I was welcomed by Surigao with a red-carpet, I mean red road. Damn!
Passing by the towns of Surigao del Norte and del Sur is THE MOST DEPRESSING ROAD TRIP I EVER EXPERIENCED. They are FUCKING NATURE like crazy.
I love long bus/van rides because of the changing landscapes especially in the Visayas and Mindanao but this time it was f*cking different. It was alarming, disturbing, heart-breaking. I was cursing the mining companies as I sit inside a crammed non-working air-conditioned van. Oh yes, I was asking the locals seated beside me of what they thought about it. In my mind I was asking who the hell gave permits to these killers?
(I took the photos from the van last August 14, 2012)
I don’t have a special training on nature. But I learned something from grade school that when you kill a tree, it affects the mountains, when you kill the mountain, you kill the rivers and eventually the sea too. And its doesn’t stop there, the people who get food from the mountains and the sea will eventually die. And I think everyone on his/her right mind can understand this very well.We are all connected.
(I’m f*cking hyper-ventilating as I type this blog)
I really don’t know what other people think about this but I guess the pictures can describe the situation more clearly:
The area as seen on Google Earth shows:
Placer, Taganito, Bacuag, Gigaquit and Carrascal (and maybe more towns) are heavily being mined as of this writing. Actually the road trip was more than an hour view of fucked mountains, rivers and seas located on the boundary of Surigao del Norte and del Sur (Noventa). Really really depressing.
Here’s a closer look via Google Earth:
If Bohol has Chocolate Hills, Surigao has Chocolate mountains and rivers and seas too.
Some thoughts to ponder:
1. If mining helps, then why the areas with big mining companies are also the poorest? Think of Masbate, Benguet, Surigao, Dinagat Island, Mindoro, Zamboanga, etc.
2. Who really benefits the mining activities on our country? The politicos? Foreigners? Other countries?
3. People say that the raw products are shipped to Japan and China. Then shipped back to the Philippines to be sold as finished products. Who gained? Who is fucked?
4. Mining contributes only .91% to GDP and only 3.75% to employment. I even met a 14-year old who worked in a small mining company before. Mining practice child labor too?
5. The CARAGA Region which includes Surigao is one of the most beautiful region I ever explored. Really really good potential on tourism. Why can’t they develop these areas into tourism destination? Surigao has tarsiers, flora and fauna that can only be found in the Surigao mountains, islands more gorgeous than Boracay and Coron, caves, surf spots and more. Why mining?
Progress and development should be pro-life and sustainable. Mining means death. I think the Catholic Church who has a lot to say against RH bill should really focus on this. Or any other religion, group or organization who promotes life should do something about it. I want my kids and grandkids see the beauty of this region and I’m writing this so the next generation would enjoy the beauty of nature in this part of the world.
So they say that they are PRO-RESPONSIBLE MINING? So what if I go rape their daughters and tell them, “Please don’t worry, I would rape them ‘responsibly’?”
I don’t think denuded mountains, chocolate rivers, dead seas and the massacre of wildlife mean ‘responsible’ mining. FUCK YOU!
I really pray that you learn to eat nickel and ores someday.
I want to end the post with an American Indian Proverb,
Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
If you can’t take the cursing, please read Conversation: Tuki, Boracay and Surigao. It’s much more mellow, child-friendly too.