health in a year of drought

Bhakti Issa Urra
change warrior
Published in
3 min readMay 26, 2024


Tropical trauma — that’s what this year in the Philippines feels like — for me personally. I was here the same time last year yet it feels like I landed in some foreign country I have never been — alien territory.

I’ve been harping about the fact that the weather in the Philippines is so extreme we only have El Niño or La Niña conditions and all its dire options.

high tide — Punta Bulata, Barangay Cauayan, Kabankalan

As an aging child of the seventies and proud boomer, I find myself particularly and personally challenged. Before May 24th’s day long hard rain, we had not had anything like it since December. Too long a dry spell for our island home of Negros.

As the island swelters under this extended dry spell, I too find my former good health shriveling away and blowing up. No longer in tune with the temperatures, my temperament grows wacky on shaky ground. No relief from this heat which I now find myself allergic to.

low tide — Punta Bulata, Barangay Cauayan, Kabankalan

Exhausted from all of the things draining me of hope and out of control to repair. Exhaustion at the thought of another election year, caught in a geriatric circus loop of same old been there done that. Exasperated at the idea of having to do it (diet, exercise, sleep, therapy, parenting. . . .etc.) differently.

I look to other islands in envy. Bali, overcrowded with backpackers and touring yoga trekkers, manages to stay green and keep its cool canopy. Panay treasures and values its local history and culture, rebuilding its esplanades and replacing introduced plants with endemic growth.

awash in the healing ocean waters

But Negros Occidental seems hell bent on self-destruction. With only four percent of its forest cover remaining, the government and private sector insist on cementing over what’s left in maniacal massive megastructures. To what end we are all left to wonder and ponder.

Encroachment and environment destruction is further ruining an ecosystem teetering on its edge. Surely progress can be made without all these mass mayhem. Help and support is critical in turning the tide on this fatal mindset.

clinging to our hope

This is a desperate cry for all to hear as the tipping point of no return fast approaches. Save our island home and do whatever is humanly possible at your personal best right now. Before Negros Island is consumed and eradicated.

Love our land so it can love us back.

Originally published at



Bhakti Issa Urra
change warrior

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed