AS IT STANDS | Roman Floresca
The day I became conscious of my surroundings was the day I became aware of so many trees growing in our backyard. We didn’t plant any of them. They just grew there.
I remember when I was in Grade 4 I climbed a star apple (kaimito) tree by our kitchen. Suddenly I heard some distant noises telling me that I should relax and that my cousin was bringing me to the doctor. But why should I relax, I thought, when I couldn’t feel anything. Suddenly, I could feel the warmth of my blood flowing down my face. At the doctor’s clinic I was given some medicine and was told to take it easy and rest for a while. But the hard headed bull that I was, I insisted on going to school. And after some discussion the doctor said yes.
There was also an avocado tree whose branches and leaves overhang by the roof of our house. I used to spend hours on that roof and I only called it quits when there was no more sun to shine upon me.
We also had a row of young coconut trees which were around six or seven feet tall. I had a grand time climbing them and when I was on top, I would move from one tree to the next using only the leaves.
And there was this tamarind tree whose fruit I so loved. But now only a mango tree stands in our front yard and even the chico tree which was supposed to give us wonderful fruits was taken down during the last storm.
So, to help arrest deforestation, Malacañang required applicants for franchise and license with the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to plant trees.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said this government policy in response to deforestation which has been blamed for record flooding. The government will also coordinate with the Department of Education (DE) on the possibility of requiring students to plant trees, said Roque.
This is a sight to behold – little children lining up the streets armed with seedlings of narra or whatever is available.
There is also a good initiative by two provinces to fill their vacant spaces with indigenous and other species. Hooray for Iloilo and Surigao del Sur for taking initiative in keeping their provinces green.