NAGA CITY --- Jojo Villareal, nature lover and sportsman, tour coordinator and outdoor adventure organizer, and businessman (Kaddlagan Outdoor Shop & Services), said he wept upon being told by local residents and mountain dwellers that hundreds of trees marked X (see photo) are due to be cut down to give way to the construction of new roads towards proposed dams within the path of the Rangas River inside the crater of Mt. Isarog, which is within the realm of the restricted Mt. Isarog National Park, which is clearly a protected area.
Sources said the dams to be constructed are part of a hydro-electric plant to be built in the area that will kill and stunt the growth of endemic trees.
Concerned environmentalists wonder who gave the permission to the proposed constructions in the protected area. According to Villareal, the raw and natural beauty of the forest mountain, with the “refined relaxing rejuvenating scents of ancient pine trees thriving along the slopes of the mountain’s crater” are just one of the many irreplaceable natural wonders that may be missed if none from the lowlands would oppose the threatening road and dam construction. The orange colored rocks shown in the photo are the other unique features within the bosom of Mt. Isarog.
Unknown to many, the herpetological wonders of Mt. Isarog have been internationally acclaimed as one of the Philippines’ most fragile and treasured centers of biological diversity. As a natural park, its rainforests continue to attract foreign and local scientists, and the more adventurous and yet nature loving mountain trekkers, many of them Jojo had safely guided to explore and appreciate God’s gifts without hurting any of the rare and common plant and animal species inhabiting there.
Undisturbed and unaltered landscape of Mt. Isarog will help continue its noble task of shielding us from strong typhoons, preventing floods, and providing us potable water for as long as the critical portions of the vast mountain are sustained and nurtured as they are: protected areas.