IBM’s Mangrove Reforestation project @ Olango Island

Last Saturday, June 11, 2011, IBM Cebu and PBSP (Philippine Business for Social Progress) had its outdoor outreach activity, Mangrove planting, which was held at Brgy. San Vicente, Olango Island, Lapu-lapu City.  I was fortunate enough to be part of this grand activity, together with my fellow IBMers,  a few people from the media, bloggers and some volunteers.

Just a brief background, the Olango group of Islands is composed of seven islands and is located 5 km. east of Mactan Island.  It is commonly known for its marine and aviary sanctuary.

So continuing from my story, the activity started here in our office with a small program to officially open the event and to orient the participants on some rules and guidelines before we make the trip.

At around 9:00 am, we departed IT Park, and proceeded to a small port beside Portofino Beach in Mactan.  From there, we took a 30 minutes boat ride to reach Olango Island.  Then we took a 10 minute tricycle ride to get to Brgy. San Vicente and another 10 minutes hike to reach the place we were going to work on.

Okay, first off… planting mangroves was not easy!  It was quite a challenge and posed a lot of problems, especially for people with an aching back (namely… ME!).  The weather wasn’t really of much help either, so it was quite taxing.  But the overall experience was enjoyable.  True, I may have complained while we were planting the seedlings (planting them while carrying a heavy backpack was not easy), but honestly, it was really a lot of fun.

After planting the seedlings, we had to walk (or wade) around knee deep (muddy) waters to reach the DENR station near the sanctuary.  There we had our lunch, and some games to make the event more enjoyable.  Afterwards, we then departed the station and headed for the Olango wharf since it was already time to leave.

After the event, I can pretty much say that I was dead tired.  I just came off from work (night shift), and had no sleep when I participated the event, but still, it was worth it.  The idea that I helped in giving back to nature was fulfilling.

Below, are some pics that we had from the event (credit goes to Jerome Ocares for the photos.)

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