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It’s tree time, folks!

- Eric Catipon () - November 19, 2001 - 12:00am
Another Festival of Trees? You bet. For as long as the underprivileged need to be uplifted and environments are to be preserved or rehabilitated, the kind ladies of the Makati Garden Club in partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress will keep on holding the event.

Now on its seventh year, the Festival of Trees is an annual fund-raising campaign that derives revenues from generous corporate sponsorships and the auction of art pieces by known artists and table sponsorships during dinner-auction events.

This year, the Festival of Trees auction will be marked by many firsts. Tabletop Christmas trees will replace the large-scale pieces that patrons got for in the past. These creations, done by Makati Garden Club members, will be put up for silent auction.

Meanwhile, artist Anita Magsaysay-Ho, a generous benefactress of the festival for the past four years, again donates a work to be auctioned on the floor on Festival of Trees 2001 night to be held on Nov. 21 at the NBC Tent in Fort Bonifacio, Makati City.

Titled "Jardin de San Francisco," the painting is expected to fetch a sizeable sum that will add to this year’s goal of raising P10 million. At last year’s festival, the artist’s work fetched a hefty P3 million.

The country’s other artists have likewise donated their works which are to be auctioned with that of Magsaysay-Ho.

Instead of just a dinner and public auction, this year’s festival night will have a musical-comedy dinner show featuring Mitch Valdez, Gary Valenciano and the Spirit of ’67. Tickets to the affair are at P10,000 for ringside seats, P 7,000 for orchestra and P3,000 for balcony.

Ma. Luisa Perez-Rubio, chair of the first festival and vice-chair of each succeeding one, says that much of the event’s success rests in both the organizer’s zeal and generous donor support.

Ging de los Reyes, this year’s festival chair, recalled their accomplishments so far. Among these are the rehabilitation of Maqueda Bay in Samar which meant reforestation of mangrove swamps around the bay, the establishment of a marine sanctuary and the improvement of living conditions of the fishermen and farmers in the coastal villages of Catbalogan, Samar.

The success of the program for Maqueda Bay has spawned similar undertakings in four other areas namely, Ragay Gulf in Quezon, Cuyo Island in Palawan, Samal Island in Davao and Olango Island in Cebu.

Apart from the silent and public auctions, the ladies are also soliciting corporate sponsorships for seven distinct segments of their programs like Establish a Marine Sanctuary (P500,000), where a hatchery and nursery complex is established to ensure the propagation and production of milkfish fry and grouper fingerlings for use in cage culture technologies that will soon be implemented; Broodstock Development (P100,000), a prelude to the multi-species hatchery where viable breeder populations of milkfish, grouper, sea bass, snapper and king crabs will be reared; Adopt-a-Marine Sanctuary (P350,000), where degraded coral reefs will be regenerated, secured and seeded with marine species; Reforest-a-Mangrove Area (P30,000 per hectare), Sponsor-a-Farmer/Fisherfolk (P30,000 per beneficiary), where farmers and fisherfolk will be granted technical and credit assistance to support alternative sources of livelihood like cut-flower production, fish processing, seaweed production, poultry and livestock production and handicrafts manufacture; Develop-a-Community Enterprise (P350,00 per community), where PBSP will held communities adopt and develop technologies to breed marine species in cages and Safe Water for a Community (P100,000) per community), where water systems will be constructed to ensure potable water for beneficiary areas.

Interested parties may call 527-77-41, fax 527-37-43 or e-mail fot@pbsp.org.ph.
ANITA MAGSAYSAY-HO ANOTHER FESTIVAL OF TREES BROODSTOCK DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY ENTERPRISE CUYO ISLAND FESTIVAL FESTIVAL OF TREES MAKATI GARDEN CLUB MAQUEDA BAY MARINE SANCTUARY
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