Wanderlust | Earth Hour observance with Samal’s bats

IT HAS become some sort of a tradition for Monfort Bat Sanctuary, home of around 2.3 million Geoffroy’s rousette fruit bats (Rousetteus amplexicaudatus) in Barangay Tambo, Island Garden City of Samal, to celebrate the annual Earth Hour.

MONFORT Bat Sanctuary is home to 2.3 million 2.3 million Geoffroy’s rousette

MONFORT Bat Sanctuary is home to 2.3 million 2.3 million Geoffroy’s rousette

“We have a lot to thank these bats for. They are our natural pollinators and seed dispensers. They are responsible for the pollination of our fruits, which our region is abundant with,” said bat sanctuary owner Nomi Monfort.

Monfort, also known as the island’s “Bat Mama”, has always been in the forefront in bat conservation especially that the largest Rousette fruit bat colony in recorded history is located in her 3-hectare property.

Bats, after all, along with insects and birds, are responsible in the pollination of, at least, 1/3 of the world’s food, including 87 of the 113 leading food crops.

“The benefits that we get from them is invaluable, that is why it is very important for us to protect them,” she added.

THE FRUIT bats role as pollinators and seed dispensers is essential in sustaining Philippine forests

THE FRUIT bats role as pollinators and seed dispensers is essential in sustaining Philippine forests

Bats also help mitigate climate change by helping keep a balance in our forests.

“Since they are nocturnal, they act as night shift pollinators and pest controls as they also feed on insects,” shared Monfort.

The event, slated on March 24, Saturday, will highlight also the role of women as nurturers of mother earth. According to Monfort, bats are symbols of motherhood, being the “only mammal who nurse their young until they can fly on their own”.

BAT sanctuary owner Nomi "Bat Mama" Monfort.

BAT sanctuary owner Nomi “Bat Mama” Monfort.

The whole-day event will kick-off at 8 AM with the rose water ceremonial blessing and burning of California sage sticks “to cleanse the ground”. There will also be a BATtiangge, to be participated by beach resorts and other organizations, where they will be distributing information about their advocacies, sell natural and organic products, and serve plant-based food and drinks.

Teresa L. Ungson, regional head of the National Nutrition Council, will lead the Organic Gardening Workshop slated in the afternoon.

BAT sanctuary owner Nomi "Bat Mama" Monfort

BAT sanctuary owner Nomi “Bat Mama” Monfort

The event will also feature pranic healing sessions, Angel Card and Virtuescope readings, free meditation classes, film showing, and a massage spa that will make use of crystals, Himalayan pink salts as well as Filipino hilot. A sunset meditation will signify the start of the evening activities in preparation for the Bat Emergence Night tours.

Earth Hour is a global movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature that encourages encourage individuals, communities, and business establishments to turn off non-essential electric lights for an hour as a symbol of their commitment to save the planet.

ONE of the entry points of the bats to their cave in Barangay Tambo

ONE of the entry points of the bats to their cave in Barangay Tambo

 

BANANA FARMERS AND EXPORTERS TO HOLD FUN RUN

On April 8, the Mindanao Banana Farmers and Exporters Association, Inc, an association of independent banana farmers and exporters, will hold its first ever fun run event in Panabo City.

THIS writer with race organizer Dax Ang and  MBFEA's Gladys Mebrano Garcia

THIS writer with race organizer Dax Ang and MBFEA’s Gladys Mebrano Garcia

“Davao has always been known as one of the world’s largest producers of Cavendish banana. Through this event, we want to raise awareness on the importance and contributions of the Cavendish banana industry to the region,” said MBFEA executive admin officer Gladys Mebrano Garcia during the press con.

According to Garcia, they also want to make their upcoming event an opportunity to encourage local residents on the health benefits of consuming Cavendish bananas.

The upcoming MBFEA Fun Run will have a 3K and 6K categories for both men and women. Davao-based Erwin “Pastour” Emata, the first Filipino who conquered Mt. Everest, will be the event’s race director.

“Aside from the camaraderie and fun among participants, the run will also benefit one of the schools in our indigenous communities in Davao del Norte,” said Garcia.

Additional photos courtesy of Rhonson Ng.

Posted in Lifestyle