After Yolanda, This Man Planted 10,000 Mangrove Trees in Leyte

Gary Dabasol is taking matters into his own hands.

( The recent slew of storms brought an unprecedented amount of damage. From Typhoon Rolly to Ulysses, people were unprepared for the devestating effects—with many pointing to the continuing damage we ourselves have done to nature. Amid all the bleak news though, one person in Leyte has done what he can to keep our resources alive. Check out the story of 65-year-old Gary Dabasol and the mangrove forest he has planted in Matalom, Leyte.

Measuring around 35 meters by 60 to 80 meters or so, this much land covered in mangroves was definitely not an easy feat. The story of Dabasol and his mini-forest went viral after Dan Niez, a resident of the nearby Hilongos, posted about it online. 

According to Dabasol, he had always known how to plant mangroves since he was a child—but it was the devastating onslaught of Yolanda in 2013 that made him realize he needed to do something. Since he lived right by the sea, it was clear that they would be in the path of destruction and the one way he knew how to prevent, or at least lessen another storm surge would be by planting mangroves.

It wasn't easy as he didn't have the resources—relying mainly on the seeds brought in by the tides—but he pushed through and now has one heck of a mangrove forest by his home! It took nearly a decade, but there's no doubt that the mitigating effects of the mangroves would be much better than any instant, but short-term manmade solutions out there.


Main image courtesy of Dan Niez.

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