Saturday, March 6, 2010


Lent began with the arrival of EL Nino. My farm is parched and very dry, but the very little remaining forest cover keeps some of the air cool. The river right beside my farm is called the Biluso River,  is barely reaching a foot at its deepest point. This river  crosses the watershed area in my part of Silang. This area is composed of upland forests of tropical hardwood, coconut palms, a rich abunance of what was once thousands of hectares of  fruit tree orchards, agro lands, and coffee plantations.

Subdivisions are now everywhere. The cool climate that once was characteristic of Silang and Tagaytay is beginning to deteriorate. Coming into this upland territory, one will notice the tiny brooks and streams feed the river that runs into the lowland esturaries and rice fields.

Our rivers are running dry in this dry, El Nino climate. Rain filters downward through rocks  filling up acquifiers that are used by deep rooted trees to bring up their exhaled cool oxygen.  This combination of trees absorbing carbon dioxide and carbon from the earth results in cool air temperatures  and healthy  oxygen for people to breath and stay healthy. The branches and leaves of tall rainforest trees shelter smaller trees and shrubs from the hot sun during summer. The water remains in the acquifiers because though there are billions of trees, plants only use what they need, and the remaining underground wells irrigate farms on the lowlands.
The Biluso river is our source of water for our crops. This river is right  next to my farm, and has just a trickle of water. This free flowing stream is a source of fresh water used by farmers to water their crops and animals all year round.

Smaller groups of people are now squatting near the river area. Displaced by the millions, these locals used to be hired to gather coconuts and other agricultural produce for market. These native Tagalogs from Cavite were hard working independent small farmers, riding their ponies to deliver buko, papaya, coffee, fruits to the markets. These farmers  are now reduced to scavenging garbage, and looking for work in factories or homes as domestic helpers. They have a wealth of knowledge regarding herbal remedies and organic farm techniques passed down from generations. These native people, are now poor folk, who have no say in the running of their provincial government that is selling off more and more upland forests to big time land developers.


Water filteration and pumping stations are owned my multi-nationals who tie up with government officials to form a strong distributor of expensive water average household uses about $50 worth of water. This clean water used to come free from the rain, and from ground wells....but water is now a lucrative business....millions of homes equal billions of dollar income for these water distribution companies. Technology can transform sewage water into drinking water...but do you want to drink someone elses pee-pee, or someone's toxic chemicals lacing that water?