MANILA — Mayor Honey Lacuna spearheaded Tuesday’s simultaneous “Nilad” planting activities in an effort to promote the plant that stood as
this city’s iconic source of its name, Manila.
Lacuna was joined by department of tourism chief Charlie Dungo, parks and
recreation bureau chief Pio Morabe, barangay captain Evelyn de Guzman,
city engineer Armand Andres, department of public services chief Kaye
Nicole Amurao and Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau head Zenaida
Lacuna said the planting activity, which was held at the New
Manila Zoo, is also aimed at conserving “Nilad” plant and growing more of it.
Lacuna thanked the city’s partners in the activity coming from the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources “who always lend their
hands in our desire for a green, livable and healthy city” and the
candidates of the forthcoming “Manhunt International Pageant” who
came from different parts of the globe to take part on the worthy
“Today we will be planting Nilad, this stalky white yellow plant
where our city was named after. It was during the precolonial period
when this Nilad plant grew abundantly at the southern part of the
Pasig River. Believing that it is now near extinction, we should do
our best to initiate and promote planting, growing and protecting more
Nilad in our city,” Lacuna stated in her speech.
The lady mayor stressed the need to value the Nilad for its
significance to the culture and heritage of the city.
“The “Nilad for Maynila” project is mutually beneficial for us as we
help achieve the re-greening of our city’s coast line. Let me take
this opportunity to express our appreciation to the officers and
personnel of the national environmental agency with special mention to
the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau or ERDB who are helping
us achieve our mission,” she said.
It was learned that the Nilad that were planted in the city yesterday
have come all the way from Barangay Alitas in Infanta, Quezon.
A total of 140 Nilad were planted in the zoo vicinity while 70 were planted in
Intramuros, where Vice Mayor Yul Servo led the activity.
Dungo said that the contestants of the “Manhunt International Pageant”
representing 34 countries also planted their own Nilads where they
marked their respective spots with the name of the country they
“We acknowledge the presence of the Manhunt International organizers
and candidates for joining us in this activity. We appreciate that you
are sharing your advocacy in protecting our environment. We also would
like to welcome you here in the Magnificent City of Manila. We hope
you enjoy your stay and experience in this capital city of the
Philippines,” Lacuna said.
She also extended to them an advanced invitation for them to join and
witness the activities for the Manila Day celebration in June,
particularly the holding of the equally important commemorative event
for the Nilad Plant called, ‘the Nilad Festival’.
Manila or Maynila, was coined from Nilad, a mangrove tree with white
flowers (nilad) which used to be in abundance in Pasig River, which
was described by the populace as “may nilad” or where the nilad
Dungo explained that mangroves help in weathering the impacts of
climate change and mitigating its causes and that they have the
capacity to take more carbon out of the atmosphere than terrestrial
forests do. (Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BC/ai/mtvn)