Valleybikes lives for adventure. The moment I read the title of DENR’s celebration of 153 years of Philippine Forestry Service, I was excited to participate in the event. I touched base with the organizers and promoted the “happening” to fellow bikers and environmentalists who want to enrich our resources by planting seedlings.
Bike Hike Plant Experience 2016
The BIKE adventure
I woke up late due to a musical play I had to cover the night before. Thus I extended my ZZZZZZZ time to gather enough energy for the expected long climb ahead. Meeting time at DENR main office in Visayas Avenue was 4am and ride out was at 5am. I got out of bed at 5am and was on my way to Visayas avenue when I saw the throng of bikers in Katipunan Avenue. I graciously inquired, “Is this the bike, hike, plant?” One of the riders quickly replied, “Oo! (Yes)” The timing was perfect. I just inserted myself inconspicuously into the long line of riders and joined the squad riding towards Pintong Bukawe.
We passed Marcos Highway with escorts and local police guiding the whole troop for a non-stop riding experience. There was a water station after Masinag and the riders stopped for some air and water refill.
At the end of the parade, a truck gathered all the tired bikers who gave up on the long climb. They loaded their bicycles on the truck and waved at the other bikers who inhaled the fumes of the truck. The truck is a good contingency plan for the other participants who weren’t accustomed to the long climb of the Cogeo pass.
The next water station was near the Arc of Boso-boso. From there, it was an easy time already because the long climb was done. But we were wrong. The Heaven’s Gate cemetery climb was unbelievably long and steep and if you are not trained in the Ways of the Wall, it would pose as a threat. Other bikers walked. Others painfully pedaled with granny up to the top of the Pintong Bukawe intersection.
Upon reaching the intersection, happy smiles and a “congratulations” card was being distributed to the bikers. It was such a wonderful feeling to be greeted by DENR employees, thanking the bikers for participating in their anniversary event. The vibe was positive and they instructed the participants to continue down the road towards “Mt. Sinai (the peak of the reserve)”
Once we were there, the place was thumping! Music was blaring out loud and there was a host managing the activities… it was a fun environmental party. Lovers of the Earth were present, as well as employees and friends of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR). Friendly staff were handing packed food, pins and other memorabilia for the event. We settled on a quiet spot and opened our brunch.
It was a scrumptious adobo, rice plus red eggs wrapped with banana leaf. To any biker who went through that climb, it was like eating at a five star restaurant. Each wonderful bite was very satisfying. I will not describe how delicious the free meal was but I think you know the feeling of eating free food if you are very, very tired.
The HIKE adventure
We thought the day was over. But being the curious cat we are, we hiked down towards the path and saw some staff there waiting for people. One of them gave me a seedling and told me to follow him.
Then I understood why there was a hike part. We traversed the side of the mountain and went down some steep trampled grass towards the area where I could plant my seedling. Trudging on, I followed my guide.
It was sad to see the mountain with no trees, just high grass. But with the DENR’s effort like programs like these, we are hoping to see a greener future.
We are not obligated to plant a tree, but we should do our fair share in taking care of our environment.
QUESTION: Why should we plant a tree?
ANSWER: When we plant a tree, there would be more oxygen-producing living things around us. Plants and trees emit Oxygen gas in the air. That is the gas that humans need in order to live. Humans emit carbon dioxide (CO2), that is the gas that plants need in order to live.
Thus we should balance out the number of humans and trees.
It is really easy to plant a tree/seedling. Dig a hole in the ground, make sure it is far enough from the next tree, because when they grow in the future, they would need the leaves and branches space (also the soil’s nutrients). After putting the plant in the ground, fill up the hole with soil, pat the ground and then water it.
When I planted my two seedlings, I whispered a silent prayer to my two baby trees. I wished them patience, strength and resilience.
Patience to survive when the Earth is so dry and in need of water…
Strength to withstand the fiercest weather conditions and storms.
Resilience to get back from the harshest conditions.
As bikers, we are already doing the Earth good by reducing our carbon footprint. We should take care of our planet, it’s the only one we got. Congratulations to the DENR for mounting a successful BIKE HIKE PLANT project! Rakenrol!!!
Acknowledgement: Big shout out to DENR-FMB and NBO. The Forest Management Bureau is directed by Dir. Ricardo Calderon who also biked in this event. The National Bicycle Organization is directed by Mr. Benedict Camara, who biked the route as a sweeper.
Round of applause to all the NBO bike marshalls who pedaled and kept the line.
Thank you to @teamspyderph for my rad looking white sunglasses. Protect your eye… and look awesome doing it.