University of the Philippines Los Baños
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 10:00

‘Make it Makiling!’


Need a place in which to recharge and reflect this Holy Week break?  ‘Make it Makiling’ and make it a time to commune with nature, as well!

This year, the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems (MCME), the steward office of the Mt. Makiling Forest Reserve (MMFR) and organizer of Make it Makiling (MIM), invites everyone to be one with nature and to join MIM from March 25 to April 1. 

Mt Makiling has not only become the quintessential hiking destination for tourists and for newbie climbers, but also a model of ecotourism practices. Since 2002, the 1,090 meter-high forest reserve has been the destination of nature lovers during the Holy Week break.

“MIM does not only serve as a form of relaxation, but also a way to educate visitors on responsible hiking, camping ethics, and most importantly to take care of our natural resources,” said Aldin C. Alegre, overall chairman of MIM.

With MMFR’s visitors averaging 5,000 each year, the MCME came up with the ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ initiative to ensure that tourists collect their garbage during their hike.

“We make sure whatever potential trash they bring inside the mountain has to be with them when they leave. And if they didn’t bring anything, we require them to collect garbage on their way out,” said Alegre.

“This year, we will also give away prizes for visitors with the highest amount of garbage collected,” he added.

In the past years, the MCME has collected over 100 kilos of trash annually from Mt Makiling with the help of MIM visitors.

MMFR has been under the jurisdiction and protection of UPLB since 1963 and was declared an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Heritage Park in 2013. (John Glen S. Sarol)