Book Review: Namimingwit sa Langit

11:56:00 PM

Front Cover of the Book

About the Author and Illustrator
Namimingwit sa Langit (Fishing in the Heavens) was written by Christopher Rosales and illustrated by Jericho Moral. It was published by Lampara Books. In fact, this book won first prize in the annual Lampara Prize for Children's Literature 2014. I bought this book from the National Bookstore in Robinsons Manila. I can still remember that I just went there to pay for our electric and internet bills but when I passed by NBS, I looked at the children's story books section and I saw books from Lampara. During that time all of the children's books in my collection were from Adarna and Hiyas. So I decided to buy Lampara Books. I think I bought 20 different books from Lampara during that time.

I read this book first because I want to join the Annual Lampara Books Children's Story Writing Contest in the future. I know that reading the stories which won in the previous years can help me in becoming a better writer. Actually, the author of this book already won two awards from Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2010. 

About the Story
This is the front cover of the book. There are people with large fishing poles catching the clouds and the sun. You can see the fear and anger from the faces of the clouds and the sun. The story was about the village of Lakaya, known for their great fishermen. One day the have fully exhausted all the marine life in their village. They can no longer find any living seafood to eat. They were very worried because they have no food left and they have to protect their reputation as the best fishermen in town. How can they be the best fishermen if they have no more seafood left to fish? Their leader decided to make a huge fishing pole and they aimed at the sky to catch the clouds. They crafted different kinds of furniture from the clouds and sold these in exchange for silver and gold. They became well known sculptors. They became very greedy, they were not contented with all their riches. They searched the heavens and they also pulled the Sun, Moon and the stars out of the sky. They turned these heavenly bodies into cooking fires and light.

One day, they realized that their village was turned into a dark, dry and weary land. The sea has no living creatures, the mountains were dry and without trees, shrubs and wildlife and the heaven was so dark and gloomy. Later on, a lot of diseases developed in their village. After reaping all the consequences of their greedy acts, they realized that they had to bring back the clouds, the sun, the moon and the stars back to their original place. Things went back to normal. The people of Lakaya went back to fishing and they now respect the nature and the environment. They no longer treat the sea as their source of livelihood but they treated it as their friend and companion.

My favorite part of the story was when the author revealed the reason why the clouds have different shapes, why the light emitted by the stars is flickering, why the sun is so hot and why the moon only shows up during nighttime. You have to read the story to know the reason why. Of course, the reasons were all related to what the people of Lakaya did to them. 

People of Lakaya Pulling the Clouds from the Sky

Lessons from the Story
This story talked about the importance of taking care of our environment and natural resources. They were gifts from the Lord. We were tasked to take care of them. We don't have to be an environmental activist to contribute to the preservation of the environment. We just need to be aware of the little things we can do to care for the environment. The ecosystem provides natural services for us humans and different living organism. They provide food and shelter for us. They are all essential to our health and survival. 

We do a lot of things that contribute to the damage in our environment. I know we are all aware of the global warming happening all over the world. These are the different things that contribute to the destruction of our natural environment: pollution, deforestation, industrial and household waste, ozone layer depletion and a lot more. Greedy corporations continue to destroy the environment through conversion of forest areas to residential lands. Mining destroys the environment through erosion, formation of sinkholes, soil contamination that result to death and loss of biodiversity in the affected areas.

These are several examples how destruction in the environment brought threats to human health. Climate change and global warming has greatly influenced the control of existing infectious diseases. Current conditions due to global warming allowed many infectious diseases to spread in different places even in Northern countries. For example,  as the climate warms the habitat of mosquito and malaria parasite are able to expand putting more populations at risk. And West Nile virus moves faster from blood to being transmitted in warmer temperature. So most of the diseases of the tropical countries are also experienced by countries in the Northern hemisphere due to global warming. Destruction of the forest areas has brought people and wildlife intro closer contact thus increasing the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted by animals).

I hope a lot of children can read this book so that they will be aware of the consequences of neglecting the health of our environment. At a very young age, children should be aware of the things and acts that can damage the environment. I'll end with this quote from an aboriginal activist and poet, "“When the earth is sick and polluted, human health is impossible…. To heal ourselves we must heal our planet, and to heal our planet we must heal ourselves.” – Bobby McLeod. Let's start caring for our planet. This is our home. Let's save it from possible destruction. Let's do this for our beloved planet and for the future generation. 

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