the few times i read the newspapers i always find myself putting the darned thing down and shaking my head. yesterday was no exception.
i glanced at a day-old inquirer and was greeted with the sight of the acacia trees lining mcarthur highway along san fernando, pampanga. i actually smiled when i saw that there were paintings on the trunks, recalling how every time we pass through there, we tell the kids how beautiful the canopy of branches is.
naturally i read the article and found myself aghast at what i read. they are going to cut those trees and the paintings were done by artists protesting the road widening.
the DENR (department of environment and natural resources) has given a permit to the DPWH (department of public works and highways) to cut literally thousands of trees for road widening purposes. you can read the article here.
sure, the trees are not in danger of extinction. sure, the DPWH was required to replace each tree with 30 saplings, and oh, they didn't have the budget for it but they scraped enough to comply. wow. aren't they just so wonderful? saplings, in place of trees that are probably older than those idiots in power.
5,442 trees. some to be moved, most to be cut. for what? so we can cut the travel time from north to south? oh come on. in this day and age of conservation, let's make way for more cars, and less trees. bullshit.
oh, and let's not forget the hare-brained joint venture between SM and GSIS. the joint venture will build condotels in the mini forest in between UP baguio and the Supreme Court. oh they'll just cut about 300 trees and transfer about a hundred. no big deal. then they'll build condotels that will guarantee traffic in the area, and oh, dead trees. the city declared the area as a park and garden zone. so GSIS, in the interest of its members, sues the government. read the article here.
yes, we need more buildings and wider roads so we can buy more cars. we need more pollution, too. we don't have enough at the moment, you see. right now we still get a whiff or two of fresh air. let's do away with that, shall we? and we might as well stop calling baguio the city of pines.
and one day, i'm going to tell my grand kids to go to the museum to visit a real live tree. that may be the only place where they'll find one.