From Agham Road to the Quezon City Circle, we can now see the mahogany trees with tender leaves growing on their branches. It is a sight to behold, and definitely a fresh breather in the middle of summer heat and El Niño phenomenon that the Philippines is now experiencing.
I told the driver, wouldn't it be nice when all the streets would be lined up with trees. He agreed with me, and then he told me he wanted to plant a narra tree in his backyard in the province, and further asked where he could buy a seedling. I told him there are seedlings for sale in the plant shops along Quezon Avenue. But then he told me that perhaps it would cost him a lot. Understandably, hardwood seedlings would cost so much for a cab driver like him. So I told him, he should have gone to Quezon City Circle to pick up fallen narra fruits/ seeds, which he can grow. He seemed to be surprised at this bit of information. He does not know that we actually propagate narra using its fruits. So, using my basic knowledge that I learned in grade 5, I told him how to propagate narra.
I told him he has to cut the tip of the fruit to expose its seed and plant it with the cut portion exposed, and maintain proper moisture: not so wet and not so dry and keep it in cool place.
But then it is past the harvesting time for the fruits so the chances of getting a good seed would prove difficult. He told me further that he wanted to plant a tree because of this "climate change" and "global warming" thing. I was dumbfounded! He is not just a simple cab driver after all!
In realizing he does not have extra money to buy a narra seedling, he retorted that if we want to address global warming, then the government should give free seedlings to those people who want to grow at least one. [This cab driver makes sense!]. I could not disagree more!
He had a very simple idea, but a very plausible one, I think! This reminds me of the many reforestation projects of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the ‘80s. Millions, if not billions, of pesos were spent by the government to reforest mountains. At this point we really do not know if, ever, the funds were really used for reforestation projects. In some reports I have read in the past, very few of them have actually succeeded.
Ironically, this cab driver, on the other hand, who would like to contribute something help curb climate change and global warming, by planting his narra tree becomes discouraged and disappointed because he does not have extra cash just for one seedling.
I wish he could find a benefactor for his tree soon! It is not yet too late. [And I wish I have given him a tip so that he can buy one.]
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