Thank you God we saw the day came. It was April 16, 2011, Saturday,  and He seemed to be in agreement of what Mount Carmel High School ( MCHS class 1976) would and must be doing, which was a tree planting at the Sanitary Landfill at  Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta Quezon (after Gumian).  The signs were all in our favor, the weather was fine, the sun shone so majestically beautiful and all the members of the class were very much eager and excited knowing once again we will be together in this meaningful activity which was tagged “SULONG CARMELIAN!!! MAKAKALIKASAN…..

(Photo courtesy by Pete Motallana)

It is a fact that Infanta is a flood prone area and its problem can only be addressed by its citizens who are willing to own and solve it.

This is just one of the fruits of the values that were instilled to us which the class kept through the years from our advisers, teachers, and parents. It is an assessment and evaluation of our person as responsible citizens of Infanta, as students of Mount Carmel and as sons of God.

MCHS batch 1976 decided to do this advocacy to give back the blessings of life and for what we have become. All the committee heads have done well.

We cannot bear fruit by ourselves alone. We have counterparts KABISIG  whom Fredy Cuento contacted to lend a hand. They have ready dug soil for the seedlings to be inserted into the hole to lessen our burden. They were already there when we arrived.  Thank you Fredy.

Lanie Monarquia Lapitan did an important part in coordinating with the LGUs through her sister Eda. LGU and MAO Infanta identified, prepared and pre-dug the area through the municipal agricultural office. (Thank you Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala.) Kabisig joined for the tree planting.

Every one present in the tree planting was in high spirit and trod the fresh dug soil on the side where the seedlings where planted.  We tagged the trees with our names to symbolize our commitment to this cause. The spiritual lift it generated from the hearts of everyone present was immeasurable.  God willing another meaningful project is in store as the class decided to meet on a regular basis.

Let us slap the illegal loggers with kindness by planting a new batch of trees which hopefully touch everybody’s heart.

To our fellow Infantahins and countrymen, join us in the advocacy of paying goodness forward like saving the balding mountains of our town and the rest of country by spreading the tree planting virus. (Gladwell)

Just so that we would be kept reminded, here is a website to learn our lessons.  (photos by Martin D. Francisco)

Beware illegal loggers: For every tree you cut, you are like killing one individual as what happened in Ormoc, Infanta, and other areas too many to mention. Wealth and power on this earth is a fleeting moment. We should have learned that from life.


Thank you God for the unconditional help from numerous members of MCHS 1976 which has made the treeplanting activity and reunion a successful one in Infanta, Quezon and the reuninon celebration at Genazon Farm in Gen. Nakar, Quezon through the courtesy of Engr. Mamerto Poblete. Engr. Jose Portales who was kind enough to lend his vehicle. Lani Monarquia Lapitan was the overall coordinator for the affair. Manila group was composed of Dulce Flores, Maria Arlene Venida Goyenechea, Amy Pestañas and Ellen Sarmiento. Infanta group who actively helped were Noel Abcede, Conrado Vargas, Bait Ruanto, Mirriam Magdaraog, and Mayi Mercado for meeting the challenge over the last minute changes in the menu. Her narrative report of the pressures that went with it was nerve wracking as she and Lani tried to compromise between price and menu with the caterer. But cool as she was, Mayi has emerged a winner with her grace and good PR.

Meanwhile, Dulce’s and Ellen’s assistance and fiercely excellent bargaining skills were and always there when needed during the purchase of giveaways. Amy’s quick thinking and budgetary talent contributed to some adjustments. Lani’s lightning decisions made MCHS 76 machinery move like a well oiled machine. Infanta counterpart Noel Abcede for the invitation, Jose Portales for the logistics, Mamerto Poblete for the venue, Bait Ruanto, Arnel Venida, Ernesto Portillo who shared their talents entertaining us.)

Our heartfelt thanks to our major sponsors here and abroad in no particular order: Leila C. America, Lani M. Lapitan, Boots Cecilio, Kathryn Marie Gonzales, Fredy “Boyet” Cuento, Annabelle Clayton, David Astrera, Marilou Leynes Espinosa aka Maria Espinosa, Amalia Q. Pestanas, Dulce Flores and Marivic Latorre. The support you have given has contributed to the successful event.

Please spread the tree planting virus. Share this link to your friends. To God be the glory.

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About Maria Arlene V. Goyenechea

mother of four, married, female, Filipina, fascinated with Japanese culture
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  1. Fredy Cuento says:

    Batch 76…hope to see you in the annual Mangroove Reforestation in Infanta. Its fun, full of mud, laughter and meet new friends of the same advocacy . We will be able to help the marine life cycle in the area, mangrooves serves as one ot their feeding grounds. Lets give back what the people have taken from our natural resources.

    • Maria Arlene says:

      yes fredy. I would be very glad to be one of your interested volunteer in the annual Mangrove Reforestation in our town. We want to teach people by doing. I thank God for having a friend like you. Thank you action man.

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