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cecile s. yumul
cecile s yumul LOVERS OF world literature and those familiar with the Mahabharata epic will recognize the word Gita, it being part of the 18 volumes of the world's longest epic. For instant recall, it is in the chapter of Bhagavad-Gita (Song of the Lord).

"There are certain symbols that are common to many cultures, especially in their distant past. One such is the Cosmic Tree. Devotees of Wagner's music will well remember the Welt-Atem, the World Ash, that grew through the center of the earth, and how in Die Walkure Sigmund draws out the great sword Nothung that had been thrust into it by Wotan, his father.

"India, too has this symbol, and Krishna opens the fifteenth chapter of the Gita with these words: 'There is a fig tree in ancient story, the giant Ashwattha, the everlasting, rooted in heaven, its branches earthward: each of its leaves is a song of the Vedas, and he who knows it knows all the Vedas.' (Bhagavad Gita 15:1) Sargeant is more accurate: 'They speak of the eternal ashwattha tree, having its roots above and branches below, whose leaves are the hymns. He who knows this is a knower of the Vedas.' This has both a macrocosmic meaning and a microcosmic one." (Bhagavad Gita Commentary–Seventy-three–by Swami Nirmalananda Giri)

Never did it dawn on me that thirty years after I delivered an oral presentation of this epic in my MA Literature class at the University of Sto. Tomas, I would by like Arjuna, waging war, almost flying down from Mt. Arayat in a 21st century chariot, a car.

Mapalyaring by this time balu yu na in different parts of the world that I almost went amok king Balibago area uli na ning depat da ketang Gita tree keng vacant lot near the Imacon church. Ikua miya pa naman asagip ding abe kung DRC Team (Mario Dayrit, Renante Ramos, Novem Pangilinan, Javy Millan, Steven Minoza) at Louie Reyes of the Green Youth Brigade aniang Mierkulis, April 27.

May 2, 2011, miras ya king Department of Justice, Pulung Maragul, Angeles City itang complaint affidavit. Accompanied by Inspector Tolentino and two policemen, we went to the fiscal's office, paid a filing fee, and I was sworn to before the fiscal. In taung mikipasari king mibsu pamamate ning Gita tree makikilala yang king lagyung Winnie Adorador ning Global Prime, CMS Building, MacArthur Highway, Angeles City.

One Mateo Manzano is now my personal lookout on the Gita tree. I pasaload him every other day, just to make sure I get informed in the quickest time of any suspicious person getting near the tree. From his narrative, we also found out to our horror that the butchery and mutilation of the Gita tree started on the morning after Easter Sunday Mass. With branches as massive and a height towering over even a four-storey building, it would have been impossible for anyone to miss the crime taking place. The tree has been shading the Sta. Maria Immaculate Conception Church.

It is said, that we create our own heaven and hell even while we are here on earth. It proves now that the men in shrouds truly know what they say just because the priest there and pious church goers didn't do anything for the tree. From Easter Sunday onwards they will have a regular serving of what priests tell us from the pulpit about the fires of hell. That is exactly how it will be like, what with its locked glass windows and massive wooden doors. No amount of air conditioning will be enough to cool the place.

Antimong sisti, ngara ding vendors a mula-mulala aniang atiu ke karin, "Anta makanunu da pung dandaman, atche, todo saradu la reng awang. Ing pari ala yang damdaman, at panandaman uling paka-aircon la." O lawan ta kanian ening peburen de ing tanaman.

Sana magi yang lisyun karing memalen tamu na gang ordinaryu kang tau, gang pandak ka, malati, mataba, payatut o nanu pa man, malyari mung ipatuknang ing e mayap a dapat.

Kambe nita, nia naman Sabadu, digsu mikagulu king arap AUF. Miras ku karin 10:30 AM. na uling menibat ku pa TV/radio show. Atin lang kamalian ding DENR mu naman at AUF at contractor king earthballing. Sebianan ku na la manibat pa niang mumuna, kailangan ding tau bayu pa man ing nanung daptan, mamaskil lang kapabaluan. Ing miliari, nia pang lilipat kung dalan papunta karela karin ko ikit ding papaskil dang notice king earthballing. Bagia namu . . .

Mesalese naman, oneng ing milyari, mitakutan la ring DENR karing tau. Bandang tauli, linto ku pang taga-explain king daraptan da. Ngaku pin kang Bong Lacson, bagia naku mu, maririndi naku! Dios tamo, istung pikandutan daku karin, kulang ku pa, malati kung dili! Osmap mataba ko! Eda ku agad dasnan butul. At palage ku makapamile ku at makapamildis pa naman panga bayu daku agisan pikandutan king pali.

Seriously, there is something very very wrong with our cabalens when you allow something like this and not do anything about it. We from the Save The Trees Coalition are passionate, objective individuals. We seek out the best option for the remaining trees older than any of your children. The present generation will never grow anything like this to maturity anymore, what with the intense heat, lack of rainfall, and cemented pavements everywhere. No room for living things (eventually your sons and daughters included because of different illnesses that will pour in like plagues).

In the latest studies, an urban tree life expectancy has greatly reduced to eight years on the average when you factor in the change in weather patterns, extreme heat, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, to name just a few. Science says, it takes ten years before a tree will be able to produce oxygen to counter the pollution around its area.

That is why you must understand the rage that takes over whenever I see an old tree killed in less than ten minutes by powerful chainsaws. Twenty-first century chainsaw massacre I call it. For we can never in our lifetime see the likes of the Gita tree there in Balibago. According to the previous owners in the 1900's (Flores family), the tree was already massive when they bought the place. Mr. Flores, now in his late seventies, mentioned in our converstation that his impression of the tree was massive because it was so tall already even during that time before the war. As a personal witness for my part, way back in the early sixties, we bought our LPG tank supply there. It housed the Rockgas Station. Counting back the years and of what Mateo Manzano said, including the recollection of Mr. Flores, the Gita tree could be part of the seedlings brought in by the traders from India in the 19th century. That makes it no less than 200 years old.

Alang mumunang sisi ngara pin din matua. Pupulan mu nung nanu ing tenam mu.

I have a taste of heaven in my place in everywhere else I have physical, soul connection. For all the disasters, both manmade and natural, even in the latest disaster that hit Japan, in the aftermath, none that which man has so proudly erected could withstand the fury of Mother Nature striking back. Seen in many footages, standing still are trees as living witnesses to tragedies men heap upon themselves. I may not be the expert with multiple degrees and title, but my belief in the three decades I have walked the disaster path is to keep the old trees among us, especially in the urban jungles taking over our midst. No engineering intervention, infrastructures will hold the soil, will hold the landslides, the floods, except for the trees.



Mas masanting siguru nung ding readers tamu akit da nanu ya dagul at itsura ing GITA TREE na sibuknan dang paten.

Oreni ding mapilan letratu kinua da kabang makitaltalan ku karing DENR minta at pulis.

Itang last frame a buong tanaman yapin ya iyan. Osmap tinipa ku niang April 7, 2011 at kinua ku letratu na giang marakal lalabas sake uling kayugtuan aldo. Asne kaputi kanita uling sapak yang sampaga. Ing bawu da ring sampaga na wawangis la king dama de noche at mamawu la ustung mag gatpanapun pabengi.

It took four adults to embrace the entire width of the trunk. Aku ing malati, mangadagul la ngan ding lalaking abe ku (obvious naman ga nakung kili kili ning siping ku).

saving the gita tree

saving the gita tree

saving the gita tree

saving the gita tree

saving the gita tree

[About the author. A renaissance social worker, a revolutionary teacher, a supporter of artists, a trail-blazing woman of substance, Cecile S. Yumul is an embodiment of the phrase "Carpe diem!" This multi-awarded teacher/broadcast journalist started her broadcasting career over 27 years ago. Her radio/tv show "Bukas Bayan" has been on air since 1999 and is still airing with a multi-sectoral fan base. She is an accomplished cook, a mystic gardener, an actress, and a true environmentalist—a distinction she is indeed proud of.]

-Posted: 8:54 AM 5/10/11 | More of this author on eK!