You can cry in awe at the natural riches of the mountain town of Adams, you can also cry in alarm at the beauty in retrograde. More than a week ago, a hornbill-wielding Adams local made the rounds in the net. On Holy Thursday, walking the paths to glorious havens, howling slices of burnt old sod cripple you momentarily.
Late last year, 3,250 hectares (32.3 sq km) of the only remaining high-biodiversity lands were proclaimed the Adams Wildlife Critical Habitat (AWCH) by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). (Read my story on Rappler here.)
Who is terrified of a fangless snake?
Going to Adams in 2005 was a turning point in my life. So much beauty to suck in. Before the rainforest town turns into another denuded town, I made a pact with myself to help save in my own little way what is there left.
Between 2005 and the present, the town has changed hands at least 2 times. The concept of ecotourism my organization (LEAD Movement) has tried to establish in partnership with the local government in 2005 has evolved into two things, economy and tourism. The third element — the eco in ecology was left behind.
Natural assets are magnets to the lust of greed and power. Miners from the outside world remain to threaten these ancestral domains. Sitio Bucarot is a looming security issue — shades of Spratlys. Archaic indigenous culture persists to defy conservation.
All an ordinary citizen like me can do is bask and pray in Adams.