For the last few years, the Masungi Georeserve has been facing issues of land-grabbing, illegal logging, and quarrying, but Nadine Lustre is having none of that.
In a new vlog posted on her YouTube channel titled "#SaveMasungi," the actress visited the conservation area that is tucked in the rainforests of Rizal and is home to hundreds of plant and animal species.
She could be seen admiring the park's famous "Sapot," a unique viewing platform that allows visitors to walk on a suspended netting and get a 360-degree view of the Sierra Madre and Laguna de Bay. After trekking more of the area's vast nature-filled lands, Nadine then engaged in a tree-planting activity for a Narra tree.
As she settled down with Ann and Billie Dumaliang, co-founders of Masungi Georeserve Foundation, she took the time to appreciate their work and the "huge responsibility" that falls on their shoulders in looking after the conservation area.
"I'm seeing all of the challenges that you guys are going through. It's intense, it's super intense," Nadine said.
Billie shared that the issues they have faced have helped her become more prepared for the troubles waiting just around the corner, "[I]n Masungi, you'll never know what new challenge lies ahead. The challenges are only going to get harder, and that's gonna give you a long-term perspective that this challenge will pass."
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Ann then interjected, "Hindi ka talo unless you give up. You need to know when to take a rest but you're winning as long as you're still fighting."
Nadine was visibly impressed at how the two women were not backing down trying to protect the area despite facing actual threats.
"I just wanted to say that I super admire you guys for caring for Masungi, for the environment. I'm pretty sure that this is not the end of it," Nadine said, sharing that she also harbors similar feelings about wanting to look after the planet.
When asked about what message they would want to give to the new generation to inspire them to be eco-warriors, Billie said, "Hopefully, more people join us to challenge those people in power, decision-makers, to look at things differently, to operate differently."
She went on, "We are so far behind doon sa targets natin sa biodiversity, targets natin for climate. [With] the Philippines being the number one dangerous to environment defenders, ang layo natin sa ideal place that we should be. Ang laking transformational change na kailangan."
Ann meanwhile emphasized that "everyone has a role to play" and that "every little bit really does make an impact."
According to a petition launched by Save Masungi Movement on online petition platform Bataris, the Masungi Georeserve is in danger of having its watershed and protected areas quarried for its limestones.
They cited an incident back in February 2020 wherein a quarry company intruded on their restoration work by putting up barbed wires in some lands around the georeserve.
"The reforestation site is within the Upper Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape and the proposed Masungi Strict Nature and Wildlife Sanctuary, both of which are protected or conserved areas areas where destructive activities such as quarrying are strictly prohibited," the petition read, highlighting that the quarry company’s activities are "a brazen violation of the law."
Watch the video below.