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Ever wondered if the Cherry Blossom trees, or better known as Sakura trees would ever thrive in the Philippines?

You might want to make your trips to Atok, Benguet frequent from now on. Especially after the Sakura trees start blooming in 3 years, or roughly at the year 2019.

Young Cherry Blossom trees have been planted in Haight Place, a camping site, park and tourist destination, located at Barangay Paoay, in Atok, Benguet. The site is chosen as it is where frost often occurs during the months of January and February due to the low temperate which on a normal day ranges from 10 to 16 degrees Celcius. It is 2,300 meters above sea level.

It is the only place where the trees can survive in the country, thus making the event and the place historic and unique.

The plantation is in commemoration of 40th year of connection between Benguet and Kochi prefecture in Japan as sister cities, and as such, the place will be known as the Benguet-Kochi Sisterhood Park.

The event was attended by officials of Atok, Benguet, along with counterpart officials from the Kochi prefecture and Japanese embassy, in the plantation of over 30 cherry blossoms and other kinds of trees from Japan.

More than 100 cherry blossoms were initially propagated in November 2015 but only a few survived because they were planted at the wrong time of the year, according to Japanese botanist Kiyuharu Yamamoto.

This time, they are planting it at the start of the rainy season.

They also intend to plant Sakura trees in several other nature parks in Benguet such as Mt. Timbac and Mt. Pulag.

Japan will also send botanists to ensure the trees are maintained to maturity, and will train local botanists how to cultivate them.

With the Philippines having its own Sakura trees in Benguet, it is projected to give more income to the province with massive potential tourism windfall. Japan receives significant amount of tourists yearly by the droves during April to May, the time where such trees bloom.

(With reports from CNN Philippines)

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