TACLOBAN CITY – For eight years now, a 65-year-old man in Matalom, Leyte has planted about 10,000 mangroves along a coastal area at the back of his house.
Gary Dabasol, jobless, has been planting mangroves in Punong village because he was worried of the danger of big waves especially during typhoons.
In doing so, he just gathered mangrove seedlings along the coastline in their village. Among the mangrove species that he planted include miyapi, pagatpat, and bakawan.
“I’m glad that I was able to inspire people, I hope that they will also follow what I am doing. I also want to contribute to higher marine production by cultivating a spooning area for fish, crabs, and shrimps and other species,” Dabasol said in an interview on Wednesday.
The story of Dabasol was shared by netizen Dan Niez from Hilongos town, who visited the coastal area of Matalom last week to unwind.
Niez said the last time he went to the area several years ago, the place was just an open space along the shoreline.
He was surprised that during his visit last week, there are full-grown mangroves planted along the coastline.
“When I posted it, many people reacted especially millennials and praised Tatay Gary for what he did. I think they were inspired, and I hope they are inspired because planting 10,000 mangroves is not that easy,” Niez said.
“I hope that the government will also help him because what he did is extraordinary. It is not usual for one person to have this kind of initiative,” Niez added.
He added that the youth should follow the example of Dabasol and make him a role model in protecting the environment and marine ecosystem.
Since Niez posted the story of Dabasol on October 25, it already earned more than 3,000 likes and over 3,000 shares.
According to the website of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, mangrove forest is also known as the “rainforest of the sea.” It grows well in tropical countries and is an important part of the coastal and marine ecosystem that includes the seagrass and the coral reefs.
Of the world’s more than 70 mangrove species, around 46 species are known to occur in various parts of the country. (PNA)