Our neighborhood at the very fringe of Baguio is particularly lucky for being situated a stone’s throw away, quite in a literal sense, from a small pine grove. This grove, in turn, was originally an extension of a much bigger privately owned forest, but now separated from it by a couple of concrete alleys, a growing cluster of houses, and eroded slopes of coarse runo grass.
In sixth grade, one of my favorite teachers Mr. Serapion Metilla introduced us to serious gardening. I became the president of the school’s garden club, and with him as adviser, we became weekend gardeners complete with a large greenhouse, a complete toolshed, and a corps of young and enthusiastic volunteers.
Mr. Metilla (who lived nearby in a mini-tropical forest environment, a stone’s throw away from the Sacred Heart parish church) supplied us with all the plant stocks, seedlings, and garden lore we needed. On weekends, we combined our garden work with Scout activities (since he was also the scoutmaster), including occasional overnight camp-outs on the school grounds. This further increased our volunteer force and hours. Continue reading “Schools must have gardening programs for kids”