Girl, 6, Climbs Mountains for the Environment

At the tender age of 3, she attended meetings of environmentalists and went to rallies denouncing dumping and using dumps as a waste management facility. Now aged 6, she has been climbing mountains to do her share in preserving the environment and to raise her battlecry,” No Waste.”

Posted by Bulatlat

While most children play within the confines of their homes, Malaya T. Palacio, 6 years old, is already serious about becoming an environmental activist and a mountaineer. Her mission, according to her, is to tell other children, as well as adults, to change their wasteful way of life, which is prevalent in present society.

Gusto ko po na sabihin sa mga bata saka sa mga matatanda na rin, na wag po tayong magkakalat. Kasi po malalason ang ating mga halaman at saka tayo na kumakain ng halaman. Saka hindi naman po atin itong mundo – sa Diyos po ito kaya hindi natin dapat na kalatan, (I would like to tell the children, and the adults too, not to waste or throw away their discards, because we will poison the plants which we are eating. Also, the earth is God’s property and not ours; therefore we should not put garbage here.)” Malaya said when asked why she wanted to climb mountains and become an environmentalist. “Ang dami palang basura kahit sa bundok, (There are plenty of garbage even on the mountain.) ” she added.

She would say that we should segregate our discards and manage them so that they would not become waste. Her advice to children is, “Huwag na kayong kumain ng mga sitsirya at mga kung anu-ano na may mga balot na plastic para hindi magkaroon ng basura.” (Don’t eat junk food and whatever that has plastic packaging so that we would not have waste.) “Tatay ko saka nanay ang nagturo sa akin niyan,” (My father and my mother taught that to me.), she added.

She recalled that at the tender age of 3, she attended meetings of environmentalists and went to rallies denouncing dumping and using dumps as a waste management facility.

It was also when she was about that age that she got her first encounter with nature during her first short hike at the Biak na Bato National Park in San Miguel, Bulakan.

On February 25, together with her father, whom she referred to as “Uma Ley”, she climbed 811 meter Mount Batulao in Batangas, going up and down for almost seven hours of trekking under the heat of the sun. Their only sources of energy to keep them going were water and bananas.

Two weeks later, on March 10, she, together with other mountaineers from the environmental group SIYAP (of which she is also a member, the youngest at that) and members of the newly formed STI-Quezon Avenue Mountaineers, did a two-and-a-half-hour night trek of the 700-plus-meter Mt. Sembrano in Rizal. Upon reaching the summit the next morning, Malaya proudly unfurled the SIYAP battle cry, “NO WASTE”.

She looked forward to climbing a volcano this time, which would probably materialize on March 31 when she sets foot on Mt. Pinatubo, if all goes well.

She would proudly say, “Siyap ako,” referring to the mountaineering and environmental activist group SIYAP (meaning “chirp”), short for SIningYAPak (literally “barefooted art”), where she, together with her parents belong.

SIYAP, which advocates the no waste / no harm policy and simple living toward a zero waste society, is a member of the Ecological Waste Coalition, a broad alliance of zero waste advocates and environmental activists.

Malaya, together with her parents, Ley and Bang, resides in Calo, Nasugbu, Batangas.

For more information or to interview Malaya herself, call (0926) 6814916 c/o her mother, Bang.

Share This Post