Lensmen, kids capture how Busol is being "under siege"
by Harley Palangchao
Just as the first rays of the sun pierced the morning sky of this mountain resort city, young environmentalists
were on their way to Busol watershed for a mission-to document the state of deterioration of the main sources of potable water
for the city and La Trinidad, Benguet.
Armed with their cameras, young environmentalists and photo enthusiasts were the first to ascend the forested
areas of the Busol and captured grim realities within the watershed.
Human activities such as commercial farming and human settlement intrusion make the United Nation's awardee watershed
Lensman Roland Rabang and I followed them but we separated ways after my long photo session with "indigenous"
flowers and shrubs that grow beneath the towering pine trees.
Dubbed "24 Hours in Busol" the photo documentary gave children a personal glimpse of the state of deterioration
of the forest which also serves as an open classroom and laboratory for environmental awareness among children.
Veteran documenter and environmentalist Art Tibaldo conceptualized the photo documentary after the City Environment
and Parks Management Office rang the alarm that something has to be done to protect the watershed from human settlement and
The growing public concern on the protection of the Busol watershed was brought to the fore in wake of the growing
demand for potable water not only in Baguio but worldwide. As environmentalists put it, "the world is now witnessing the worsening
civil unrest in search for potable water not for oil."
Inside Busol Watershed, I saw the fresh footprints of the children and obviously they came from an area where
they could take images of the commercial farms, particularly on the La Trinidad side of the watershed.
The concept of the Busol photo-documentary of the Busol watershed is a replica of the 1991 photo-documentary
launched by amateur and practicing photojournalists, who documented the city in its state of reconstruction after the 1990
Efforts to save the Busol watershed earned recognition from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
when it gave an award to the "ECO-WALK" program in 2002. (copied from the November 5 2006 issue of the Baguio Midland