A family-managed plantation of forest and fruit trees in Barangay Cadaanan, Solana town is now a haven of a spectacular landscape and an environment free from any kind of pollution.
Waving greens in the area are the lines and rows of Gmelina and the vast variety of mango guyabano and kalamansi which offered a calming view in the plantation.
“Para sa aming mga magsasaka, ang NGP ng DENR) ang pinakamagandang programa ng gobyerno dahil sa malaking ambag nito sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan at kabuhayan ng pamilya sa komunidad.
NGP beneficiary Martin Soriano stressed this as he counts the economic and environmental impacts of NGP to his family.
“Malaking katulungan sa pamilya ko ang NGP. Dahil dito, nagkaroon ako ng lupa at mga tanim na siyang naging dahilan kung bakit naging doble pa ang pagsisikap na ginagawa ko ngayon sa aming NGP area,” he added.
In 2013, the DENR awarded almost 18 hectares to him and his children Mark Anthony, Christian Keith and Marigold. They are the most active NGP beneficiaries under the jurisdiction of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Solana.
According to Soriano, the forest and fruit trees he planted are inspiring him to frequently visit and monitor the site. As of now, his family is enjoying the fruits of their labor.
With their regular harvest of forest trees and other cash crops, the needs of their respective families are augmented. In addition, they are enjoying the aesthetic values of trees receiving a hug from the fresh air and moist coming from the trees.
When they harvest, they also extend fruits and other crops to the community as one way of sharing their blessings. They do this to inspire their neighbors to plant trees even in their own backyard if they do not have bigger space.
“Noong lumalaki na ang aking mga itinanim, mas lalo akong napamahal sa kalikasan. Mula noon, nagfocus na ako sa aking taniman. Nakikipag-ugnayan ako sa mga may malalagong taniman kung paano gagawin yung mga paraan para mabilis lumago ang mga puno at bungang-kahoy,” Soriano said when asked how he beat the challenge of growing trees.
Soriano was happy to share that some of their income from their harvests were not only used for their day-to-day living but also for maintaining the farm especially for replanting activities.
With the help of NGP and other sources of income, the family was able to acquire farm equipment and put up a bunkhouse where his family opted to stay to feel a relaxing ambiance.
A fish pond was also established which serves as food and water sources to augment their living. Flowing water from the upstream also exists within the plantation. All these resources were made possible through the NGP.
“Sobrang init dito noon dahil nakatiwangwang lang ang lupa. Nagayon, marami ng interesadong magtanim at magkaroon din ng sariling plantasyon. Salamat sa pagmamahal ng DENR. Sana patuloy pa rin ang NGP sapagkat ito na ang buhay namin,” he emphasized.
With all the gains from NGP, the Sorianos’ nod to push through with the reforestation program of the DENR was the best decision they ever made. Having not, their natural talent in growing and nurturing trees will not be discovered. Indeed, their green thumbs paid off.