Illegal logging has been a perennial problem in the province of Aurora. A reality that we have to face despite the implementation of President Aquino's Executive Order No. 23 declaring an indefinite log ban all over the country.
It’s good to know that there are environmental groups such as the Noble Blue Falcons International (NBFI) - environmentalists, peace crusaders. A pro-environment non-government organization with a membership of at least 2 million worldwide, of which more than 400,000 members are in the Philippines. The group organizes environmental awareness campaigns, forest watch and monitoring as well as reforestation under its diverse environmental programs.
On my 2nd day in Baler, I was invited by my friend who is an active member of NBFI to join them in their independence day celebration with an induction of new members to the group. We had a motorcade from Baler to the town of Maria Aurora and drove all the way to Brgy. Bazal where the orientation will be held on a riverside at the foot of Mt. Udok.
At first, I was clueless as to what NBFI is all about. However, as the orientation went on with speeches and testimonials from the officers and current members, I came to realize what the group’s mission is all about. It’s the preservation and protection of the mountains of Aurora province and to keep it free from any form of logging activities.
Defending the environment is such a noble act and I was so impressed with how they have dedicated their time and efforts on what they are fighting for. Groups such as this should be at the forefront in helping and promoting environmental awareness not only in the province of Aurora but also in the entire country.
As their guest, I was asked to give a short introduction about myself.
Who am I?
What am I doing in Aurora?
These are the common questions that were asked to me. I vividly answered them and explained who Pinoy Adventurista is.
I hope that somehow I was able to inspire them to travel and explore the Philippines more. I believe that travelling and environmental awareness could go hand in hand. In travelling, you get to see and experience our country's exquisite beauty and natural wonders. In that way, preservation and care for our environment will follow.
Loving what you see, appreciating the beauty of nature is tantamount to caring for it. There’s still hope if we work together in preserving our environment for the next generation. We must all be part in helping and joining the fight against illegal logging and any form of annihilation to our environment.
After the orientation, we feasted on the food they have prepared. After which, some took a dip and enjoyed the cold water in the rushing current of the river, while the others (including me..) were busy taking pictures of the beautiful surroundings.
We had the group photo taken, then started the trek back to the main road. We bid goodbye to everyone, while me and some new friends head back to Baler.
We went to my friend’s house and had some booze. At around 11:00 PM, we called it a day. Cheers!!!
My 4-day "love affair" with Aurora happened last June 11-14, 2011. Here's a series of posts on what transpired during my stay in a province that I quickly have fallen in love with. This is my 4th solo trip and 27th province on my list.
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