Mining started to operate extensively in the towns of Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, and RTR in the province of Agusan del Norte. The presence of huge gold, copper nickel, and manganese deposits in the mountains along the coastal areas were the targets of a group of individuals, and a companies sprouting from small scale to large scale mining. There was a report that $3.3 million per shipment, and it happened 2 times a week. That’s a lot of money here!
Accordingly, the shipping of gold went through the benefiting country which is China. (I remember historic Butuan’s trading relations with China before – history repeat itself – but not this good.)
25 Years Ago
I remember when I was 12 years old, and a member of Boy Scout movement in the Philippines, we had a camping in Pook, La Fraternidad, Tubay. Pook beach was not fine sand but composed of pebbles that is tickling in your feet, and feels good when you take a walk or swim in the beach. Early morning, dolphins began to emerge near the shoreline. We clap our hands for joy, and wooed these creatures when it passes by. It’s a rare opportunities for everyone to catch this live before our eyes!
Facing the shoreline, of course, big mountains where we took a stroll, and climbing there almost at the top. There you saw the beauty of the ocean. The waves reached the shoreline in a white line. Sunset showed as it began to fade away in the horizon. You will never forget how ocean, mountains, and sunset blend in one spectacular setting of the day.
The Real Threat
I would like to say, the horrendous effects of mining was damaging to the environment. Mountains beginning to shrink, became bald, and later, a lost natural structures. The cutting of trees in the mountains which is crucial to our existence as part of ecosystem could lead us to continuous flooding and landslides. In fact, mountains protect us from the fury of natures such as typhoons and tsunamis.
The sad part here is that one of the tourist paradises that I posted here was lost its ground as haven for hide away vacationers and became dead was Tubay Mountain Beach Resort. Its seashore turned red because of the continuous mining operations in the area. So sad for this one!
As we know, Tubay has one…while Jabonga has six beautiful diving sites. Without knowing, all these diving sites slowly turned dead in the near futures as mining operations continue to rack-up in the coastal areas.
God created these mountains as a gift to us. He didn’t create these things for us to suffer, but to give us joy in our hearts. The joy was eternal because he created it perfectly with His own hands and showed it to us. For our part, the responsibility is to take care of the things that God have shown to us.
I am calling, therefore, to all those concerned citizens, bond together by showing awareness and open our eyes in stopping mining operations. Elected officials must take the lead (I hope they can!), showing how they care for the environment they live and the people that surrounds them who expect great things from them, or else, as what Jun Lozada said (ZTE-NBN scandal star witness) “moderate your greed, baka kako yan ay bubukol.”