If you have observed, I’ve been posting a lot of photos since the the start of Mt. Apo’s Forest/Grass Fire. I was equally devastated along with mountaineers and concern citizens alike in the country. After all, it is Mt. Apo- our living Philippine Pride and country’s highest peak, the God of all Philippine Mountain and the home of the Philippine Eagle.
I could still remember how magnificent you are from afar. Our feet and body were dying due to exhaustion but that unexplainable spell in you had kept us going for days.
I had this shot during our descend. And this is now how it looked like after the fire had consumed more than 300-hectare.
The last photo was taken during Mt. Apo Forest Fire Incident Aerial Reconnaissance
on March 30th. For the full video, please see here.
Meanwhile, all the grass as seen in this photo taken at the peak itself, over viewing the crater, were now gone. This was previously posted in the Fifth Series of Major Climb Series.
But right now, this is how it looked like.
‘Tis called from grasses to ashes, turning green scenery into a black scene.
If I looked at these photos by Shobe (as posted in VII|Major Climb: Around the Campsite), it was really beyond beautiful. It’s majestic! ❤
Fast forward to this day, it suddenly became a desert-like full of burned grasses and wild berries. No green plants were ever seen until then.
It would be very selfish to say at least we made it year! The fire was not yet fully contained. Whether it’s a human mistake (the closest possible cause of this ordeal) or other factor such as El Nino wouldn’t change how you truly suffered right now. As a result, we might not able to see you for the next 3-5 years- or even more until you will be fully healed.
This was really frustrating enough to know. The truth is, while there was a positive response from different organizations here and abroad and the call for volunteers grew in numbers only in a matter of days, another forest fire started in Mt. Matutum and Mt. Kitanglad only after few days.
As a result, Mt. Matutum is said to be closed to the public to trekkers to prevent more fires. This is exactly a good decision for the mountain itself is at stake especially in a middle of El Nino. The cause, however was not yet determined.
On top of these forest fires, photos of Mt. Kitanglad on fire was taken by Mr. Michael Pizarro started to go viral. I was really shocked knowing that trekking activities in the said mountain was temporarily banned days after Mt. Apo Fire Incident so it must not have been caused y a human mistake.
Mt. Kitanglad is a mountain range which risks other areas to be affected. It’s one of the greatest pride of my hometown, Bukidnon, home of endemic species and our dear Lumads.
While these blaze can reflect how alarming our environment condition is, this also shows how prepared are we when these disasters come. It is a reminder of our responsibility as the supposed “Caretakers of Nature”. Always remember what has been said this this video, “Nature doesn’t need people. People need Nature”.
Our prayers dwell with these mountains and for the volunteers as well. They sure to heal in time. But we have to remember that while nature has the ability to recuperate, fast recovery still greatly depends on the cooperation of us concerned citizens.