On Top Of The World

On Top Of The World

Global warming has been a problem for years now. All over the world, people are trying to combat this through various laws regulating emissions of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Taxes, and more taxes are being imposed as the authority gets “concerned” with the ever increasing toxic elements in the air we breathe, and yet, not a single official proposes, or even campaign, for a simpler solution – rooftop gardening.
Rooftop gardening may be more famous for providing only greenery, bringing the viewers back to the long-lost nature in the midst of urban arena. But a deeper responsibility lies in this humble beauty – neutralizing the killer atmosphere. Imagine if all financially-able buildings will be required to have at least 10 plants in their rooftop, even aerial plants will be counted. How helpful can that be to us? Very, very helpful.
Now, you may be lost why I am saying all these stuff. Well, to formally introduce, our group in Climate Change was assigned to the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), a non-government unit located in Mother Ignacia Ave., Quezon City. Its main goal is actually to improve the ability of rural communities in planning sustainable development through education, livelihood, health, environment, and self-governance. But in 2008, PRRM thought of a project called, “rooftop gardening,” in promotion of organic living and urban farming here in the Philippines. And in this rooftop garden we dwelled on from our second meeting up to the present moment.
Contrary to what you, and even us, envisioned of their rooftop garden, those neat-looking plots of soil laden with plants and all that stuff, we witnessed an abandoned rooftop jungle. I am honestly disappointed as this was not like the one shown to us in the video, it is completely the opposite! I was even bewildered that our task was to clean all this mess up, and restore it to its original beauty. I lost all my eagerness to work at that time. But on a more positive note, an improvement will be more apparent in this setting. We only have to work hard enough to make a little beauty shine through. And halfway through the semester, I can proudly say that we have made a change. One of their staff first noticed of the change, and even thanked us for it. I was quite taken aback at first what she was thanking for, I even clarified what it was. Then it dawned on me to take a look again at the garden we are prodding on, and there I saw how our efforts are slowly paying off. The dead vines twirling the trellis have been long gone, the weeds are nowhere in sight, the leaked soil from the pots are carefully swept off. What a relief it was for me, for all of us in the group, that something is changing and that someone is taking note of the change. We were all energized and inspired more than ever to strive hard for this garden, and make this experience count as one of the best we had in our lives.

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3 thoughts on “On Top Of The World

  1. Hi Nadine!

    The idea of rooftop gardening is actually a very intelligent strategy to combat global, especially in urban jungles like Metro Manila. Numerous concrete buildings standing next to each other with little greenery between them causes them to act as “islands” of heat. The air circulation “service” done by the vegetation can help make the air cleaner and cooler. Furthermore, the plants can actually serve as “sponges” that will soak up water before it falls to the ground from the rooftops. Although this would require widespread planting on rooftops, this has the potential of preventing floods.

    On an aesthetic level, the beautification of Metro Manila can be done through this project. Who wants the city to look gray and bland? The greenery will surely make it look more vibrant and attractive to tourists who visit the capital of the country.

  2. Hello Enzo! Thanks for your comment. I would just like to add that despite this project of rooftop gardening may seem simple, we still have to consider the capacity of the buildings because some buildings may not be strong enough to support a garden on top. Engineers still have to be consulted on how much weight the building can hold for a long period of time.

  3. What a great concept! I have always been fascinated with rooftop gardens and this post only made me obsess about it more! I can already imagine how much impact it can make if all the owners of the buildings in the Philippines (and in other parts of the world) join this movement. Your group surely has contributed a lot not only to the organization but most importantly, to the environment. Great job guys! 🙂

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