Colors represent emotions, ideologies, and advocacies. Pink is for breast cancer awareness and femininity while red usually symbolizes love and passion. In the Philippines, political supporters print their shirts and tie ribbons and balloons that display the colors representing political parties of certain politicians. But nothing is more genuine and meaningful than naturally restoring the color of our environment by planting  trees. The 4th University President, Dr. Dennis C. de Paz, bearing the color maroon as the University’s symbol of passion for excellence, is one with the EVSU community in raising the “green banner” in its advocacy to make EVSU green and healthy.

As part of the tradition of installing a new president and upholding the University’s commitment to protect the environment, Prof. Ma. Elvira Martija, the Head of Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction and Community Relations Office and the Learning Institute for Environment (LIFE), organized the Commemorative Tree Planting of Dr. Dennis C. de Paz, as part of his Investiture Ceremonies, last November 30, 2021.

When asked about the significance of the event, Prof. Martija expressed that the activity is timely and appropriate as the University both celebrates a new leadership and exhibits its readiness to provide importance to ecological sustainability. Prof. Martija revealed that the four “Balayong” saplings represent the 4th University President. She also added the reason for choosing the said plant species.

“Balayong (cassa nodosa) is an endemic species. The species was recommended by one of our foresters in the City and the Environment and Natural Resources Office. Aside from that, there are also things to consider as to how we chose the species. With the location of the trees, in front of our academic building, wood works building, and fronting the university highway, they will add beauty as they will look nice from outside. Aside from its aesthetic value, it also has an ecological importance.”

Conveying the relevance of the activity to the recent triumphs of EVSU, Dr. de Paz commended the faculty, staff, and administrators for their contribution in producing two board topnotchers from the College of Engineering and College of Education. He pointed out that working as one will bring forth positive outcomes for the benefit of the EVSU.

“So today’s tree planting activity is a fitting activity to remind us all that when we plant something good, it will yield bountiful blessings. When we remain steadfast and continue to work together for the common good, we will harvest the sweetest fruits of our labor. When we nurture and nourish our people, they will bloom in the most beautiful way we could ever imagine.”

Adding significance to the event, Dr. George M. Colorado, CHED RO8 Director, recognized the similitude of the characteristics of a tree to Dr. de Paz’ leadership quality. In reference to the susceptibility of trees to disasters, he implied that Dr. de Paz’ leadership will also go through difficulties. However, in a positive note, he expressed that a leader, just like a tree, is capable to recommence.

“Damages, we can survive that. We can renew also as the trees would renew themselves whenever disasters would come. Ang ating Presidente, we would see him as he goes through the challenges as president. And managing the difficult people of this organization, we know that he will always be renewed as he faces the new trials and tribulations that will come.”

In his concluding statement, Dr. Colorado reminded the EVSU community of the nature’s way of improving human lives.

“Nature will still be the way for a sustainable growth and development.”

Securing their promise to advocate for environmental sustainability, in words and in actions, the University President, the CHED RO8 Director, and the rest of the university key officials, firmly affixed their signatures on the commitment board after reciting their pledge.

With the commemorative tree planting activity, the 4th President, Dr. de Paz and the entire university acknowledge that humans cannot protect itself without nature and only nature can protect itself.

Humans’ reliance to nature for sustainability is one solid reason why keeping a green environment must be one of the primary concerns of the new administration.