Nanganganib roughly translates to endangered in Tagalog. The Philippines is a beautiful country filled with natural resources, rich wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes. However, due to multiple factors, resource depletion has become a significant problem. These paintings are reactions to two forms of resource depletion in the Philippines: deforestation and coral bleaching. The idea for this came from a research project about the Philippines’ natural resources. Upon realizing the exponential depletion in our beautiful country, I wanted to create pieces visualizing that to loss of beauty. Furthermore, I used baybayin to write out the words because the indigenous Filipino written language is also endangered due to human activity—colonization and westernization.
Kagubatan (Forest): Deforestation is one of the biggest problems facing the Philippines today. Thousands of acres of nutrient-rich forests throughout the thousands of islands are being cut and burned down so farmers can mass produce goods for export such as rice, pineapples, coconut oil, palm oil, and paper. Unfortunately, because of the country’s economic turmoil and poverty, they rely on exports to make income and sustain businesses—despite these practices being a detriment to the native inhabitants and greater global population. The most catastrophic results of the deforested land are native animals becoming endangered, destroyed land becoming unusable for the future, and increasing greenhouse gases.
Bahura (Coral Reef): The Philippines is one of the most coral-rich areas in the world. Sadly, due to global warming and rising sea temperatures, algae that feed and sustain the reefs are expelled from the reefs, leaving them colorless and at risk for starvation, disease, and death (1). Human activities such as dynamite fishing and trash in the oceans further prohibit coral reefs from recovering, and as a result 97% of Philipppines’ reefs are considered at risk (2). We personally witnessed this during our trip to Palawan last year while snorkeling in Siete Pecados Marine Park in Coron. We saw large populations of bleached white coral with only few fish swimming about.
Here is some further reading if you would like to learn more about deforestation and coral bleaching: