Fil-Am sponsored environmental project plants mangroves in Pangasinan
NEW YORK CITY – A Filipino American-sponsored environmental initiative successfully planted 500 mangrove seedlings in Bolinao, Pangasinan on April 7, the project Frenz4hope announced.
According to the organizers, the mangrove forest not only provides a breeding ground for various fish species and birds and protection against tidal surge and land erosion, but it also acts as carbon sink, absorbing carbon from the atmosphere.
Frenz4hope’s Filipino American sponsor and executive director Roberto Villanueva, a Manhattan resident and arts philanthropist, and Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya partnered with the Provincial Agriculture Field Office through the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAg) to support the environmental protection and coastal resource management program of Governor Amado Espino III.
Coordinating the activity were Frenz4hope program director and Pangasinan resident Roman Dela Cruz with OPAg Bolinao Center Chief Dr. Alvin Soriano. The mangrove seedlings were provided by Soriano’s office at OPAg.
Proud of the planting’s its immense positive impact, Villanueva said, “I want Frenz4hope to be part of the worldwide environmental movement.”
Dela Cruz mobilized 16 volunteers that included four 4th year students working on their theses for the Bachelor of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences program at the Pangasinan State University; namely, Christopher Bautista, Jamaica De Guzman, Mark Delos Reyes, and Vincent John Velasco.
The other volunteers were Ma. Bernadette Caronongan, Olivia M. Catalan, Dian C. Dela Cruz, Frenz4hope member Arjay Bautista, April Joy Joaquin, Mark Anthony Manghi, Gila DG. Sevidal, Mel James Tomelden, Norlyn Tomelden, Mary Catherine Ulanday, Hendrex Velasco and Hannah Velasco.
Frenz4hope member Arjay Bautista said, “The experience was exciting. It was my first time participating in an environmental activity. It made me happy. I look forward to more activities.”
Community group Frenz4hope was organized by close friends from different hometowns who met in Lingayen, Pangasinan. Its members hold positions in public and private sectors including hospitality, tourism, telecommunication and government.
Roberto Villanueva is an administrator at the world-renowned Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He is also the executive & artistic director of BalaSole Dance and the executive director of Frenz4hope. He has 28 years of professional background in financial management, operations and strategic planning, as well over 30 years of experience as an arts producer, administrator, educator, performer, choreographer, and adjudicator in North America, Europe and Asia.
Villanueva has funded programs that help marginalized and overlooked artists, financially disadvantaged children, and under-served seniors citizens through his own non-profit organization BalaSole Dance and Frenz4hope. © The FilAm 2022