GIBO volunteers to plant one million trees for environment. Gilberto Teodoro that is, angling for a bit of publicity and it worked -- On Wednesday here's half a page. Good old Gibo. Saving the planet. He gets my vote.

I reckon this tree planting stuff is a cheap gimmick. It costs very little. No real positive action to save the planet need be taken and, best of all, planting trees doesn’t annoy anybody.

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How about a genuinely green move -- like phasing out jeepneys and trisikads and habal-habals within the poblacion and finding a decent, modern way to move commuters. Ah -- think how many folks would get upset.

The drivers for a start. Out of a job. Jeepney spare stores, motorcycle shops, gas stations, vulcanizers, businessmen. It's a ripple effect, like chucking a stone into a pond. No politician -- of any rank – is going to antagonize such a crowd of folks, which is why serious, positive actions addressed to save the planet will never, ever happen.

The other thing about tree planting is that tree seedlings have to be nutured -- not just stuffed in the ground and left to fend for themselves. Look at the seedlings planted with much hooray up at Shrine Hills. GMA ran an item showing that many of them - proudly tagged 'A tree for Cory' or ' A tree for peace' - were dead or dying through lack of attention.

In a nice gentle temperate climate seedlings can be left to get on and grow. Not here in our alternatively torrid or teeming weather.

Trees were also the subject of various Comelec officials begging election hopefuls to lay off nailing, wiring or stapling their propaganda to handy trunks or branches. You and I know that's a waste of breath -- since when did any electioneering politicos obey the rules?

A nail or staple driven through the bark into the wood of a tree can kill it, copper staples especially. That sticky stuff on your fingers when you whack off a slice of bark is sap, the life fluid of the tree, which travels upward in a layer of material between the bark proper and the wood. Poison the sap and you poison the tree -- it's as simple as that and something you election hopefuls and your publicity crews should have learnt in the third year of high school.

Oldie stuff now and, as promised, this last week I went down to the Office for Senior Citizen Affairs located in the SP building and applied for an oldie card. The procedure is simplicity itself and costs nothing. You'll need an attestation from your local barangay hall saying you are you and live where you live, a couple of 1 x 1 photos, a copy of your passport, birth certificate, Immigrant Certificate of Residence or ACR card, whichever you have.

I celebrated by crossing the road and flashing my card in a small cafe. Fourteen pesos deducted from a P70 soft drinks bill. Who's a skinflint then?

(P.S.: Oldie cards are only on offer to permanent residents.)