Salagdoong Forest

Sprawled over 202.15 hectares, the Salagdoong man-made forest is the biggest of its kind not only in the Philippines but also in the entire Southeast Asia. It is located in barangay Olang, Maria town in the beautiful province of Siquijor. Salagdoong derives it's name from the Cebuano phrase salag sa doong, which literally means nest of the doong bird.

Mr. Agripino Lumunggo, a local agriculturist during the administrations of late Philippine presidents Ramon Magsaysay and Carlos P. Garcia, started the initiative of planting molave trees in the area. This was later on sustained by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) with the help of a people's organization within the locality.

Salagdoong man-made mahogany forest in Maria Siquijor Philippines
Salagdoong Man-made Forest


Originally planted with molave, bogo, and moabog trees, a people's organization also planted 16,000 rattan saplings in November 2013. Unfortunately 1/3 of the rattan planted were destroyed due to the El Niño phenomenon and adaptation to its subtrate (from cold areas upland to warmer areas lowland). 47 members of the Olang Farmers' Association (OFA) were involved in the planting of rattan and were provided a labor cost of PhP 20.00 per seedling. Replacement molave trees and rattan saplings were provided to the Olang Farmers' Association (OFA) to help sustain the project. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) who spearheaded this project through its project coordinators Mr. Iliaser Caballero and Ms. Maria Russel, also provided a patrol vehicle to ensure that there will be no cutting of trees in the project site.

Salagdoong man-made mahogany forest in Maria Siquijor Philippines
Salagdoong forest

Along with some information officers and tourism officers from around the Central Visayas Region (Region 7) during the 22nd annual RADIO 7 (Regional Association of Development Information Officers) convention, we planted some rattan saplings as part of the adventure race that we participated in.

Salagdoong man-made mahogany forest in Maria Siquijor Philippines
Planting rattan


Aside from the occasional cutting of trees in the area, one very significant concern is the encroachment of private entities into the area. Apparently, there are no houses situated in the vast expanse but that may have changed recently as some unscrupulous individuals may have obtained some dubious land titles that encroach into a nationally protected area of forest reserve.

Note: Photos are courtesy of Ms. April Joy "Bebsy" Lamis of the Negros Oriental Provincial Tourism Unit taken during the 1st #InfoTourismAdventureRace in #SensationalSiquijor during the 22nd RADIO 7 annual convention.

#SensationalSiquijor #iBlogforSiquijor #iBlogforCBC #Salagdoong 
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