This is the way to plant (and celebrate 6 years of great adventure)

June 26, 2011 Voluntourism

Carefully remove the plastic surrounding the seedling. Dig a hole in the designated area, which, in our case, was already prepared by the Barangay officials. Gently place the seedling into the hole, ensuring it rests at the same level as the surrounding soil. Cover the seedling with earth, and with a touch of tender loving care (TLC), your tree-planting task is complete.

Tree planting took center stage during the 6th-anniversary celebration of SABIT Mountaineers last weekend. Following the recommendation of the Haribon Foundation, we chose Caliraya as our tree-planting site. Mr. Vince Concio of the National Power Corporation - Caliraya Lumot Watershed Team facilitated our coordination with Barangay Captain Nilo dela Torre of Cansuso.

Vince emphasized the vital role of Caliraya Watershed in Luzon's electricity generation during our brief program. Lake Caliraya, a man-made reservoir, serves as a water source for hydroelectric power in Southern Luzon.

Human activities like kaingin (slash and burn farming) have damaged a significant portion of the watershed, necessitating reforestation efforts. Haribon Foundation advocates for the use of native species in tree planting, discouraging the planting of exotic species like mahogany, gmelina, acacia, etc., to protect biodiversity.

During our activity, we planted Bagtikan, Lipote, and Muling-muling. The planting site, located approximately 20 minutes from the road, involved a pleasant trek through rolling terrain. Jeff Arias, one of our participants, crafted an excellent map illustrating our journey.

Some of the participants were not prepared for the hike, but I am sure they appreciated the views.

Upon reaching the site, barangay officials welcomed us with ready jackfruits. After a brief rest, we commenced our short program led by kaSABIT and Cubao Elementary School teacher Elias Bacolot.

Captain Nilo delivered a warm welcome, followed by a comprehensive briefing from Vince. With the guidance of Vince's team and some barangay officials, we began the tree-planting activity.

Knowing that we had contributed positively to the environment, a sense of happiness and hopefulness enveloped all of us. 

On our way back, we chose a different trail, enabling us to freshen up at the lake. Moreover, encountering leeches (limatics) on the trail prompted some of us to cleanse our skin from any blood stains.
Once again, a heartfelt thank you goes out to the NPC-CLWAT team, Brgy. Cansuso officials, San Miguel Beer (our sponsor), our dedicated tree planters, and the rest of the team who patiently awaited our return at the campsite. 

Cheers to SABIT Mountaineers!

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