Dialogue with Nature and the Center for the Poor

The pandemic Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) paralyzed all human activities. The world’s longing to rest indeed happen, unfortunately great crisis on the part of humanity. This alarming rate of change is too difficult to pinpoint the cause and effect, we may not have seen the worst of it. But one thing is clear, this WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. It has hurt most human pride and reminds us again that we need to care for one another. On a lockdown with so much time that we do not know what to do with it, suddenly we silently see within ourselves and understand the value of the words “solidarity”, “love”, “strength”, “empathy”, “faith”. In an instant we realized that we are all in the same boat; rich and poor. That the supermarket shelves are empty and the hospitals are full. New cars and old cars also stand in the garages, simply because nobody can get out. Self-isolation and social distancing forced us to be alone even on the last hour of our deathbed. The human returns to his origins, realizing that with or without money, the important thing is to survive. Today, health is the main thing, even in spite of wanting to have or possessing. Nature is forcing us to clean up the mess made by ourselves. We do not have the power of controlling everything. The situation is simply telling us to go back to the basics, to the essentials, that the peace of your soul guide you towards what you are: a CREATION.

 Sustainability Revolution – Is the greatest people’s movement possibly to happen after the Pandemic COVID-19. Much more intensified by the current period marked by tremendous upheaval with a small window of opportunity to reverse a devastating ecological decline. Today’s suffering cause by lockdown to people is just the beginning of more sufferings to come in a global scale, as many scientists see recent climate-related mass die off, including the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and widespread seabird and marine mammal mortality in the Northeastern Pacific linked to a marine heat wave, as warming signs of impending biodiversity collapse.

If it gets too hot for bumblebees, for example, it affects the reproduction of plants.  If it gets too warm for insects and reptiles, it affects food supplies for birds and mammal. As global warming heats their habitat to the point that it is intolerable, many species have no place to go. Some will go extinct, with domino effect that affects scores of other species. I hope our predictions are wrong. But increasingly, what we’re observing around us are the signs of this happening.” (Alex Pigot – Bio-diversity researcher at University College, London).

Lockdowns and Social distancing won’t save the world from warming. As the United Nation’s secretary general recently noted, the threat from coronavirus is temporary whereas the threat from heat waves, floods and extreme storms resulting in the loss of human life will remain with us for years. But amid this crisis, we have a chance to build a better future.

Food Sovereignty – Who controls the seeds? Who owns farm lands produce that dominates our supermarkets? Who dictates price commodities that controls fair trades for all consumers? When you ask poor people in the rural areas why life is hand to mouth existence “Isang Kahig – Isang Tuka”? Their answer is so ironical to what you see from vacant vast lands, rotten farm products around, excessive time of recreations. The reason is; No jobs available, No land to till, No financial capital, No seeds available, No support from the government, No water system, No machineries, 6 children in – do-re-mi, widowed, sinior or advanced aged, abused, rebels, militarized, displaced, demolished, migrants, no education, discriminate, individualistic, … name it and the list goes down. Complicated, mixed-up, and torturing to imagine. It is not that no staple food at all (rice/corn/banana/root crops). The problem is systemic and structural. The dominant maneuvering of agribusiness industries, oligarchs/elites, wresting the land from the peasantry, plundering our natural resources and creating billions of profit so they could accumulate more land and more wealth. It is a system that engenders structural inequalities resulting to the dispossession of peasant lands, the deterioration of agriculture, and the penury of the rural populace.

Living Museum of the Center for the Poor as our Pilot area – We have to open this land for the people as what we called it “UMAHANTA” Community Farming Site.  To establish and produce farm products which is sustainable for people to live.  For women’s productivity by creating Income Generating Projects (IGP’s) from food products to livelihood activities.  Teach people to produce enough food and erase the season of hunger (tiempo muerto) that regularly stalks the land.  Work of a technology that is appropriate, ecologically balance & safe. Train people to be fully self-reliant so as not to fall prey to the schemes of agrochemical companies, traders and loan sharks that capitalize on the penury of farmers to wrest the land and livelihood from them. Practice Organic Farming & Sustainable Agriculture.  Must able to save and use the traditional rice, corn, and vegetable seed varieties that are not dependent on heavy chemical input.  We can Conduct Training Programs (EMS) ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM. Strengthening Centers & Collective Farms. We must fight for a sustainable maximization of the land and our natural resources. And finally, we must look forward and work for a just, equitable, judicious use of our natural and human resources.

OUR CALL FOR COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOR – This current period of our time is marked by tremendous upheaval of unprecedented technological innovations affecting health, manufacturing, communi-cations, transportation and agriculture. Gently invites us to make a few personal sacrifices that benefit the whole – to shift our inner place from ego-system to eco-system. As Pandemic Virus strikes us globally, Climate Change affects us collectively, we have to realize that we have to move as community to combat any of these crisis and of another crisis to come. Individualize or “Kanya-kanya” will not work anymore, instead it will drown us more together to our own grave yard. Let us take in a deeper sense the “BAYANIHAN TO HEAL AS ONE ACT” officially designated as Republic Act No. 11469 as a law of this land (Philippines) that was enacted on the last days of March 2020. The word “Bayanihan” is a Tagalog word for Communal Work. We believe that we are all connected and that by helping another, we help ourselves. Each individual can make a commitment to work towards the common good. As individuals, our personal contributions may be small, but when united in common cause, we can change the world.

Let us reshape our planet,

revolutionizing sustainable life style of today,

and the next to come.

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