It was a truly community project, labor of love of Mainitnons, both locally and abroad. It was a product of several months of online and offline collaborations and supervisions. The pyschic rewards were majestic... it was for our granchildren and their descendants... it was for the conservation of our beloved Mainit Lake. Many Mainitnons from outside - from the US, Egypt, Europe, Manila, etc - went home to join the tree planting. Many more, including non-Mainitnons, sponsored trees at P300 each (given with Pidjanga souvernir shirt per tree), but were not able to come.
A truly multi-sectoral parnership project collaborated by the LGU, by the academe, by the church, by the youth, and by the civil society. We were all smiles!
I was among the last to leave the planting site, ensuring that all is well, and enjoying the sight of hoping these beautifully labeled rows of trees will see its growth and will be enjoyed by the next generation! (note the green lakeshore which later you will see being quarried with sand)
I went home after a year (August 2008) and leaped with joy as I see our precious Bangkal Trees growing taller than me. Manong Fred and my Mosende family members also joined me in my joy.
Although most tree guards were swept by the 2007 flooding (or reportedly taken by residents for firewood), it was great to see some of them surviving and protecting well grown Bangkal Trees.
And most recently, just last March 2008, while the 2008 flooding (guob) was still on, I was so happy to see that indeed, Bangkal Trees, is NOW PROVEN to survive floodings (continuous flooding in the last 2 years). You can see here a row of Bangkal Trees towering the flooded area of Panayakpan. I thought, if we can plant more of these in the entire stretch of Lake Mainit shores... water can be absorbed... the shores will be beautiful, bio-diversity will be improved, more fishes will thrive in our lake, we will have a very healthy Lake Mainit, something we can always be proud of.
Jaoy mga waya magpakabana...
This shocked me ... may nagsunog nan ato tag-tamnan... may nagbutang nan itikan...
This Duck Shelter has ran over at least 6 Bangkal Trees...
Kanin-o kasing-kasing an dili magdugo kun ini an imo hikit-an. Human sa imo paningkamot, sa imo pangandoy para sa imo mga apo na makakita nan himsog na danaw, human sa imo kahago... AJA ra ipakita an SUNOG na tanom??? I had a hard time accepting why people are so neglecful!
Kadako an ebidensiya nan sunog, kay pati an ato tree guard labels, jari sunog isab.
Tagsunog na, tag-itikan pa... tag quarry pa an buhangin! Pastilan ka way batasan!!!
Gana unta kay may kabuhian an ato kababayan... pero kun kadaut isab an ila tagdaya... simay malipay? Aya na ba gajuy lain lugar para magkuha nan buhangin? para sa itikan? Matud kay 4th largest lake kita? O gana lamang mu-plastar sa lugar na tag-haw-angan na?
Manong Fred tried to rescue the little Bangkal Tree... naipit sa bayay-bayay nan mga itik.
What do you suggest to do? Whan can you do???
I wrote LMDA yesterday and here's the entire email I sent:
Dear Mano Kaiser (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Cc: email@example.com, Forrester Jerry Acero
, First Councilor Al Rodin Behagan
I will be posting soon in the Pidjanga Blog recent photos I have taken of the Bangkal Trees we planted last September 2006. Of the 150 trees planted in the panayakpan area, around 50 trees are now proven to have survived at least two flooding events (guob of 2007 and 2008). Some are already more than 6 feet tall. IT IS NOW PROVEN that we can reforest our lakeshores with Bangkal Trees because it can withstand the harsh conditions of the lake.
I strongly believe that the mortality was high (around a hundred trees destroyed) not because of the tree's poor natural survival rate, but because of human wrongdoings. I have documented during my last visit in June 2007 that there were evidences of fire along the area (I have unpublished photos of burned Bangkal Trees; cut trees because of sand quarrying or duck raising, etc. The tree guards were only good for the first 6 months, so last week, I requested my brother and his friends to tie some plastic ribbons to mark that these are planted trees and not from the wild.
My recent visit too to the MNHS has provided me some time with Sir Botona and Dr. Mordido. The school is willing to assist us in maintaining the planting site. They are just hesitant to do the maintenance because it was clear during out project launch that LMDA will spearhead the maintenance and growing of trees (visit project concept at: http://pidjanga.blogspot.com
May I know how LMDA would be able to continue assisting us on this? or at least on how to ensure that the 50+ surviving trees will continue to survive. Kindly coordinate with MNHS, particularly Mr Botona, on how LMDA and MNHS can work together on this. I am sure that our forrester, Mr Jerry Acero of SNCAT, will be more than willing to provide technical assistance.
Many thanks and more power.Peter/Zimm
May 3, 2008