February 14th, 2010. Puerto Princesa City’s expression of love for Mother Nature is celebrated in an extraordinary way every on Valentine's Day. The annual celebration features a mangrove planting festivity in the coastal zones to restore degraded mangrove areas after a mass wedding of unwed couples. The event heightens awareness on the ecological role of mangroves and other coastal ecosystems in the vital web of life. Environmental quiz bees, film showing, band concert and beach games liven up the event.
"Mangroves protect coastal areas from erosion, storm surge (especially during hurricanes), and tsunamis. The mangrove's massive root system is efficient at dissipating wave energy.Likewise, they slow down tidal water enough that its sediment is deposited as the tide comes in, leaving all except fine particles when the tide ebbs. In this way, mangroves build their own environment. Because of the uniqueness of mangrove ecosystems and the protection against erosion that they provide, they are often the object of conservation programs includingnational Biodiversity Action Plans." (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangrove)
This year we were able to attend. Since our Green Tech Ecocenter is the service center for most of the City's Electric Vehicles, Mayor Hagedorn requested them to be brought to the event and participants were picked up along they way to the mangrove area so they could enjoy a noise and emission free ride to the site.
We woke up at 3 A.M. and arrived at the Green Tech EcoCenter at 4:30 A.M. We headed down the National Highway in an impressive convoy (for a small city) of 6 Electric vehicles. It was still dark when we got to the mangrove planting area and they had a group of volunteers performing exercise routines in front of a huge LED screen for the public to view.
Hundreds of couples attended and lined up to register for the free marriage ceremony. Several little wedding cakes were nicely placed upon even a larger cake, which the couples were able to enjoy after the ceremony and before the mangrove planting ritual which was a condition for the free wedding.
The couples lined up and were given instructions on how to plant the mangrove plants.Mayor Edward Hagedorn with some of Puerto Princesa's beauty Queens and a guest from the New 7 Wonders of the World site.
Dave Dewbre who is in charge of some of the City's Electric Vehicles for maintenance and service.
Our two Electric trikes are far left.
Dave Dewbre driving the Eagle Etrike
After the mangrove planting there was a ground breaking ceremony for a pioneering biodigester facility that can provide electricity for the city’s public transport fleet as well as its other energy requirements.
Mayor Edward Hagedorn drove an electric jeepney to the ground breaking site, carrying members of the Press with him and his VIP guests for the day. This E jeep performed very well! Dave is looking to enter a discussion with the makers of this electric vehicle.See Article on GMA News
Visit Mayor Hagedorn's personal website: