CPUAAI Launches Native Trees Museum and Bird Sanctuary

CPUAAI Photo

The Central Philippine University Alumni Association, Inc. (CPUAAI), led by President Atty. Jeremy V. Bionat, launched the “Philippine Native Trees Museum and Bird Sanctuary” with a ceremonial tree planting activity at CORALE Farm in Sitio Bitbit, Barangay Sta. Teresa, on June 15, 2024.

The event began with welcome remarks from Trustee Dr. Florentino P. Alerta II, followed by a dedication and prayer by Pastor Manuel L. de la Fuente.

Valentin Talabero, retired Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) and current member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Buenavista, Guimaras, provided an orientation.

Trustee Timothy N. Arandela and Atty. Bionat shared insights on the significance of the project, with Arandela bringing marang seedlings and organic fertilizer.

Atty. Bionat explained that the museum and sanctuary aim to serve as a living and interactive showcase of native trees and a spiritual refuge and botanical laboratory for CPU students and alumni.

“This initiative is not only about preserving our natural heritage but also about providing a space for learning and spiritual reflection,” said Bionat.

The project, part of CPUAAI’s biodiversity effort called “DUNAng MAnggad,” seeks to collect native trees, especially those with medicinal properties, and to attract endangered bird species like the flaming sunbird (Aetophyga flagrans guimarasensis).

Participants, including CPUAAI trustees, CPU Corporation members, faculty, staff, students, and alumni, were divided into three teams to plant various tree species.

The first team planted mangrove associate species such as dungon-late, bitaog, and batwan.

The second team focused on mid-forest species like mabolo, kamagong, and apitong, while the third team planted highland species like tindalo and maganhop at Sunbird’s Park. They also planted prickly narra at Rosewood Junction.

The event concluded with CPUAAI officers and selected guests planting bangkal seedlings at Jacob’s Well, and Sandra Castro-Bionat, Miriam Javier-de la Fuente, Deneel Pulido-Enriquez, and Elizabeth Balogo planting turmeric tubers.

“We recognize that people are the heart of every business. Progress and development are achieved when individuals have the right mindsets, skills, and capabilities,” said Suzzette D. Gaston, Executive Director and Co-Founder of NWTF.

Participants included CPU students and local counterparts, with the majority of seedlings donated by the Iloilo City Government through Mayor Jerry P. Treñas.

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