“Giving back to nature.”
These were the words of our HR Head Caloy Salonga when he addressed the 100+ First Balfour employees, family and friends that participated in the company tree planting last August 17.
This was after we had planted 500 tree samplings of indigenous species like calumpit and narra in the foothills of Mt. Makiling. The place was called the Makiling Forest Reserve located in Sitio Pangaw, Barangay Sta. Elena, Sto. Tomas, Batangas. This forest reserve is managed by the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) which provided the forestry personnel that supervised our activity.
In a way, it is what is so cool about a tree planting activity. It is the knowledge that we are doing something, albeit at a small scale, that contributes to helping the environment recover from all the man-made disturbances. All those who hiked up to plant trees were volunteers who were mobilized by both our Human Resources group and the Employees Union.
It is at this point that I stop using words and rely on pictures taken by my work companions (Manny Yak, Rose Dalawampu and Icar Hombrebueno) in First Balfour, to convey on just how cool and endorphin-rich the tree planting at Mt. Makiling was.
Whether or not the tree samplings would grow to their majestic potential would depend on a great deal to our perseverance to nurture them, especially in the first 3 years. Thus, we have coordinated with a care taker, recommended by MCME to handle this. But it would be a help if we the employees would hike up the hills to provide our own nurturing of the trees from time to time.
Again, all in volunteer time.