Category Archives: Nature and The Environment

Misty Lodge Sagada for homey comfort

My sister, niece and I chose to stay at  Misty Lodge Sagada when we went on that adventure trip early this year because my sister’s sis-in-law highly recommended it. And we couldn’t agree more!

Misty Lodge Sagada signage

Like most lodges and inns in Sagada, Misty Lodge’s accommodations were basic. We stayed in a room facing the pine tree studded back of the lodge. Waking up to the scene and scent of pine trees is something I really miss. Continue reading Misty Lodge Sagada for homey comfort

kiltepan sunrise view sagada

Kiltepan View Point | Sunrise watching in Sagada

Welcome, 2015! To welcome the new year, I went on an adventure trip to Sagada! And one of the highlights of the trip was watching the sunrise at Kiltepan View Point.

Sagada, a little town up north in Mountain Province, Luzon, is such an amazing and beautiful place. First-timers like me will be awed with its natural beauty. I took so many pictures, so I will be dividing my blog posts into several parts.

Kiltepan view point sunrise sagada

There are so many things to do in Sagada, and they don’t necessarily have to cost much. Sunrise watching is definitely free! Kiltepan View Point is one of the best places to view the sunrise, so that’s where we (my sis, my niece and I) planned to spend the early morning of Day 3 of our Sagada trip. (As you can see, my posts won’t be chronologically ordered.) Continue reading Kiltepan View Point | Sunrise watching in Sagada

Help save the Luneta Hill pine trees

 

I feel strongly about the issue of SM Baguio cutting/earth-balling the Luneta Hill pine trees. Baguio blood runs in my veins. Baguio is my home. My Lolo was a forester and I guess he passed on to me his love for nature.

Lolo’s Legacy

Lolo, Dad’s dad, was an agriculturist and forester. After World War 2, Lolo worked for the regional office of the Bureau of Forestry and was responsible for reforesting parts of Northern Luzon. I remember, though vaguely, stories he told me of his adventures, mostly about planting thousands of trees all over the mountains – the stretch of the Mountain Trail (now Halsema Highway), the hillsides of Baguio. He brought with him a number of people whose primary job was to plant trees. They travelled in caravans across Benguet, and the Mountain Province.

Lolo also created a beautiful forest haven in his home in Baguio. It was near downtown but it looked like nothing you would expect in a home just 10 minutes from Session Road. We had bamboo groves, coffee trees, guava trees, a langka tree, a couple of avocado trees, many other smaller trees and shrubs, more bamboo, and more coffee trees! (We had so much coffee trees that we made our own coffee.) I have a lot of fond memories growing up in our mini-forest. My sisters, cousins and I – we were children of the earth. Literal earth. 😀

Sadly, it isn’t how it used to be anymore – there and most everywhere else in Baguio. The bamboo groves and all the trees are gone.

SM cuts it all for you

Now SM wants to cut/earth-ball/transfer  182 – scratch that, 133 – there are just 133 trees now (49 trees were cut/earth-balled/left for dead during SM’s defiance of the TEPO, according to this open letter from the lead attorney of Project Save 182.)

SM wants to earth-ball/transfer (read: kill) the Luneta Hill pine trees so that it can build an expansion that will house a parking/shopping complex.

Of course they justify this with green-washing – such as a “lushly landscaped Roof Garden with delightful water features”, and that the building is supposedly needed to prevent soil erosion. (I was taught in elementary school that trees, not concrete buildings and most definitely not cutting the trees, prevent soil erosion.)

The protests began late last year, but have recently escalated due to SM’s defiance of a Temporary Environmental Protection Order (TEPO) issued by the court. The anger, not only among Baguio locals but of others in Metro Manila as well, grew even more when SM went ahead and cut/earth-balled the trees anyway.

(View photos of the earth-balled trees on Luneta Hill here -taken during the site inspection by media and Baguio environmentalists.)

(View video of a tree falling to its death in the middle of the night of April 10. How come DENR and SM deny that any trees were cut? This video does not lie.)

The surviving trees are safe for now, under an extended TEPO that was issued by a Baguio court. But who knows what SM can do, especially with government defending it?

The trees are Baguio’s heritage

Continue reading Help save the Luneta Hill pine trees

Earth Hour 2011: Bonding over shadows

My family thought of spending Earth Hour walking our goldie, Parker, around the neighborhood. But after two rounds, we figured an hour of walking with a hyperactive dog might be too much.

So we decided to play with our shadows at the garage instead. Thankfully, it was a cool and breezy evening, making it a whole lot easier to be without electricity for an hour. It was fun bonding with the kids and Parker over shadows. 😀

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During our walk around the neighborhood, I was saddened over the low awareness of my neighbors. Very few actually switched off their lights. There was even a basketball game going on at the village court – with floodlights, score boards and all! Fail. I did see a small “Earth Hour 60” poster by the village gate, but I guess not a lot wanted to take part. Continue reading Earth Hour 2011: Bonding over shadows

Earth Hour 2011: go beyond the hour!

Mark your calendars, friends. This year, Earth Hour will be on March 26th.

At 8:30 PM on that day, millions of Earth citizens will switch off lights for an hour. But this year, Earth Hour calls on everyone to go beyond 60 minutes.

(Want your own badge? Do you like the countdown timer on my sidebar? Go grab yours at the Earth Hour website.)

Two years ago in 2009, I shared my first Earth Hour with my family. We flung the windows wide open, and told stories in the dark.

This year’s Earth Hour asks all of us to go further, beyond the hour. It’s a challenge for all Earth Hour-ers to do more for the Earth.

That’s always been my thought: if millions all over the world can sacrifice one hour without the comfort and convenience of electricity, I’m sure most of those millions would be willing to do more.

What will you do on this year’s Earth Hour?

More importantly, what are you going to do after that? Continue reading Earth Hour 2011: go beyond the hour!