Speak It Out

Work is my commitment. Learning is my passion. Faith is my strength. Love is my life.

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Location: Manila, Philippines

The name Ardythe:good war (Anglo-saxon); flowering field (Hebrew); spiritual prosperity (Swedish); Norwegian goddess.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Last post for the year

Ika-29 ng Disyembre, 2004

Bago ko kayo batiin ng Happy New Year, ipapaalala ko muna na RIZAL DAY bukas...

Nakikinita-kinita ko na na pagpasok ng 2005 ay tambak na naman ang trabaho ko at sangkatutak na namang tawag at email ang matatanggap ko...yung iba may kasama pang bad words...galing sa mga kliyente.

I can only say: God grant me a job that I can use my course. Let me fulfill the dreams.


After the Holdays

After the holidays I know I am in for a more pressured day: the clients ask us to do what we can do. No, it is not ask, they are pestering us and pressuring us and demanding from us and threatening us. I was like in an oven yesterday and of course doing what they wanted requires just one thing: money.

When I got home I felt so tired that I do not want to do anythign except eat and sleep.

But then some things just make me feel good.

I was walking home and I saw that the Cathedral was more illuminated than usual. I know how many lights they have but I never imagined that they have more.

Then other people also texted me. I invited Alvin, Adel, Ronald and Francis for a dinner today but they were all booked. (Adel and Ronald have been pretty thrifty these days, Alvin has to go jogging as part of his basic mountaineering course and Francis is working at Libis). But what made me feel better was that Francis texted Love you and as his friend, I replied I love you too. To my greater pleasure he said I love you more. I am really sweet to my friends. Even forwarded quotes make me happy.

And I'm so cool today. I know I have to monitor the release of a lot of shipments today. CJ has been sending me messages through YM. I said before that we are friends. On top of that I signed my appointment paper as a regular employee.

The Hassles and Joys of Christmas

December 23

I left the office for the tribute to out deceased President even though I still had to finish a few more things. I want to finish them but my presence is also needed for the tribute. So we hailed a cab, and inside I noticed that I was still wearing my ID, an indicator that I did not swipe for the time out. So I ran up the stairs and my companion also did (she is my supervisor, and aside from that she also almost forgot her phone). True enough, though there was no second reading, I was the alternate for the prayers of the faithful (for the deceased faithful) because the one who was tasked for that refused to do so. And I could not find what I was supposed to read easily. Then dinner. The food was good but I tasted that the chicken still lacked a little more flavor. The veggies (chopsuey) was also overcooked. The buko pandan salad lacked cream. The beef stew was fine. That was nice.

December 24

I went to the office due to some unfinished task from last night. I only stayed Then I went to Southmall to get moolah from the bank. It was good that the bank was only up to 3pm and I arrived at quarter to 4, because that will mean that I will be only spending cash in my wallet and from the atm, not from those in my bank book. My mom asked me to buy a few items, 3 items, from the grocery and horror of horrors! I was in line at 4:22 pm, and was out of the cashier by 5:01 pm. I swear I'm never going to do the groceries again when it is the eve of Christmas or New Year for that matter.

As the night wore on we watched "The Debut," an internationally acclaimed film. It tells of a Fil-am who grew up on the States and disowns his culture. He also learned to appreciate that during his sister's birthday. We do not have Noche Buena on previous Christmasses because we eat during the day but my mom suggested that we have one, I think it did not differ much from our Christmas breakfast and lunch.

December 25

The day that we have all been waiting for. We heard mass and then breakfast and then went our usual way. We also watched Murder by Numbers. I got nothing from my wish list. But that's not bad, The spirit is here. I don't know how many people greeted me but I remember them all, and those I greeted.

December 26

I really had to go to the bank. I was running short of moolah and I definitely refuse to ask from my parents. So there I went and bought my medicine at Mercury Drug. While I was there I noticed that the man beside me was buying a lot of medicines which used to be my medicines. Asthma can really be costly. I am glad that mine is under control because of continued medication and lots of care. † However my maintenance medicine went up by Php75.00! I have to buy this every month too. On Mercury TV, it said that MSG (monosodium glutamate) can trigger asthma attacks. We do not use msg for our meals.

And oh, by the way, I also bought loaf bread since there was none in the house and I was like whining for it for two days! And more stuff.

Since I have been suggesting that we go to Greenhills to see the moving mannequins, only my mom was eager to go. My youngest sister was just so-so. The younger one refused to go but when I said I still have to do some shopping, it became a magic word! Off we went in the afternoon. I got my beloved 3310 a new keypad, my youngest sister a new housing for her 5210. And we bought some gifts. I bought a small hand for scratching the back, and my younger sister a keychain. My youngest sister was amazed at how low I can haggle. After that we watched the show for the moving mannequins. It lasted for 15 minutes and they have a 15-minute interval too. The show was about how the Filipinos celebrate Christmas. There was lechoning, visiting of relatives, caroling., games, and mass,. What really excited the audience was when the boy was aiming for the prize at palosebo (a game wherein the player had to climb an oiled coconut pole to reach the prize). I was amazed at how the statue of the holy family over the Church seemed like a silhoutte but it was not when the scene was about them. We had our supper around 9 and we ate Japanese food (I don't know why my mom hates Japanese rice) and I think I was really hungry because I had a third serving of rice! We got home at around midnight.

December 27

It felt like a Sunday but I was well rested. We just watched Silence of the Lambs. I am a Jodie Foster fan.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Final Pre-Chritmas Post


I'm only doing my shopping today for the family. Friends are next week. A little delayed this year huh? but it doesn't matter. What is important is the spirit.

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(Okay I just copied this and pasted from my Friendster home.)


The last day for the novena for Christmas. The last day for the dawn masses.

The message is clear, Christmas is here! We have waited for this, as it only comes once a year. We have prayed for the coming of the Messiah. Though he is not physically present, he is with us. The greatest gift that we can offer him is our hearts.

I have completed it. Will my prayers and wishes be now heard? I'm sure God hears them but He has not granted them yet. I can wait, and I believe.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


I just came back from giving Christmas gifts to those who have my clients and me as their client (got it?). I am exhausted. I never expected anything, but I received some. hahaha. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


The air was cold and I wanted to extend my sleep. But the clock was waking me up, and so did the bells...

Some of the people who hear the dawn mass believe that if they complete it, their wishes will be granted. This is the first time that I did, and as much as I'd like to believe, I do not. Prayers and wishes will be heard in time. We only have to wait. At the same time of our patience, we continue to trust in the Lord. There is no need to have this kind of devotion, as He knows, and our perseverance will pay off. In time. In the right time. They can be real in the ways and appearance that we dream off, or we can have something better. What is more important is faith,

The Polar Express

I went to SM Manila last December 21 to watch The Polar Express. To my dismay, they have a cinema holiday. Last night I went back to accompany my friend and then we watched it.

It was a film about the spirit of Christmas. Seeing is believing. Or is it? The film is full of suspense on how they are gonna make it to the North Pole. I can feel myself holding my breath.

Do you believe in Christmas? Do you believe in Santa Claus and the elves and everything that is supposed to happen to make children receive their gifts? I never imagined that the North Pole could be that busy and high-tech! You can only see Santa and hear the sleigh bells if you believe.

Believing isn't seeing. Sometimes the real things in this world are those that cannot be seen.

What was lacking in the film? It was that the children believed in Santa but the real meaning of Christmas was not there, which is the birth of Christ the Messiah.

Anyway, the film was superb, in characters, in actualization, and in message.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004


I thought he is not going to celebrate the mass, for he is famous for making the parishioners feel sleepy. But the sound system seemed better.

Magnificat. This is Mary spreading the joy that she feels. But where do we find joy? It is not from the outside, but from within. Within our hearts. Some people search for joy in the most familiar places...malls, carnivals, beer houses, Hong Kong. The joy can also be found in people, friends, illegal activites. But these are all fake joys. None of them is true. The genuine joy can only be found in our hearts. Mostly with the presence of the Lord.

Hannah from the old testament is known to be barren, yet she offered her child Samuel to the Lord. All prayers can be granted in due time. One only has to pray for them sincerely, and God will grant it, perhaps in a better way.

Seven dawn masses. Two to go.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Back at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

Mary traveled far to visit her cousin Elizabeth, tell her of the good news and share her blessings.

Despite the typhoons and devastations our country has suffered and endured, it still cannot stop the coming of Christmas. Fr. Genaro Diwa (who looks like Carlo Han) told us that he had a parishioner Saturday morning whose church has been buried in a mud, and during the first misa de gallo, it was most dramatic. They have a single lantern in the entire church, and as the bishop of Infanta, Quezon lighted it, he reminded them that that light will be a symbol of their hope and rising. How many of us are just wasting our time, that instead of being in the church physically, we are dozing of during the readings, It is better if we just stay at home and continue our sweet slumber. Or those who are in the church just to be with the people they court. (Fr. Diwa is really strict. He even pointed to those at the back.) We are there because we are opening our hearts, and widening them so that Christ can enter. Instead of thinking what we will be receiving or how much (the peso value) of the gifts, why not concentrate more on what we can give, on what we can do?

Monday, December 20, 2004


Church in Cavite, an anticipated mass So I heard two masses in a day but for different dates.

The mass was welcoming Jesus into our hearts. The fifth misa de gallo is the most special. If we cannot have any space for his message, then our efforts to change this world is futile. Christmas is about him, not gifts or splendor.

Unusual Weekend

I went to our President's wake and stayed there till 10:30 pm Friday night. When I arrived my mom asked who was at the door and my dad Si Ardythe sarcastically. I later found out that my youngest sister should be at home at 9pm. I did not report to work last Saturday because I had to go to Laguna in the afternoon. In fact, I slept all day last Saturday, after breakfast and after lunch. I decided to leave before 4pm. Traffic was really heavy. From our house to Las Pi–as, travel should be only 10 minutes but it took me more than an hour. I was in Alabang 30 minutes later and bought a gift at the Metropolis, since it was the mall nearest the expressway. 6 pm , I still could not get a bus ride and then I decided to take a van instead. We left at 7. Of course, traffic was awesome at Calamba that I arrived at past 8! (Imagine, total travel time should be less than two hours alone.)

Cirio was alone at the resort till I came. We had a little talk and then a few more minutes the resident members of Haribon arrived. We had supper first. The food was nice, except for the adobong manok had soup! I told them that whoever cooked it will fail HNF 11! Goodness! Later on Dondon came. Oh how I missed my batchmate! He hugged me and we chatted for some time. (Dondon is known for not being expressive with his feelings, so I really appreciated that.) He immediately shelled some money, Php500, for drinks! Then there was a program among the members. The alumni were the jurors. (Actually, it was I alone who was giving them the score, the rest was just telling me who's better.) We had some games to. Mummy-making was just a waste of tissue paper, to think that we are an environmental activist group. I was not in favor of the team that won because their mummy was only covered from the head to the waist, and one of the teams had everything covered except the head, and the last team, except the feet. There was also this game called suck and blow (I've been playing this since highschool) which evolved to bite and bite due to conservativeness. Another game was I dare you and the participants' names were drawn. I was among them and luckily it was mild. Last of the games was roll the calamansi in a team of 4 members (I do not know how is this called) . I played this game last year and we used quail eggs. (Alvin was my partner.)

I saw that Mell and Dondon had Angels and Demons (and that was the time that Frank's name got mentioned. We have the Da Vinci code and Angels and Demons in a PDF file in our pc at our house.)

After that, videoke time! I managed to sing 3 songs in the night. Complicated got a score of 99, Runaway 95, Closer You and I 95.

I slept at past 1am even though the videoke apparatus was just outside our room. I told Mell that we'd wake up at 3:30. I set my alarm and woke up at 3:42, meaning my alarm was unattended twice. I asked Mell why he didn't wake me up, and he said that he got up early. Mell seemed to know the way so we went off with other members. Then we went back and asked for directions. Out of nowhere, Cirio suddenly appeared and asked for directions back to the resort. I even teased him if he wants to hear the mass. (Cirio is an atheist.) The chapel was really small and we were outside and it was barely audible and it was really hard to concentrate because of the talking crowd and passing vehicles but I managed to hear it anyway.

After the mass we went back to the resort and sang Dreaming of You 97 and Missing You 95. Oh, I really get good scores at the videoke. hehehe. All this time Cirio was waving his banner of Globe autoload and was shouting AUTOLOAD to all of us, including those who are sleeping the rooms. (He got drunk from his other organization, coz no one was at ours). What really made me laugh was when he entered the third room and cautiously opened the screen door, the main door, very slowly, and waited for a few more seconds,a and shouted AUTOLOAD! I was watching him the whole time. Our breakfast was sopas and contrary to the adobo. this one dried up. No one admitted who the cook was.

We left at past 6am, after the photo signing etc. I went with Mitch and we were almost asleep at the bus though I really wanted to finish the movie You Only Live Twice, a James Bond featuring Sean Connery. Travel time was unusually fast. I was home around 8 am. After breakfast I was really sleepy but I restrained from dozing off because I have to watch Lovers in Paris (hehehe). After that I slept till past 4pm. That's the only time I had lunch.

In the evening I heard the anticipated mass for today.

Based on the email I got this morning, Dondon was wondering why no one got drunk. Well who would? I had a taste and it was very very diluted, like water. And I am very sensitive to alcohol taste and intake.


Different church in Laguna

It was hard to concentrate because the chapel was already filled and we were outside. Here are some insights that I would like to share.

The presence of the angels with humans is a symbol that God guides His people. (Angels are genderless.) That is why we have Gabriel and Raphael. Gabriel is God's messenger. He (I'll use the masculine form) is the one who told Mary that He has chosen her to be the mother of His Son. He also told her about Elizabeth, her cousin, believed to be barren, is six months pregnant. Mary is a Virgin, so how could it be? With the grace of God, everything can happen.

Nowadays, there is no such thing as an Immaculate Conception, and it is a shame if a bride is bearing a child.


Different church

The homily was about Joseph. Joseph is a carpenter engaged to Mary. He loved and respected her. yet when he knew that Mary was infanticipating, he thought of leaving her, because he wants her to maintain the secrecy. Yet an angel told him that it is the Father who has chosen Mary to be the bearer of His Son, and that he should have no worries. Joseph continued his relationship with Mary and he became the father of Jesus.

Joseph is an examplery person. He agreed with whatever the Lord said. He is a believer. He never complained As long as he was doing God's will.

Friday, December 17, 2004


The Pondo ng Pinoy was launched a few months back by the Archbishop. This includes a feeding program. PNP stand for Pag-ibig ng Panginoon and Pag-asa ng Pilipino. If everyone can share twnety0five centavos everyday in their makeshift banks (aka piggy bank or alkansiya), then they can all help in rebuiding the lives of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

It has Begun

The Arctic is melting (a report from WWF).

Ric Rabe wrote this about the deforestation status in the Philippines.
The Philippines has lost at least 80 percent of its original forest cover since the 16th century. This has also earned the notoriety in Southeast Asia as the only country with the thinnest forest cover. The countryÕs remaining forest cover is found mostly in Palawan, Mindanao and the uplands of northern Luzon.

An environmental group in Aurora foresees that all forest cover will be gone by the end of this decade (or 2010) if logging operations continue at their present pace. Citing data from the Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) and theDepartment of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Dr. Perry Ong, a professor of Biology at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, laces the PhilippinesÕ original forest cover at 27 million has. or 270,000 sq. kms. Or 90 percent of the countryÕs total land area (30 million has. or 300,000 sq. kms.), at the beginning of the Spanish colonial period (1565-1898).

OngÕs paper, State of Philippine Biodiversity: Changing Mindscapes Amidst the Crisis, shows the Philippine forest cover to have receded to about 8,000 sq. kms or 8 million has. sometime after 1986. The latest data from the DENR shows the Philippines has only 7.171 million has. of forest land, or 23.9 percent of the countryÕs total land area (30 million has. or 300,000 sq. kms) as of this year. This means that the remaining forest cover constitutes 25 percent of the countryÕs original forest land. (The DENRÕs figures are however disputed by other sources. Other estimates place the forest cover in 1987 at 5.4M has. to 6.6M has. The Global Agricultural Information Network of the U.S.De partment of Agriculture places the PhilippinesÕ forest at 5.2 million hectares in 2002 which is slightly below 18 percent of the countryÕs original forest land. This shows the country has lost 82 percent of its forest.)

In any case, OngÕs paper and the latest deforestation data are significant in the light of flash floods caused by the four storms and typhoons that recently hit the country Ð particularly the provinces of Quezon, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, and Rizal in a span of only two weeks Ð killing 937 people and damaging P4.6 billion ($82.14 million based on a $1:P56 exchange rate) worth of property, based on a report from the governmentÕs National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). From the same report, 837 people are still missing while 752 were injured. The rapid loss of the countryÕs forest cover is seen as a major culprit in the flash floods that wrought the massive damage.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), in its 2003 report The State of the WorldÕs Forests, places the PhilippinesÕ rate of deforestation at 1.4 percent annually from 1990 to 2000, or -89,000 has. In a recent e-mail to Bulatlat, Joey Estriber, secretary of the Aurora-based Multi-Sectoral Action Group (MSAG) sent information showing that the Philippines is one of the countries with the highest rate of mountain deforestation, and is the Southeast Asian country with the thinnest forest cover. While the country may turn to various reforestation programs by both government and private sectors, the signs are not very encouraging. The DENR claims that from 1990 to 2000, the reforestation rate was only 68,379 has. a year. If true, this translates to a total of 683,790 has. reforested for the period.

If the government and private-sector reforestation programs were able to reforest a total of 683,790 has.from 1990 to 2000 and the extent of forest change for the same period was Ð89,000 has., then for the said period the country was losing 77,279 has. yearly as opposed to only 68,379 has. being reforested annually for the same period. The MSAG fears that the Philippines may lose all of its forest cover by the end of the presentdecade if logging operations continue at their present pace. Legal and illegal logging: national The catastrophe that hit Aurora and other Central Luzon provinces during the recent typhoons forced the government to train its guns on illegal loggers, withDENR Secretary Michael Defensor orde ring a ban on logging operations in Quezon, Aurora, and Nueva Ecija and forming an eight-man team to investigate illegal logging operations in the said provinces. He also sacked the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officers (PENROs) in the said provinces, amid complaints that they are in cahoots with illegal loggers.

But environmental groups point to legal logging as also a culprit Ð if not the bigger culprit. As of last Nov. 30, the DENR issued 14 TLAs in the CAR and Regions II, III,
IVA (Cavite-Laguna-Batangas-Rizal-Quezon), IX, X, XIII, and the ARMM. The localities in which these TLAs are in force have a total land area of 566,589 has. Of these, the TLAs cover a total of 320,211 has. Ð or 56.51 percent. Meanwhile, as ofDec. 31, 2001, the number of integrated forest management agreements (IFMAs) issued by the DENR was185, covering a total area of 612,728 has. The existing TLAs as of last Nov. 30 and the issued IFMAs as of Dec. 31, 2001, combined, already cover 933,039 has. in all Ð or 13 percent of the countryÕs forest cover based on the DENRÕs latest data.

In Aurora alone, one of the provinces most heavily affected by logging, there are 10 companies that hold logging permits, covering a total of 247,722 has, as of August 2003. These are: Inter-Pacific Forest Resources Corp. (Dilasag, 50,000 has.), Verdant Agroforest Development Corp. (Dipaculao, Aurora and Nagtipunan, Quirino Ð 45,600 has.), Pacific Timber Export Corp. (Dilasag, Aurora and Dinapigue, Isabela Ð 33,454 has.), Green Square Properties and Resources Corp. (Dingalan, 27,852 has.), Industries Development Corp. (Dilasag-Casiguran-Dingalan, 57,069 has.); RCC Timber Co. (Dinalungan, 23,140 has.), Benson Realty Development Corp. (San Luis, 982 has.), San Roque Sawmill Corp. (San Luis, 995 has.), and Toplite Lumber Corp. (Dipac, 8,630 has.). The Pacific Export Timber Corp. currently has an IFMA covering 996 has. in Dilasag under process. Adding the 996 has. covered by the IFMA of the Pacific Timber Export Corp. that is under process, the logging permits in Aurora already encompass a total of 248,718 has. Ðwhich amount to 82.91 percent of Aurora's estimated 300,000-ha. land area. Log ban The MSAG is calling for the cancellation of the permits of the nine companies operating in Aurora.

In Congress, representatives of the progressive party-list groups Bayan Muna (People First), Anakpawis (Toiling Masses) and Gabriela WomenÕs Party (GWP) have filed a joint resolution calling on the Macapagal-Arroyo administration to immediately ban all commercial logging and mining operations by immediately and "unconditionally" canceling the licenses of all logging and mining operations and concessions. Bulatlat This story was taken from Bulatlat, the Philippines's alternative weekly newsmagazine (www.bulatlat.com, www.bulatlat.net, www.bulatlat.org). Vol. IV,No.45,December12-18,2004


Ang Kilusang Masa Laban sa Logging sa Hilagang Silangang Luzon ng 1990Õs at Ang Delubyo ng 2004
Hindi nagpabaya ang masa at ang kanilang kilusan na ilantad at labanan ang mga mapanirang epekto ng logging na ngayon ay inaangkin ng mga nasa awtoridad na waring kanila. Kailanman hindi mananaig ang kasinungalingan laban sa katotothanan.
Ipinadala ni Alpie Garcia

Philippine Peasant Support Network(Pesante)-USA, Los Angeles, California Inilathala ng Bulatlat

Matapos ang malagim na trahedya ng apat na magkakasunod na bagyo na lumikha ng delubyo sa Silangang Luzon nitong 2004, umarya na naman ang Ponsio Pilatong mga pulitiko, militar at lalo na ang President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sa pagtuturu-turuan.

Nagsisisihan sila responsibilidad sa naganap na hambalos sa may 13 milyong apektado ng baha at putik ng rumaragasang mga troso na pumuti ng libong buhay at nagwasak ng mga milyong halaga ng ari-arian. Ngunit higit na nakakasuka sa lahat ang posisyon ng Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) na ipagpatuloy ang legal na logging at kunwaÕy patigilin ang illegal logging at magdiin sa
reforestration o pagtatanim ng puno. Para bang walang nangyaring delubyo at sa kasabihan sa ingles; "Business as Usual."

Sa kabilang panig, may mga indibidwal at organisasyon lalo na ang mga nasa Kongreso, mass media, at mga organisasyong pribado( NGOÕs) na nagsasamantala rin sa kalagayan at pinalalabas na sila ang bida sa " krusada laban sa pagkawasak ng kalikasan at sa pagtatanggol nito." KayaÕt kinakailangang bakasin at muling balikan ang kasaysayan para maipakita ang mga ugat ng delubyong naganap at kung sino ang responsible dito.

Ang Mga Dambuhalang Kompanya ng Logging
Ang isang mariing puna na naririnig ay laban sa NPA. Sinasabing ang NPA ang nasa bundok ngunit bakit hindi nila naipagtanggol ang kagubatan laban sa pangwawasak ng mga kompanya ng logging na ari ng mga dayuhan at mga lokal na warlords?

Ngunit bakit hindi tinatanong, mula noong 1987 hanggang nitong 1995- may tatlong dibisyon ng military sa Cagayan ValleyÑdalawang dibisyon ng armi Ð ang 5th at 7th Division at ang halos laking dibisyong PNP, bakit hindi nila napatigil ang logging at ang pagkawasak ng kalikasan? Bakit ang NPA ang pinupuruhan gayong ang military at ang PNP ang dapat sanang pangunahing nagpapatupad ng batas?

Mula pa nooong 1980Õs ilang ulit naganap ang matitindi at madudugong enkwentro sa pagitan ng NPA at ng mg apwersa ng AFP na nagbabantay sa lugar na ito. Ang buong silangang bahagi ng Isabela at Aurora ay nagmistulang larangan ng digma sa panahong ito. Makikita ang saklaw at lawak ng logging sa pasya ng DENR sa pagbibigay nito ng 200 IFMAs sa buong bansa na may 19,523 ektarya. Pito dito ang nasa Aurora, apat sa Quezon at isa sa Nueva Ecija, na may lawak na 207,887 ha.

Halimbawa sa 14 Timber Licencee Agreement(TLAs), ang tatlong malalaking kompanya ay ang Pacific Timber Export Corp. na pag-aari ng isang Fernando Lu sa Dinapigue, Isabela and Dilasag, Aurora; ang Verdant Agroforest Development Corp. ari daw ng isang Jimmy Ng ( sa Dipaculao, Aurora, atGeneral Nakar, Quezon), at ang Inter-Pacific Forest Resources Corp.dating United Timber Licenses Inc., (sa Dipaculao at General Nakar) na dating pag-aari ng pamilya ng yumaong Congressman Puzon . Nasa Aurora, ang Industries Development Corp. (pag-aaari ni Joselito Ong Jr.); Pacific Timber Export Corp (Fernando Lu); San Roque Sawmill Corp. (Ching Sen Ben); Benson Realty & Development Corp. (Ben Ching); Industries Development Corp. (Joselito Ong); RCC Timber Co. Inc. (Roberto Hallare), at ang Toplite Lumber (Johnny Chua). Kung susuriin ang mga kompanyang ito ay hindi lamang sa Aurora nagpuputol ng kahoy kundi sa Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya at Quirino at nilalabas nila sa may tabing dagat dahil mas mabilis maglabas doon ng troso kaysa idaan sa Cagayan Valley road.

Malinaw na ang mga may TLA ay may IFMA rin. Kaya sino ang lolokohin ng DENR na bawal ang illegal na logging pero pwede ang legal na logging?

Sa Quezon, ang may IFMA ay ang Guanzon Lime Development Corp. (ari ni Antonio Guanzon); Tecombro Agri Development Corp.; International Hardwood Veneer Corp. of the Philippines (Carolina Young), at Sta. Cecilia Sawmills. Ang nag-iisang IFMA holder sa Nueva Ecija is Orientville Development Corp. Batay ito sa report mismo ng DENR. Simple lamang ang kasagutanÑkung nasaan ang logging, ang sawmill at ang illegal na Gawain, naroon ang military at pulisya.

Pakikibakang Masa laban sa Mapanirang Logging
Mula pa noong kalagitnaan ng 1970Õs dahil sa matinding pagtotroso sa Cagayan Vallley, lalo na sa pagkaktuklas ng bagong makinang portable- ang "Chainsaw" umubha ang suliranin sa pagkawasak ng kalikasan. Nagsulputan ang mga malalaking sawmills sa Cagayan Valley para iproseso ang mga kahoy na napuputol sa kagubatan.
Nabuo ang mga bagong baryo ng mga taong gusting magbukas ng kaingin sa mga lugar na nabuksan ng logging. Ito ang naging kaayusan ng pagdami ng populasyon sa Cagayan Valley lalo na nang diumanoÕy masugpo ng AFP ang NPA sa Silangang bahagi ng Isabela.

Hindi lamang ang pagkakaingin ang naging hanap-buhay ng mga tao kundi na paggawa ng mga mwebles (furniture) at pagraratan (pagaani ng rattan) na ginagamit sa paggawa ng mga mbwebles atiba pang mga artikulong paexport. Marami ring tagabaryo ang nabigyan ng hanap-buhay bilang mga tagalinis ng kalsada ng logging(kaminero) at iba pang hanapbuhay sa sawmill at sa cutting area tulad ng pagluluto at pagtulong sa mga kagamitang panglogging tulad ng truck at bulldozers.

Ngunit para sa mga masang nakatira sa bundok at patag, maging ang mga nagtratrabaho sa logging alam nila ang masamang epekto ng pagkawasak ng kalikasan. Naging tampok ito noong 1981 nang mawasak ang baryo Bintacan, Ilagan, Isabela at mahigit na ilang daang tao ang namatay ng gumuho ang logpan( ipunan ng troso) at sumagasa ito sa baryo tulad ng naganap sa Ormoc noong 1991 at nitong Nobyembre-Disyembre 2004 sa Quezon, Aurora at Nueva Ecija.

Naging tampok ang paglaban ng masa sa mga masamang epekto ng logging sa Cagayan Valley noong 1990-1992. Unang naitayo sa Cagayan ang Cagayan Anti Logging Movement (CALM), sumunod ang Save the Sierra Madre Mountain (SSMM) at ang Lubong Salakniban Movement(LSM) sa Nueva Vizcaya-Quirino-Aurora mula noong 1990-1995. Sinuportahan na ng Pesante-USA ang mga kilusan ito mula nang maitayo ang mga kilusang pangkalikasan na ito mula 1993.

Instrumental ang mga samahang relihiyoso sa pagsuporta sa mga kilusang ito.Umani rin ng suporta ang mga grupong nabuo mula sa mga progresibong myembro ng media. Ngunit ang mga kilusang ito ay ginipit at pilit winasak ng militar. Halimbawa ang CALM sa isang bayan ng Apayao ay napagbaligtad ng dating Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo at pinaaming sila ay "prente ng NPA" at ginipit ang mga paring tumulong mag-organisa sa kanila. Naging matagumpay lamang ang kilusang ito sa paglalantad sa mga malalaking tao na may interes sa logging at sa epekto ng logging. Ngunit hindi na naging patuloy ang pakikibaka ng mga organisasyong ito dahil sa pagtugaygay at pangigipit ng military at ng mga maykapangyarihan. Ang ilan sa mga paring Katoliko, mga journalist na namuno sa mga organisasyong ito ay kinakailangang umalis para maiwasan ang pagtatangka sa kanilang buhay. Ang ilan nga sa kanila ay napilitang mangibang bansa. Patunay na hindi nagpabaya ang masa at ang kanilang kilusan na ilantad at labanan ang mga mapanirang epekto ng logging na ngayon ay inaangkin ng mga nasa awtoridad na waring kanila. Kailanman hindi mananaig ang kasinungalingan laban sa katotothanan.

Inilathala ng Bulatlat

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Today is the start of the dawn masses also known as midnight mass, misa de gallo, misa de aguinaldo, simbang gabi. On the contrary, I think the bell boy forgot that he had to ring the bell at 3:30 am. I was already awake before that time and the bells were only rung at past 4. I was not late but the church wa already filled 5 minutes before 4:30.

Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales was the main celebrator of the first mass. He told a story: There was a blind vendor whose items in a bilao was turned over by a hurrying man. On top of this, other people stepped on his goods, not taking notice what they are treading upon. Then later a man approached him and picked up the items and even paid for them. The blind vendor asked him, "Are you the Christ?" Why is it that calamities have to befall us before we help each other (referring to the fact that 4 succeeding typhoons devastated the country)? Why not everyday, we practice being a Christian?


I average 50 emails a day in my Yahoo! account alone. Yesterday I got 42 in the morning and there were 24 more in the afternoon. Must be because we have a lot of activities in SFC. Today there were 30+. Yet I never complained about those who send lots of emails. So why is it that some people do? Because they are not me. To think that I have been sending more or less 10 every month. On the contrary, I am amused by those people who have been active in sending emails. They make use of the resources they have.

I belong to 6 Yahoo! groups. Two similar groups are the ones who have been complaining. Why don't they tell me? Why do they have to ask someone to tell me? Such cowardice. And hypocrisy. if they have been complaining for the past 6 months, then why don't they just change their settings and not subscribe to receive individual emails., read from the archive/website? Don't they know how to do that?

I've been wanting to post this last Saturday, But I had to find the less harsh words not to spark another war between me and them. Or maybe of they have read this, then so it will be.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Back, I am

(The line I use in the chatroom.)

Yes I am back, and less one duty because it is not really mine, I was just a temporary CSR for that account. And it took much of my time, especially that I render overtime till night. I wish CJ is here so he can fetch me.


Oh oh It's the Christmas season. I never went to hear the misa de gallo. But I will tomorrow. Besides I live only a few meters away from the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Concepcion. Last year the bells always woke me up.


We have no company Christmas party. Our President died last week. I suggested that we have an outreach program instead and yes, they heeded that. And speaking of company, I became a regular employee last week too (yep, same day).


I said that the photos during the Marian procession will be loaded last Saturday. I ran out of moolah to have the cartidges processed.

what number are you?

You Are the Enthusiast


You are outgoing and playful - always seeing the happy side to life.

You're enthusiastic and excitable. You love anything new.

Multi-talented, you do many things well... and find success easy.

You prefer to keep things light with others. Opening up is hard for you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Gmail invites 2


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Late Night Tests

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to Purgatory!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very High
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Very Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Moderate
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Very Low
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Moderate
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante Inferno Hell Test


-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Kain Tayo sa McDO Nanay o Ipagluto mo ako ng Spaghetti

Yesterday was the birthday of one of my dearly beloved friends Alvin. I'd like to share his thoughts with you.

Tuwing sasapit ang kaarawan ninuman, unang pinasasalamatan si Lord. At ang susunod siguro hindi lahat nakakaisip nito, ang ating mga magulang, especially ang mga nanay natin.

Kaya naman sa espesyal na araw na ito ng aking buhay, matapos kung pasalamatan si Lord sa muli niyang pagpapahiram ng buhay sa akin, nais kung bigyan muli ng pagpupugay ang aking nanay.

Hindi naman ako nanayÕs boy, marahil ay litaw lang at natural lang sa akin ang maging malambing sa aking nanay. Ako sa magkakapatid ang laging nakapulupot sa nanay ko kapag nanlalambing, kapag natutulog sya, tatabihan ko sya at yayakapin, at laging humahalik sa pisngi.

Sa mga nagdaang panahon na nakapiling si nanay, gagap pa ng aking ala-ala ang mga pagkakataong kapiling ko siya. Sa murang isipan ay tinuruan na nya kami ng gawaing bahay, ang maghugas ng pinagkainan. Sa kanya ko nasalamin ang repleksyon ng isang inang huwaran, gagawin lahat para lang sa aming anak niya. Kabilang dyan ay ang pagtulong niya sa aking tatay upang magkaroon ng ekstra income, nagmamanicure nanay ko sa mga co-teacher ng tatay ko, sa Mayor namin at pamilya nito sa aming bayan, sa mga kapitbahay namin, sa mga magulang ng mga kaklase ko at kung sino pang mga kalapit na kakilala. Maraming paa at kamay na ang ÒnaalagaanÓ nya. (kaya ngaÕt napapangiti ako lagi kapag may nararamdaman akong engrown sa kuko sa aking hinlalaki sa paa, naaalala ko sya),

Malinis sa bahay ang nanay ko, tanda ko pa kung pano nya lampasuhin at is-isin ng eskoba na may sabon ang aming sementong sahig dun sa unang bahay na kinalakhan ko, at ng lumipat kami sa bahay ng lolo ko, dun naman sya nagflofloorwax ng pula sa sementong sahig, (dun ko siguro nakuha yung pagiging malinis ko sa bahay, naks! At tanda ko pa noong nasa kolehiyo na ako at kung umuuwi ako sa probinsya twing bakasyon e ako ang nangangalaga ng sahig namin, nagbubunot, naglalampaso, nagpapakintab)

Labis ang pag-aaruga ni Nanay sa amin, sa aking gunita ay buhay pa yung ala-ala na pinaliliguan niya kami sa may poso sa tapat ng gaming bahay. Gamit ang batong panghilod at labakara (bimpo) ay tinatyaga niyang linisin ang aking kili-kili, talampakan, singit, likod hanggang matanggal ang libag sa katawan. Nakakakiliti! Gayundin ang ginagawa niyang paglilinis ng aking tenga, hihilig ako sa kandungan ni Nanay at tyatyagain niyang tangalin ang aking tutuli. Ito ang talagang nakakakiliti dahil nakapikit ako habang ginagawa ni Nanay ito sa akin.

Mahaba ang litaniya ng ala-ala ng aking kabataan, kabilang ang pag-angkas ko sa bisekleta ni Tatay habang si nanay ang nagpepedal patungo ng palengke, ang pagsasabit ni nanay ng ribbon at medal sa akin twing pagtatapos ng school year. Ng sumapit ang huling taon ko sa high school, napagod ang nanay ko kabilang ang tatayo ko at ang loloÕt lola ko sa pag-akyat sa entabaldo sa halos mahigit sa isang dosenang medalya ng karangalang nakamit ko.

At sa pag-aral ko dito sa Maynila, nalayo ako kay nanay, tanging sulat lang kapag nagpapadala sila ni tatay ng allowance dito sa amin ng kuya ko ang aming naging komunikasyon. Di ko nasundan kong anong mga paghihirap ang dinaranas nila ni tatay sa aming bayan para lang makapag-aral kami ni kuya. At sa mga sulat ni Nanay lagi nyang nababanggit. Òpagbutihin namin pag-aaral namin, pagkasyahin at pagtiyagaan na lang namin ang kanilang pinadadala gayundin ang pakikitira sa aming kamaganakan dito sa Maynila.Ó

Limang taon ang lumipas, matapos ang pag-aaral ko sa kolehiyo, binuno nina nanay at tatay ang pag-aaral naming magkakapatid, napagtapos ako ng maayos. Tuwing sembreak, bakasyon, pasko at iba pang okasyon, dun ko lang nakakapiling ang nanay at tatay ko. Sa panahon ng nagsisimula ko ng makamtan ang aking tagumpay, dun na ginupo ng sakit si nanay, kidney Malfunction, at kinakailangang ng mahabang gamutan, maraming operasyon ang nagdaan, pero nakatayo pa rin si nanay at patuloy na naglilingkod sa aming mga anak niya.

Minsan, sinamahan ko si nanay noon sa PGH, magpapacheck-up, kagagaling lang niyang operasyon ng isang linggo, may tubo pang nakakabit sa tyan, nagcommute kami pauwi na, sa tapat ng Quiapo dun kami bababa, nauna akong bumaba, at kasunod ang nanay ko na dahan dahan pa, pero ang lintek na dyip umandar, nahulog ang nanay ko sa dyip, napasalampak sa kalsada, ang hinayupak na dyip umarangkada ng takbo, galit na galit akong humabol sa dyip pero wala na akong nagawaÉ.awang-awa ako sa nanay ko noonÉawang-awa, kayat sa twing may ganitong sitwasyon akong nakikita ko o nararanasan, si nanay ang aking naaalala.

Sa guhit ng tadhana, naunang pumanaw si tatay habang nakaratay si nanay sa ospital dito sa manila. Isang araw ang lumipas, ako ang kasama niya sa ospital, walang kamalay malay si nanay na nauna na si tatay at tandang tanda ko pa, pinagmamasdan niya ang wedding ring nila noon ni tatay. Makalipas ang isang araw, isiniwalat ng aking mga tiyahin sa aking mahal na nanay ang pagpanaw ni tatay. Napupunit ang puso ko ng marinig ang palahaw ni nanay habang nakaupo ako sa labas ng kuwarto niya sa ospital, di ko makakayanang makita ang reaksyon niya habang ipinapaalam ang pagpanaw ni tatay.

Pero, kelangan ituloy ang buhay, kailangang ipagpatuloy ang hamon ng tadhana. Kayat habang sumasailalim ng gamutan si nanay ay kapiling naming sya dito sa maynila. Nang panahong iyon, nagsisimula na akong maghanap-buhay, bilang pangtustos na rin sa mga gastusin sa pagpapagamot ni nanay. May mga pagkakataong nagkakasarilinan kami ni nanay at ito yung mga sandaling kaylan may di mawawalay sa isip ko. Sabi nya sa akin Ògusto ko pang mabuhay ng mahaba para sama-sama tayoÓ. (hindi ito bola, habang tinatype ko ang bahaging ito, umaagos ang luha ko at may lump sa lalamunan ko)É

Hanep talaga si nanay sa pagaaruga, minsan pagkagaling ko sa trabaho ko, aba ang mga damit namin ni kuya, nakasampay na at kanyang nilabhan. SAbi ng tita ko kung saan kami nakitira noon sa Malabon, tinatyaga ni nanay labhan ang aming damit para wala na kaming labahan pag-uwi. Di ko maimagine, si nanay nasa gripo sa labasan, payat pero manas ang mga paa at mukha, nakaumbok ang kanyang tiyan kasi may empty container na nakakabit sa kanyang tagiliran na nilalabasan at sinasalinan ng dialysis solution, naglalaba.

Wala pang isang taon ng pumanaw si tatay, sumunod na si nanay. Masakit pero tinanggap na namin. Sa huling oras ni nanay sa aming probinsya, sabi ng aking lola, ako ang huling hinahanap ni nanay. Habang unti unting nawawala ang init ng katawan ni nanay, mula binti papataas sa bahagi ng kanyang katawan, hinihintay pala niya na akoÕy dumating.

Ngayong aking kaarawan, naalala ko ang niluluto niya na paborito naming magkakapatid. Mayroong may birthday sa amin at may espesyal na okasyon kapag ito ang ulam naminÉang giniling o tinadtaranÉ.at naalala ko ang espesyal na gulaman at leche plan na gawa ni nanayÉ.gayundin ang peanut butter at mazapan na ginagawa niyaÉ

Dami ko ng luha na ibinuhos tuwing nangungulila ako sa aking nanay? Sa panahong may problema ako at gusto ko ng matatakbuhan, sana nandyan sya. At may magaganda, masagana at masayang sandaling sana ay kapiling at kahati ko syaÉ.

Tanda mo ba yung commercial ng Mcdonald na may scene na mag-asawa, may sakit yung babae, sabi nya, ..Óyung kurtinaÓÉÓyung unanÓÉÓbili ka na ng meriendaÓÉ.alam mo na ba?ÉDi ba ang lupet, may sakit na iyong babae, pero sa bandang huli, iyung asawa pa rin nya ang nasa isip niyaÉ

Ganun ang nanay, may sakit na sya pero super pa rin sa pag-aaruga sa amin, mamatay na sya pero kami pa rin ang nasa isip niya, at maging sa huling hininga niya, kami pa rin ang inaalala niyaÉ

At ito pa ang bagong commercial ng Maggi Spaghetti, isang bata pauwi ng bahay galing sa kanilang paaralan..sabi niya sa mga taong kakilala niya sa daanÉ.Óbirthday ko ngayunÓÉÓbirthday ko po ngayunÓÉ.at pagdating sa kanila, nagluluto ang nanay niya ng isang masarap na spaghettiÉ.isang mainit na halik ang iginawad niya sa nanay niya bilang ganti ng pagmamahalÉ.. Óbirthday ko ulit bukasÓÉ

Kayo? kelangan mo pa bang hintayin na magkaroon ng commercial sa tv gaya ng Mcdo at Maggi bago mo maisip ang dapat mong gawin... swerte ka siguro, kasama mo pa ang nanay mo. Kaya kung ako sa inyo, iparamdam nyo na ang dapat, gawin ang tama... mahalin mo sya.... minsan pag-uwi mo, pasalubungan mo sya ng hamburger at french fries.. samahan mo na rin ng yakap at halikÉsaka mo sabihin, ÒNanay I love you! Salamat ng marami sa pagbibigay buhay sa akin.Ó

Birthday ko na naman ngayun Nanay, kain sana tayo sa McDO o ipagluluto mo sana ako ng SpaghettiÉ.sanaÉ..

Monday, December 06, 2004


In reference to my previous post I'm In

I used to be a power user. I am now an administrator of my own PC. So after our IT has granted my request, I installed Firefox (I was only using a simple Mozilla before), YM (I used web-based), ICQ (web-based too), MSN Messenger, Chikka, and reinstalled the Gmail notifier.

And yes, I'm working overtime. I think I will be here for a few minutes more. Around twenty minutes.

Marian Procession

Yesterday was the 50th Marian procession at Intramuros, Manila. I was there to witness this annual event. There were more than 70 images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It started at exactly 4 in the afternoon. Some devotees performed their traditional dances which were either solemn or joyous. The karakols were all beautifully decorated with flowers of various kinds and colors. They were so fragrant that I could smell them everytime they pass. The media was present (the event will be featured in TV Patrol on Wednesday, and also on Saturday at F). Of course the archbishop of Mania The most reverend Gaudencio Rosales was there, as well as those belonging to the diocese of Manila. There were other guests too, and the crowd was really huge. The image of Our Lady of Manaoag was the grandest as it even had two sets of hot air balloons carrying a rosary and it had fireworks as it passed. The image of Our Lady of Turumba was the most festive. The Nuestra Se–ora Virgen del Rosario won the best karakol. The procession ended at 6:30 pm. The fireworks lasted for only a few minutes but it was grand. The feast of the Immaculate Conception is on December 8.

I will upload the photos by this week.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Another day

The mass started late today, just before 8pm. I noticed that there were only four people in the choir so I decided to join them. Oh how good it felt. To top it off, the sponsor for the novena to the Immaculate Concepcion was the office of my parents! I was even the collector. The mass was through at 8:30. Yep, I was late for work. But it does not matter.

Today is also the first communion of thr third-grade students from Baseco at 8:30.

I have been avoiding the phone call from American Power Conversion. This buyer is nuts! There is no workfor all government agencies because of the super typhoon and still he wants their shipment released. How? I have no idea. i may seem helpless over the phone but for the past few weeks he has been driving people in our company crazy! He has another shipment last week, 5 containers and he wants them released on a Saturday. Hello!!! This is the Philippines! He even wanted to speak with the commissioner of Customs! He just cannot understand or he is making pasikat. He is so sick! Monday was a holiday too!

Practice tonight for our Christmas party tomorrow! Woohoo! There are no rains nor strong winds here.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Another Calamity

Almost everyone knows that floods are caused by deforestation. Yet it is very obvious that people are more attracted to instant money than protecting the habitat. We are a selfless generation. But not all are. Others are selfish. Sure they think of their family, but not their fellowmen as a whole. They think of today rather than tomorrow. For what will be the sense of having tomorrow if today they will die of hunger? These people can be described in two words: selfish and inconsiderate. No, I'm not saying this because I have anything I need (read: need, not want). We speak if sustainable development, yet we fail to apply this. Sustainable development means the ability to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.

Why do landslides occur? This happens when the soil becomes too heavy, especially when it rains. It absorbds too much water and due to the heaviness, it falls. Common knowledge. How can we prevent landslides? By having trees. Tress prevent soil erosion. The Philippine forests contain a lot of tress, yet over the years it has declined rapidly. (I tried searching for the statistics from the DENR site but there was none, or I failed to locate it. Well they had 2002 data!) The government has imposed of total log ban. Of course, when money it spoken, it becomes the magic word. As a result, landslides occur and mortality increases. Water becomes contaminated. More species are driven away from their natural habitats.

The Philippine forests are one of the most diverse in the world. This also houses an uncountable number if inhabitants, some remain undiscovered. If this trend continues, then we all die in an unintelligible manner.

Dan Mariano of Today says:

Not unexpectedly, illegal logging is again being blamed for the landslides and flash floods that have taken scores of lives and displaced thousands of families in several towns in the provinces of Quezon, Nueva Ecija and Aurora. Logs washed down by cascading floodwaters from the mountains were presented as proof that rampant deforestation continues to cause so much human misery in this country.

As in the past, the immediate response of many quarters has been to agitate for the imposition of a comprehensive ban on logging. Yet, if Secretary Michael Defensor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is to be believed, the municipalities hardest hit by Typhoon Winnie are among the areas where his department has actually imposed a total logging ban.

If what Defensor said was true, then we can immediately conclude that a Òtotal log banÓ does not work.

The remaining timberland of the Philippines covers just a little more than 15 million hectares. While portions of these forests have been awarded to private logging firms on the strength of so-called integrated forest management agreements (IFMAs), the rest remains vulnerable to the encroachments of what the DENR refers to as Òcarabao loggers.Ó

The government is somehow able to monitor and regulate the operations of IFMA holders. However, it does not have the means to keep tabs on - much less, apprehend - illegal loggers. Since they have been licensed to harvest what has become a valuable resource, IFMA operators tend to take good care of the timberlands awarded to them. And if they want to sustain their highly lucrative business, IFMA holders are naturally predisposed to replant trees to those areas they have logged over.

Defensor pointed out that in areas where IFMA holders operate, landslides and flashfloods - as well as the consequent loss of lives and displacement of residents - have been minimized, if not eliminated altogether.

In contrast, carabao loggers have no incentive to carefully manage this renewable resource. For the most part, they resort to illegal logging as a means to survive from day to day. The population pressure in our country has reached such magnitudes that there are now tens of thousands of ÒsquattersÓ in what for centuries were pristine forests and jungles.

The cash-strapped government, meanwhile, does not have the means to stem the squatter invasion of our forests. Defensor estimated that in order to prevent carabao loggers from overrunning our remaining forest cover, DENR would have to hire 70,000 forest rangersÑeach of whom would be assigned to patrol 100 hectares of timberland.

Aggravating the problem of protecting our remaining timberlands is the presence in those areas of communist insurgents who, understandably, are too keen about the ÒencroachmentÓ of government personnel into their Òterritory.Ó

Needless to say, itÕs a mission impossible.

ItÕs not hard to detect what Defensor was trying to say between the lines. For years, logging companies have been portrayed as indiscriminate ravagers of the environment. And that may have been true in certain cases.

However, current experience - notably the flash floods and landslides that have been occurring with increasing regularity even in those areas where a total log ban is supposed to be in place - tells us that we need to review this image.

It now turns out that licensed - and responsible - logging companies are our last best hope for preserving our remaining forest cover.