Monday, September 28, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy

By this time, there could have been a lot of stories on what happened last Saturday to thousands of Metro Manila residents and nearby provinces that were directly hit by the typhoon. Up to this time, several areas and subdivisions are still submerged with flood waters caused by the typhoon. What can we do? We can help through donations or volunteer work. ABSCBN and GMA 7 are asking donations and volunteers and we can help by participating in their relief efforts.

What happened is definitely nature showing us that no matter how advanced our technology is, in the end nature will still prevail. What we can do is take care of our environment and pray that we can recover quickly from natural calamities. If we watched the news for the past 2 days, one can observe that flood waters are usually brown in color. These waters are from the mountains near Rizal, Bulacan, Tarlac and Pampanga. The Sierra Madre mountain range starts in Northern Luzon and ends in Rizal and Laguna. Brown waters came down from the mountains collecting silt and mud. The flood water we see around Pasig and Marikina are heavily silted which only means water came from the mountains going to the river and causing it to everflow. Silt turns into mud which makes rivers turn shallow and clog areas in addition to the garbage thrown by residents near river areas. What causes silt and mud to go to the rivers? Soil is loosened because of heavy logging, mining and irresponsible actions we do to our mountains. Can we say now that nature is responsible to the calmity we experienced for the past 2 days? Definitely not. Nature is there to remind us. It is just unfortunate that we still have to learn our lesson after so many deaths and properties damaged.

Maybe after we donate and do volunteer work, we should think long term and consider the situation very well. Please join efforts in reforestation and tree planting so we can make a difference to the generations ahead us. Please spread information that beyond the natural calamity and heavy rainfall we experienced, we still need to spread the information in preserving our environment. Join forest conservation efforts now and make a difference in the future.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Love for Biking

When i was a kid, i really was into bikes. I remember when my mom bought me my first bike, a red one with 2 small tires at the back to support me from falling down. Then i had my 2nd bike, a bigger one, colored green with no more small tires at the back because i already knew how to balance and ride my bike. My third bike was a bmx model bike. It was the most famous model during the 80's and eventhough we were not rich, i begged my mom and dad to buy me a new one. I finally got my own bmx bike, probably as a birthday or Christmas gift and i remember every part of it until this very day. I proudly rode my bike anywhere, even to school (eventhough i have my schoolbus), and i love it when there are jeepney strikes because my mom had no choice but to let me ride my bike to go to school.

When i got too old for my bmx bike, i tried to venture into mountain bikes. These bikes cost a fortune and college had too many expenses for me to buy my own bike. Plus bike riding was not really my hobby then. I was into mountain hiking and snorkeling. After college, when i worked in Haribon Foundation, i got an opportunity to organize a big fund raising event that involved cyclists and runners. Little did i know that upon meeting people who are so into outdoor biking, it rekindled my interest in riding a bike. My friend even offered me a bike which was for sale then, it was very basic, with good parts and it cost around 15K. I had little savings then and i could ask for further discount but unfortunately, it did not materialize. A few months after, i had the chance to own my first car. I enjoyed every bit of it and again, lost interest in bikes. Once in a while, when we visit UP Diliman to jog or just play in the open field with my wife and son, i see people riding their bikes and wondered if i will be able to buy my own in the future.

Two weeks ago, when we went to Cartimar to buy things for our aquarium and an orchid for my wife's mom, i saw a few bike shops. I decided to have a look before going home. It was a wrong move. I saw lots of models, parts, i even asked for the prices of bikes which i think looks good and since then, i could not get it out of my mind. How can i be into bikes again? I have a car i love, which was a bit expensive to maintain, a 2 year old son who loves to eat and does not got tired of drinking milk and a salary which was competitive 5 years ago. My wife and i were even planning to buy a laptop this Christmas and buying a bike was really out of the budget. I guess, i have to wait and see. I now understand that my love for bikes is just like my love for cars. No matter what i do to forget it or put them aside, it will still be with me and remind me once in a while. It won't stop until i get it. Hopefully, in the near future, i will be able to afford it. Probably when my son learns to ride?