Tuesday, October 01, 2019


We can't deny it — we Filipinos love almost all things foreign: foreign cuisine, foreign brands, foreign boy bands. Perhaps it’s because we consider imports of better quality, and maybe even because of our colonial past.

There's really no intention for debate at the time of this post regarding how history has shaped our psyche or ramble against our love for everything imported. We don’t necessarily have to love the foreign less to love our own more, right? 

This fascination with the foreign extends even to trees ( this is so true especially those who love nature so much )....

Pinoy travelers even go as far as California in the United States to see the giant Redwood trees, indeed a sight to behold. Remember how many of us got acquainted with these trees? That film Redwood Curtain, where our very own Lea Salonga played a leading role. 

And isn't it Filipinos are crazy over the sakura or Japan’s cherry blossoms. Nearly every Filipino traveler I know dreams of seeing the magical trees when they bloom pink from as early as March in some areas to as late as May in other parts. 

But really, we don’t have to go too far. For long, many of us have failed to give our endemic yet equally wondrous trees a second look. We have trees that are more than just beautiful but useful in many ways too. 

The Philippines’ national tree, the narra or red sandalwood is a large tree that we associate with roadways canopied with lush branches or premium furniture. The narra lives for decades, grows to more than 30 meters, and has fragrant, bright yellow blooms that only last for a day, usually after a rain shower. For most Filipinos, the narra is known as a source of durable timber, and its wood is used for high-quality furniture and even elements in musical instruments, clocks, and sculptures. Thing is, the law prohibits us from cutting down narra now, so hold on to your parents’ solid narra furniture. 

The equally strong yakal is another native tree that could grow up to 30 meters tall and is another known source of high-grade wood. It is found in primary forests and low-altitude areas across the country, growing straight, slender trunks and branches. With its wood less prone to termite attacks compared to other types of wood, yakal is in demand for floorings and beams, even ship framing. 

The Dungon may be less familiar but it is another known source of durable and quality timber. It can grow up to 45 meters and has slender leaves. One characteristic that sets it apart from the two other trees is that it bears fruit, one that is used in kinilaw, as it helps neutralize the fishy taste of the raw dish. 

Other than giving these trees the second look they deserve, we can take a step further and support their propagation. It’s not hard to do—we can do it in the convenience of our homes, offices or schools. 

Through GCash Forest, a personal carbon tracker feature on mobile wallet GCash, everyone may support the reforestation of the Ipo Watershed, which supplies Metro Manila’s water. 

GCash Forest lets users grow virtual trees that, with enough energy points, can translate to actual trees that will be planted by GCash at the 300-hectare watershed in Norzagaray, Bulacan. 

GCash aims to plant 1,000 trees a day, or 365,000 trees in one year. Imagine how beautiful that would be. 

Together, let us all help the environment by planting trees virtually by using your GCash app and help meet the target in 365 trees in 365 days!

1 comment:

  1. Makes sense Ms Jaimie, i also wish to see those trees pero oo nga noh, we have plenty here. Sa province ko lang nakikita yang mga yan (narra, yakal etc) ans ans we have our own pa nga and bawal na sa amin basta basta mag cut kahit na sayo pa ung puno. Good to know Gcash made this move in helping us to be part in restoring those trees as it signifies LIFE. Am proud to say i am one of those gcash users participating πŸ™