Scene: Motivational speaker and author Bo Sanchez at the 7th year anniversary of the Feast Tagbilaran last Friday at the Bohol Cultural Center. Everyone was inspired and blessed.
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There are worlds within worlds... Everything in our world is connected by the delicate strands of the web of life, which is a balance between the forces of destruction and the magical forces of creation.- Magi Lune to Crista (Fern Gully)
To my friends and I, Friday’s Earth Day was our celebration.
It was a night when my friends’ mixed bag of spirituality culminates in a wild night of music, art, nature, food and love.
Different Earth Day activities were held to show our general appreciation for the planet.
The Earth Day celebration was marked by the country’s signing of the Paris Agreement, a legally binding agreement forged between United Nations member-countries held in Paris, France, in December last year, to reduce carbon emission and limit global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In Tagbilaran City, members and supporters of the Bohol Nature Conservation Society (Bonaconso) gathered on Friday morning to celebrate Earth Day with a special ritual.
At night, a “Bohol Earth Day Concert” was held at the K of C promenade with Tadiyandi and multiawarded singer-songwriter Joey Ayala. Ayala is a towering figure in the local music scene, his critically-acclaimed albums are inspired by Mother Nature and social concerns. As a musician and artist, he believed in the healing power of song, as well as the connection to the earth that it provided.
Singer-songwriter Joey Ayala who is known for his songs’
relevance of subject matter – environment, society, values –
celebrates Earth Day in Bohol province. Leo Udtohan/Chronicle
The Climate Change Primer of Bonaconso said that man’s disregard to God’s call to cultivate and take care of Earth, we are faced with the great havoc mostly inflicted by man’s activities which we call in this present age as “Climate Change” or “Global warming.”
Scientists agree that climate change is a real and urgent threat.
Pat Ruiz, president of Bonaconso, blamed the environmentally destructive projects that contributed to the effects of the El Niño, which is strongly being felt in various parts of the country.
The Earth Day Celebration was also significant as the province of Bohol is experiencing deepening drought due to El Niño.
The drought is aggravating the situation in the countryside. The farmers are reeling from the effects of the dry spell that is expected to last either late May or early June.
Bohol’s central ground and northern lowlands have fertile grounds and abundant water supply. It has 2,224 springs, 59 rivers and 200 creeks.
However, the springs and creeks as well as the four major dams-- Malinao Dam in Pilar town, Bayongan Dam in San Miguel town, Capayas Dam in Ubay town and Zamora Dam in Talibon town—in the province are drying up.
According to Larry Pamugas, assistant provincial agriculturist, 42 of the 47 towns in Bohol, were affected.
Pamugas said at least P388M worth of crops had been damaged by the drought in Bohol which had not experienced any downpour since January.
The drought did not just affect the farmlands but also the sources of drinking water of residents especially those in the mountain areas.
“We lack portable water. Other municipalities use firetrucks just to supply water in their respective barangays,” Pamugas said.
In the municipalities of Albur and Dauis, local officials ordered the towns' firetrucks to deliver water to some barangays where the water sources have dried up. Some residents would line up on the streets, bringing their empty gallons, waiting for the firetrucks to arrive.
Russel Villas, Sangguniang Bayan secretary and Information Officer of Antequera town, said surface water sources such as springs and ponds have dried up. The water level of their reservoir in Barangays Tabuan and Ubojan has also gone down due to the drought.
The municipality of Antequera has been placed under a state of calamity since March 21 when their water supply has dwindled, affecting all its 21 barangays and the farmlands.
Antequera officials bought water tanks that were used to ration potable drinking water to barangays.
Potable drinking water is a problem especially in Barangay Bantolinao since one third of its 1,226 residents depend on community pumps and deep wells.
Since water has become a precious commodity, the village has started to strictly implement a barangay ordinance that prohibits bathing in the water pump to limit the use of water to drinking.
A wooden signage posted in the area reads: “Ginadili ang pagkaligo dinhing dapita kay nagkainit ang panahon...P200 ag multa kung naay malego. Thank you (It is not allowed to bathe here due to the intense hot weather. A fine of P200 will be imposed on those who take a bath).”
Bantolinao Barangay Captain Conrada Pagod said the ordinance has been in existence since 2014 which bans bathing and washing in traditional water source such as tubod (creeks) in order not to pollute their water source.
First offense carries a penalty of P100, P200 for second offense and P300 for third offense.
“Dili na paliguan ang tubod karung panahuna sa among barangay. Sa tubod tigkuha og imnunon kay dili man tigpalit og bottled water kay mahal (Bathing in the creek is not allowed in our village especially now. We get our drinking water from the creeks because bottled water is expensive),”Pagod said.
Women from Bantolinao and other neighboring barangays have to walk at least 7 km to go to a nearest river in Barangay Can-umay to wash their clothes.
In some towns, women and children spend hours walking to and from existing pumps and wells just to provide water for their families.
Ruiz said reclamation projects will not only bring more environmental devastation, and more community displacements, and worsen the city’s vulnerabilities to climate change.
Bonaconso also emphasized on morality crisis. The youth today are taught they must change the world, not their souls. So, they change the world, and it becomes worse. Without moral absolutes to distinguish right from wrong, there is no real basis for ethics.
Bonaconso also said we have to redeem the entire created order for God by making all things right in the environment-ecologically, socially, morally and spiritually.
We are hopeful that the future generation will inherit a cleaner, healthier and a safer planet.
6,000 crowd for Roxas-Robredo rally
Ubay, Bohol – Presidential candidate Mar Roxas and his running-mate Rep. Leni Robredo, including some senatorial bets of the Daang Matuwid coalition, on Wednesday night campaigned in Bohol province, the bailiwick of the LP party.
At least 3,000 people gathered here to show their support for the Roxas-Robredo tandem at the Ubay public market at around 6 p.m.
Ubay town, which has a registered voters of 40,803 and is located 113 km from capital city of Tagbilaran, is considered the turf of incumbent 2nd district Congressman Aristotle “Aris” Aumentado of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) who is supporting Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Roxas told the crowd that he would continue the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) if he will be elected president.
Robredo, who turned 52 yesterday, also received a birthday cake shaped like a slipper prepared for her by the local LP leaders. The supporters sang for her the customary birthday song.
Asked what would be her birthday wish, she answered, “ano lang po, yung sa akin parati lang good health at tsaka safety ng pamilya.”
She also said she didn’t wish to win the May 9 elections.
“Sa akin po, hindi ko winiwish yun, kug anong ibibigay sa akin handa kong tatanggapin,” she said.
Robredo said she was overwhelmed and at the same time humbled after leading in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) mobile survey commissioned by TV5 for the vice presidential aspirants.
“Merun pang 19 days, pero masaya tayo sa results ng pinakabagong survey dahil nangunguna tayo. Pero hindi siya dahilan para makapanti tayo. Mahigit 2 linggo at marami pang mangyayari. Kaya lalo pa nating sisipagan sa susunod na mga araw. Naniniwala tayo po tayo kasi hindi ito nagdedetermine ng election pero magandang basehan kung ano ang pulso ng tao at saan pa kami magtrabaho,” she said.
Robredo obtained 30 percent, three points ahead of Marcos who got 27 percent while Escudero got 25 percent. Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and Gregorio Honasan II got 13, 3 and 1 percent, respectively.
After Ubay’s rally, the tandem proceeded to Pilar town, to attend another rally with an estimated crowd of 3,000 at Pilar municipal ground.
Pilar has 15,169 registered voters.
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