From the start of this semester, my Mondays have been filled with trips to our assigned NGO namely, PRRM. I had a blog post before about what we were tasked to do in every meeting and that is to tend the rooftop garden of the PRRM building. I also mentioned that even before we finished all the required meetings, I have already learned the significance of what we were doing. That the simple act of planting could answer to the bigger problem of climate change; that it is for the development and improvement of our environment. But I had been so objective and technical then because I never knew that along with the developments of our environment would be the improvements that would happen to me.
I had misconceptions of what we were going to do during our internship. I was too boxed in by my idea of what an NGO and what CWTS activities usually were. To be honest, I had thought we were going to be immersed into communities, people and realities that differ from our own to gain a greater awareness of what it is we, especially as students subsidized by the people for the people, should always keep in mind. And to some extent this did occur, but not really in the way I was imagining it to. Yes, we did get immersed into a different community but it was within the walls of the PRRM headquarters or rather their rooftop. We interacted most with what was often around us but usually forgotten, nature, or more specifically, the plants.
As we continued our gardening sessions, slowly but surely, the rooftop garden we’re working on showed great improvements and by the end of the project, our group is proud to say that we’ve succeeded in renovating and organizing the garden. There are no more dried out plants to be seen and the piled up dirt as well as small pieces of trash have all been cleaned up for good. We also moved the tables and other things that wouldn’t be of any use anymore to avoid wasting space. All that could be seen when you enter the rooftop is purely a haven of organic and fresh plants and vegetables waiting for you to marvel on their beauty.
My morning office routine usually started with enjoying Divine’s freshly brewed coffee (with peanuts prepared by Ate Ish of Doc Susan’s Kitchen Clinic or yummy muffins from Planet Infinity!) while checking emails. That has changed! Now upon arrival, I leave my bag in the room and immediately go up to the building’s rooftop to say hello to our plants on the office building’s rooftop garden.
An urban garden at the PRRM building in Quezon City was a project conceived since 2006. In 2006 a hydroponics projects was installed on the rooftop. Lettuce was grown in a liquid medium. In 2007 another garden was installed in clay jars at the penthouse. However, both projects were not sustained and left the rooftop and penthouse bare.
The combined area in the rooftop and the penthouse that is good for planting measures 323 square meters.
March 8, 2014, Cocoon Boutique Hotel
Quezon City, Philippines