Please spread the word: Mt. Balagbag, the land cries out, for they have taken the trees away


One of the mountains closest to the Metro Manila area is Mt. Balagbag, in Rodriguez, Rizal. With its proximity to the city, it ought to have been the perfect nature escape for city dwellers, being practically less than an hour away from SM Fairview. One fine April morning my friends and I decided to visit the mountain to check it out.

We were dismayed with what we saw. There are no more trees; the soil is parched. It was almost unbearably hot. The impact of the barren mountain on mountaineers may be manifest in their sunburned skin, but there is a more profound impact on the Metropolis, and this relates to natural calamities such as those wrought by Typhoon ‘Ondoy’ just two years ago.
Even more dismal, is the fact that logging goes on – and if this picture is not evidence, I do not what is. Being at the foot of the Sierra Madre, Mt. Balagbag connects to other mountains east – where lies the forests of Quezon. The log transporters carry the logs to trails that are not part, and when we decided to follow them, they mysteriously disappeared. All we saw at the end of the trail was a fenced farmland with a sign that read: “No Trespassing”.
We already have fellow mountaineers such as the UP Mountaineers Environment Committee (UPMEnCom) taking the lead in this area and we can support them. I will coordinate with them to see how we can help. Other groups may have their own advocacies as well. And if you know someone in DENR or other government agencies, please inform them that this is going on; exhort them to act. Every one cannot anything you can ask of him or her, but everyone can do something. Mt. Balagbag is a mountain that we can bring back to life. Please spread the word because awareness is the first step towards change.

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14 Comments on "Please spread the word: Mt. Balagbag, the land cries out, for they have taken the trees away"


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Anonymous
6 years 6 months ago

Hallo. . I am also a hiker from manila and I was planning to climb mt. balagbag. . During a convo with my uncle, nalaman q na may nabili siyang lupa sa mt. balagbag at kasama ang mga locals at nagtatanim sila ng mga crops at iba pang mlalaking puno.. kung mapapansin nu, bago kau dumating sa trail, may mga kasoy, calamansi, mahogany at mga marang pa na tanim dito.. yup, nabili ng tito q ng lupa at npa survey na din sa munisipyo. . correct me if im wrong, parang nabili nila ang rights nung lupa at take note na meron po homeowners association jan na may permit sa munisipyo.. cguro dapat mapag usapan ng maayos kung paano mapapangalagaan ang bundok bilang mga homeowners at environmentalist. .kung may balak kau gawin, cguro dapat kausapin nu ang mga locals na nakabili ng lupa at ang munisipyo para sa ikakabubuti ng lugar.. to be honest, may lupa din kaming nabili jan malapit sa peak at tatay q araw araw ang nagtatanim ng mga marang, saging, sibuyas, bawang at luya at kinakain namin un..kaso minsan may mga baboy damo na bigla na lng guguluhin ung mga pananim.. magulo ang statement q kc neutral aq sa topic na to hehehe

Guest
6 years 6 months ago

Among the things I learned from my forestry subjects in College is that only 16% of any mountain slope and below can be private land. From 16% and above of any Philippine mountain, by national law they are public land.

So the supposed "owner" of that gated land going to the summit has no right to seek its ownership.

Guest
Anonymous
6 years 6 months ago

our school will conduct a NSTP tree planting project at Mount Balagbag tomorrow.
sana makatulong sa nakalbong gubat, kahit 150 trees lang ang nakayanan ng mga batang idonate.

Guest
Anonymous
7 years 10 months ago

Ayon kay Mr. Dante Navarro, (Tourism Officer – City Government of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan and current Vice President for Luzon at ASSOCIATION OF TOURISM OFFICERS OF THE PHILIPPINES) ang Mt. Balagbag ay hindi pag-aari ninuman. Ito ay kasalukuyang ipino-promote ng City Tourism's Office – SJDM, Bulacan bilang isang tourist destination. Meron isang politiko na nang-aangkin ng bundok subalit wala siyang dokumentong makakapagpatunay na siya ang nagmamay-ari nito. Open po itong bundok sa ano mang proyekto gaya ng tree planting, makipag-ugnayan po lamang sa opisina ni Mr. Navarro. Maaari rin po siyang makontak sa numerong 0921-7109526. Sa kasalukuyan wala pong dapat ikatakot sa pag-akyat dito.

Guest
7 years 11 months ago

~Repost from Sir Jay Z Jorge~

CLIMB ADVISORY: Ako po ay naipit sa palitan ng putok ng mga sundalo at NPA nakaraang huwebes ng umaga sa Mt. Balagbag at ang aking sasakyan ay ginamit ng mga sundalo bilang rescue at get away vehicle upang madala ang sugatan nilang kasama sa hospital… isa lang pong paalala sa mga aakyat sa Mt. Balagbag konti pong pag iingat at narinig ko po sa mga sundalo nang ako ay kanilang kausapin na magkakaroon sila ng operation sa mga kalapit na bundok tulad ng Mt. Oriod at iba pa… kung maari po sana na huwag po muna tayong umakyat sa Mt. Balagbag para na rin po sa ating kaligtasan. ito po ang larawan ng newsclip nakaraang biyernes. Salamat po…