Ms. May Dumlao is a former educator, editor and an entrepreneur . She is known to have a fine collection of ferns, hoyas, orchids, bromeliads, aroids and is an active member of Philippine Horticultural Society, Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines.
An specimen sized Platycerium sp. in Ms. Mae Dumlao’s garden
Her home is also a favorite hangout of the members of the societies and even friends of her children since the place is quite accessible. She also recalled that television crew and movie outfit would ask permission to have a location shoot inside her home.
Tita Mae had various collections of paintings and sketches from reknown Philippine artists that were prominently hanged in her sala, dining room, bedroom and even near the passageway. In one instance, a photographer from a lifestyle magazine wanted to take pictures and to do stories of her famed painting collections, but this would entail the removal of these valuable items to be removed from their location. She politely decided not to allow the crew to feature her collections.
Her additional collection also includes matchboxes, ceramics, gongs and at one time collected stamps, paper bills and even Santos made from local Philippine wood. According to her relatives, peers, students and children gave most of the collection that were accumulated in a span of over 40 years. Part of her collection also included old ceramic plates and jars from the Ming and Manchu dynasty, which were excavated by her group during the 1960’s in an undisclosed excavation sites in one of the provinces up north.
Back then; people would not dare collect these items since they believe that these things would bring bad luck. Most of the rare finds were being bought by foreigners like Taiwanese, Japanese and even Americans which would hire local treasure hunters. We just collected the ordinary ones and even dug some of the ceramics ourselves. In some instances, whenever we had a time to go to the beach we also collect shells.
She is also a writer, editor, cook, emcee among others.
President Corazon Aquino tribute exhibit booth landscaped by Mr. Kelvin Manubay, Mr. Jun Golamco, Mr. Rommel Arriola, Mr. Lawrence Chan with the help of Mr. Edilberto Capague Jr. and Mr. Jiffy Alegre during the 63rd Mid-Year Orchid & Garden Show last August 27 to September 7 , 2009 at Quezon Cityhall grounds
Maria Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was the President of the Philippines and is considered as “Mother of Democracy” in the Philippines. Serving from 1986 to 1992, she was the first female president of the Philippines and the first female president of any country in Asia.
Unknown to many, she is a nature and an orchid lover. In 1989, in response to government’s encouragement to develop the ornamental, floriculture and horticulture industry, many members of the Orchid Society of Davao, Inc. (OSDI) shifted to orchid growing as a business venture. This was fully endorsed by then President Corazon C. Aquino when she declared Davao City as the Orchid Center of the Philippines in 1992 through Proclamation No. 886.
During the incumbency of President Corazon “Cory” Aquino, several orchid genus and ornamental plant cultivars were named after her. Dr. Romeo Gutierrez a well-known plant breeder, a three term president of Philippine Horticultural Society, antique collector , art collector and also a painter bred Aglaonema Cory, a cultivar of the aglaonema that was named after former President Corazon Aquino. Its broad, dark green leaves consist of a herringbone pattern of grayish-silver,with yellow marks along the midrib. Like the sunburst, the yellow coloration of the young leaves becomes conspicuous through proper light conditions. It has white petioles and many suckers.
This Aglaonema won the ” Best Ornamental Plant in Show” of the Philippine Horticultural Society show held on February 10 to 17, 1990 at the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation . Coincidentally the plaque was donated by house majority floor leader Mr. and Mrs. Francisco Sumulong a relative of Mrs. Aquino maternal side.
Photo Courtesy of Singapore Botanic Gardens by: Mr. Whang Lay Keng – Head Living Collection
On the occasion of her state visit and the ASEAN head of state meeting in the island state of Singapore on August 26 , 1986 the Singapore Botanic Garden named Dendrobium Corazon Aquino (Parentage: Dendrobium Tien Soeharto x Dendrobium Noor Aishah) an orchid hybrid after the incumbent leader.
According to the Royal Horticultural Society of London this orchid was registered on January 1, 1986 in their list. SGB institute had the tradition of breeding and naming new orchid cultivars after famous world leaders, politicians, and celebrities.
On numerous occasions she would be invited to come, as guest of honor during various orchid & garden shows held by different garden clubs from all over the country. She was one of the guest of honor on the 46th annual orchid and garden show of the Philippine Orchid Society held at the Makati SM Car Park compound in February 1992.
Several years later, Atty. Hernando Perez, one of her former cabinet secretaries, developed a new breed of orchid and named it after her. He thought it was just right to breed BLC. Benigno Aquino an inter-generic yellow colored orchid variety. The good quality traits of the orchid made it a desirable breeding parent material for developing new breeds of orchid.
The orchid hybrid took 5 years to grow, using cross-pollination methods. Its “mother and father” plants are a variety of yellow orchid named BLC. Benigno Aquino (pod parent) and the greenish BLC. Malvarosa Jade ( pollen parent).
The Blc Cory Aquino orchid (Brassolaeliocattleya Cory Aquino) with code name HC – 547 -, bred by former Justice Secretary Hernando B. Perez, is a graceful but sturdy plant with yellow and green varieties.
Because of the breeding traits of BLC. Malvarosa Jade, there are 2 color forms of the BLC. Cory Aquino that can be found. One is yellow and the other is greenish yellow. All forms are highly sought after by orchid and plant collectors worldwide.
63rd Mid-Year Orchid & Garden Show poster
The color yellow is widely associated with both Sen. Ninoy and Cory Aquino, since they used this color in clothes or campaign paraphernalia. In retirement, in fact, the former president took up painting, with flowers as her chosen still life subjects. Flowers were also one of former President Aquino’s favorite painting subjects finding the task a form of relaxation and a way of relieving stress. Having stepped down from office in 1992, Tita Cory, as she is fondly remembered, was quite content at becoming an ordinary citizen once again, but remained active in social work, and in wielding her undiminished moral authority whenever the democratic institutions she helped restore came under threat.
Unlike most orchids that need to be propped up, the Blc Cory Aquino stands erect and proud, much like the ideologies of the late former president.
According to Nani Perez, “This orchid hybrid symbolizes strength of her character because it is a sturdy plant. Pirmeng naka-tindig yun eh. Pirmeng proud.” It is also feminine-looking but with a strong bearing. Its petals are light yellow which means it is long-lasting,” he added.
In the last quarter of 2004, Perez said he was able to give her a pot of his best Blc. Cory Aquino and the plant’s registry certificate from the Royal Horticultural Society, a London-based international group that registers orchid hybrids.
Atty. Perez was also featured in the “orchid episode” of “ Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho” aired last February 23, 2008 on GMA channel 7. The episode featured him as an orchid and a plant breeder since 1974 and among the orchid hybrids featured in the episode was the BLC. Cory Aquino, Blc. Ninoy Aquino among others. A portion of the episode was uploaded in the KMJS website.
In a recent television guest interview on ABS-CBN channel 2- top rated morning show “ Umagang Kay Ganda” last August 4, 2009 with Ms. Donita Rose, He was also able to present the original Royal Horticultural Society certificate of orchid registration with frame and potted flowering orchid to the late president, this gesture made her very happy.
In the Flora Filipina Expo 2006 held from February 24 to March 5,2006 jointly organized by the Philippine Orchid Society (POS) and Philippine Horticultural Society (PHS) within the ruins of San Ignacio in Intramuros. In this international event, the winning orchid ( BLC. Cory Aquino) brought attention of the orchid breeders around the world that the Philippines had orchid hybidizers like Mr. Perez which breeds award winning orchids.
In the 61st Mid-Year Orchid and Garden Show held from Aug. 29 to Sept. 10, 2007, the same orchid cultivar’s won the “Best Philippine Hybrid” award one of the highest recognition that a breeder can get. – Perez said Aquino sent him a text message congratulating him for the “prize-winning orchid.” He still keeps the text message on his phone to this day.
Breeders from Japan, Thailand , United Kingdom, USA and local orchid collectors were very eager to have a division or sample of this award winning orchid hybrid.
Cory Aquino’s big role, not only for the restoration of the democracy in the Philippines, but also for the development of the local horticulture industry, cannot be underestimated. With the whole world paying homage to the former president, this is a small gratitude that any horticulturist or plant lover from all over the world can give.
Mr. Florentino Cayco Sr. memorabilia housed inside the library
The late Florentino Cayco, Sr., first Filipino Undersecretary of Public Instruction and illustrious educator, conceptualized the birth and administered the growth of Arellano University.
This prestigious institution of learning opened in 1938 as the Arellano Law College, named after Cayetano Arellano, first Filipino chief justice. It closed in December 1941 until March 1945 under the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II. At the end of the war, this educational institution reopened in April, 1945 and was renamed as Arellano Colleges offering a two-year preparatory law course and the regular four-year law course, as well as a complete secondary education curriculum.
In June 1945, Arellano Colleges offered a four-year course in education (Bachelor of Science in Education), a two-year teacher training course (Elementary Teacher’s Certificate) and an elementary school training department. Likewise offered were courses in commerce, foreign service, and arts and sciences.
A year later, in June 1946, Florentino Cayco, Sr., became the first President of Arellano Colleges. Through his efforts, Arellano Colleges was elevated to, and recognized as, Arellano University on February 22, 1947 by the Department of Education, Culture, and Sports.
It was also in 1947 that the graduate school was organized and authorized to offer a course leading to the degree of Master of Arts in education as a requisite for the grant of university status.
In 1954, Arellano University opened a school of nursing which offered a basic nursing course. In April 1960, the School of Nursing expanded its curricular offerings by adding courses in post-basic nursing with majors in public health and clinical teaching. The School of Nursing was later renamed College of Nursing. At about the same time, a preparatory medical course was added to the general curriculum of the College of Arts and Sciences.
In 1978, the graduate school was renamed Florentino Cayco Memorial School of Graduate Studies, in honor of the founder and first president of Arellano University. Added to the graduate courses were the degrees of Master of Business Administration, Master of Science and Economics and Master of Arts in Nursing. In the same year, the management of the College of Law was turned over to Arellano Law Foundation under a Memorandum of Agreement.
Its incessant expansion in all areas and locations has evolved into a network of campuses, the better to serve Metro Manila by going closer to the people.
At present, the Arellano University System boasts of seven campuses, as follows:
Arellano University Main, Legarda Campus Juan Sumulong Campus in Legarda , Manila Jose Abad Santos Campus in Pasay City (AU School of Law) Apolinario Mabini Campus in Pasay City Andres Bonifacio Campus in Pasig City Plaridel Campus in Mandaluyong City Elisa Esguerra Campus in Malabon City.
Arellano University- Legarda main library
A street in Sampaloc was named after this famous educator. The Legarda campus also boast some of his memorabilia like photographs, awards, plaque, certificate, collections of rare books , medals and other stuffs. The current collection is housed within the university main library .
The country is rich in natural resources and old trees tell a lot of interesting stories. There is a 155 year old duhat tree ( Syzygium cumini ) which is located at the foot of a wooded hill called “ Binugsok” now within Barrio Kaligayahan , Jordan Plains Subdivision . Within the Metro Manila College compound just about a kilometer away from Our Lady of Mercy Church in Novaliches town proper in Quezon City . The area was once heavily covered with thick vegetation up to the late 19th and early 20th century .
Wild chickens , native deers, monitor lizards and boars roam while the revolutionaries’ troops forage for food within the immediate vicinity.
The natural contour of the hill served as a battery and an outpost of the Katipuneros during the 1896 revolution and served as a target of many Spanish soldiers. The late Kapitan Bernabe Serrano popularly known as Kabesang Abeng who was a member of the Katipunan and the former owner of the property where the historic duhat tree stands. He stated that on several occasions, the place was visited by Andres Bonifacio , the Supremo of the Katipunan in order to bolster the morale of the troops. Under the canopy of the duhat tree served as medical headquarters, resting, meeting place and troop formation of the revolutionary forces.
This is also where Melchora Aquino , popularly known as Tandang Sora , treated those who are sick , wounded under this tree. The tree also provided some nourishment to the Katipuneros and to the people of the surrounding area. The natural elevation of the land served as a vantage point and lookout for the guerilla forces in Novaliches also during the Japanese occupation.
Older residents within the place would recall that they even bathe in the nearby streams and would also remember how they would climb and pick the fruits of this duhat tree.
Now the tree is within the property of the Metro Manila College and the school had some artifacts and old pictures to prove that when the revolution broke out in 1896 the tree is already several decades old.
Big holes, scratches and scars are visible on the trunk and branches of the tree and up to now the tree still fights for its survival. The tree has a diameter at breast height of approximately 140 meter, and about 15 meter tall and has a crown diameter of approximately 16 meter. When the hill was leveled during the development of the area and many bullets made of copper were found in the area presumed used during the Spanish period .
There are 2 younger duhat trees nearby which is presumed as the siblings of the tree. This duhat tree is a silent witness in the history that every Filipinos should never forget and the urgent need to care and protect the tree from natural diseases and human harm.
Dr. Mamerto S. Miranda the founder of the college is a native of Novaliches and is a war veteran who founded Metro Manila College formerly known as Novaliches Academy in 1947.
For those who wanted to visit the school , here are the contact number:
Address: 966 Plaza Novaliches
Barrio Kaligayahan, Novaliches
Quezon City, Metro Manila 1123
TEl : (1123)939-11-62 , 9363082
Fax : (1123)419-14-82