The Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME) together with all its partners and volunteers successfully implemented the Make it Makiling! (MIM) 2019.
Last 14-21 April 2019, the center conducted the Lenten Season Visitors Management Program or the Make it Makiling! The program aims to increase visitors’ awareness and appreciation of the value of mountain ecosystems and biodiversity; showcase, promote ecotourism practical concepts and principles; enhance visitor safety, enjoyment, and experience within the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve ASEAN Heritage Park (MMFR AHP); and promote volunteerism in the conservation of the MMFR AHP and mountain ecosystems in general.
A total of 3,436 visitors from different areas either hiked, trekked or camped in Mount Makiling. Majority of which about 85% were from Laguna and the remaining came from the Metro. They visited either the Flatrocks, Mudsprings, and Peak II, camped in the Malaboo and Tayabak campsites or both.
Despite there was an increase in the entrance and camping fee of the Mount Makiling approved by the University, the number of visitors still reached its average of about 4000 per year.
This is mainly attributed to the presence of Rafflesia in Mount Makiling which is in bloom during the entire week. Many were very excited to see it. Add to it is the yearly souvenir they get upon registration. This year, MCME prepared a key chain made of resin and a trail map guide for everyone.
Around 850 individuals volunteered during the MIM belonging to 50 groups About 30 of which volunteered in the Laguna Area for the Mariang Makiling Trail while the remaining 20 groups volunteered in the Batangas Area for the Sipit Trail.
Unlike regular days, visitors followed a certain procedure during MIM before they get to enter the Mount Makiling. First they need to undergo briefing facilitated by the student volunteers, second the team leader needs to register his/her entire group in the registration area, third they need to undergo inspection facilitated by the University Police Force (UPF) and deposit items not allowed inside the reserve and lastly pay in the Station 1. This helped the center in achieving the objectives of the program.
The program was headed by Dr. Roberto G. Visco, Director of MCME with For. Arnulfo D. Yanoria as the Over-all Coordinator and For. Angela A. Limpiada as the Assistant Over-all Coordinator of MIM! 2019.
Indeed, the success of the implementation of Make it Makiling! 2019 will not be possible if not for the concerted effort of all its volunteers, partners and sponsors.
Photos credit to AALimpiada