But for about 10 million residents of Metro Manila, the rains have become living hell. One rain drop is enough to bring back trauma and pain of times getting trapped in flood water (as this little girl in the picture); memories of getting sick or seeing a relative die from water-borne diseases; of evacuations and spending weeks in barangay and school gyms; classes missed as schools are turned into evacuation centers; and flood water taking away everything!
It used to be that people here brace for floods and landslides when there are major typhoons and storms. Now, the floods have become a regular occurrence. It comes with ordinary rains. Metro Manila has turned into a virtual Waterworld! What fun is living in the Philippines when ordinary rains bring fears to a traumatized people?
Metro Manila is surely paying the price for cutting the trees in the uplands that would have trapped rampaging runoff water. Lowlands tress and in urban centers are also cut and the soil covered with concrete to build buildings and houses upon. Trees would have helped sip in flood water faster, but they are gone. Manila is now literally one concrete jungle. Rivers and tributaries that would have directed the water to the Manila Bay and nearby lakes are gone. Greedy real estate developers -- aided by corrupt city engineers and local officials -- have allowed rivers to be covered by small, token canals or in some areas covered with soil so houses, buildings; and shopping malls can be build upon them.
With trees and rivers gone, rain and flood water stay above ground and turn Metro Manila into a giant pool of murky and disease filled-water.
It is for this reason that we at the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris) have decided to leave one mango tree standing from our pocket garden that has now been converted into the Kris Library-Quezon City chapter. Out of our six Kris Libraries all over the country, the one in Quezon City is most unique because it is the only one that we can proudly say to be situated under a tree. Perhaps, this is the only private library in Manila located under a tree.
We have to bring in people whose expertise is water leak but as of yesterday, the cost of building the library and keeping the tree has ran up to P108,310.50. We feel ashamed telling this to our Kris sponsors who foot the bill for the Kris-QC Library. It is a good thing that my daughter Arizza, Kris administrator and the one who gave the biggest contributions from her winning at the Zonta International world youth leadership award ( http://www.krislibrary.com/1/post/2011/08/young-muslim-donates-4000-p168000-zonta-award-prize-to-empower-muslim-womenchildren.html ), is very supportive of our plans.
But with donated funds having ran out a long time ago, we are forced to dip into our pockets if only to show love for this one tree left standing in our neighborhood now increasingly turning into a commercial area in Quezon City. Trees that used to line up our place at Don Antonio Heights, Quezon City have been felled with the building of gas station and a Puregold Grocery Store at the back of our house here, a Jollibee outlet at the side of us; and plenty of old tress are also being cut to give way to the construction of an SM Mall nearby.
As repairmen do their job and at such exorbitant price, we sometimes wonder if it would be easy to just cut this tree and stop the costly repair once and for all. What do you think?
But as we see people in Metro Manila and all over the country -- more so the kids -- getting traumatized or dying from floods and landslides, we get more convinced about the certitude of our decision to save this tree if only to teach a young generation of 233 Kris scholars to love the environment and better yet, to be become environmental warriors in the future!
If you believe in our cause of saving this tree and saving the environment, please spread this message to friends who care about Mother Nature. You may also donate for the continuing repair work to keep this tree through Paylpal (http://www.krislibrary.com/donate.html). If you want to donate through a local bank, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get our account name and number. If you are an expert on water leak matters, you may also volunteer your services to us.
Thank you very much!