DENR National Capital Region unveils two Heritage Trees at Plaza Cristo Rey, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City on Friday, 16 July 2021.

The ceremonial unveiling of the markers for the two Acacia trees (Albizia saman) was attended by Makati City Administrator, Atty. Claro F. Certeza; Punong Barangay Benhur L. Cruz; and, Sangguniang Kabataan Chair Jullian San Mateo of Barangay Poblacion. Forester Carlito P. Castañeda, Chief of the Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Section (PAMBS), meanwhile, represented the regional office.

The two trees—named “Pablo” and “Pedro” after the patron saint of Barangay Poblacion—are estimated to be at least a hundred years old, as evidenced by archival photos. Some locals even say that the trees were already there since the founding of the 400-year-old Parish Church of Saint Peter and Paul, and likewise served as a military encampment during the Philippine-American War.

The ceremonial unveiling was immediately followed by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between DENR National Capital Region and the city government of Makati. The agreement specifies the tasks and responsibilities of both parties on the care and maintenance of Pablo and Pedro.

The Heritage Tree is a flagship program of the DENR National Capital Region that started in 2009. It aims to identify, preserve and protect any healthy native or endemic, exotic, rare, threatened, and endangered trees in Metro Manila with a minimum girth or circumference of 100 centimeters. Heritage trees need to be at least 50 years old and have significant historical, cultural, or aesthetic value for the host community.

Pablo and Pedro are the 33rd and 34th declared heritage trees in Metro Manila, and the first for Makati City. DENR NCR Regional Executive Director Jacqueline A. Caancan extended her congratulations and admiration to the city government of Makati for its resolution to preserve and protect the trees. “Apart from providing Makati residents with a breath of fresh air and respite, Pablo and Pedro will always remind them of the humble beginnings of the town of San Pedro de Macati”, Director Caancan said.