The Dark Side of Bohol’s Bilar Manmade Forest + An Appeal to People Planting Trees
It was quiet, very quiet. All around me dark mahogany trees rose to the sky. I basked in the silence as I walked around and admired thick trunks and roots flowing like tiny rivers. The occasional patches of sunlight breaking through the canopy made the silent forest all the more magical.
It was so beautiful that it was hard for me to imagine that this was not a forest made exclusively by nature. In fact, its name said it all – Bilar Manmade Forest.
I felt I was walking in a fairytale woodland, only to find out much later the chilling truth.
I have long since admired the forest and the hands that planted it. The two-kilometer forest was planted as part of a reforestation project started more than 50 years ago, to replace trees lost from widespread kaingin (slash-and-burn farming) in Bohol. During my two visits to the forest…
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