May 10, 2018

Not-so-brand-new concept: we need to protect water. More specifically, the watershed our waters come from.

Mt. Holong Ipo (Holung Ipu), one of the main mountains in Ipo Watershed that supply water to Ipo Dam is under serious threat of deforestation. Context: Ipo Dam is where a significant amount of Metro Manila’s water supply comes from. So buckle up, if you’re a human being that resides within “the metro” and you ingest water in some way, shape, or form, this definitely affects you.

This Thursday morning, May 10, Fredd Ochavo, a University of Philippines (UP) Mountaineers volunteer, shared a photo of what Mt. Holong Ipo looks like as of the moment. If pictures say a thousand words, then this one will be yelling ‘help’ a thousand times over.

This is part of the mountains that supply Metro Manila with water. This photo was taken by Bro Martin Francisco just…

Posted by Fredd Ochavo on Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ochavo’s post brings attention to the deforestation plaguing Mt. Holong Ipo. In fact, Ochavo and the UP Mountaineers organization have been advocating for the protection of the Ipo Watershed and the mountains in its vicinity for a while now. In a separate Facebook post, the volunteer shared two satellite photos comparing the tree coverage of Mt. Holong Ipo in 2010 and 2015. The photos show a worryingly significant lessening of trees in the forests of the mountain, proving rampant deforestation in the area.

Mt. Holong Ipo (Holung Ipu) is one of the many mountains in Ipo Watershed that supply water to Ipo Dam. It is where…

Posted by Fredd Ochavo on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Up to now, the Ipo Watershed Management Plan which was created in 2011 has not been implemented yet,” Ochavo writes in the same post. “Up to [now], DENR is still waiting for MWSS to sign their MOA for the implementation of the Management Plan.”

Now you might be wondering, what do trees have to do with water? Quora explains that the trees, the forest is the moderator “absorbing like a sponge excess on rainy days reducing floods; and releasing slowly allowing a river to flow in the dry season. The canopy also keeps the soil moist during the hot sunny days. The transpiration keeps the humidity up even in dry times.”

Mt. Holong Ipo/Mt. Holung-IpuIpo Watershed This is where the headwaters of Ipo River originate. This is where Metro…

Posted by Fredd Ochavo on Tuesday, May 8, 2018

You remove the forest, you remove the moderating effect. Then you either have too much (floods) or too little (drought).

Ochavo and the UP Mountaineering organization have been taking steps to avoid this situation and to protect the forests. “We already sent letters and reports to Malacañang last February 14 and March,” Ochavo wrote on his Facebook post this morning, “but until now, we are still waiting for the President’s strong political will to put an end to the deforestation of our watersheds in Bulacan and Rizal.”

Water is life. Especially with the rising temperatures of summer, water is basically our salvation in the city. We use it to cool down by taking bath or by downing a cool glass of water. In Metro Manila, water is basically nirvana so why are we basically doing nothing to protect it?

Photos courtesy of


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TAGS: bulacan environmentalism fixture Fredd Ochavo Ipo Damn Ipo Watershed UP Mountaineers water