Adopt a Mangrove on an Easter Sunday

Mangroves. When I was younger I thought they mean nothing. There’s a lot of them in my hometown, specially in the western part where the town faces the Pacific ocean. Mangroves as I didn’t know until high school are very helpful and useful. They protect the houses near the sea from huge waves, can produce food for some sea animals or even birds, can shelter the fishes, crabs and etc.

For years I’ve always wondered how they sprang and grow. Apparently, some seeds, they call it propagule can survive floating lifelessly on the water until it hits something hard or soft and plants itself. Amazing, right?

Mangrove Propagules
Mangrove Propagules

Now, how did I spend my Easter Sunday?

I spent the day with colleagues paying it forward.

Pay it forward is a 2013 all year-round company event that exercises giving back to the community whatever blessings we received. And adopt-a-mangrove is one of the activities from last year that the company decided to keep.

400 or more Mangroves from last year's Pay it Forward survived after a year and Yolanda.
400 or more Mangroves from last year’s Pay it Forward survived after a year and Yolanda.

I was so excited when I first read the hype on my email and hoped that I will be available by that day. And so, because God knows it has been a dream to do something bigger for mother earth, I’ve no work schedule for this day.

I woke up at 12:15am and looked forward to an amazing day. At around 2:00 our bus left IT park to Barili, located at the Southern part of Cebu. I was still so sleepy I didn’t notice how long the travel was, until I checked my watch. At around 4:30… touch down Japitan, Barili!
SAM_0677SAM_0678
I don’t know our numbers, all I know is that we’re 2 buses and 3 or 4 vans. We assembled at the planting site and did some briefing sessions before planting the mangroves. But wait, before I get there, we went egg hunting first and guess what, I won a movie ticket! Yes. An IMAX MOVIE TICKET. Egg hunting at the beach is so much fun! πŸ™‚
SAM_0680SAM_0685I thought planting a mangrove seed is just like planting a tree, only that you plant the seeds in the salt water. I’ve also no idea how the mangrove seed looked like until today.

Planting a mangrove isn’t easy after all. You have to make sure that they can survive the waves for months until they can stand on their own.
We have to tie them on a bamboo stick and made sure that the bamboo stick can survive with the waves as well, or else both of them will be washed out. Although there’s no worry about the propagule because it can survive and grow somewhere else. But hey, we want to see them fully grown and happy next year!

Bagging. Planting the propagules like regular trees before transferring them to the sea.
Bagging. Planting the propagules like regular trees before transferring them to the sea.
The view of our Mangrove farm. :)
A view of our Mangrove farm. πŸ™‚
Hand-in-hand my "site mates" put soil into the bag while others place the propagule in.
Hand-in-hand my “site mates” put soil into the bag while others place the propagule in.

It was fun! Really. My friends and I went crazy and talked to our propagule telling them to survive the waves and never let go from the bamboo stick. We told them to be happy and grow beautifully. Well, it might sound funny and crazy. But actually, this thing works. You have to talk to them and they’ll listen and grow as told. πŸ™‚ And I am hoping to see my babies next year.
SAM_0691I want to Thank my company for making one of my dreams come true and made it possible within my birth month. It’s like capping my birthday with a very meaningful activity.

Easter Sunday has never been this awesome!

Happy Easter, everyone! My IMAX ticket is calling me. :)
Happy Easter, everyone! My IMAX ticket is calling me. πŸ™‚
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