MAINIT, Surigao del Norte, June 1 (PIA) — Migrants and residents of Mainit, Surigao del Norte led by the online facebook group, Mainitnon Gihapon, in collaboration with the local government of Barangay Quezon, joined hands recently in planting more than 600 bangkal trees along the Bitan-ag area of Lake Mainit shore.
Members of Mainitnon Gihapon or MG are local and migrants Mainitnons from all over the world. Many have come home as far as Canada, North America, Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and Australia to join this year’s 2nd global reunion which included a support to the tree planting cause.
Several members of MG, even prior to its existence as a facebook group (founded Dec 2011) (http://pidjanga.blogspot.com/2011/12/mainitnon-gihapon-mg-facebook-group.html), have been strong supporters of the re-greening and reforestation efforts for the lake. This included support to the first ever tree planting efforts of the online group Mainit Dot Org (MDO) in 2006 with 300 bangkal trees planted, followed by Tambayayong Mainit, Inc. (TMI) in 2009 and 2012 (600 bangkal and susot trees), all on the eastern side of the lake shore called Panayakpan.
Incumbent barangay captain and a tree enthusiast Gaudencio Mondano, who has extensive experience on reforestation in Papua New Guinea, pushed the lake shore reforestation as one of the barangay’s top priority development agenda. The barangay named this as the Panayakpan Ecopark project.
With a convincing proposal, and armed with evidence from the previous tree planting experiments that both bangkal and susot trees are guob-resitant which means they can survive in long term flooding, the Philippine Red Cross granted a P300,000 seed fund for the establishment of a barangay nursery and planting of additional trees. By end of 2014, the barangay has planted almost a thousand trees spanning around two kilometers of lake shore from Barangay Quezon to the neighboring Barangay Mabini.
The MG-led tree planting this year covers the western portion of the lake going to Barangay San Isidro. A total of 625 bangkal trees were planted spanning around 1.5 kilometers of lakeshore.
“With its capacity to hold water of up to 40 liters a day, a throng of fully grown bangkal trees has a potential to help mitigate the effects of the dreaded annual lake flooding,” said Mondano.
“I am so happy to be back home after several years of living abroad. I am so excited to be of help,” shared Crispo Salino, an MG member based in Canada who also joined the activity.
“This has always been among my advocacies. My dream is to see one day that the 62-kilometer shoreline of Lake Mainit will be fully reforested so that our children, grandchildren and their grandchildren would enjoy the beauty of the ecopark. It is my prayer that with the joint efforts of Mainitnons and Surigaonons, we will be able to see again the beautiful lakeshore forest which existed in this very lake a century ago,” expressed Manila-based MG member and Pidjanga blogger (www.pidjanga.blogspot.com) Zimmbodilion Peter Mosende who was also among the force behind the successful tree planting projects of MDO and TMI since 2006.
Members of Mainitnon Gihapon have suggested that this project be sustained in the coming years with the hope that fellow Mainitnons will realize the importance of trees in the lake’s ecosystem, and the neighboring lakeshore towns will replicate barangay Quezon’s success. (Zimmbodilion Peter Mosende, MG member/PIA-Caraga)