The Philippines is an archipelago of over 7,000 islands located in South East Asia. Its land area growth primarily being separate from the rest of Asia, it boasts of numerous endemic floral and faunal species that may only be found in the country. Currently, it is counted as one of the seventeen mega-diverse countries in the world (indicator: 5% of floral and faunal species in no more than 1% of the total land area of the world). Further, it is declared as one of the twenty-five biodiversity hotspots in the world (indicator: .5% or 1,500 of vascular plants as endemic, in an area where over 70% of the forest cover is lost).
Baras is located in the island of Luzon, close to Metro Manila. The municipal’s name was derived from the word “barras” referring to the two pieces of wood where a horse is harnessed in between. Another version takes the name from the word “barahan” used in sea ports referring to “a place of anchorage.” Today, Baras takes focus on growing itself as an organic town. It is also the home of Sikaran – known as a form of traditional Philippine Martial Arts.