The ‘City of Pines’ now officially has a Pine Tree festival.
Baguio City Council has passed an ordinance institutionalizing Saleng (Pine Tree) Festival, formally including it in the city’s annual calendar of activities.
Signed on January 21, 2022 by Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the festival shall “strengthen and enhance public understanding and awareness on the significance of urban tree, the forests and watershed to the community while balancing agriculture, economy, and environment.”
Saleng Festival will be celebrated from June to September each year.
Environment-related activities will be held during the months-long event, including commemorations of International Day for Biological Diversity, World Environment Day, Philippine Environment Month, among others.
The local government will also feature tree cart parades and exhibits.
The first Saleng Festival was observed in May last year, with the theme “Restoring Our Ecosystem-Together.” Activities such as bamboo propagule planting, free emission testing, and ‘cycling for the environment' were held.
The widely-popular Session road was also closed to traffic on some days to give way for the Saleng Festival's activities.
Its institutionalization was sought last year “to strengthen cooperation for reforestation and caring for the environment,” according to the City Environment and Parks Management Office.
Baguio’s Sangguniang Kabataan Federation President and Councilor Levy Orcales also says the role of the youth is crucial in implementing the ordinance.
“With the passage of this ordinance, it reinforces the much-needed collaboration (of the community) as stewards for envi protection. (Especially the) youth, since we are the generation that will either break or make the promises of this ordinance.”