Private Citizen Effort to Conserve Plants – the way to go!

Rene Vendiola of Negros Oriental, Philippines was named Exemplary Individual by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. in 2012 for creating a forest, he calls his “Noah's Ark,”  He converted the one-hectare (2.4 acres) property where he lives in Bacong Negros Oriental into a forests (Liptong Woodland). He collects planting materials from nearby Mt. Talinis where he used to hunt for a living.  He has in his collection, species thriving he claims were previously reported as unable to grow outside of the natural forest.  In this man-made forest packed with trees, vines and epiphytes he has Gnetum, a cone bearing tropical tree much like pine trees, except for producing broad leaves instead of needles.  Around his house, by the entrance or reception area to his backyard forest are ornamental plants; including a 'bird of paradise' plant, he said was a gift from a collaborator in South America.  It had inflorescence around 8 to 10 feet, longer in length than the height of two De La Salle Univeristy graduate students visiting.  Also on display are several Medinilla local varieties that looked very happy to be there.