Haribon Tree Trek: Learn Proudly Pinoy Trees

March 27, 2019
The city of Antipolo is named after the native tree whose leaves can grow as large as a small child.

By Joseph Senga

Can you name 5 native trees? This is a question we, at Haribon, normally pose to our supporters when discussing about tree planting and forest restoration. Unfortunately, few urban dwellers are familiar with native tree species, despite that many common streets, villages and cities were named after them.

From the town of Dao (Pampanga) to the Balete drive, numerous municipalities, barangays, and streets trace their names from the abundance of native trees growing therein. Below are some places you might be surprised to have a native tree name:

  • Talisay (Batangas)
  • Lipa (Batangas)
  • Antipolo (Rizal)
  • Lumban (Laguna)
  • Calumpit (Bulacan)
  • Brgy. Cupang
  • Brgy. Calumpang
  • Brgy. Bangkal
  • Brgy. Kamagong

Because of road expansion, site reclamation and other forms of urbanization, compounded by lack of awareness and appreciation, proudly Pinoy trees around us are fast disappearing.    

Adding to the situation is our exposure to other trees in our neighborhood, particularly in the urban areas, wherein people are more familiar with exotic trees such as Mahogany (from South America), Ipil-ipil (from Central America), and Acacia (from Central/South America).

Why Native Trees?

Tree planting is a popular environmental activity across the world. However, many tree planting drives in the country use fast-growing exotic trees. These types of trees consume a lot of nutrients and water, and are invasive to the country’s original forests.  

Native trees not only connect us to our environmental heritage but they are more adaptive to the forests being restored. They have a greater chance of survival and they help ensure that native plants and animals thrive.

Haribon promotes the awareness and use of native trees in forest restoration which helps bring back local biodiversity while maximizing the ecological benefits we derive from our forests.

Join the Native Tree Trek

Haribon Foundation offers Native Tree Treks within urban green spaces to reconnect Filipinos to their immediate environment. Our foresters will walk with you, helping you identify native trees, learn about them and why they matter to us.

It is our aim that after every Tree Trek activity, our participants will be able to know by heart five or more of our proudly Pinoy trees and appreciate our leafy friends that provide so much for us. To arrange a Native Tree Trek activity with Haribon, you may contact partnerships@haribon.org.ph.