WATCH: This Man Planted 10,000 Mangroves in Leyte

On his own, sixty-five-year-old Gary Dabasol grew mangroves along the coastline of Matalom, Leyte, in the hopes of protecting his home and his community.

Photography: Courtesy of Dan Niez

When Dan Niez from Hilongos vistited Matalom, Leyte, he noticed the difference in the once empty coastline: mangroves were healthily growing along it.

Noong time na ‘yon, nakita ko itong area na ‘to na medyo green. Iba siya sa paningin kasi normally wala namang green dito dati, pero noong time na ‘yon nakita ko na kakaiba, may green na. (That time, I saw that this area was a bit green. It's different to the eyes because there wasn't any greenery normally here before, but at that time it was so different. It was green.)”


In his curiosity, he approached the mangroves. "Nagkataon din na si Tatay Gary nandito lang sa tabi, tapos noong nagtanong-tanong ako, ay siya pala ‘yong may-ari. (By chance, Tatay Gary was there, and then when I asked, he said the mangroves were his.)" Initially, Dan thought that it was a local government project. "Sabi niya, ‘Di, akin lang ‘to.’ Siya lang mag-isa ang nagtanim. (He said, 'No, it's all just me.' He planted everything on his own.)"

watch now

Sixty-five-year-old Gary Dabasol, a Matalom local, shared that he began planting mangroves after going through typhoon Yolanda. “Malakas ang alon at saka hangin, kaya naisip ko ibalik ko ang pagtanim ng mangroves, dahil kailangan kasi, tabi lang kami sa dagat. Palagi akong nagtanim kaya umabot nang marami. (The waves and the winds were strong, which is why I thought to bring back planting mangroves because it's needed, we just live beside the sea. I always plant, that's why it ended up to be this many.)”

Watch Tatay Gary and Dan's story below:

Video Producer: John A. Mariano

More on


Read more stories about

Latest Stories

5 Techniques To Build Your Sustainable Dream Home

Explore 5 proven recommendations from expert architects Richard Manlulu and Gianne Borlongan.

Love Black? Get Inspiration from This Bachelor Pad in Mandaluyong

Need ideas for your own small home? Take a look at this condo!

3 Ways to Cool Down Your Home, According to Architect Oliver Austria

Bring the heat down with these useful tips.

5 Budget-Friendly Makeover Tips To Revamp Your Tiny Home

Discover 5 budget-friendly tips from expert architects Richard Manlulu Garcia and Gianne Borlongan.

Wooden Finishes Transform This Condo Into the Ultimate Bachelor’s Pad

The owner requested for “a modern design with dark wood accents.”

10 Wallet-Friendly Smart Devices for Your Home

Let's make life easier when we can.

Mid-Century Meets Tropical in this Sprawling Resort-Like Home in Calamba

It is located at the foothills of Mt. Makiling and surrounded by lush greenery.

This 150sqm Family Home in Bacolod is the Perfect Blend of Luxurious and Homey

This hotel-like space has dark colors, ultra-modern elements, and more.

5 Container Home Building Essentials for First-Time Builders

Top 5 essentials for building a container home with expert architects Richard Manlulu Garcia and Gianne Borlongan.

Learn About Homebuilding From the Experts: Here Comes RealLiving Masterclass!

Get the best design advice from two of the country's top architects.
Load More Stories