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.