Some DENR Caraga personnel hug the approximately 500-year-old Bitaog Tree in Magallanes, Agusan del Norte with a diameter of 290 centimeters. It is believed that the tree existed long before the year 1523 based on an existing set of maps which shows the island of Mindanao with its Northeastern side named “Bitau” and “Betauo”, undoubtedly referring to “Bitaog” tree, as it was then the custom of Filipinos to name places after the trees. This surviving Bitaog tree has also been a mute witness to many historical events, among others are: (1) the initial evangelization of Mindanao; (2) the birth of Caraga as a region during Spanish colonial period; (3) the struggle of the Agusanons against the Americans; and (4) the Quadricentennial of the evangelization of Mindanao on September 7, 1997.

 #PunoNgPagmamahal #OneTreeLove #FMBTreeHuggingDay #ValentinesDay