Plant trees and save the world!
YGC Tree Planting – Phase 2 @ Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
September 22, 2012
I promised myself that I will climb at least one mountain a month starting August and I’m performing very well. On August, I ascended Mt. Maculot and on October, Mt. Batulao (which I’ll post later). What I’d done in September isn’t mainly a hiking activity, but sort of it was. I participated in our company’s annual tree planting in Tanay, Rizal. At the very least, I am still keeping up with my goal; I climbed a part of the Sierra Madre mountain range. But more importantly, I was part of an initiative in saving the world, to provide our future children a better place to live in.
Back in college, I was a member of an environmental organization – UP Kappa Phi Sigma Conservation and Development Society. We had tree planting activities then. And I was thrilled to know that our company is holding one. So without hesitation, I signed up for the event. The activity is a YGC (Yuchengco Group of Companies, a local company) 5-year environmental initiative to develop Laiban Dam in Rizal. Our company, Malayan Insurance, together with other YGC companies is on its second year – Phase 2 of the 5-year project. I estimated 150 to 200 attendees.
I wasn’t able to attend last year. They said that the planting area this year was at a more elevated space up in the mountain; however, there were more attendees last year.
The hike was I guess 30 minutes only. We were provided with everything that we need: water at pit stops (about 4 or 5 pit stops), a walking stick and even marshals, guides and military men for protection.
Some people really had a hard time reaching the top. Some had cramps and some had difficulty breathing due to exhaustion. Fortunately, my hikes gave me more endurance to stand the heat and conquer the slopes.
It wasn’t too steep; in fact, it was an easy hike. There were even children walking and running alongside us, in barefoot! But no matter, we successfully reached the top.
Each company was assigned a different variety of tree to plant. Molave trees were assigned for us to plant. To others, Banaba tree, Acacia tree, among others. As I said, everything was provided for us. We don’t even have to dig for holes for the seedlings. It was there for us already. What we had to do is take out the seedlings from the plastics then shoot them in the holes and fill in soil.
And pity me, I only planted two seedlings! Well, that’s the average among the group. I wish we could have planted more, but the area can only accommodate few so we were contented with two seedlings. Personally, my tree planting experience wasn’t complete without digging holes for myself, with my nails getting soiled. Still, getting everything ready for us is very thoughtful and I appreciate it very much.
The area where we planted was mostly grassland. There’s not much trees, more so overgrowth. Not so much bush or shrubs either. To the other side of the mountain range, you can actually see brown areas, indicative of poor presence of trees. It was a lovely sight, but it could have been lovelier if my eyes can be blinded by the green of the trees that I wish could have seen. There is a need for such initiatives apparently. The sweat, the scourging of the sun, the body pains that we had, everything was worth it because we knew we are doing our world a favor. It always felt nice knowing that you’ve done something good.
I always get very emotional when it comes to topics like these. All the flooding, the massive fish kills, the gruesome landslides, the extinction of flora and fauna, the death of seas and waterways, everything is associated with the way we treat our environment. These should not have happened if we truly care. These should not have happened if we weren’t selfish and we know how to give back to nature. Organizing tree planting activities isn’t the only way. In our own special ways like conserving energy at home or at work, minimizing our use (if not eliminating) of plastics, recycling, not buying excessively, and a lot more, we can help the environment and leave a mark. We just have to realize that there is such a great need and act upon it without hesitation. And everything else will be for change.
I would like to commend our company for a great initiative. It was a lot for the environment, and I know Mother Earth is very happy. We don’t do this for ourselves; we do this for our future children, and for our future children’s children.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. (Chinese proverb)