Monday, October 29, 2012

Tree Planting with Indra at Palauig, Zambales

Oct. 27, 2012

I arrived at 5:30 am. It was dark inside the Meralco compound, and the street lights did very little to dispel the gloom. The trees and the lamp posts cast eerie shadows in my path. I found the meeting place after a short (and nervous--haha) walk from the center gate.  Thankfully, there were already a few people there, so my apprehension of waiting for others in a dark parking lot was quickly dispelled.  :)) The bus arrived shortly thereafter. We left at around 6:30am.

I missed you, mountain view! Haha :))
It was drizzling as the bus rolled from EDSA to NLEX. After a couple of  months of hiatus (my last trip was waaay back in August), it felt so good to be back on the on the road. I greeted NLEX with a warm hello.

We arrived at Palauig, Zambales at around noon. By then, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining brightly. The bus broke down just as we were about to head to the jump off-- and a few of my fellow volunteers considered walking all the 5k++ down. I considered it, too, but with the heat, I knew I'd have to preserve my energy if I were to plant any trees. :))

So I hopped into the Haribon van along with several others. The forester-guy was vaguely familiar, and after a few moments of contemplation, I remembered-- it was sir Tadi and I met him during our "tripLangThing" in Baras, Rizal. So this makes this tree-planting my 3rd Haribon ROAD to 2020 activity-- the first one was with my UPGL orgmates, and also in Rizal.

Fingers crossed that I might climb you someday. :) The river looked gorgeous.

We stopped at a sort of a barangay outpost where Mt. Tapulao climbers log in. Inside the building were pictures of the mountain and some mementos of past climbers. I would love to visit the river-- it looked very pretty in the pictures. 

When everybody else had arrived we started the short trek to the planting area. The combination of the uphill nature of the trail and the blazing sun had left me slightly dizzy and huffing and puffing at the end of the trek. I was very thankful I survived without any serious dizzy spell.
A field of yellow flowes. Pretty. <3 nbsp="">
It wasn't that bad, though, for the trail was lined with pretty yellow flowers and occasional yellow butterflies. We passed by a brook, a group of chilling carabaos, and a refreshing country side view on the side. 

We were divided into four groups, and I got into the last one. We were assigned to the far corner of the wide planting area, and were told to finish one row each. I forgot the names of the trees that we planted, but they were all native ones. Yay. 

I didn't bring gloves, but someone else did bring a bunch of blue ones. I asked just for one piece, as I am not really comfortable working with both hands covered. The soil was a bit dry because of the weather, so it was really a bit of a challenge to fill the hole with soil. I grabbed a flat rock and used it as my "spade", and it made the planting infinitely easier. The  heat of the sun made things worse though. :)) But I really can't complain-- the sky was in the bright blue color that I really love.
Love the cloud formation here.

All in all, I managed to plant thirteen (13) trees, which is an all time high for me. Yay. :))

We finished waaay past lunch time, but I really wasn't hungry since snacks were provided earlier in the bus. After a very late lunch in Iba, Zambales (around 4pm?), we were homebound. I managed to capture this awesome-golden sunset somewhere along the way-- before the exhaustion brought about by the day's activities had pulled me into sleep.
What a way to end the day! :)

For all the prettiness I saw that day, and the opportunity to add to my tree count, I'm really happy I signed up for this event, and would gladly do it again. :)

Thank you Indra and Haribon! :D

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