9, 2004 1:52 pm
Subject: Re: Lost Grounds

Well said po mr. chito razon, but its not too late, the focus right now has shifted to our so called playgrounds, its time for us to step-up,

From: john fortes
Date: Thu Dec 9, 2004 11:25 am
Subject: Re: [mfpi] Lost Grounds


Well said. This represents the voices that were never heard. All along, nature is proving us correct. Dont despair or even give up. For as long that there is a single tree and a single mountaineer standing - hope is not lost.


From: Noel Galang
Date: Thu Dec 9, 2004 12:03 pm
Subject: Re: [mfpi] Lost Grounds

that was heartfelt, thanks!

From: ruby egido
Date: Thu Dec 9, 2004 12:10 pm
Subject: Re: [mfpi] Lost Grounds

right sir, as long as there are seedlings to plant our mountains, we mountaineers are here will extend our helping hand.

From: marilet dalde
Date: Thu Dec 9, 2004 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [mfpi] Re: Lost Grounds

no time should be wasted, no time for the arguments who's to blame, let us act now.

Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2004 09:21:28 +0800
From: Rosendo COMPETENTE
Subject: Re: [mfpi] Lost Grounds

tochs, nagustuhan ko po ang sinulat nyo.

sayang nga, dahil di pa ako nakapasyal sa real, infanta at dingalan.

btw, kayo rin po ba si


Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 06:14:55 -0800 (PST)
From: roy manarez

Sir Chito,

Hi! Kumusta na? Nagustuhan ko ang email message mo dahil nakikita ko. Nagustuhan ko dahil totoo. Ewan ko ba kung kailan magigising ang mga tao sa paanan ng bundok at govt. natin.

Baliwala na ang bundok na malapit sa Manila. Doon na sila napunta sa malayo. Wala ng clean up at tree planting. Meron man, mas malaki pa rin ang illegal logging at mas malakas pa rin ang govt.

See you sa March 2005.

Keep in touch.


Go East, Surf and Trek in Baler Aurora Oct 1998

Go East May 1997

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