Nature’s cue

MANGROVES STARTED to mushroom along the coast of Barangay Silonay in Calapan, Oriental Mindoro after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 and the strongest earthquake recorded in the province in 1994, according to folklore. Locals have come to believe that the two natural disasters somehow triggered the growth, and taking their cue from nature, took steps to take care of the shrubs and propagate these. Now, the 41-hectare Silonay mangrove area and eco-park, formally established in 2011, has become one of the biggest in the province. It is home to 29 recorded species of birds, seven of which are endemic, two species of bats, and five species of amphibians and reptiles. The eco-park has also become a source of livelihood through income-generating projects like mangrove seedlings propagation, kayaking, and bird-watching. — Erka Capili Inciong

City employees plant trees along Davao River


UP TO 2,600 different tree seedlings were planted by city government employees over the weekend as a kick-off activity for this year’s Philippine Environment Month celebration. “As a way to celebrate the environment’s month, we initiated the tree planting activity to remind the people that we need to take care of our environment,” City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) head Engr. Marivic L. Reyes said. “This activity is important to help the environment. We have to plant trees to rehabilitate those flood prone areas and prevent soil erosion,” she added. Around 1,500 city workers planted trees along the Davao River bank near the Bolton Bridge. Among the seedlings planted were mangroves, bamboo and malubago. Ms. Reyes said the trees will be monitored daily by CENRO to ensure that these grow well. — Carmencita A. Carillo