This semester for CWTS 2 we had our field trip in Sta. Cruz, Zambales together with our partner NGO, Alyansa Tigil Mina, to witness the damage brought about by small scale mining activities around the area. We were shaken when we saw rivers that has been badly destroyed and communities that were affected, but maybe what was worse than these damages was the reaction of the people in the community. It was as if they had not been bothered by the circumstance surrounding them.
During our trip we were accompanied by Ms Josephine Astadan, a local leader and a member of the organizations Defend Zambales and the Concerned Citizens of Sta. Cruz. She shared with us all the particulars about mining activities around and how gravely it affected the resources and livelihood in Sta Cruz. It was amazing how spirited she was in dealing with all these happenings and also her willingness and enthusiasm to save what was left of the community. She was troubled by how most people were reluctant to take part in the fight against illegal mining. Why? Maybe because the proprietor of those mining operations was a member of the local government and that government official hand out material requests of the people. They cared about their present well-being and what they would receive today rather than be concerned and anxious of what’s going to happen in the future. Isn’t it somehow selfish that they would rather enjoy what they can get from that person rather than think of their community and for the future generation that would eventually suffer the consequence of their indifference? Rather than being contented with what they have now, let us all hope that one day they would stop thinking about themselves and be more considerate of the welfare of others and the future generations.