The Senseless Conflagration of Mt. Apo
By Apolinario Villalobos
With the almost two weeks and still ongoing conflagration of Mt. Apo, the most “sacred” mountain in the Philippines, standing majestically between North Cotabato (Kidapawan and Makilala) and Davao (Sta. Cruz and Digos), and the highest yet, at 10,311 feet above sea level, mountaineers like me could do nothing but literally cry our heart out, at the recklessness of the irresponsible hypocrite/s who claim to be nature lover/s, and who mindlessly caused the fire.
The Breeding Station of the Philippine Eagle is found at Baracatan at the foot of the Sta. Cruz side of the mountain; the Makalangit known for its community where Filipinos of various faith, and who live among the monkeys, is found on the slope of the Makilala side of the mountain; and llomavis-Lake Agko area which is thriving as a tourist destination due to its wellness resort, for those who just want to savor the air and healthy benefits of hot the hot spring of the sacred mountain sans the tedious trek, is found on the Kidapawan side….all of them are in danger of being turned to ashes because of the seemingly uncontrollable creeping down of the fire!
UNFORTUNATELY, IT MIGHT TAKE DECADES AGAIN, BEFORE THE SACRED MOUNTAIN CAN RECOVER FROM THE SENSELESS ABUSE OF THE MORONIC “TREKKER/S” WHO JUST REFUSE TO OBSERVE THE FOLLOWING CREED:
“Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.”