THE QUEST: KANDONG TREE (Part 3)

The Travel and the Adventure Report

Day-1, November 06, 2002.    

With the authorization letter given by Dr. Isabel A. Astrero, campus dean of UNP Candon, and Dr. Francisco C. Macanas, acting university president, the team of researchers headed by Dr. Andres T.  Malinnag, Jr. with Mr. Jaime G. Raras, Mr. Rico G. Gagto, and  Mr. Emilio Gagto left Candon City at around 7:30 and went to Vintar, Ilocos Norte last November 6, 2002.  Mr. Rolando Rulloda, an emergency driver of the university, took the front seat and drove the vehicle until they reached the municipality of Vintar after 3 hours of long and tedious drive. The aforementioned team paid a courtesy call to the municipal mayor. Unfortunately, the honorable mayor was not around.  However they were all welcomed by the municipal administrator, Mr. Wyrlo R. Edrozo.  From him, they learned that the targeted barangay of Isek-isek is approximately located at 40 kilometers east from the municipal town proper.  The rough and unfavorable road condition, unpredictable rain shower and the threat posed by insurgents on the site identified prompted the group to think twice.  The group then coordinated with the local police authorities for information and verification for their possible security.

   

The Change Of Venue

With the endorsement letter of Mr. Edrozo to the PENRO Ilocos Norte, the researchers left the municipality of Vintar and proceeded to Laoag City where the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) is located .

    On or about 1:15 p.m., Mr. Artemio C. Dumlao, Sr., Senior Forest Management Specialist of PENRO met the researchers and was told that they are looking for a tree locally named  “Kandong Tree”.  The scientific name is trema orientalis and it is commonly called as “Anabiong”.  Mrs. Estrella  C. Sacro, another forester  of the same office paid attention to the researchers’ quest of the “Kandong Tree” and revealed to them that same tree could also  be found in the municipality of Solsona, Ilocos Norte – a municipality located approximately about 30 kilometers east of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte.  Arrangements were made for the researchers’ trip to Solsona for the following day.

    The team then proceeded to University Training Center (UTC), MMSU  Batac for an overnight lodging.

Day 2, November 07, 2002    

With attire ready to comb the forest, the team of the researchers then left MMSU Batac campus bound to Solsona, Ilocos Norte at around 7:00 in the morning.

    At about 7:45 a.m., they reached the municipality.  The team was met by a very big billboard describing the town of Solsona, Ilocos Norte. Grand Slammer, Search for the Cleanest and Greenest Municipality, National Category. The environment tells it all: the place is amazingly beautiful; not even a candy wrapper is littered. More so, the employees are approachable, friendly and accommodating.  The researchers went upstairs and  met the municipal administrator, Mr. Ismael Agulay.

    The administrator was informed of the researchers’ purpose – they are looking for the “Kandong Tree” with a scientific name of trema orientalis and it is commonly called as “Anabiong”. 

The municipal mayor, Hon. Bertha Luz de Lara, welcomed the researchers in her office.  With her permission and blessing, the researchers proceeded to the forest of barangay Maan-anteng.  Mrs. Estrella C. Sacro, a forester from PENRO office, and also a wife of a councilor became their guide and contact person.  After informing Mr. Elpidio Domingo, the punong barangay about the undertaking in his barangay, luckily he told the researchers that the tree could be located somewhere within the vicinity.  The punong barangay and Mrs. Sacro accompanied the researchers and trekked the forest to look for the “Kandong Tree”.  After several hours of walking and searching, the tree was located.  Leaves and sample branches/trunk were taken as a specimen for verification and certification by the local folks.

Known to the folks of Solsona as “Agandong Tree,” this tree is called “Kandong Tree” in Vintar, Ilocos Norte.

With the sample specimen presented to the employees of Solsona, Ilocos Norte, the tree was certified by  Estrella C. Sacro, Forester, PENRO  Representative, and the Honorable Municipal Mayor Bertha L. De Lara of  Solsona, Ilocos Norte.

Day 3-November 08, 2002.    

Travel time to Ilocos Sur.

(To be continued)