Mirisbiris Garden and Nature Center is being "grown" by Chris and Glenda Tapel Newhall, a Fil-Am couple who met in 1970 as volunteers, and who decided to retire to Salvacion in 2005 to continue their volunteer work. The garden, of course, is sheer pleasure.
Glenda was an elementary school teacher when we met, but later became a nurse practitioner in the US, graduating with an MSN from Univ. of Washington. Nursing and teaching are still in her heart, be it in the village clinic, barangay hall, or in the visitor center, teaching little ones how to read, teen agers about life goals, or mothers about health and nutrition. She also advised the Barangay Salvacion Mothers' Society on livelihood projects. . Now, most often you can find her in the garden, greeting guests, trying new recipes in the kitchen, or singing old favorites from both Philippine and western musical traditions.
Chris is a volcanologist who worked for the US Geological Survey and taught at University of Washington, Nanyang Technological University, University of the Philippines, and Aquinas University (now Univ. of Santo Tomas-Legazpi). He is retiring "gradually," ('not fast enough,' says Glenda), and still enjoys challenges of helping people live safely around volcanoes. At Mirisbiris, he is a general errand man, driver, tour guide, and amateur accountant.
Mirisbiris Garden is a "labor of love" for us, and 100% of the income from guests goes to scholarships, other educational programs, staff salaries and maintenance.