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This record attempt will remain as a delightful experience in my memories. On February 23rd, 2011, I witnessed the record attempt for “Most trees planted simultaneously” in Siruma, Camarine Sur, Philippines.

The record attempt was organised by Governor Lray Villafuerte, Jr. Upon my arrival at Manila, I continued my travel to Naga City, which is also known as “the city of smile”. From there, I had a 20 minutes helicopter flight to Siruma.

I was remarkably excited by the helicopter flight as it was a wonderful experience when I saw all the ineffable beauties of nature and the blue waters lying below me. When we landed in Siruma, all the participants, the Philippine military, journalists and local television correspondents were ready and waiting for us.

The number of participants was huge and the crowd was amazingly large. The weather was quite windy that day, but the sun was shining. By all means, the weather was fit to break a record. The record attempt started at 11:00 am.

They started to plant the trees on an area as big as 32 hectares. According to the Guinness World Records Guidelines they had one hour time. The aim was to plant more then 50,033 trees in the given time and break the record which belonged to India.

There were different species of trees, like Narra, Agoho, Pili Canarium, Molave, Camagong, Dao and Lumbang. They were all appropriate for this site. This record attempt was a part of the EL Verde 2012 project, which aims at planting 12.000 000 trees in total until 2012. All the participants worked with a zeal that I could not describe. They should be given all the credits for coming to Siruma one or two days before the record attempt.

I must tell you that it is not easy to commute from Naga City to Siruma. Transportation by land lasts about 8-9 hours, which is what the participants had to go through!

According to Guinness World Record rules, there had to be one supervisor for every 50 participants. Each supervisor had to submit a statement indicating how many participants they have observed and how many of those took actively part in the attempt.

Despite the one hour time limit, the record attempt ended after 15 minutes, at 11:15 to be exact. Finally, I planted a tree myself and the people of Siruma appreciated it.

The local TV channel ABS CBN had an interview with me, following the record attempt. I gave many interviews to the numerous journalists who also took a lot of pictures. So, it was time to go back to Naga City. We collected the statements from the supervisors and returned with the helicopter. In Naga City, I checked each statement one by one in order to determine the exact number of trees planted.

The new holder of the record became Siruma and Tinambac (Philippines), Camarine Sur with 64,096 trees!

The result was announced at a press conference, where I presented the record certificate to Governor Lray Villafuerte, Jr., Mayor Sandy Ondis and Mayor Ruel Velarde.

Congratulations to everybody who was involved in the record attempt! SUGOD EL VERDE means "Operation Green Tree". Now, Philippines is the holder of another record!

GWR Seyda Subasi-Gemici
03 March 2011