The Watershed and Water Resources Research and Development Extension Center (WWRRDEC) and other Earth Day partakers trekked through the Yellow Trail of Camp John Hay, Baguio City, hugged trees, touched the spring, and listened to the sound of nature as they celebrated the Philippine Earth Day 2019 on April 22, 2019. This activity was popularized as forest bathing which refers to a gentle visit to the forest for connection and relaxation.
Forest bathing, a translation of the Japanese term shinrin-yoku – shinrin meaning “forest” and yoku meaning “bath”, is one of the newest activities in Baguio City. It differs from trekking, hiking or jogging as it does not focus on the distance covered or the sweat produced on the exercise but promotes being one with nature, immersed with it through our senses-sight, smell, touch, hearing, and even taste.
In order for the people to appreciate more the beauty of the nature and to encourage them to protect the endangered species, the launching of “Guardians of the Forest” at Scout Hill, Baguio City on the same date highlighted forest bathing.
WWRRDEC and DENR-CAR along with students from University of Baguio (UB), University of Cordilleras, (UC), and Saint Louis University (SLU) pledged an oath to be the Guardians of the Forest who fight against deforestation and pollution, and promote environmental conservation, protection and awareness. Inducted Guardians of the Forest also committed to regularly visit the forest, pick up trash, advocate friends and family to care for the forest, reduce waste, and avoid using plastic and styrofoam.
Other activities undertaken during the Earth Day celebration were Tree Planting, Launching of Women in Water Award, Zumba, Lecture on Tree Health Assessment, Distribution of Environmental IEC Materials and Environmental Singing. Sharmaine L. Egalla, WWRRDEC