In celebration of the 26th Pista Y Ang Yagueban (PYAK), thousands of Puerto Princesans flocked once again to Sitio Impapay, Barangay Irawan on Saturday, June 25, where they planted more than 15,000 endemic and fruit-bearing trees at the watershed area.
Mayor Lucilo Bayron and Vice-Mayor Luis Marcaida III led what is now dubbed as the annual celebration of the Feast of the Forest.
Bayron explained that the city government’s focus starting this year is to achieve biodiversity in the watershed area. This will start by planting Palawan endemic and fruit-bearing trees. He explained that for 26 years, mahogany is one of the commonly planted trees for the activity. However, based on their observation, mahogany does not boost biodiversity and is not a “water-holding” tree, making it an unsuitable species for watersheds.
According to Atty. Carlo Gomez, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, they have prepared narra, ipil, kamagong, balete and other fruit-bearing trees for this year’s Kagueban. He also believes that the trees will have a survival rate of around 70% to 80%.
Ms. Philippines Earth 2016 Imelda Bautista Schweighart and her elemental court joined the massive tree planting activity this year.
Participants of this year’s PYAK include students from different schools, employees of the LGU, national and local government agencies, armed forces, police personnel, religious, and civil society organizations, among others.
The Pista Y Ang Kagueban started in 1992, which then Mayor Edward Hagedorn institutionalized as an annual activity in the city.