The rain was treated as “God’s blessings” as journalists and guests planted on Sunday memorial trees for two pioneering members of the Baguio media who passed away recently.
Other memorial trees were also planted in honor of the special friends of the Baguio media community while other memorial trees that died were replaced with new pine tree saplings.
On hand to plant trees for erstwhile Baguio Midland Courier editor Cecile C. Afable was her son, Sylvestre Jr. and daughter Patricia, while lawyer Omar Evangelista and his son planted a tree for his late father, publisher Geronimo Sr.
Afable, who is considered the “grand dame” of Baguio media, passed away on June 12 at 93 while Evangelista, the dean of Baguio journalists, died on July 1 at 84.
For decades, it has been a tradition of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club and the Baguio Press Club, a group of editors and publishers, to plant memorial trees for their departed colleagues.
Sunday’s tree planting was supported by the Hamada Publishing Corp. and Benguet Electric Cooperative.
The media icons who conceptualized the activity believe that a tree symbolizes life and unity.The practice is attributed to the concerted efforts of people from all walks of life that made Baguio back on its feet after the July 16, 1990 earthquake.
With each seedling planted that morning, a priceless life that has passed was eternally immortalized.
The other week, Baguio journalists and city hall employees also joined children who commemorated the 1990 killer earthquake with tree planting at the Busol watershed in memory of those who perished 22 years ago.
Pupils of Rizal and San Vicente Elementary School together with their teachers and volunteers planted in various adopted planting sites before they were taught and practiced hands-on the work of firemen and rescue volunteers right at the center one of the critical watersheds in Baguio.
Twenty two years ago, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake and strong successive aftershocks devastated Baguio City, Nueva Ecija, and Dagupan City. Thousands of people perished while billions worth of properties were damaged.