Encrusted with layered abaca fiber and planted with 5,000 pili samplings, a 50-foot Christmas tree was lighted on Monday evening as the Albayanos celebrate the Karangahan Festival which marked the green Christmas season here. This Christmas tree is alive with the soft swaying leaves of thousands of Pili saplings spread out all over its body in several tiers with dazzling stars adorning its body.
This Christmas tree with hanging garden promote zero fireworks, no plastic and smoke free province, the first of its kind in the country that could be included in the Guinness Book of Record, according to eco-warrior chairman and former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, whose mother is a native of Libon, Albay. The lighting of green Christmas Tree was graced by Zubiri and Rep. Cynthia Villar here. Pili (Canarium Ovatom), and the abaca (Musa textilis) are two of the province’s top agricultural products where these products have given name and recall to the province of Albay. “The seedlings symbolize the people of Albay and shows that with unity all things wonderful are possible. The warm tone of the abaca burlap stands for the fertile ground that is the lifeblood of many Albayanos. The same earth that we all must protect and preserve,” governor Joey Salceda said. This organic Christmas tree is the very embodiment of Albay’s objective and advocacy to have a greener and cleaner in reaching out and involving the whole province in protecting and preserving the environment. The 50-foot Green Christmas Tree is towering the center of Peñaranda Park in front of the capitol building of Albay. The pili saplings and abaca cloth provide a view of an on-the-up hanging garden here.
Salceda launched the Green Christmas campaign for the third time with the theme: “no fireworks, no plastic and smoke free” program in celebration of the yuletide season here as part of the mitigation and adaptation program of the provincial government to lessen to reduce the CO2 emissions. Salceda, the United Nations (UN) senior global champion on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and UN climate fund advisor, pursued the zero waste and zero carbon emission Christmas tree to raise public awareness and implores support from various institutions and the public the use of environmentally-sound technologies to decode the tradition. Albay Green Christmas tree was first introduced two years ago using recycle materials wherein in 2010, it was made out of empty drums. The innovation and unique Christmas tree here towering at Penaranda Park was conceptualized by then Air Force Col. Guillermo Molina, commander of the Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force Bicol in support with governor Joey Salceda’s zero waste and zero carbon emission Christmas tree to promote green environment and minimize the C02 in this disaster-stricken province. The giant green Christmas tree made out of empty aviation fuel drums was introduced in Bicol specifically in Albay province two-year ago after Salceda and Molina came up with the idea of building a Christmas tree out of empty drums to comply with the Green Christmas campaign. The green Christmas tree is made out of almost 200 pieces of empty drums of aviation fuel made by the airforce men from Tactical Operations Group 5-Philippine Air Force. It was the first solar Christmas tree implementation using light emitting diode (LED) light in Bicol. The LED light does not generate heat and last for the very long lifetime and reduce risk of fire. In 2011, the provincial government rekindled the Karangahan along with green Christmas celebration for the socio-cultural festival being celebrated in Albay. Karangahan was most fittingly descriptive and normative in the relationship of Albayanos in their endearment (ranga) to its culture, arts, history and nature. After the yuletide celebration here, these 5,000 pili seedlings will be planted as collective advocacy for climate change adaptation, environmental protection and this event is the evolving dynamics of community-building and in their current nurture of the future milieu of the next generations of Albayanos according to Salceda. (PNA)
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