In the hottest place in the north of the Philippines, farms are drying up and animals are dying. Men are getting old, or sick, or too weak to till the land. Their able children, in the meantime, have no interest in farming, and instead want a better chance at life outside the province.But life has to go on. There are mouths that need to be fed, and landlords to pay. The weight and burden of subsistence falls on the shoulders of the one in charge of the home: women.
This article confirms what I observed back in 2011 when I worked on a pilot project monitoring human and environmental abuse by large-scale mining companies and small-scale mining in the Philippines. Often, the women and the children were left at home while the men chased after the shiny substance hiding in subterranean veins. Meanwhile, the farms and gardens are laying fallow.