Manila Bulletin

On co-existence versus conquest

A note from the editor

by Dr. Stef dela Cruz

We asked our contributors if they think it’s possible for humans and animals to co-exist (turn to page six to read their responses). Everyone had a slightly different answer, but the overall message is that we can. Then again, maybe we should leave many of these animals alone if we want them to thrive.

Co-existence is not one of our species’ strengths. We have a very long history of waging war on each other and showering each other with bullets and bombs instead of praise and gratitude.

It’s a lot worse when animals are concerned. We belong to a society that lords over nonhumans, dictating who gets to live like royalty in our houses and who gets to be bred for food — and who gets to die for our entertainment.

Alaina Therese L. Amilanto is especially triggered by how Cockerels are treated in the local gambling practice of sabong (cockfighting), and she shares why this practice is problematic.

As we continue to develop land for residential and commercial purposes, Maphilindo Lao realizes that we have been very selfish, displacing animals from their natural habitats. But once in a while, animals get another shot, thanks to nature’s tendency to eventually cope with development, which Lao writes about in this issue.

Of course, not all hope is lost. K-pop idols use their wide influence to tell fans about how they have adopted animals, and Martina Jauin Mendoza lists a few of them. A man who bought an entire island turned it into a sanctuary of sorts for wild Birds and other animals, and Dr. Rich Briones explains why he refused to sell his property to resort operators.

As a couple goes around photographing wildlife, they forgo the use of tactics that disturb animals for the sake of a good picture. Zoe Salvador writes about these two happy campers who live in a van as they document local animals.

We are fast becoming experts in world conquest, but aren’t we better off being experts in co-existence? Come to think of it, maybe this question shouldn’t be as rhetorical as I originally intended.





Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp