The Toog tree [Margarita Candido via GMA News]
Tourists, both foreign and domestic and families continue to visit this small village, especially during night time to look up at the brightly decorated, century-old Christmas ‘Toog’ tree.
This cost efficient and environmental-friendly decorated ‘Toog’ Christmas tree is located at the side of the national highway of barangay (village) Alegria in Agusan del Sur.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the Philippine Rosewood (Petersianthus quadrialatus) tree, locally known as the Toog, is almost 70 meters (300 feet) tall, with a trunk diameter of 2.43 meters. It is believed the 3rd tallest tree in the world today.
Village officials and Alegria residents, with the support of the local government unit of San Francisco town started decorating the ‘Toog’ tree since early part of October, this year, installing many colored Christmas lights and bulbs from the ground up to its branches.
The villagers even had to pay a climber of at least P10,000 for climbing the tree to place the colored Christmas lights and bulbs.
Families coming from various towns, cities and provinces in the region have travelled several kilometers during night time, including lovers on a date, spending time around the tree during night time, just to look up at the brightly decorated Christmas ‘Toog’ tree and have their photos taken beside the tree.
“Wow, very very nice,” the only word by a visiting Australian national.
Another Japanese national said: “This is expensive but so nice.”
It was observed that the ‘Toog’ Christmas tree has not only attracted both local and foreign tourists but has perked-up economic activities in the area.
(Story courtesy of Manila Bulletin’s Mike Crismundo)