The one-of-a-kind Carolina Bamboo Garden located in Antipolo has charmed none other than President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda.
Legarda made the trek to the five-hectare property last Sunday with her father Mr. Antonio Legarda and her Nanay Fely, and instantly enjoyed the lush greenery of the garden and marveled at all things bamboo.
“Stepping into the enchanting Bamboo Museum was like entering a world where tradition meets innovation. Once a humble staff house, the museum now stands as a testament to the transformative power of bamboo,” she wrote on Instagram.
“We encountered a stunning display of bamboo’s versatility, ranging from bamboo textile to musical instruments, and even a captivating bamboo bicycle. And yes, there is a bamboo living library of various species of bamboo, and a unique bamboo house and a treatment plant. They hold workshops and trainings too!” Legarda continued.
Carolina Bamboo Garden has become something of a sanctuary since it launched in May 2000. It boasts of more than 40 species of bamboo in its “bambusetum” or bamboo garden, features a unique bahay kubo designed by Architect Angel Lazaro Jr. that elegantly showcase the many uses of bamboo as building material for shelter, a treatment plant, and a butterfly garden.
The Bamboo Garden’s owners, Carolina Jimenez and Mr. Menardo Jimenez were there to welcome and tour Legarda around the premises, proudly showcasing the newest attractions of the garden: the interactive bamboo museum and miniature bamboo organ, with which Legarda could not resist posing for a photo.
A staunch advocate of the Philippine culture and environment, Legarda has filed Senate Bill No. 1118, or the Philippine Bamboo Industry Development Act, which seeks to push for the development of the Philippine bamboo industry through policies and programs that promote the planting of bamboo and accelerate the development of bamboo designs and products while stressing the great potential of the said industry in environmental protection and socio-economic development.
“For many years, bamboo has been considered an integral part of Filipino households and communities because of its many usages that have supported life in many ways. Right now, we can honestly say that bamboo plays a crucial role in nation-building and the country’s overall progress,” she said in a statement.
“We are in the position to use our voices to amplify the bamboo industry as a game-changer in terms of progress and as a key factor in creating a more prosperous future for the next generation of Filipinos,” Legarda continued, adding that bamboos are considered resilient because of their extensive usage such as the construction of houses, transport, furniture and fixtures, clothing, food, health products, creative arts, and bioenergy.
Her vision coincides with the Bamboo Garden’s Carolina Gozon-Jimenez, who has been promoting bamboo for years and hosts seminars and workshops about the bamboo in her garden.
“The possibilities with bamboo are endless, I’m telling you,” she told GMA News Online at a bamboo seminar last year, where she heralded the environment and climate benefits of world’s tallest grass.
“Ang daming namamatay na binabaha sila. Aba, magtanim ka ng bamboo doon sa mga eroded places. Yung mga ugat ng bamboos, matibay. Siya ang magbibigay ng parang [meat] doon sa mga lupa na yan so hindi siya mag-e-erode,” Jimenez said.
Meanwhile, the four-term senator mentioned that the bamboo industry is a significant contributor, not just to the country’s economic sector but also to mitigating the effects of climate change due to its capability to absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide.
According to the World Resources Institute says, when land is degraded, “it can support fewer plants that can take in climate-warming carbon dioxide. Soils themselves could potentially sequester enough greenhouse gases in a year to equal about 5% of all annual human-made GHG emissions.”
— LA, GMA Integrated News