Valentine's Day. Puerto Princesa City’s expression of love for Mother Nature is celebrated the extraordinary way.
The first Love Affair was an overnight event with various activities. It lasted until the wee hours of the morning, culminating with the planting of mangrove in Barangay San Jose. Three years later the organizers decided to make it at dawn and a mass wedding as the focus of the celebration.
The First Lady of Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, Ma. Elena M. Hagedorn perceived the special event in 2003 as a buttress to the environment conservation & protection program of the City Government. It has a romantic theme for the residents with a twist of environmental activity. The yearly celebration features a mangrove planting festivity in the coastal zones to restore degraded mangrove areas. The event heightens awareness on the ecological role of mangroves and other coastal ecosystems in the vital web of life. Environmental quiz bees, film showing, band concert and beach games liven up the event.
Mangroves play an important role in coastal ecosystems. They form important nurseries for many fish and shrimp species, but also for spiny lobster larvae. Besides, they produce good quality wood, basic ingredients for medicines, fruits and seafood products like oysters and several shells. To date, around 800,000 mangroves have been planted in different shorelines of the city with a survival rate of 87 per cent.