What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Look carefully at the picture below. Nice shot isn’t it. Could you make out the figure of a biker on the far end of the road? Hardly. Composition-wise, this picture is a non-winner. Maybe a little out of focus even. There’s a splattering of green here and there.

LicaoLicao Denuded Mountain

What could be remarkable about this picture is that it was taken in the midst of summer. And yet the grass and other plants are still green. Good sign? Could be.

But what about the trees? Where are they? What I see are shrubs or stumps of formerly gloriously growing trees!

We went mountain biking in this trail last Saturday, May 19. While the ride was excruciatingly difficult because of several uphill climbs under the hot summer sun, which I had to walk instead of bike, some of the views provided a welcome scene, as they were in full contrast to what we usually see in the city. Smoke belchers are abundant there, while here you can breathe fresh air, provided that no city dwellers, with their 4×4’s pass you by, spoiling the air around you. Indeed several of them passed us and even our most able bike buddies, there was even one who was on a single speed rig, had to stop for a breath.

LicaoLicao Denuded Mountain 2What has gone wrong in this mountain? It is being spoiled as it is being exploited for its natural resources. In fact, the name of this place reflects what wrong is being perpetrated here: Nabutas – which literally means “where a hole is” or “where a hole was made”: where there used to be earth and it’s forest covering, there is now a dirt road going through it. Where there used to be birds singing to their young ones while perched hight atop branches, now there are only brief moments of deafening silence frequently broken by sounds of chainsaws and giant earthmovers.

LicaoLicao Denuded Mountain 4Trees were cut down and earth was blasted and bulldozed to give way to the construction of a road that would lead farther and higher up the mountain. Roads that would be ways to even further exploit what precious little is left of the natural environment.


LicaoLicao Denuded Mountain 3Well it’s true that even as we were passing through that road, we are benefiting from its construction. But I would rather that there were no roads so that it’s pristine conditions are preserved. There would be other ways to admire such beauty in God’s Country.

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