It was lunchtime then and we were having Calamares, Grilled Squid, and Oysters at the Viewing Deck, overlooking the Panay Gulf – staring at the Island of Panay and Guimaras. On the far right of the coast, I saw a woman, bending her body towards the earth. “What is she doing?” I asked myself. Immediately, I finished my last bite, washed my hands, and went down for a walk. 😀

woman planting mangroves

Carefully planting the “seedlings of change.”

As I approached the woman, I bluntly asked her “Manang, ano gina ubra mo?” (Miss, what are you doing?) She then replied “Gatanum ko di sang Bakhaw.” (I am planting Bakhaw). Well, Bakhaw is a mangrove tree growing in swampy shores. When I knelt and touched the fresh soil, she quietly left and continued with her work. I wandered around. 🙂

men helping out

Other men helping out with the process of restoration.

I met a man carrying a bucket of shells across the puddle of water, he said that the 30-hectare Punta Taytay mangrove forest is currently being restored. Now, another additional 10 hectare-extension is being implemented. Basically, mangrove forests have been scientifically shown to sustain more than 70 direct human activities, ranging from fuel to wood collection to fisheries. Amazing.

10 hectare land

The vast plantation. Across is the existing 30-hectare mangrove forest.

The development carried out by the barangay council alone has changed the face of Punta Taytay, with its facade that was greatly improved. I am sure the project will definitely attract visitors and tourists not only to “eat” at the Viewing Deck, but to enjoy the surrounding nature of the place. The new generation will have a lot to thank for once these trees grow a luscious forest along the coast. Glad I was there to see the development. 8)