Far Eastern University regularly supports various initiatives of DENR on the Tamaraw Conservation Program. After two years since the pandemic lockdowns, the University, represented by Alumnus Glenn Conception and Romel Solomon, participated in the Annual Tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis) Population Count headed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Tamaraw Conservation Program (DENR-TCP) in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.
With aims of data gathering & observation, the FEU delegates braved the uncertain weather conditions in Mt. Iglit-Baco Natural Park with representatives from different organizations from March 29 to April 3, 2022. “For us, Tamaraws are more than just university mascots. Like the Tamaraws, we Filipinos are resilient and enduring. Therefore, it feels fulfilling to see an actual Tamaraw and know that you are contributing something towards its protection,” said Romel from the FEU Volunteerism Services Office.
“We must take part in conserving these endemic and critically endangered species because it is our pride as a nation. The experience is challenging but rewarding. We look forward to contributing more to the future projects of FEUVSO & DENR -TCP in saving our Tamaraws,” said Glenn Concepcion of Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation (NRMF).
The Tamaraw is the mascot of all FEU athletic teams. The FEU founder, Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr., chose the local endemic animal because of its strength and intelligence. The program concluded through a data consolidation event attended by participants from different vantage points. The Tamaraws, estimated at 10,000 in the 1960s, have dwindled to 480 in 2019. DENR is yet to announce the current population count this 2022.
FEU has been a consistent partner of the DENR in various efforts & programs to promote the conservation & protection of the Tamaraws. Besides its Save the Tamaraw Project, FEU also launched TAMWorld Exhibits in 2018, followed by E-Kanta at E-Sayaw mo ng “TAMA raw” song and dance competitions to drumbeat awareness of the extinction of the Tamaraws in the form of art.
Simultaneous with the Annual Tamaraw Count this year, another batch of FEU delegations holds a socio-civic outreach program in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro. Led by the FEU Volunteerism Services Office together with the FEU Alumni Relations Office, Nicanor Reyes Memorial Foundation, FEU Central Student Organization, FEU Media Center, Facilities , Technical Services, and representatives from the DENR, the delegation conducted a feeding program and distributed love gifts (hygiene kits, clothes, & ready to eat food) in Tamisan Elementary School, followed by a short program for the Tau-Buid community members.
The delegation also spearheaded the planting of 94 bamboo shoots around the vicinity of the school to commemorate FEU’s 94th Founding Anniversary. The team also improved the existing mini-library and playroom it built in 2019, adding two computer sets, books, toys & other school supplies. The visit also highlighted the turnover of the GRANT Certificate of TAMGabay Pangakabuhayan to the Tamaraw Rangers’ “Carabao Production and Dispersal.”
The socio-civic outreach program concluded with a dialogue with the Punong Tribo of the Tau-Buid Community and the administrators of Tamisan Elementary School to identify more future projects and other points for collaboration between the FEU and the Tau-Buid tribe who are directly involved in the conservation of the endangered Tamaraws.