Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Tree of Life

In the Philippines, "the tree of life" known as the Coconut palm tree is part of our everyday life. All of its parts, from the leaves, fruit, husk, sap, trunk and even the roots are utilized to make various household / commercial / agricultural products, lumber and most importantly as food and drink.

I am not certain of it's origin because some say that it is native to southern or tropical asia, which we are definitely a part of, but some literature such as the "Revised LEXICON OF PHILIPPINE TREES" by Justo P. Rojo has indicated this tree to be an introduced species to our country. All I can say is that it has been a significant part of our country especially to our daily lives.

In Laguna particularly San Pablo City wherein the main produce of the province is the Coconut fruit (buko, niyog and copra is as synonymous to the famous rambutan and lanzones), it is being cut down to be used as coco lumber. What was once a forest that have been replaced with vast plantations of coconut trees and banana plants are now dwindling further into insignificant use of land or plantations.

I have noticed that since my regular trips to this area for five years now the local people there have been cutting coconut trees without giving much thought as to the adverse effects of their acts........ How can i be sure of this you ask me? It is because of the sound of the chainsaw that I usually hear from neighboring lands during random visits to my family's property, then seeing coco lumber piled up on the side road or smoke rising up to the sky. It is sad that the cut trees are not replaced with new seedlings, thus it is inevitable that all will be lost in due time.

Furthermore, it is very sad that the locals who rely on the remaining coconut plantations are the same people who destroy the very source of their own livelihood. How stupid is that?


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