Our trip to Tangub City (Part 2)

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By Arnold Van Vugt

The Living Spirit

Saturday, May 10, 2014

COMING back to the statement of Descartes, I experienced this myself when I was still a boy. I was born in a place that is called in Dutch ‘polder.’ That place was before a big lake. They pumped out all the water until it became dry land. They built dikes all around it and they kept the water out of it through windmills and steam engines.

There are many places like that in Holland and that is why they say that Holland is a country that is below sea level. I would like to rephrase the statement of Descartes.

Indeed God made the world but He created also the Dutch people with their ingenuity and capabilities so that they could make Holland what it is today. I am proud to be a Dutchman when I see what the Dutch people have achieved in the past.


We complain that we are only a small nation but small is beautiful. Once a handful of Dutchmen put their hands together into a cooperative and they set up vast empires of earth-gas production, cows-milk industries, tulips and other flowers industries exporting their products all over the world.

In Aalsmeer, another town in the place where I was born, there are many big auction houses (in Dutch called Bloemenveilings) of quality flowers and ornamental plants.

Their growers have formed cooperatives, which have guaranteed the large volume demanded by supply markets. Even our airport, called Schiphol, is in the place where I was born. It is built 12-foot below sea level and it is protected from getting wet.

Dutchmen are also using bicycles to go to their work, and children to go to school. They ride along on 4,000 bicycle paths, especially paved for them by the government. The Dutch Railways have installed 3,500 new bicycles at their stations for the benefit of tourists and adventurous commuters. All this means less air pollution, and hundreds of windmills in the country site generate power which produce electricity and these pump up also the earth – gas that is distributed all over the country for cooking the food.

Another observation is that, contrary to common misconception the Dutch invented the windmills. It was Emperor Hammurabi of Babylon in the 20th century BC, who envisioned the widespread use of windmills for irrigation.

Today almost 10,000 windmills line the dikes and canals of the Netherlands, equipped with 30 to 50 foot long sails, not only pumping thousands of gallons of water back into the sea without stopping, but operating drainage, millstones to grind grain, lumber saws and even rag choppers to make paper.

In the 14th century the question was asked: ‘who owned the air the mills used?’ Pope Celestine III quickly laid claim to the wind, which he said belonged to the Church.

As people of faith we believe that God created the world and mankind. He gave men a spirit and a heart. They must bring forth children out of love and they must teach them to cooperate with each other to make this world a better place to live in for all of us.

I pray that this must happen also to our beloved country the Philippines.


[Email: nolvanvugt@gmail.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 11, 2014.


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