The Arroceros Forest Park is an unlikely patch of green in the gray capital city of the Philippines. It is a biodiverse forest in the middle of a concrete jungle, and is home to a total of 152 species of plants, including vulnerable and endangered species.
It was formally called as the Arroceros Forest Park in 1993 when Winner Foundation entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Manila, to steward and sustainably develop the park. In its first year as a steward, the Winner Foundation, with the help of then President Fidel V. Ramos and his wife Mrs. Amelita Ramos, raised funds for the planting of 3,500 trees that have now grown verdantly together with century-old trees in the Park.
The Park is also rich in historical and cultural heritage, which dates back to the Spanish period. Being located next to the Pasig River, the Park served as a “Parian”, or a trading spot for Chinese and Filipino rice dealers. Not surprisingly, numerous Ming Dynasty artifacts surfaced in the course of the Park’s sustainable development.
As the years progressed, much of these trees have been cut down to give way to infrastructural developments, resulting to the deforestation of almost 70% of the Park.
On September 30, Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., we will be holding an event entitled Pagtatanghal ng Arroceros: Araw ng Kultura, Sining, at Musika to showcase the rich natural and cultural heritage of the Park. Different people and organizations will be performing and sharing stories about the Park. We will also be having a petition signing for the declaration of the park as a permanent forest park.
We invite you to join us in saving this thriving Forest Park, together with other volunteers, environmentalists, and thousands of students and citizens!