“It’s time we give back.”
THIS was the theme of the recent Haribon visit to Sitio Pangotloan, Barangay Mahabang Lalim, General Nakar, Quezon Province, participated in by eight members who braved the stormy weather to immerse in the community and pay homage to the watershed that contributes to the provision of potable water in Metro Manila. The destination is a community located in Mt. Irid-Angelo (IBA 33), part of the Southern Sierra Madre Mountain Range, and an Important Biodiversity Area (IBA). Haribon partnered with this community for the protection and conservation of this remaining large tract of tropical rainforest in the Luzon Island, Philippines.
Even with the strong downpour, Sitio Pangotloan community members welcomed the Haribon travellers. They were guided through forests, crossed rivers, and walked through rice fields to safely bring them to Sitio Pangotloan. They were greeted with local food delicacies like the sinantolan, kamansi, and galyang that proved very appetizing for the weary travellers. The day continued with the travellers initiating group games and learning activities with the local kids. Smiles and laughter filled the Pangotloan Elementary School. The Organisasyong Makakalikasan ng Pangotloan (OMAKAP) President Julie Coronacion, or Nanay Julie, then toured travellers around the community, passing by the “galyang” rootcrops, (a variety of taro). These root crops are special to them since this was their “survival” food when Typhoon Winnie struck Quezon province in 2004. Then they proceeded to the Agos river where the community demonstrated the use of the “tain”, a fish catchments tool for sustainable fishing.
Brgy. Captain Juanita Avellaneda and Nanay Julie, inspired the group when they shared stories of living in harmony with the environment. They recounted how Haribon encouraged them into seeing the importance of conserving biodiversity and in being responsible stewards of nature. As part of their commitment to conserve the forest, a number of them are involved in protecting their forest areas, practicing sustainable agriculture, and are refraining from doing environmentally destructive practices.
The travellers journeyed far despite the terrible weather due to Typhoon Lando to bring gifts of vegetable seeds to the community. They went home with gifts of friendship and grateful hearts, knowing that one community is taking good care of our forest and watershed. Through their efforts, the group is hopeful that they will continue to have water flowing in their faucet, that wildlife will continue to have a home in the forest of Gen. Nakar, and that future generations will be able to enjoy the ecological benefits that our forest ecosystem provides.
Protect and learn about biodiversity while giving back. Join the next Haribon Green Travel! Call: +632 421-1209 | 921.12.09 and/or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.