by Amelia IriarteKohno
The massive disaster of March 11, 2011 was really a great shock. Also, these daily media announcements on the increasing nuclear radioactive levels which could cause health hazards is now a growing "anxiety" to residents here in Japan and the other parts of the world. Indeed, Japan was badly affected by the Intensity 9 quake and the enormously destructive tsunami which rose to 23 meters at some places, leaving communities totally wiped out and thousands dead and missing. It was an unimaginable, unpre-cedented calamity and more will suffer in the years to come. It will be a lingering crisis.
For environmenta-lists, writers or simply nature lovers, we can easily say that things were better in the old days, when our world had industries only powered by clean natural energy. We start asking ourselves what is happening to our Mother Earth. For the once beautiful nature...green mountains, valleys, hills and clear waters... sea, rivers, streams. The air was breathable with the clear skies we could look at for hours. Now we see, devastation, bareness, ugliness and destruction. What is humankind doing to you? Are we not grateful that our ancestors enjoyed the joy of your natural blessing of bountiful harvests where there was always food on the table? We believe we can still inherit all these God-given treasures. As children, fond memories were of using fallen fruits for toys, or bait for catching fish in the nearby rivers, climbing trees, watching animals grazing, playing hide and seek among the sugarcane or abaca plants. It was just pure joy lying on the hilly ground watching the sky at sunrise , sunset or a rainbow go by. And how I loved the evenings because I could touch the rice birds that came to sleep at our santol tree.
Well, it was my Lola's (maternal side) ancestral house and garden that feel us with great happiness and endless joyful memories. I always remember my summer visits to my grandmother's hometown. Burauen, a town famous for its serene "Mahagnao Lake" and the source of hydro power of many towns in Leyte, is only 50 km. from Tacloban. In those days, the distance seemed so long with the un-paved roads, rows of hedges and fewer vehicles. We enjoyed the lovely natural scenery- green majestic mountains with rice fields at its foothills. Perhaps, its dense lush forests and terrain is also a reason it was a favorite hide-out for the battle fighters during World War II.
Lola's garden, not only included fruit-bearing trees- banaba, banana, guava, avocado, makopa, atis, jackfruit, star-apple, even coconuts to name some but it had all the organic vegetables and herbs we needed for our daily cooking. In between, she had flowering plants which served as fences reaching the balcony which gave us a full view of the main road and passers by. It was one good place to relax.
Now, with all these natural disasters happening, we at Mother Earth are more challenged with supporting the purposes of our organization we started more than a decade ago. To help save our Earth from further destruction and to recover the riches which have been lost to humankind's selfishness, greed and indifference to the natural environment. We must all work hard, share ideas, expertise and skill in putting back harmony and order to this planet, to save what is still left of our natural resources.
We live in a different age now and perhaps it would be too difficult to bring back most of our world's natural riches and bio-diversity but we can always try. We can still dream of a cleaner life where people are healthy and free to share the natural rewards that this world can offer. Let this latest natural disaster in Northern Japan, be a lesson to remind us that we can still restore our Mother Earth and bring back the pleasure and treasure of a "green" heaven on earth!
by Dennis Sun
Shake it to the right. Shake it to the left... Roll to the front... And roll to the back... And rattle up and down!
This is not a dance step. Hindi po ito sayaw. Ito po ang nangyayari kapag dumarating ang malakas na yanig ng lindol sa Japan. Siguradong mapapasayaw ka kahit hindi ka marunong sumayaw! Pag sabi ng lindol, “Sayaw!” Sunod agad!
Saklolo! Saklolo! Ito siguro ang sigaw ng bansang Hapon pagkatapos lumisan ang triple mega-tragedy: earthquake, tsunami and nuclear radiation. Akalain mo, hindi lang isang trahedya. Tatlong katakot-takot at nakakakilabot na napakalubhang dilema ang lumipas sa bansang ito.
Dito sa Tokyo kung saan ako nakatira, walang nangyaring malubhang pinsala. Pero ramdam namin ang lakas na pagyanig ng lindol. Kasi ba naman, akala ng buong mundo, lumisan ang disaster sa buong Japan. Hindi po! Ang trahedya ay nangyari lang po sa dako ng TOHOKU region. May ilang libong Pilipino rin ang naninirahan doon. Ito po ay nasa north-eastern Pacific coastal side of Honshu island. Kaya sa may dakong Nagoya, Osaka, at Kyushu, hindi na po nila ramdam ang tindi at galit ng lindol.
Pero dahil sa pangyayaring ito, nakiki-usap po ako sa mga kapwa kababayan ko dito sa Japan. Sana po ay tulungan natin ang bansang nag-ampon sa atin para bumangon at tulungan ang ating mga pamilya sa Pilipinas. Alam ko, marami po sa atin ang gustong tumulong pero hindi alam ko paano ang gagawin.
Inaanyayahan ko po ang mga iba’t-ibang samahang Pilipino sa buong Japan. Magka-isa po tayo at gumawa ng fund raising event. Yung maliit na maibibigay ng grupo ninyo ay napakalaking halaga kapag lahat tayo ay nagbigay.
Pwede po kayong mag-konsulta sa ating Embahada. Tanungin po ninyo sila kung paano makakatulong ang grupo ninyo. Pinansiyal man o material na bagay, malaking tulong na rin ang maidudulot nito.
Pwede rin po kayong mag-donate ng dugo sa Japanese Red Cross. Marami po ang nangangailangan ng dugo sa mga napinsala. Mara-ming mga blood station ang Japanese Red Cross all over Japan. Just drop by and ask if you can donate blood. Tumatanggap din po ng pinansyal na donasyon ang Japanese Red Cross.
Makakatulong din po kayo sa Japan sa pagtitipid ng kuryente. Tayong mga Pinoy, sanay na sanay dito. Sanay na tayo sa mga blackout every year lalo na tuwing may bagyo. Please switch off unnece-ssary appliances and unplug power-draining devices. Sa Tokyo, mapapansin na medyo madilim ang mga department stores and highways. Yung mga ibang electric billboards, nagpahinga muna. Kailangan po mag-conserve ng electricity. Sa ating bahay-bahay, siguro pwede natin patayin ang ilaw o TV kung hindi naman kinakailangan. Kung pwedeng huwag na munang sumakay ng elevator kung ilang floors lang naman, hindi ka lang makakatipid ng kuryente. Matutulungan mo pa ang katawan mong mag-exercise sa pag-akyat sa hagdan.
Huwag po tayong mag-panic buying. Nauubusan ang stock sa mga supermarket dahil bumibili tayo ng sobra-sobra. Actually, marami pong stock pero kung lahat tayo ay bumibili ng sobra, mauubusan po ang stock. Si Andrea, hayun, bumili ng maraming gatas. Nasira lang daw after a few days kasi hindi niya mainom lahat. May expiration date po ang pagkain kaya hindi ninyo makakain o maiinom lahat iyan. Bilhin lang po natin ang ating kailangan.
We really need to think as a community, as a group and not as individuals. If we are to survive, we need to think of each other. Kung nag-iisa ka lang, madali kang mamatay. Pero kung sama-sama tayong magtutulungan, malaki ang chansa na tayo ay maliligtas. Sa panahong ito, huwag po tayong maging sakim at makasarili.
Ooops! Eto na naman ang yanig! Kailangang sumayaw, gumiling at yumugyog sa tugtog ng lindol. Araw-araw na lang ang pag-sasayaw. Sumayaw man o hindi, nakakapayat ang mga yanig na ito. Nakakataas din ng blood pressure.