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40 hectares of bush fire again

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(BY: REV. BERLIE G. YAP) Any Sunday program of the Baranggay eMedia’s celebrity duo Pai Chu and Uncle Negra is a fun-filled and relaxing nostalgia of good music of some yesteryears. However, yesterday, March 22, reports which came in to the program as flash news were very alarming. Another bush fire, and now this one is bigger, has engulfed 40 hectares of real properties in Tigbalabag.

Councilor Mike Alavar did the reporting. It was unlikely to a good local legislator to wake up earlier on a weekend Sunday, but Councilor Alavar had to because of the concerns of his constituents in the second district. A conflagration of 40 hectares is not a joke. There can be no enough adjectives to describe its extreme situation.

Hundreds of banana and coconut trees were initially assessed as the ones which were immediately incinerated of the uncontrollable fire. The following question, where do you think shall be the next bush fire? This phenomenon gets to be almost every day then. Though, the good side, no human life has since been affected.

Beside of the actual losses our farmers are going through this time, there’s the impending threat of bush fires to happen anytime and anywhere. The earlier results of the long drought are frightening, and this will be until at the end of May yet. What other measures can probably our barangay authorities do and to adopt to prevent such accidents?

There are these two enjoining advices: never to throw cigarette butts to dry grasses and no to kaingins this time. I’m not just very sure if there are either local laws or really statutes which prohibit both and are giving penal sanctions when trespassed. Baranggay eMedia did only cover the later fire in Sinubong, now there is this new one.

Expectedly more and more reports may surprise us in the coming days. We pity our farmers. They cannot be sleeping well because of the possible bush fires to struck places anywhere. Very outskirt places in our City are defensively preparing their guards for any rebel or bandit intrusions in their area of responsibilities. With this newer threat, this is added to their already long list of fears.

Footages which reached her in Baranggay eMedia are horrifying. Its effect can haunt more the children who are tender yet in their age and mind. Their trauma can definitely affect their minds and emotions. Whether closer here downtown or at the outskirts, bush fires can happen anytime.

Residents who do have potential bigger vacant grassy areas must already be prepared or at least notified or coached what to do when events can happen unexpectedly. No other people can be helping each now but just us. We gotta rally around for ourselves. The long drought is yet to run more tens of days.

We thought that this natural phenomenon could only happen in bigger countries which have larger forests and open areas like the U.S. or Australia. The global warming is now dragging other territories strange to this event. Philippines is one of them. We are used to floods, earthquakes and terrorism but not bush fire!

Indeed, a tilting of our natural balance has altered everything around. There can be no amount of science or human brilliance that can withstand these stuffs, simply because who then is now our enemy is the Mother Earth. Nothing is forever in this world. All resources which seem to be endless in the past are now proving to be actually limited.

Some are saying that these are now the signs of the end of the age. Apart from being religious, all of these around can remind us that we exist in the world not just to live for ourselves selfishly but to exist accountably and to be conscious that there is God who is in control to everything.

“The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Hab. 3:19

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