KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Aug. 10 (PIA)--- Being a former barangay official and Bautista Agbay, a farmer and a volunteer who is fondly called by his neighbors as Tatay Bauting dedicates himself to planting mangroves in the estuaries of Maitum, Sarangani.
What makes Tatay Bauting’s efforts in greening the estuaries of the town more meaningful is that he does it all for free, from providing all the needed materials, taking care of the mangrove seedlings, making his backyard a nursery to planting the seedlings on what used to be barren estuaries.
For him, to do such is the happiness he feels every time he does something for the community is always a strong motivation.
Tatay Bauting’s journey in greening Maitum estuaries started in 2005 after he saw some damaged shoreline and coastal areas in the town. Since planting is his favorite hobby, he used this to enjoy everyday life while helping save the environment as well as the families situated beside the coastal areas become safe.
At present, a total of seven coastal barangays have benefitted from Tatay Bauting’s initiative.
He believes that preserving the estuaries as well as the coastal areas is the best way of saving our marine resources.
Pushing forward, in 2011 he started to partner with the local offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture to ensure that not only the planted mangrove seedlings are well taken cared of but also the hardwood seedlings he used to donate to schools, organizations and local government units.
He spearheaded the planting of Narra trees in one of the major thoroughfares in the town as well as the distribution of some 6,000 tree seedlings in schools and organizations during tree-growing festivals not only in Maitum but also in other parts of the region.
For Tatay Bauting, planting is one way of preserving the environment so the future generation could experience a verdant world. To attest to his aim of leaving something for the future generation, Tatay Bauting planted a rattan in his backyard which now grows tall and expands side to side. He said, many had expressed willingness to buy the tree but he refused because he stands firm on his decision that it is for the future generation to see.
Teary- eyed, Tatay Bauting relayed that he is not aware that his fondness of picking whatever grows in the streets could lead to making a difference to the community. He said that his willingness to spend his resources for the sake of others and without receiving anything in return is a self-fulfillment.
Tatay Bauting’s selfless dedication to serving the community particularly those in the coastal areas of Maitum proves a strong spirit of volunteerism. A sense that never fades, an accomplishment money can’t buy and a seed he wants to sow in the heart of every individual. (SJDuerme-PIA12)