They paved paradise, put up a parking lot

Author’s note (April 10,2012): SM Baguio began uprooting the trees on the eve of April 9; Luneta Hill was covered and the workers were masked. Advocates started to arrive in Luneta Hill 12am of April 10, begging the men to stop cutting the trees. But alas an alnus fell; dawn broke and Baguio has lost some of its few remaining pines. Baguio RTC Branch 6 has issued a Temporary Environmental Protection Order, stopping the uprooting, at least for now. SM still stands by their initial statement and the LGU still insists they can’t do anything about it.

Armi of Up Dharma down plays the first few notes of the band hit ‘Tadhana’ and there was a collective sound of glee that resonated not in a music bar, but in an open space in Baguio City, where students, musicians, artists and residents were in one with the cool breeze, and their beloved trees.

The evening concert came after the tree-planting activity and prayer rally of ‘Project Save 182,’ a collaborative group headed by environmental activist Dr. Michael Bengwayan to call for the trashing of SM Baguio’s redevelopment plan that involves the earth-balling of 182 trees.

On the morning of February 5, more than 182 new trees were planted at the Pines of the World park, in a symbolic act participated by some 200 advocates from Baguio, others from Manila.

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