By Claudette C. Cledera
To gain more knowledge and skills in Botany and Forestry, the Plant Science elective class of the Philippine Science High School – Bicol Region Campus went on an ecological trip to Consocep Mountain Resort/Falls in Tigaon, Camarines Sur last August 17.
The group was lead by their elective adviser, Ms. Jona Lou L. Mesia, and was accompanied by four other members of the PSHS faculty, Mr. Mark Anthony del Rosario, Mr. Jeavons Pablo Mesia, Mr. Tom Jordan Secundo, and Mr. Chinkee Lim. Seven foresters were also sent by the Camarines Sur Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), headed by Mr. Ariel Tuyay, to serve as the guides and resource speakers of the activity.
The group left at around 7 in the morning for the 45 minute drive from Goa to the entrance of the site. The main area was reached through trekking the 1350-step trail.
After arriving in the area, Ms. Mesia started the program with a word of thanks a talk from Mr. Tuyay regarding the Mt. Isarog National Park, followed by the awarding of the certificates of appreciation to the foresters. Then, the group went trekking, visiting the three falls within the vicinity of the resort.
The first was the “Kawa-kawa” falls, found at the main area, and named for its shape which resembles a kawali or frying pan. The next destination was the “Bulalakaw” falls. It was called “Bulalakaw”, meaning a “shooting star”, because of the impact and rapid fall of its water. Last but not the least was the “Tumaguite” falls, a tourist favorite because of its view. “Tumaguite” means “drizzle”, implying that the water coming from the falls are like droplets of rain.
The foresters took samples of notable specimens found around the area and took down notes for the lecture later on.
Subsequently, the team took lunch, and the students and teachers were given time to swim and explore the “Kawa-kawa” falls further. Afterwards, the Mr. Francis Florece, CENRO forester, conducted a lecture on the specimens collected.
11 leaves were identified using their local names: the Alawihao, White Lawaan, Red Lawaan, Pipi, Bayag-usa, Pulp wood, Mala-santol, Takip-asim, Antaon, Agislaw, and Utuay. Two barks were also taken and identified as the Amugis and the Saramisin.
Besides the identification of the specimen, the foresters explained the laws and programs protecting Mt. Isarog, including PNoy’s 6-year National Greening Program (NGP). The Plant Science class aims to help in this program which aims to add more of the local species to the vegetation of Mt. Isarog.
The restoration soon followed, and the group left the resort at around three in the afternoon.