OCTOBER 26 BLOGGER EVENT   

Sample Room takes part in Masungi Georeserve’s Nurture-a-Grove Project

Climate change is an ongoing issue that we currently face. From shifting weather patterns, to rising sea levels, to dry farmlands and to catastrophic deforestation that impact us in a large scale. Which is why as responsible stewards of the planet, we have a duty to take every possible action we can to save our environment and return the favour to our Mother Earth.

Last year, we made a pledge to support different advocacies we strongly believe in. The environment has always been near and dear to our hearts here at Sample Room; and we are making another big step into healing the planet together with our partners.

From the start, Sample Room believes in the power of rehabilitating our environment. We have learned that to restore and conserve our precious forest, we need to collaborate with like-minded groups and individuals. This year, Sample Room decided to give back to nature in lieu of our annual summer party and partnered up with Masungi Georeserve.

The Masungi Georeserve is a conservation area and a rustic rock garden tucked in the rainforests of Rizal. It has been twenty years since Masungi started conservation efforts of the majestic Masungi limestone formations. To date, they are proud to have an award-winning project that champions local conservation and geotourism in the Philippines. So together with our Sample Room family, we took part in the Nurture-a-Grove Project and participated in Masungi’s reforestation efforts through hands-on tree planting activities.

Together, we’ve become one in helping Mother Earth in our own little way.




 

ORIENTATION

Birds chirping – nature’s very own Spotify playlist, accompanied us on our way for a short orientation on how Masungi started, the activities we will be doing, and a quick run through of the area policies. One interesting fact is that Masungi’s name is derived from the word “masungki” which translates to “spiked” – a fitting description to the limestone landscape found within the georeserve.

With the collaborative efforts of the people in Masungi and the willingness of the volunteers, the georeserve has been well-protected for over 15 years, gradually restoring the works of nature. Seeing how the georeserve progressed throughout the years is a beautiful proof of what constant care and nurturing can bring us – a mesmerizing view of Mother Earth at its most beautiful state!



 

THE HIKE




Along with the park rangers, we took on the Legacy Trail which is an immersion in the greater Masungi Geopark Project where reforestation efforts are currently on-going to bring life back in the abused land and care for the area. Since there were a few of us who are inexperienced hikers, the hike was a bit challenging and took us a lot longer than expected. The path was narrow and the steps were steep – we only had our trusty bamboo sticks to rely on for balance. But despite the challenging hike, our advocacy kept us going. The view on the way up was mesmerizing-- trees and flowers surround us as if it was a sanctuary. It was truly breathtaking – literally and figuratively. Ha!

Once we’ve reached the top, we were greeted by a jaw dropping view of the entire georeserve. As soon as we saw the picturesque scenery, it was as if our fatigues disappeared. The 3-hour hike was worth it, even just to see that majestic and spectacular view!




 

TREE PLANTING AND MINALOT MEALS

After resting and admiring the view for a couple of minutes, we walked towards the site where we will be planting the seedlings that we brought all the way up. The park rangers briefly demonstrated how to properly plant each seedling and guided us through the whole process.

Digging through the soil was a bit of a challenge at first but once we got past that, every step was fairly easy. And as we were taught, we carefully planted each seedling and placed it leaning towards the soil to create a solid foundation from harsh weather once it grows.



Despite being under the blazing heat of the sun, everyone felt happy and excited to be part of something that will benefit the future of our planet. The bayanihan attitude that we Filipinos are known for really shined through as everyone worked together during the tree planting activity, making it possible to plant around 44 seedlings in total. After, we said our well-wishes in hopes that we will see them again as a full-grown, healthy plant.




Soon after the tree planting experience, it was definitely finally lunch time. Everyone’s most awaited activity!

We sat down a table full of food specially prepared by Masungi which they call as minalot -- it was neatly wrapped in banana leaves with a variety of nutritious and scrumptious meals that filled our bellies and recharged our energies for the hike down!




 

Waking up early in the morning, hiking for almost a total of 5 hours roundtrip, and planting under the heat of the sun – our strength and stamina were challenged. It wasn’t easy for any of us, but the sense of fulfillment and accomplishment that we felt after makes everything worth it.

Our main goal from the get go was to plant trees and help save the environment, but the journey we had is already an adventure itself and a blessing to us. After a long day of on-and-off weather, slippery paths, and getting our hands and feet dirty, we were rewarded with Mother Nature’s spectacular view and a beautiful rainbow while sharing stories, hearty meals and making friends along the way. This is why we do what we do. Our hearts are so full!



 

You can also watch our vlog about this one-of-a-kind experience here:



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