Throughout my life, I've always felt a connection to the forest. The smell of forest soil and the sound of the trees swaying slowly in the wind... Forests have a timeless serenity about them that calms me down and pulls me out of my daily grind (and mind). I used to go on long forest walks with my dog when I was still living in the Netherlands, so after some time in the Philippines, I started to miss the trees.
The sad truth is that most of the Philippines' native forests have been logged during the past century. Combined with a shift to highly destructive agricultural practices, this has contributed a lot to poverty and ecological disasters. For that reason (and for many, many others) my wife and I decided to look for some land, where we could grow some of our own food in a healthy way, as well as replant some of the native trees that have grown there before. A food forest, in short.
We ended up leasing 2 hectares of ancestral domain in Baganihan, Marilog. Our journey there has only just begun, but already it feels intensely good to be back on the land.