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Sr. Lucy Vasquez reflects on climate change
Thank you, God, for the beautiful creation you have graced us with. Your awesome presence was apparent in this gorgeous sunrise in DaangBantayan, Cebu, Philippines. So splendid is your creation, but we failed to upkeep Mother Earth. Forgive us from our shortcomings.
After the November 2013 storm surge, I had the opportunity to be with typhoon Haiyan survivors. Even when we came back a year later, the Cebuanos shared the great impact of the tragedy on them. They continue to experience fear each time another strong typhoon arises. I remember during the height of the relief operations, when one trauma specialist said that we need to listen to pleas to care for the environment or else the storm surge will be our new normal. We should stop disturbing the corals and other sea treasures. Now is the time for us to take care communally to slowly revive the beauty of our nature.
One time I visited an old fisherman and his wife in Barrio Capunitan, Orion, Bataan. Tatay (father in Filipino language) said that fishermen before were rich since they always had a bountiful catch. That is no longer true. There are instances where they spend the whole night at the middle of the sea, waiting and hoping, only to go back home with nothing or a very minimal catch, not even enough for their meal.
Ordinarily, it took me two hours to travel from Quezon City up to my ministry office in Pablo Ocampo Street, Manila. I always pay the driver my fare right away to allow me time to savor my favorite music. Two hours of being still back and forth; what else could I ask for? I’m in heaven! Unfortunately, such awe-inspiring moments do not exist during rainy days. Regrettably, after only a few showers we would already be walking in a flood. Whenever there are floods, there is less public transportation available. That means the ride going home will be extremely difficult, doubling the usual two hours of travel time. Sickening!
The bulk of our Philippine government funds have already been used to develop flood control for several years. But why, after just a few rainfalls, are we sure to encounter travel difficulty? Unfortunately, the good efforts of some, like the Save the Pasig River movement and Green Peace advocacy, are not enough. The damage was already huge.
We will always have a big sigh when we discuss these concerns. One thing I’m sure of, anumang maliit basta’t malimit patunong langit. With any simple deeds that are being done consistently and faithfully, one day we could reap our harvest.
Lucila Mamales Vasquez, SP
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