This time last year I enjoyed a few days’ rest at home while storms raged outside, and was feeling good about it until I learned that the same storms that kept me at home also swept away countless homes and buried more than a thousand people in Quezon and Aurora.
This time last year I watched in shock the countless images of tons of washed up logs, buried bodies, and cries of despair.
This time last year we spent many late nights at the office, writing statements, doing research, designing materials, as we launched a campaign calling for the protection of our forests.
Today the hastily-dug graves that hold countless bodies serve as silent reminders, good for a poignant All Saints’ Day TV news spot or two, as those that remain still struggle to move on. Logging licenses are being revived, but then who needs permits when people can just cut trees illegally and get away with it?
I wonder if the children who used to cry at the onset of rains have managed to get over the trauma.
Could be the decimated forests, could be the excessive rains, could be the sheer insensitivity of people, that caused all that death and destruction. This time last year, I was feeling the same kind of frustration and despair that I’m feeling now.