Making Change Work

ON THE OCCASION of International Women’s Month, do indulge us for a bit of milestone remembrance to recognize some motherhood moments essential to our continuing crusade to better up our environment. Three women figures, relevant in these times of turmoil, deserve to occupy respect from the endearment we all owe. Not just for the sublime femininity they represent, but more for the motherly iconic representation that they command. They have long been with us, but their presence in our day-to-day life has largely been unnoticed.

First is Inang Lungsod. Yes, dear ol’ Baguio, she who has been our pride of place, where everything starts, from what we think, act and do. For more than a century, she has provided us the shelter from sun and rain, even during turbulent times. She has cared for us far beyond whatever sins of omission and commission we may have done to her.

In silence, she has endured it all, reliant that we’d realize soon enough that enough is enough, that loving her back takes more than platitudinous affirmation. What she is now is largely the result of what we have done in our respective lifetime while living it out under her watchful gaze. What she will be in years to come, that’s for us collectively and singly to work on. Be our continued blessing, Inang Lungsod!

Second is Inang Kalikasan. Yes, dear Mother Nature, she who has been making possible that our Inang Lungsod continues to be our pride of place. Through the years, she has been our wellspring of all the good, finite, and seemingly inexhaustible resources that Baguio has proudly showcased for all the world to enjoy and experience without limits — the forest cover of our hills and mountains, sadly depleting by the day, the watershed stands lamentably weakened oft-times beyond repair, the riverways from which water used to be fresh, pure, and desirable, and lest it be forgotten, the natural air conditioning system that is Baguio’s stellar allure, unmistakably the singular attraction that makes lowlanders come to us every little chance they get any day of the week.

What has remained of this prime environmental asset is a modern-day travesty inflicted by generations past, a monumental insult to the pioneering work of Baguio’s builders who had envisioned future caretakers to be as resolute as their vision had commanded. How our environmental resources are regenerated to the level of lush greenery they were when discovered by Baguio’s founding visionaries is a huge task that present-day visionaries —hopefully that’s all of us, regardless of age, circumstance and persuasion — should pursue with as much relentless fervor, steely determination, and steadfast purpose.

Third is Inang Mundo. Yes, Mother Earth herself, she who has been bleeding so much in recent years from all the afflictions we have all done to her in gay abandon, without sacred regard to the only planetary home to all of us. Natural disturbances have become destructors of the most lethal.

Storms are now super typhoons and super-hurricanes. Earthquakes have occurred in unparalleled intensity and magnitude. Global temperatures are rising beyond human tolerance, inflicting deaths to those weakened by the onslaught of heat. Snows are taking place in the unlikeliest places, the Sahara Desert, and much of otherwise sunny regions in Europe.

Sure, it’s all about climate change, but this did not just happen overnight. The scientific fact is that climate change has been happening bit by bit every single day of the last four hundred years, when man began doing things to upgrade his life, to make things happen the quickest way possible in the name of Kaunlaran, Kasaganaan, Kaginhawaan.

What Inang Mundo is today is simply the result of what we have all done, by ourselves and no other, by our continued, unceasing ways of mindlessly ejecting the toxic gases that is heating up the world’s atmosphere from our economic and motoring activities without letup. Sure, there are efforts done to mitigate what we have been greedily doing, to reduce the gas emissions polluting the skies, to go green and clean in the energy that we produce for our day-to-day life. But, these efforts have been shown to be feeble and insignificant, still quite far-off from the faceoff needed to make a serious dent.

Today and in the days and months to come, let’s give our three iconic women figures the well-deserved love, affection, and care befitting for all the blessings we have been having all through the years. Inang Lungsod, Inang Kalikasan, Inang Mundo, mahal na mahal namin kayo. Aming alaga at asikaso, alay namin sa inyo.

Happy Women’s Month everyone!

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