A Green Revolution: NSTP Students and SSC-R Community Planting Seeds of Change


he sun rose on a beautiful morning as 16 NSTP students of San Sebastian College — Recoletos, Canlubang, Laguna, along with 3 staff members and the esteemed Fr. Chote Bitangjol, OAR, embarked on a noble mission. Their destination? The La Salud Laudato Si Farm, where they would become the first group to plant trees, following in the footsteps of Fr. Edgar Tubio’s group from the Basilica of San Sebastian Parish, Manila a year ago.

With hope in their hearts and 500 seedlings in tow, the group arrived at Nuestra Senora dela Salud Friary in Pililla, Rizal, at 10:30 am. Eager to commence their tree-growing activity, they wasted no time and prepared for a meaningful day ahead.

At 11 am, the group gathered for a Holy Mass, led by Fr. Randy Castillo, OAR. His homily carried a profound message of stewardship and responsibility towards nature, emphasizing the importance of caring for God’s creation. Following the Mass, the seedlings were blessed, symbolizing the spiritual connection between humanity and the environment.

With the seedlings now blessed, an orientation about the activity was conducted at 11:45 am. The students and staff members attentively listened as they were briefed on proper tree-planting techniques and the significance of each tree species they were about to nurture. Armed with knowledge and passion, their commitment to the cause strengthened.

As the clock struck noon, everyone gathered for a well-deserved lunch. The break allowed them to replenish their energy and engage in lively conversations, further fostering a sense of camaraderie among the group.

The clock struck 1:30 pm, and it was time for action. The air buzzed with excitement as the students, staff, and Fr. Chote Bitangjol, OAR, took to the fields to plant the 200 fruit trees they had brought. Among the varieties were mangoes, lansones, chicos, and langka, each holding the promise of bearing delicious fruits for future generations to enjoy. With their hands in the soil, they felt a profound connection to the earth, knowing that their efforts would contribute to a greener and healthier planet.

With the sun slowly descending towards the horizon, the group wrapped up their tree-planting activity at 2:45 pm. Their hearts were filled with satisfaction and gratitude for the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the world. They bid farewell to Nuestra Senora dela Salud Friary, carrying memories of a day well spent and a commitment to continue their environmental advocacy.

As the NSTP students, staff, and Fr. Chote Bitangjol, OAR, boarded the bus at 3 pm, their journey back to San Sebastian College — Recoletos, Canlubang, was filled with a sense of accomplishment. They knew that their collective efforts had marked the beginning of a green revolution, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape and the hearts of those involved.

March 29, 2024, will be remembered as the day when the seeds of change were sown, nourished by the dedication and passion of the San Sebastian College — Recoletos community. Their tree-growing activity at La Salud Laudato Si Farm not only contributed to the preservation of our environment but also instilled a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness with nature.

May this inspiring endeavor serve as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to follow suit and cultivate a future where trees flourish, and the harmony between humanity and the environment thrives.

Fray Albert Pellazar, OAR

Fray Albert Pellazar, OAR

Ordained priest of the Order of Augustinian Recollects in the Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno.