My mom told me that we will plant trees for the Project PEARLS sixth year anniversary celebration on August 7. “Where?” I asked her. She replied, “Quezon City.”
This confused me.Quezon City is not only the largest city in Metro Manila but it is also the most populous. Also… It is in Metro Manila! I repeat, for the third time, it is in Metro Manila! I assumed she meant near rather than in.
But, nope. She really meant Quezon City.
Tucked in the city’s neighborhoods is a rainforest. Or, rather, a preserved reminder of what Metro Manila must have been.
This hidden jewel of Quezon City is La Mesa Nature Reserve, a key component to sustaining life in the Philippine metropolitan. How?
First, La Mesa Nature Reserve is a watershed that surrounds La Mesa Reservoir which provides most of the water to Metro Manila. Thanks to reforestation and fights for its protection, it is also home to such a dense forest of all sorts of wild life. It is the last of its kind in the region.
Lastly, La Mesa Nature Reserve serves as Metro Manila’s lungs as well. The region suffers from severe air pollution. In a 2015 report by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Environmental Management Bureau, Metro Manila’s air pollutant concentration was 130 micrograms per normal cubic meter. Any measurement above 90 micrograms per normal cubic meter is seen as unsafe.
Trees help restore the quality of air, thus restoring the quality of life into health. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants then release oxygen. According to a study by North Carolina State University, one large tree supplies enough oxygen for four people a day. The trees of La Mesa Nature Reserve cleans Metro Manila’s air and, because it invites its guests to plant even more trees, its amount of giving continues to grow.
That statistic makes me proud to say that Project PEARLS planted 400 trees that day (even while it rained hard in that rainforest)
What a better way to celebrate the PEARLS sixth year anniversary?