An Intimate Touch of Nature: Kalibo Mangroves Reforestation
One sunny Sunday morning, my family and I thought of a joy ride. Just to do something different on a typical Sunday routine. Along New Buswang road, I suddenly spotted the sign “Bakhawan Eco-Park”. “Let’s stop here”, I decided. I have heard about this place several times but never have a chance to visit. Suddenly, I felt guilty inside for becoming a stranger of my own town; a tourist of my own country. Children were excited and so do I. We did not hesitate to take the opportunity to look and enjoy the treasure of our town.
Walking along the long bamboo walkway of about 850 meters of Kalibo Bakhawan Eco-Park, I can’t help but appreciate not only the scenic beauty but also the people behind this project. From a wasted and idle seaside turn to a multi-awarded community based forest management project. “Wow”, I said to myself, people behind it is simply amazing! I have learned that this project was initiated by the local NGO called Kasama or Kalibo Saved the Mangroves. Their labor is not in vain and is very rewarding.
Looking at the lush green forest, it is hard to imagine that this reforestation has gone as wide as approximate 170 hectares. I can’t imagine how much more this labor of love and cooperation offers to all. I suddenly found myself counting:
Who can ever resist the beauty of nature? Maybe, no one! I love nature. I often find myself enchanted with it’s beauty. And who won’t appreciate the beauty of these thousands of mangroves swirling and dancing with the music of the wind blowing softly from the ocean? The chirping birds that breaks the serenity of this scenic place.
The diminishing mangroves due to user’s abuse, greatly affect the balance of our Eco-system. This project bring back the balance.
Have you been trilled with the sound of children’s laughter and giggle? I do! The group of children climbing up to the walkway and just to jump again to the water give them enough reason to laugh. It’s their swimming and diving spot. Enjoying the fresh and cold air under the shade of the mangroves.
Something for the family to experience the joy in communing with the nature. With picnic cottages scattering around the park, it is perfect place to sit down and chat; to eat and laugh together.
Tourists come to our place to enjoy the beauty it offers. The Bakhawan Eco-Park is something we can show to them. The tranquility and beauty it offers can give them a different experience.
Walking hand in hand in the bamboo-made walkway under the shade of the mangroves, isn’t it romantic? A conversation while looking at vast open sea offers new opportunity of better and deeper relationship. The comfort which our nature offers will give new perspective of love.
Mangroves are the home of fishes and other sea creatures. They love to live under its root. I saw several group of young people with their little square net. I do not know exactly how they do it, but they are using it to bait and catch a crab. A souvenir shop near the entrance promoted our local products and industry. Caretakers was given a job. It simply mean this reforestation project provided our people a source of income.
Indeed the Bakhawan Eco-Park is pride of Kalibo and it’s people.