One Tree at a Time

Halfway through the million mark
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte

                                                “Not everything that can be counted counts, not everything
                                                  that counts can be counted . . .”
-          Albert Einstein

Growing a tree is not as easy as one thinks. It takes commitment to ensure that the seedlings planted will actually grow into trees.
Long before its 2050 deadline, Tagaytay Highlands (TH) has reached almost half its targeted quota in this year’s ‘One Tree at a Time’ initiative. Partnering anew with the ASEAN Center for Biodiversity (ACB), officers and employees of TH, Belle Corp, and Highlands Prime Inc. together with representatives from the German and Singaporean embassies and various media entities planted 140 seedlings in celebration of Earth Day 2015.
“Tagaytay Highlands was built and developed in the heart of nature. Mother Earth Is our main and most important partner in providing our clients with unparalleled mountain resort living experience. Through this project, we show our utmost dedication in preserving our true foundation,” shared TH founder and Belle Corp vice-chair Willy N. Ocier.
In 2002, Mr. Ocier pledged to plant a million trees by 2050. Thirteen years after, close to half a million trees have already been planted within the highlands’ premises. The annual tree planting activity was made more significant this year with a month-long series of environmental events under the Green Project 2015 program.
“This is our sixth year partnering with Tagaytay Highlands. We can’t diminish the significance this undertaking does to Mother Nature and our ecosystem. Maintaining a green world is the responsibility of us all. We raise the awareness level so our actions today are felt by generations in the future,” informed Clarissa Arida, ACB’s creator for programs.
The initiative started in 2010 when ACB partnered with the leisure destination for its first tree-growing activity with representatives from the business sector. Because of this joint undertaking, TH was recognized by ACB as a ‘friend of biodiversity.’ Since then, TH has maintained its position as an agent of change on how it conducted business.
“This is part of our green wave initiative that all started with the UN environmental program around the world, to ensure biodiversity and protection of the environment; with the end view of providing safe, clean and beautiful world to live in. As espoused by the late Mother Teresa, we cast the stone now to create ripples unto the future,” intoned TH club general manager Clair Kramer.
Aside from the ACB, TH has also partnered with the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines in helping preserve the mountain resort’s avian denizens and promoting its environs as a bird sanctuary.
“Twenty years ago, we started the mission to plant a million trees in 50 years. It’s not simply for aesthetics but to also bring back the flora and fauna that makes the Highlands their natural habitat. Tree planting is a global concern and this is our contribution as vanguards of Nature. And we are halfway close,” enthused TH club president Jerry Tiu at the close of the weekend activity.           

To learn more about this annual green initiative, simply send an email through


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