By Johannes Rosauro
As a professional and practicing artist and educator, I am baffled, confused and disappointed by the stand and promotional gimmick of mining and logging advocates proclaiming without shame and guilt alleging they are for the protection and conservation of natural resources that include the community’s art and cultural heritage.
Excuse me I do not mean to initiate a quarrel but may I ask what is their definition of arts, culture and heritage when the whole society is wipe out by revenge of nature like floods cause by the destruction of the natural heritage, the mountains, forest and seas.
Do these anti-nature and lovers of fast wealth know that the land they are standing on right now is the heart and soul of the survival of all living creatures they vow to protect and survive?
What is there to save, protect and conserve when the whole lands mountains and forests, rivers and seas most of all, humanity, are gone. What is to dance and sing, when this moment, when every typhoon comes the danger of the whole region is going to be washed-out, slowly but surely one area, one corner, one barangay at a time?
All for the sake the advocates would say for development, progress and jobs. They never mention fear, disaster and death.
Expect the region to go through the cycle of rescue, body-count, and emergency without a huge success because our leaders never learned or cared the dynamics of nature.
Not all, they must understand, can be bought. Not natural “revenge.”
What they must understand and understand well and walk their talk the region suffers and plunge in disasters because gone are the natural barriers to “conserve” the lives of men, women and children especially the poorest kind. Do we have to guess what these natural barriers are? Why are we leveling, cutting them off ?
Along the national highways going to Surigao provinces, you see vast tracts of flattened hills turned ugly and lifeless that break your heart. What conservation and prospection are they saying? Do they even care? Obviously they don’t. It’s clearly PR talk. It is all there is to see.
Alright, they do some replanting but guess what they are replanting. A huge number of commercial trees that are candidates for cutting again the next five years or so. You have the same cycle of destruction again and again.
Besides, industrializing the mountain forest is never healthy for the planet in general if you narrow down to specifics, the whole area suffers even more in the future generation.
We never learn our lesson,or we refuse to learn, all because of money. If we really care for ourselves, then we let the forests, mountains, rivers and seas live again, without being threatened and sugar-coated by few greedy individuals.
We should simply be planting the variety of fruit, endemic and indigenous trees to keep us all alive. Trees that withstand natural challenges and serve goodness to all living creatures.
Where do artists and the arts stand on this? The artist’s job is to express what he/she see’s and feels. The artist is a victim too but does he/she see’s with his/her heart and soul, or blinded by other peoples bribe?
Will he paints a living forest when there’s none instead of lands bulldozed and indigenous and migrant poor suffering?
Why are the teenagers in the city made to dance at the supermalls when the mountains are flatten, forests turned bald and the supposedly living culture of the people are abused and exploited? For them their universe has turned graveyard. What really is to protect and conserve?
The natural “destroyers” will surely accuse us of pessimism. But isn’t that better than fooling young people to dance and sing without care in the coming calamity awaiting them?
Real artists and community members who cannot be deceive must stand up.