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PUNLA - A Tree Planting Activity

As per the old saying "Practice what you preach", the Pollution Control Advocates of ALAB are momentarily dropping their mics and picking up planting shovels.

On the 2nd day of June 2019, ALAB conducted it's first-ever Tree Planting Activity in Mt. Maranat, Norzagaray Bulacan. The event was titled 'Punla, handog ng ALAB.' which translates to the organizations gift to the future generation.

This Tree Planting Activity aims to engage the Pollution Control Advocates to commit to nature conservation and to provide opportunities for everyone else to come together and help bring back our natural resources.

We arrived at the jump off past 6 A.M. where we were met by Tatay Nestor Altamia, Sr., the Founder of Manarat Environmental Society Inc., (MESI). We started the day with Tatay Nestor giving us lectures on proper ways to plant seedlings, the importance of reforestation and how to take care of the trees until they are matured enough (after two years or so). After the briefing, we set out to begin our hike; everyone carried their seedlings with their tools in their backpacks such as the fork and spade. The hike to Mt. Maranat was fun and interesting. We even have one member who’s not a hiker, but he managed to brave through the slope of the mountain to carry out his mission (salute to him).

When we reached the nursery, it was almost noon and the sun was scorching. But one of the many things that makes Mt. Maranat special is the unlimited supply of clean water, so clean that you can drink them directly. We were met at the campsite by Nestor "unyot/jun" Altamia, Jr., the current Chairman of MESI. We were then instructed that we can plant anywhere around the area. I immediately looked for a place where my seedling can get enough sunlight and has space to grow. As soon as I found my first spot, I began digging. When the hole was deep enough for the roots to fit without bending, I carefully planted the seedling making sure that the soil is touching all the roots. After the hole is filled, I lightly stomp the soil with my shoes. I gave it water and layer some wood chips to help keep the water at the tree’s roots, something I learned from Tatay Nestor. When I was confident that everything was in place, I proceeded with my next seedling, and so on. By the end of the day, I was able to plant a total of 18 seedlings, not bad for a first timer so as they say. Collectively, the team were able to plant a total of 175 seedlings.

The self-realizations of what we just did sunk in while hiking back to the jump off. The seedlings that we planted will be taken good care of by the Maranat Environmental Society. Soon, the lovely little trees will grow tall, mighty and strong. The ecological benefits from forests will then be enjoyed by both Filipinos and wildlife, today and tomorrow.

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