A wise man once told me that planting heals not just the soil but its beauty heals the eyes. And that man told me to plant a hundred thousand and more.
It was 2012 engage myself into our community--- to immerse and to learn “how to love”, my father usually calls it. I wanted to feed people. Some thoughts when the term “community service” pops out, I hear bells of money because I thought I’d need it to serve. But I was wrong.
In a remote community of Purok 3, Caranoche of Negros Oriental, Engr. Arturo B. Silva and I, together with the community and barangay officials, we started planting mangroves along the nine-hectare shore of the town.
It started out very simple---we start walking to the shore by two in the afternoon and finish up maybe three hundred or so seedlings, after, we go home by four or five. It was just that.
But when the mangroves started to grow, we realized that what we planted were unimaginable beauty living the lives on the edge, literally.
The community never knew what they planted or what the effects of it and what it could do. Aside from educating the public and the community, the challenge included how we can encourage people to join and volunteer. But luckily, a few people actually believed in the project; GO GREEN.
The community’s main source of living is fishing and growing prawns and shrimps in ponds and erosion damaged the entire livelihood. After their realization, helping us planting mangroves was their priority.
A hundred thousand--- we only thought we could plant only a thousand. After years of educating people with no elementary diplomas, we conquered the ecology’s challenge together.
Today, after more than four years, all we can see is a thick forest of mangroves living and healthy.
Thus, making the wise man I once mentioned, proud and happy this project also helped survive the empty shores of the town.
Now that the once man is dead, this is my offer to him. My father led me into the realities of capitalism and how it could directly damage the poor and the environment. He, who made me realize the truths of imperialistic desires and how it made us neglect the loud cries of the environment.
Today, a forest is what we offer; a forest of a hundred thousand and more.