- A cherry blossom park will soon be attracting tourists in Atok, Benguet
- Kochi prefecture officials, the Japanese embassy and local officials of Atok, Benguet plant over 30 cherry blossoms
- The sakura trees are expected to bloom after three years
ATOK, Benguet – Finally, local tourists no longer need to go to Japan just to witness and experience the magical thrill brought about by the popular Cherry blossoms as the first sakura or cherry blossom park in the country will soon be opened in Benguet.
According to a story by CNN Philippines, the local officials of Atok, Benguet together with officials from the Kochi prefecture and the Japanese embassy planted more than 30 cherry blossoms in relation to the sisterhood ties between Kochi prefecture and Benguet province. The activity marked the 40th anniversary of the partnership of the two towns from two different countries.
In November 2015, more than 100 sakura trees were initially planted; however, only a few survived because they were planted at the wrong time of the year, said Japanese botanist Kiyuharu Yamamoto. This time, they have planted the trees at the start of the rainy season.
Aside from the sakura trees, they have planted other trees and plants from Japan in the same location.
The groups, as well, planned to plant sakura trees in other nature parks in Benguet such as Mt. Timbac and Mt. Pulag. However, Mt. Pulag’s altitude is too high for the trees to bloom; prompting the team to plant in Atok instead.
In Ivan Abille’s article published on ABS-CBN, the Department of Tourism- Cordillera director, Marie Venue Tan, sees that the cherry trees will help boost tourism in the province. She said they are hoping the project will serve as an eye opener to the community to take care of trees especially the locals who cut down trees to convert to vegetable farms.
The cherry trees are expected to bloom after three years.