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Spes grantees thanks city for work time at busol watershed

BAGUIO CITY – Some 20 grantees of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the City Government assigned at the Busol watershed on Monday thanked the City Government for their peculiar but fruitful summer job stint at the forest as they wrapped up their month-long SPES work.

They were part of the 362 grantees assigned to the various City Government offices this year and the latest of the many batches that had been deployed yearly at the watershed since former city information officer and Eco-Walk children's environmental awareness program founder Ramon Dacawi decided to take in SPES grantees as a complement to the Eco-Walk program several years back.

"I was so excited thinking we were to work in an office but then all of my excitement vanished when our team was sent to Busol. I was not happy about working at the forest with people I'm not even close to so I was really pissed on the first day," Angelical Desiree Delim, Grade 10 student of the Baguio City High School admitted in the reflection paper submitted as a final day activity.

She recalled that on the next day, she summoned the courage to talk to her workmates and met two who later became her close friends.

"I had no idea how to clean open spaces luckily, my workmates had a lot of experience with it and taught me everything they know and I found myself enjoying it.

"Weeks passed by and I can already work quickly and neatly. All my workmates are friends now we did not notice that a month has passed and our work has come to an end... I thank everyone for making my summer job a memorable one. I will never forget this experience," she said.

Delim's reflection was echoed by her colleagues who shared their bittersweet experiences in caring for the trees and the denizens of the watershed.

"Caring for the nature is easier said than done. Being in a strange place was a great challenge and made my first week hard to bear but my stay in Busol helped me develop my love and concern for nature. I realized that taking care of nature also means taking care of yourself and the community because without nature, no life will survive," Shannon Bugnosen, Grade 12 also of the BCHS.

Dekterson Adams Tabor, Grade 10 at Magsaysay National National High School shared his encounter with animals, insects that are foreign to him, like lizards and differently-colored grasshoppers and even snakes which he said did not trample their spirit to work together.

"We experienced being bitten by red ants and encountered snakes that are harmless but on the whole, we gave our best and seeing our work always made us happy and proud," Margaritha Sawadan of Pinsao National High School offered.

The Busol sojourn also opened opportunities to cultivate new relationships for the students.

"I learned a lot from my experience at Busol, I made a lot of new friends, I learned how to value the environment. We had great adventures while we cleared the forest despite the hindrances we had which did not stop us from finishing what we started," shared Aira Adatoc of the NCHS.

Jeanne Pais of the MNHS said, "It was enjoyable because it developed my social skills and enhanced my personality. I discovered a lot of things, animals, insects and bugs. It was exhausting but totally worth it."

"I developed social skills and skills on taking care of nature, two very important skills," James Vincent Dela Pena affirmed.

"It was fun because as my workmates and I do our daily tasks, we did experience a lot of difficulties which is normal but still we managed to overcome those difficulties and made our bond stronger as a team because we helped each other all the time," Abdullah Dollente of Dona Aurora National High School said.

His schoolmate Jerson Harvey Mang-osan conveyed his experiences in a poem he titled, "Ang mga Araw sa Busol" where he related their days of hardships, friendship, failures and learning at the watershed. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

 
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ADVISORY

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STATEMENT IN REPLY TO THE PUBLISHED OPEN LETTER OF BCDA PRESIDENT and CEO ARNEL PACIANO D. CASANOVA

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