MAKE EVERY DAY A MANDELA DAY. Aspen Plants 200 Trees Honoring Madiba’s Legacy

NelsonMandela.jpg“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela

The message behind Mandela Day is simple – everyone has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better.

If each one of us heeds the call to simply do something good every day, we can live Nelson Mandela’s legacy and help build the country of our dreams.

The baton of leadership has been handed over to us. It is in our hands now to make a positive difference.

mandela day17 July 2017, Tabang Exit, Northern Luzon Expressway (NLEX).   Today marks ASPEN Philippines, Inc.‘s 5th planting with FEED.  Nelson Mandela International Day commemorates the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and the world. It was launched on his birthday, 18 July, in 2009 via a unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly – a day we look back on what has been done, and forward to what will be done.

Aspen Philippine Inc LOGOAnd that’s exactly what Aspen Philippines, Inc. did on July 17th as one of their company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities, planting 100 Philippine Banaba trees and 100 Bougainvilleas along the NLEX Tabang Exit in Luzon with FEED Living Legacy partner the MetroPacific Tollways group of companies.


Eco-warriors in attendance were 41 staff from Aspen Philippines, Inc.; H.E. Martin Slabber, Ambassador of South Africa to the Philippines and his wife the avid planter Sumarie Slabber; Political Counsellor Tshire Kau; Trade, Tourism & Marketing Officer Ellen Vega; Embassy Staff Fernando Jovita; and Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Hjayceleen Quintana. UPLB Forester Rey Lorida, who led the talk on Banaba and Bougainvillea*; FEED’s President Ophie Bakker-Mananquil; Chairman Jacob Bakker; VP Ops, Diane Penales; and Director, Partnerships Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker; and Maricar Pangilinan, Head of CSR for MetroPacific Tollways.


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Making every day a Mandela Day celebrates Madiba’s life and legacy in a sustainable way that will bring about enduring change. Thank you to Aspen Philippines, Inc.; the South African Embassy; and DFA for contributing to a greener Philippines!

Aspen Philippines, Inc.
1 Roselle Almazar 18 Mitchelene Franco 35 Recia Mae Sagun
2 Crystal Alvarez 19 Ana Sabrina Fresco 36 Ria Rose Salazar
3 Jemelou Ang 20 Eden Fuster 37 Rocherr Louisa Salido
4 Celso Avena 21 Marcelina “Ace” Itchon 38 Froilan Samson
5 Edmon Bartolome 22 Raul Lasquety 39 Charmaine Anne Santos
6 Ma. Emmilou Jean Bilan 23 Maylyn Latap 40 Princess Ellisa Saraza
7 Catherine Bogñalbal 24 Meryll Lipio 41 Ramon Vargas
8 Charisse Cabrera 25 Novelita Lopez
9 Alex Cariaga 26 Steven Lumabi South African Embassy
10 Elaine Castro 27 Paulo Maniego 42 H.E. Martin Slabber
11 Myrra Catarroja 28 Reynato Jr. Munar 43 Mrs. Sumarie Slabber
12 Anthony Catral 29 Anne Ysabel Mutuc 44 Tshire Kau
13 Edralyn David 30 Erick Noriega 45 Ellen Vega
14 Gerly Gail Dela Cruz 31 Aileen Puzon 46 Fernando Jovita
15 Emily Ebuña 32 Maika Rabang
16 Chinque Estole 33 Jo-Ann Ravela DFA
17 Anna Lyn Felicilda 34 Maureen Romero 47 Hjayceleen Quintana

*Ornamental Banaba and Bougainvillea

The Banaba and Bougainvilleas were selected upon recommendation from key agro-forestry experts at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB Forestry), also a FEED Living Legacy partner. Both species are considered optimal to plant along roads and highways,  not only for their flowering canopies and bushes, but for their low maintenance, high climate resilience through both wet and dry seasons,  minimized obstruction with roads and electric posts that line the highways and for the overall safety of road users.

Currently, many Philippine roads and highways are lined with high risk species, such as Eucalyptus or Mahogany — both introduced species consume heavy amounts of water and soil nutrients to survive, making neighboring trees struggle for survival. They are also both more relevant  for industrial plantation purposes, not to mention these trees being high potential road obstructions during storms, heavy winds and rains. The Banaba and Bougainvilleas were also selected as such to minimize road safety hazards and incidents reported regularly throughout major highways.

PH Banaba.jpgThe banaba tree is a rainforest tree growing in Southeast Asia and India. The scientific name is “Lagerstroemia speciosa L” and it is a flowering tree with lavender blooms. Banaba is also known as the “cape myrtle” tree. The bark, and leaves of this tree is used in the Philippines by herbolarios or herbal medicine men/women to treat “manas” or swelling of ankles or other parts of the body. Banaba’s principal ingredient is corrosolic acid, a substance that has the same effect on the body as insulin medication, only without the harmful side effects that chemical medicines have on the human body.


bogambilya.jpgBougainvillea spectabilis Willd.  Native to South America, the first species recorded in the Philippines was Bougainvillea spectabilis. The other species, B. glabra and B. peruviana were introduced much later. The cultivated hybrids have produced a considerable variety in size, color, form and numbers of showy bracts. The genus is derives its name from Antoiine de Bougainville, first Frenchman to cross the Pacific. Bogambilya is a woody climber that can grow to a height of more than 10 meters, with large thorny stems and long drooping branches.  It’s leaves are considered to have anti-inflammatory activity, also containing Pinitol considered antidiabetic.  Studies have shown antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antifertility, amylase inhibitory, antihyperlipidemic, radical scavenging, anti-atherogenic, thrombolytic, analgesic, antipyretic, anthelmintic, antiulcer properties. 


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