I've learned that the company I'm with now conducts several volunteer work thru the HR department they call it Angel Network. Couple of weeks ago they informed all employees about a tree planting volunteer work and forest trek at the La Mesa watershed. I have never been there and I immediately signed up. (and it was an all-expense-paid trip kaya go!)
There were around 50 employees who volunteered. It was scheduled right after our graveyard shift and there's work later that night. We arrived at around 7AM and we were welcomed by Kuya Abe of the Bantay Kalikasan that was sponsored by ABS-CBN. The La Mesa watershed has 2 parts, the first was the eco-park where pre-nup pictorials, family outing, lake and other park ameneties were located. The second part was the forest reserve where we went. Kuya Abe's discussion was very informative and I've learned a lot and was totally impressed. I am a nature lover and enjoys being in a new place and learning more about the environment. I actually dreamt of being a marine biologist when I was in high school and I still wish to study that if my means will permit to do so.
After telling us the history of the watershed and the forest reserve we went to the nursery and he taught us how to put the soil in the plastic bags but it will not be the same bags where we will be putting the seedlings. The plastic bags will be watered first and the seedlings that we have will be placed on the bags that the visitors from previous days created. According to them it may take around 3-10 years before they can transfer it to the forest. After planting all the seedlings we went to the decomposition area and he discussed to us how worms help in creating fertilizers. Some of my office mates tried holding the worms but I cannot do it, I remembered how the worms from our bathroom looked like when I was a kid.
After scaring us with the earth worms we started our trek. We were divided into 3 groups and when kuya Abe told us that the young forestry graduate will also be a guide my gay groupmates rushed to him. Since most of us were from graveyard shift and still has to attend work at night, we will only be trekking 3KMs. They have another trail which was 6KMs.
|tara let's trek!|
I was excited to start the trek. It was in January when I last trekked. We stop once in a while and our guide discussed the trees or a plant that was at the side of the trail. They have marked it with tarps with the name of the trees or species and a brief description about it. We came across different trees some of them I was not familiar. I was amazed to see bamboos like they were wrapped together by a rope, it was in Bicol at my grand father's backyard when I saw something like that. We also passed by a freshwater lake and when we went to the viewing deck my camera went dead sigh sigh (kaswerte ko naman oh). You can also hear birds the birds above welcoming us to their habitat.
|a medicinal plant I used to drink when I was a kid, it was also my section when I was in 2nd grade :)|
|trekking / daldalan / tawanan|
|scientific name - ficus nota, ang tanging puno n natandaan ng mga bading|
It was a fun and refreshing activity. We were all soaking in sweat when we finished the trail. We did not noticed the time and we felt like we're tired not because of the trek but because of the laughing and the talking. It was good to know that there was still a place like this inside the metropolis and that there were a lot of private organizations helping out to maintain the forest reserve. Not only will the people of the Metro Manila will benefit from the watershed and the forest reserve but future generations as well. I have always believed that change will always start with one's self. So let's start caring for our environment! :)