September 30, 2023

(Note: Translated in English by Marilou Dectan S. Wadingan, this piece was originally composed in Kankana-ey and was delivered by a Grade 4 pupil in an oration contest. It won first prize during the Feast of St. Joseph Parish in Kilong, Sagada, Mountain Province in 2006.)

Look around, look at me. I am the environment and the Earth you are supposed to take care of.
My feeling groans. I cannot breathe. I cannot move freely, I am destroyed.
The environment is very hot. The water in my body has no more life.
Where are the fresh and clean air, soil, and forests within me? The water that was clean? Forests full of wild pigs, deer, trees, birds, and others?
Let us look around. There are still forests, mountains, and living creatures like deer and wild pigs. But is this true? If it is, I do not know. May I look around? There are only few of them left.
Every day, people cut trees in the forests and mountains without replacing them with new ones. They keep on hunting the wild as well.
Rivers and creeks are getting dry. Places get flooded even with just a light downpour. Fish from rivers are becoming extinct due to “alcamphor” and other poisons that wipe them out. The air is no longer fresh.
My friend, how will we save our environment that was once beautiful and given by God for us to take care?
Everybody can do something. Children, young as they are, can do their part by helping plant trees, clean their premises, and to tell others not to do things that will harm the environment. Pocket the wrappers of what we have eaten and pick up garbage lying around.
Do not burn our garbage, especially plastics, because it destroys the ozone layer that protects us from too much sunlight.
Our environment is in an awful condition, we all have contributed to the difficulties it is experiencing.
Children should help in taking care of our environment and for such deed, we will be blessed.