Wood played a vital role in the emergence of man into the modern world. As an all important resource for fuel, tools and building materials, wood helped shape society as well as its economy. It is ironic that we profit from its value but pay little attention to its source. The wanton cutting of trees has led to the denudation of our natural rain forests. We try to justify our impetuous behavior by planting trees to “farm”. Much of these trees planted are not endemic to its host region thus disrupting the local ecological system and resulting to more damage on the environment. Greed, need and lack of knowledge make man’s oldest natural resource continue to shape our lives by being the major cause of floods, landslides and threat to our country’s flora and fauna.
The Philippines plays host to well over three thousand species of trees of which a high percentage is endangered. Playing a minor role in the use of wood, I try to play a major role in the conservation of our last remaining rain forests by introducing and educating people on the potential and values of recycled wood. In my 26 years of crafting recycled wood, I have witnessed an emergence of an entire sphere of recycled wood suppliers, furniture makers and most important, the end product buyers and collectors who now value our environment and locally made recycled wood products. There has yet to be a study made on environmental benefits in recognition of this new found resource. Old wood is more durable than new wood. Besides being seasoned dry, sawyers used to select mature trees to fell. We can never compare denseness, quality of grain and strength of both old and new wood. What more to corroborate these facts than by seeing century old wooden houses still settled in and used by fourth and fifth generation homeowners. With this new found resource, I have started its application in the designing and building of residential houses and resorts. I adhere to the principle of ” build it once – build it right” thus engineering functional structures that will not only work well but will reacquaint its owners and guests on the miracle and beauty of wood. We are all stewards of this planet we live in. Let us do our share and use our resources wisely so that future generations may take pleasure and appreciation of it and do likewise.