It was an answered prayer when we arrived in Real, Quezon. The place was almost dry from the morning rain and sun slowly coming out from the clouds. We were worried about the weather because it might ruin our tree-planting activity.
The tree planting activity was part of Haribon Foundation’s ROAD to 2020 program. ROAD stands for Rainforestation Organizations and Advocates. It is a conservation movement committed to restore the Philippine’s rainforests.
As a partner of Haribon, Victoria Court was invited to participate in their activities.
Shortly, after the invitation was sent to our offices, a total of 34 eager participants coming from different branches signed up. The active participation was felt and appreciated when the locale representatives came early and because of that we were able to follow the schedule and start on time. Some even came straight from their working shifts and rested only during our four-hour travel time.
Upon arrival at the tree-planting site, we were oriented by Mr. Dale about ROAD to 2020 and welcomed by the barangay captain. We were briefed regarding their ongoing efforts of reforestation and protection to address climate change and learned the importance of this project. We walked a bit further to reach the location of the tree planting lesson and everyone listened eagerly.
Learning proper tree planting is essential for this project otherwise our mission would be useless if these trees will not survive. After the short lecture, we immediately trekked to the planting site. The forest was slippery and steep, making the climb harder than we expected. There were big ferns with sharp thorns which we can’t use for support while trekking.
We planted native trees to respond to the shortage of native trees in the country today. We successfully planted 700 seedlings: narra, lipote, kamagong, batikulin, dalingdingan and many more.
It was an exciting, thrilling, tiring but fulfilling day. It was not the usual tree planting where participants will plant on flat ground. The challenge we have encountered made us realize that it is harder to revive a forest than destroy it. We have done many things to ruin but only a few efforts to restore it.
Thanks to Haribon and the volunteers from different private groups who are actively participating in this. Without us, who would protect our rainforests? This will serve as an inspiration to everyone especially to our friends, family and co-employees to be more cautious and actively protect our environment.