Kalinga sa Nilikha celebrated 10th Anniversary at the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve ASEAN Heritage Park (MMFR AHP)

The ministry of the Grace Baptist Church of Los Baños (GBCLB) celebrated the 10th year of Kalinga sa Nilikha (KsN), which was born two years after the tragic demise of Forest Officer Elpidio C. Malinao, one of the staff of the Protection and Regulation Unit of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR), University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) who was gunned down on 09 May 2011 after he had attended a court hearing. In honor of his life and his contribution to MMFR, the MCME-CFNR planted a tree at the Makiling Rainforest Park (MRP), where his ashes were scattered. Every year, the members of GBCLB commemorate his death by visiting the area.

Last 20 May 2023, in coordination with the MCME and assistance of staff, more than 40 members of GBCLB visited the MRP and planted eighteen (18) seedlings of three (3) species: Smooth Narra (Pterocarpus indicus Willd. forma indicus), Lamog (Planchonia spectabilis Merr.), and Bani (Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre) at the Tayabak Camp Site. It is an adopted site of GBCLB as their contribution to MMFR AHP.

The group also visited the Mudspring area, after which a short program was held at the Makiling Rainforest Park, together with some MCME staff. They conducted Group Dynamics, and a lecture was given by former UPLB Chancellor and current Chair of KsN, Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, with colleague Dr. Rodel D. Lasco and his wife who graced the occasion.

The group also highlighted the contribution of another former MCME staff who recently passed away, For. Rolly V. Breva, who was also with the ministry at the beginning of KsN and supported the program. During past anniversaries of KsN, For. Breva always talked about creation, stewardship, and the mission of MCME in forest protection, conservation, and development.

The GBCLB, through Dr. Rex Victor O. Cruz, recognized the partnership and the assistance provided by MCME to KsN.

By: Valeriana D. Barredo-Parducho

Photos by: Justina Malinao and Rich Opulencia

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