I am a Tree Hugger

The adage start ’em young is so true. I am a child of the ’80s and went to a public school for my primary education. I remember my school holding an annual tree planting event. The first tree that I ever planted was Narra, which happens to be a national symbol being the National Tree of my country the Philippines. I believe, this is where seriously caring for the environment starts.

I grew up knowing the importance of planting trees and protecting them, not cutting them down in the name of urban development and modernization. I guess people who ruthlessly cut trees forget that when they were children they once sought comfort from a tree, or maybe they haven’t experienced at all sitting under a tree or climbing on it to build a tree house or simply sit on its branch and enjoy its sweetest fruit. They may have not seen trees in full bloom at springtime. Perhaps, they experienced all these but were blinded by personal interests or greed to say the least.

However harsh reality may seem, there’s still that flickering hope that we can still turn things around before it’s too late. This kind of optimism is what we lovers of nature and environmental advocates carry in our hearts.


Santol fruits that I harvested from our backyard.
Santol, also known as wild mangosteen,
is a tropical fruit-bearing tree that grows in Southeast Asia.

In my part of the world, something impressive took place. On Friday, 26th of September 2014, Mindanao has shown support to global tree planting program by organizing a simultaneous tree planting activity throughout the island, across six regions. Government units along with other private sectors and organizations orchestrated the Treevolution: Greening MindaNOW, which aimed to beat the world record of most numbers of trees planted within the span of an hour in multiple locations. An unofficial result showed that this activity broke world record with a total of 3,373,762 trees planted by 160,000 participants. The current record holder is India with 1.9 million trees planted.


Photo from Treevolution: Greening MindaNOW Facebook page

You did an awesome job, Minadanao! I hope that you keep your commitment, that you look beyond taking a spot at the Guinness Book of World Records and keep on planting trees.

My  friend posted this video (credit to the owner) on Facebook, which is worth sharing. This is how they did the Treevolution in Alabel, Sarangani province.

Altogether let’s continue to create a sustainable environment!


3 thoughts on “I am a Tree Hugger

  1. It’s good to hear that you have a nursery there! I heard from people from the DENR here in Manila is that the lack of nurseries with native trees is a big reason why they have to resort to Gmelina, Mahogany, and others. The propagation of exotic species was really prioritized up until the 90s which is why they’re much easier to find.

  2. Hi! I read your entry. I’ll make a detailed comment on your page after this. I’m glad my 1st grade teacher assigned a Narra tree for me to plant. However, in the years that follow I remember planting Gmelina, Mahogany, and Neem trees– which I found out later on that these trees are harmful to our local environment. I’m glad that I still see Bagras tree nurseries in my area in Mindanao. This means that people continually plant this native tree species. I’ll check with the agriculture office in our town what native tree species they distribute in their tree planting activities.

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