Just like the bamboo which resists breaking when placed under stress, the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Marinduque maintained its grace under pressure and emerged as the champion of DENR MIMAROPA’s first online bamboo quiz bee held via Zoom on September 29.
Organized by the Region's National Greening Program, the virtual contest was anchored on the theme of this year's World Bamboo Day Celebration, "Pamanang Kawayan: Luntiang Ginto ng Kagubatan."
Team Rhizome from PENRO Marinduque bested 14 other groups which represented the field offices in MIMAROPA, namely Team Bamboolicious (PENRO Occidental Mindoro), Team Bam n’ Boo (CENRO Sablayan), Team Bambusa (CENRO San Jose), Team Bamboohay (PENRO Oriental Mindoro), Team Bamboostic (CENRO Socorro), Team Camp Kawayan Babies (CENRO Roxas), Team Bamboomtaratarat (PENRO Romblon), Team Bamboorikit (PENRO Palawan), Team Sitio Bayog (CENRO Brooke’s Point), Team Corona Bamboos (CENRO Coron), Team Princesang Kawayan (CENRO Puerto Princesa), Team Vulgaries Beauties (CENRO Quezon), Team Lucky Bamboo (CENRO Taytay), and Team Camp Patong Matinik (CENRO Roxas).
Competing with the best of the best was not easy and Team Rhizome admitted they had barely enough time to review because they also needed to meet deadlines on accomplishing office targets. Nonetheless, the quiz bee champ said they counted on teamwork and a relaxed mindset to win the contest.
“We’re not able to hold a group review. I just handed out old reference materials to my teammates perhaps a day or two before the contest,” Forester Ellen Paranaque, leader of Team Rhizome shared.
“But we made it probably because we also got a good combination of team members; we have Foresters and a technician and we’re all familiar with the NGP process. We trusted each other and tried to stay calm so we can think of the correct answer,” she added.
Team Vulgaris Beauties (CENRO Quezon) bagged the second place, and Team Corona Bamboos (CENRO Coron) went home as a third placer after breaking a tie with Team Princesang Kawayan (CENRO Puerto Princesa).
The quiz bee was composed of three rounds, namely easy, average and difficult. Questions included bamboo terminology, growth habit, genera and species, propagation methods, and other interesting facts and trivia. The quiz also covered general information on the National Greening Program (NGP), such as its implementing guidelines and activities.
“This is our way to enhance the knowledge of our field personnel and at the same time, educate our stakeholders on the ecological and economic benefits of bamboo,” Regional Executive Director Maria Lourdes G. Ferrer noted.
Referred to as the “green gold,” bamboo is gaining recognition as a sustainable alternative to wood and an effective instrument to combat climate change. It is for these reasons that the government is geared towards planting more bamboo trees. In a statement at the budget hearing in the House of Representatives, Secretary Roy Cimatu imparted that the DENR “intends to make amendments in the ENGP to increase the country’s production of bamboo.”
The Secretary said that for 2020, the DENR targets to plant bamboo trees to 16, 867 hectares of land nationwide. In MIMAROPA Region, bamboo trees have already been planted to 60% of the targeted 81 hectares of land as of September 2020.
The DENR MIMAROPA online bamboo quiz bee was the region’s first virtual battle of the brains, and among its efforts to continue performing its mandates while adapting to the new normal.
Getting a reliable internet connection remained as one of the challenges noted in the activity, but the participants took it from the distinct trait of the bamboo, and did not allow wobbly network access to wear them down.
“We admire the participants’ enthusiasm and display of sportsmanship. And we hope they maintain these traits not only in competitions like this, but more importantly in performing their duties,” DENR MIMAROPA NGP Coordinator Manuel Escasura remarked.
The DENR MIMAROPA and its regional NGP wish to extend their gratitude to all those who supported the program, most especially the judges who made time to join the event, namely Assistant Regional Director Bighani Manipula, Ms. Marilyn Limpiada, Chief of Planning and Management Division, Ms. Ruby Bautista, Chief of Finance Division, and Forester Gregorio Santos, Jr., Head of Urban and Biodiversity Research, Development and Extension Center of the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB). ###