It is a must to give back. I was told that consuming three cups of coffee, I need to plant at least 9 trees. It was an honor to participate in Figaro's Tree Planting and Eco Tour activity yesterday at Brgy. Esperanza, Alfonso Cavite with fellow bloggers and Figaro Coffee Foundation.
Left Figaro Emerald at 7am, our first stop was the tour of Gourmet Farms, one of Figaro's partners showcasing a garden of herbs and plants. I've been visiting Gourmet Farms before and I've noticed the big renovations including the new logo and the new designs.
I was sick with flu but the aroma of the herbs just kept me walking and it was delightful to see up close Sharon's Herb collection and my favorite Lemongrass.
My favorite lemongrass I love in chicken and all my favorite dishes seemed so simple across the Sharon's Herb collection. I really enjoyed the tour so much I gained much energy for the tree planting activity.
Before leaving the Gourmet Farms was a refreshing Banaba drink which totally cleared my nose and my throat. I felt an instant relief just like sipping the hot Banaba Tea at Figaro on a cold rainy day.
Before the tree planting, I had to take a photo of my favorite bean at Brgy. Esperanza, Alfonso, Cavite. The host family who were granted the permission treated us to a sumptuous lunch buffet of Adobo, Fish Fillet and Buttered Vegetables. It felt like I was back in the province because the ambiance and the people reminded me of my own relatives in Batangas. Their adobo was so delicious we had to get a second helping.
Mr. Crismel Verano, CEO of Figaro acknowledged the family beneficiary of the tree planting activity before we were given a signal to grab our seedlings at the designated area. He called on all participants to reflect on how Philippines used to be one of the biggest exporters of coffee in the world decades ago and how it is a significant social responsibility of the communities to plant coffee trees in their garden to help not just the farmers but the economy as well.
Philippines is one of the few countries that produces four varieties of commercially-viable coffee: Arabica, Liberica (Barako), Excelsa and Robusta. I chose my favorite Barako (Liberica) first to plant dedicating the tree to my mother and my son.
I was proud to have planted at least one against my fellow participants who planted more than 15. It wasn't easy being sick and walking with a metal implant on a soft soil but I was so happy I made it. It was really a life-changing experience and I felt the word responsibility for the first time getting to me emotionally.
After the fun raffle surprises and games at the tree planting area, we visited Ilog Maria which opened our eyes to the wonders of nature and sustainability. Mr. Magsaysay taught us all how they were able to establish and grow Ilog Maria. With strong faith and the miracle wonders of honey brought Ilog Maria to where it is now - world renowned and still growing. It was an inspirational talk that made me appreciate honeybees and how important these bees are to our nature and our health.
A few soaps and shampoo bags later, we headed home with overwhelming appreciation of nature and responsibility.
Figaro's Tree Planting and Eco-Tour Activity gave me inspiration to reteach and relive the wonders of nature we fail to appreciate because of the busy schedules everyday. It is our responsibility to give back to nature we use and abuse everyday.