Thursday December 13 , 2018
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SBC adopts mangkono as its official family tree

SBCAF - News & Events

SAN BEDA COLLEGE adopts ‘mangkono’, the Philippine ironwood as its official FAMILY TREE


The San Beda College Administration has approved the recommendation of the San Beda College Alumni Foundation (SBCAF) to adopt one of the world’s most prized hardwood trees as the school’s official family tree.


           This is the mangkono (Xanthostemon verdugonianus), also known as the Philippine ironwood tree, one of the hardest woods found in nature. It is prized for its lumber--reputedly among the densest and strongest kinds of lumbers in the world.  It is used as keels of wooden ships and house posts and beams; it is so strong no ordinary iron nail could penetrate it.  Mangkono lumber sinks under the water because of its sheer weight and termites shy away from it.


The mangkono is endemic or native to the Philippines and is one the most valued among the thousands of native tree species. Billowing pompoms of striking red flowers with white stamens match the official colors of the school. The mangkono also is the centerpiece of the Red Lions Living Highways (RLLH): Let’s Plant Native Trees project, whose aim is the planting of native trees along major roadways in the Philippines like the North Luzon Expressway.  


Launched last July 11 on the feast of the school's patron St Benedict, the RLLH aims to turn the NLEX into a living museum of native trees with mangkono as the centerpiece species. It is also a fund-raising project to support the school's educational apostolate through scholarships to poor but deserving students, professorial chairs and research grants for its faculty. This is a joint undertaking of the San Beda Alumni Foundation Inc and the Hortica Filipina Foundation Inc., an environmental NGO, which first proposed to its partner the idea of San Beda’s adoption of an official tree for the school.


The San Beda College Executive Committee chaired by Very Rev. Fr. Mateo de Jesus, OSB, Rector-President announced that the school is going to set aside areas of the Mendiola, Alabang and Taytay campuses for the planting of the mangkono seedlings specifically planters along the pedestrian lane, football field and parking areas, and other substantial open spaces in said campuses. This will increase the mangkono population to a few more thousands.  Only a few thousand mature mangkono trees are left in the forests and in open spaces in Palawan, Leyte, Panay, Dinagat triangle, Mindanao


The vision of having the majestic mangkono trees rising in the San Beda College campus in Mendiola, Taytay and Alabang, with their magnificent bursts of red flowers, will become a reality in time.


"By adopting this rare tree today, SBC commits to planting more of these trees to save it from extinction.  It is fortunate for the Bedan community to have been introduced to a rare and wonderful tree that is not only an important part of Philippine heritage and patrimony but is also a tree that produces blooms in the colors of our alma mater," SBCAF President Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan said during the SBC’s Board of Trustees meeting chaired by Dr. Manny V. Pangilinan.


SBCAFI is asking interested groups, institutions, companies and individuals to help sponsor the planting of native trees along NLEX and on other locations in the future.  SBCAFI is also asking Bedans to solely sponsor the planting of the mangkono trees at the SBC campuses. Interested parties may call at telephone numbers (+632) 735-5995/721-5187 and (+63)908 6235915 for details.