By Alwin Ignacio

Beginning from fourth from left, former Ambassador to Mexico Delia Rosal, former Batangas Governor Antonio Leviste, San Pedro Laguna Barangay San Antonio Chairman Eugenio “Jun” Ynion, Makati Barangay San Lorenzo Chairman Ernie Moya, Rustan’s Chairman Emeritus Bienvenido Tantoco, together with the Diamond Jubilarians 2015 of Barangays San Lorenzo, Udaneta and Bangkal Makati, launches the Diamond Jubilarians 2015 with its Tree Planting activity by the SLEX-San Pedro toll gateway held recently.

Mother Nature was specially smiling that Saturday morning. The sun shined warmly, the wind calm and breezy, as a distinct group of men and women, all of them diamond jubilarians, came for an ordained gathering of a truly special mission.

The Diamond Jubilarians 2015, together with the Trees for Life Foundation and Barangay San Antonio of San Pedro Laguna, headed by its Chairman Eugenio “Jun” Ynion, were bonded together for a special cause, the planting of 300 caballero trees at the exit of the San Pedro, South Luzon Express Way.

The Diamond Jubilarians 2015 is headed by former Governor Antonio Leviste, who said, “We finalized this tree planting activity two months ago and we thank Chairman Ynion for his cooperation and support without which this event would not have been possible.”

“The Caballero was the tree of choice because it is the provincial tree of Batangas.  It is such a beautiful tree. The flowers of the caballero approximate the attractiveness of the cherry blossoms of Japan.  When in bloom, it is very striking because its blossoms are in the hues of yellow and orange.  Compared to sakura whose petals only last for three days, the caballero blossoms can last for as long as three months.  It will be a mesmerizing scenery when all these 300 trees will be in bloom, in two to three years, and will live for the longest time.”

He carried on, “This event is a gathering of septuagenarians, all born in 1940.  We are all here, healthy, happy, feeling great, giving back and doing our share for the environment.”

Barangay Chairman Eugenio ‘Jun’ Ynion revealed, “When Governor Leviste presented to me his plans and what the Diamond Jubilarians wanted to achieve, we knew it was the best thing to do in this area.  It is a God sent opportunity.  We also want to announce that we have commissioned Ed Castrillo to create a bronze tree marker that will be situated here to welcome the people entering San Pedro.  As the caballero trees grow, together with the Castrillo marker, it will truly be a sight to behold. This is indeed an environmental legacy that many people and generations will appreciate.”

The office of Chairman Ynion will monitor, protect and care for the planted caballero trees.

Other important guests present during the Saturday tree planting were Rustan’s Chairman Emeritus and former Ambassador to the Vatican Emeritus Bienvenido Tantoco, former Ambassador to Mexico Delia Rosal and the septuagenarians of Barangays San Lorenzo, Urdaneta and Bangkal of Makati City accompanied by Barangay San Lorenzo Chairman Ernie Moya.

Former Governor Leviste concluded, ” My hope is, from this event, it will be repeated every year of the succeeding generations of people who will turn 75 years old. Now that they know about it, I hope they will be inspired and follow what we have started. May there be more caballero trees planted along SLEX and other places. We owe it to God and our environment.”

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