Save Sierra Madre: 10 Local Songs that Promote Environmental Awareness

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The Sierra Madre is the longest mountain range in the Philippines, covering the northeast coast of Luzon from Cagayan to Quezon province. It serves as a natural shield against incoming typhoons and floods from the Pacific Ocean. One of the biggest threats to Sierra Madre is the Kaliwa Dam Project, which according to a government-conducted environmental impact assessment, would “endanger endemic wildlife and plants, drive massive species migration, and pose risks to lowland agricultural and fishing communities with a history of flash flooding.”

Since Super Typhoon Karding ravaged Central Luzon last month, there have been renewed calls to protect Sierra Madre and all the forests in the country and oppose the construction of Kaliwa Dam. Coincidentally, this came just as the nation was observing the 13th anniversary of the onslaught of “Ondoy” on September 26, which left hundreds dead and tens of thousands of families homeless.

This playlist features songs that not only promote environmental awareness but also expose those accountable for its destruction.

“Magkaugnay” by Joey Ayala at ang Bagong Lumad.

The first track from the album “Mga Awit ng Tanod-Lupa” brilliantly illustrates the connectivity of all things in the ecosystem.

“Para Kay Andre” by Buklod.

Written by Rom Dongeto for his son Kei Andre, which according to him, “[does not only] tackles the fears of a parent for his son amidst wanton destruction of the natural environment, but it is also about the plight of many children in our country who are victims of violence and are suffering from unbridled poverty.”

“Dumpsite” by Pan.

Former Yano vocalist and environmental advocate Dong Abay wittily depicts the water pollution problem in Metro Manila with this track from the “Parnaso ng Payaso” album.

“Linta” by The Jerks.

From the “Rapu-Rapu atbp.: Taghoy ng Kalikasan” compilation album, Vyjohn Olavario wrote this song that exposes the destructive effects of imperialist plunder in the country.

“Katapusan” by Joel Costa Malabanan.

Professor Malabanan cautions against the effects of environmental degradation brought by modernization and human negligence with this song from the “Kantalikasan” compilation album, which is a product of a songwriting competition by the DENR- Environmental Management Bureau.

“Naglahong Paraiso” by Musikang Bayan.

This nostalgic song from the “Anak ng Bayan” album is about longing for a “lost paradise” and calls for the restoration of natural resources. Music and lyrics by Danny Fabella and Levy Abad, Jr., with vocals provided by Arlene Pabroquez.

“Dam” by Gary Granada

“Dam” is a social commentary about the government’s development projects that destroy the environment and displace indigenous communities.

“Kwentong Aray” by Edwin Quismundo.

The first-prize winner of the “Earth Day 1990” song festival and part of the compilation album “Pinagpalang Mundo.”

“Masdan mo ang Kapaligiran” by Asin.

The message of this Pinoy folk-rock classic is simple but very important: be aware of what is happening in the environment. Music by Cesar “Saro” Baňares, Jr. and Lolita Carbon.

“Sierra Madre” by Buklod.

A reggae song from the album “Sa Kandungan ng Kalikasan” that calls for the preservation of the environment for the benefit of future generations.

About the Cover Photo

The cover photo of this post is a stock photo provided for free by Free Images. The Sierra Madre mountains’ photo shows the landslides caused by Typhoon Juan. The area is home to the Agta indigenous tribe.

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