CHMSU Bionihan at Gawahon Park



To culminate this year’s Philippine Environment Month celebration, Carlos Hilado Memorial State University volunteers planted over 500 native trees at Gawahon Eco-Park in Victorias City.

A major part of CHMSU’s Greening advocacy, the Center for Internationalization and External Relations has been organizing the Bionihan (biodiversity and bayanihan) tree growing initiative for over six years at the Northern Negros Natural Park.

This year, 50 volunteer students, faculty, and staff spent the last Saturday of June to plant Philippine native trees such as bangkal, toog, lumangog, makaasim, and albor in one of CHMSU’s adopted sites at Gawahon Eco-Park.

The volunteers of Carlos Hilado Memorial State University spent the last Saturday of June for the environment by planting native seedlings at Northern Negros Natural Park.
The Bantay Bukid personnel at Gawahon Eco-Park who assisted the volunteers from CHMSU.
After hiking and planting the seedlings, the group huddled to share their thoughts about this year’s Bionihan.

The group travelled to Victorias before the sun rose and hiked for an hour to Site 3. Trekking the path to the site, some volunteers remarked that it was their first time hiking this far, with some parts of the trail uncleared as the area is not what regular regular goers would visit the eco-park for.

As they neared the site, the volunteers were greeted by the lush green mountains of NNNP, the goal of Bionihan, to restore desolated areas of the natural park.

After toiling and planting seedlings, the group climbed down to Site 1 and stopped over to meet locals who sold them fresh honey and calamansi grown from their backyard.

The volunteers consolidated their documentation on the tree growing activity and shared thoughts on their experience. Some said the experience was refreshing, others found it difficult, while some first-timers said Bionihan was life-changing and even changed their perspectives on environmentalism.

CHMSUans hard at work
The volunteers hiking to Site 3
The writer also planted some native seedlings with the CHMSU community.

“Caring for the environment is not a fad, it is a lifestyle,” CIER Director Rhoderick Samonte reminded the volunteer students.

He urged the volunteers, especially the students, to reassess their actions, how their small but collective action can have a positive impact on the environment and the people in their lives. | CHMSU-CIER photos