Sometime last month, the country's highlanders began to pray for rain. They cast a dry spell on their fields that's denying them of the name Rice Granary of the Philippines. Northern Luzon is responsible for the food supply of 46% of the region. Without rain, these people would hunger.
But between Juban and Irosin in Sorsogon, Bicolanos are prthaaying not to rain. A light rain could cause the ash falls Mt. Bulusan had shot up to turn into lava and surge inland. The volcano is one of the 22 active volcanoes in the Philippines. Its explosion is the 25th time a country's volcano threatened the safety of some people.
“The lack of rains in what is already the rainy season of the country calls for divine intervention," believes Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales . "Our relief will come from nature. And so we implore the Master of all creation, God, our Father, at whose command the winds and the seas obey, to send us rain."
And so, an Oratio Imperata Ad Petendam Pluviam (Obligatory Prayer to Request for Rain) and Intercessory Prayers for Rain were ordered. They are to be offered during Masses in the Archdiocese of Manila 'until the rains come.'
Days passed and currently, a number of heavy rains had brought landslides and floods, killing 11 people in Compostela Valley and one boy in Baguio. It also led to the cancellation of classes in Metro Manila. But still, the rains were not enough in the highlands. "We need a total of 5,000 liters or eight drums of water in order to produce a kilo of rice," said Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap. He also means to say that at least 5 to 6 hours of continuous rains daily for two to three weeks are the frequency needed so that rice fields could be prepared for planting. "The three days of rains had only helped bring down the temperature in Metro Manila. They were not able to irrigate the rice lands in such provinces as Isabela, La Union, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija which were experiencing little rainfall." It even has not brought the Angat Dam to its normal operating level of 188.47 meters.
Was the secretary subtly condemning God for his inadequate action? Were the people blaming nature for its sweet revenge? Or is it just time for the environmental violators to come to their senses? Putting a spa close to the mouth of a dormant volcano is only one of the violations some of the authorities are letting investors do at the risk of infuriating Mother Nature and disturbing us. Pilipina Ako wishes that Environment Secretary Lito Atienza can do something.