As part of its continuous effort in promoting its technologies, the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB), 27 members of the 4H club from different cities and municipalities in Laguna and four municipal and provincial coordinators from Department of Agriculture were invited to visit the Los Baños Experimental Station (LBES) and the ERDB premises for Lakbay Aral on May 08, 2015.
The 4H club, as introduced by Provincial Agriculture Coordinator, Ms. Corazon Calabia, is composed of in-school and out-of-school youth aged 12 to 30 years old who are interested in agriculture. They are voluntary members of the organization who are active in different environmental activities such as trainings, seminars and competitions, among others.
Dr. Marilyn Q. Landicho, OIC-Chief of UFERD, welcomed the participants and encouraged them to share ERDB's research and studies in their community, as well as the knowledge and information they would gain from their visit.
The group kicked off the Lakbay Aral by visiting the LBES wherein they observed different species of bamboo. Eddie Castillo, LBES staff, taught the participants on how to propagate bamboo. Afterwards, the participants visited the bamboo and rattan gallery at the ERDB premises. They also toured around the ERDB's Special Project Area (SPA) for the Charcoal Briquetting Technology and Clonal Propagation Facility. At the SPA, Jay Jimenez and Niro Villaceran, ERDB technical staff, demonstrated the proper tree seedlings propagation, and the process of making charcoal briquettes from waste products, respectively.
After the itinerary, Renato Sumague and Reeve Garcia, 4H Club members, shared their insights on the activity. Both of them thanked ERDB for the opportunity to participate in the Lakbay Aral.
"We are very thankful for the new experiences and knowledge we've gained from Lakbay Aral. I could not believe that ERDB plays such a big role in maintaining the beauty of the environment, and in reducing the effects of global warming, preventing soil erosion, and others," Sumague said.
"I learned a lot particularly in the use of forest products as a source of livelihood. Charcoal briquetting technology was also a new learning for me," Garcia added.
Likewise, Ms. Noemi Enseo, city coordinator of San Pablo, was very thankful and appreciative towards ERDB. She said, "This activity is very timely to open the minds and the hearts of the youth for the environment in the face of technological advancements. I believe that the 4H club members will be able to embrace ERDB's technologies with determination, hard work, and willingness to learn."
Dr. Antonio M. Daño, Assistant Director of ERDB thanked the participants for their participation and for sharing their insights on Lakbay Aral. In his closing remarks, he reminded the participants, "I have a share in maintaining the beauty of the environment; however, I will not be able to do my part if I will only focus on my own personal interest. first. Just like you, the youth, we all have our role in maintaining the beauty of our environment." He, again, thanked the participants and expressed his hopes for future collaboration. Melanie N. Ojeda, TTD