Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
– 18th Century Children’s Prayer
By Raïssa Robles
I couldn’t sleep last night thinking of the hundreds of children and their parents who were swept to sea in their sleep during the storm.
My mind just went on and on in a loop trying to picture the dying. Was it quick or agonizing?
I have long stopped asking myself – was this God’s will? Because I believe God set the world in motion and then stepped back and let nature take its course and let man use his free will to shape and reshape the world as he pleased.
Trouble is, in the Philippines, some men are greedier than most and use their free will to act on their greed and plunder the environment to amass personal wealth.
The flooding in northern Mindanao could well be a cataclysmic but natural event. However, with the amount of logs that went tumbling down the mountains there, illegal logging appears to have exacerbated the flooding.
Over a decade ago, my hubby Alan was asked by Reader’s Digest magazine to write a piece on a unique reforestation project being implemented by Gen. Victor Corpuz. I did the interviews for Alan and one of those I talked to was a former congressman who had made a fortune out of logging hardwood forests.
What struck me the moment I entered his palatial digs was the shiny wooden flooring made from really wide planks of narra.
The other thing – which I found really weird but apt – was a huge portrait of the Sacred Heart of Jesus with beams radiating from the Lord’s heart. Peso symbols were painted at the end of those beams.
He probably thought the painting was a good luck charm. It was beyond tacky and lewd. But honest.
How do we protect ourselves from those who continue to rape our forests?
Goodness, the warlords are organized. The car thieves are organized. Trapos are organized. It’s high time we, the people, organize for what we believe in.
Below is a video taken by the National Grid Corporation on the flooding in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao: