Expedition trip to General Nakar, Quezon

I was informed that the Philippine Orchid Society may send 3 representative together with staffs from Manila Orchidarium ( Clean and Green Foundation), SMART Communications to do an initial survey of Barangay San Marcelino within the General Nakar area in Quezon .

Last August 18, during the POS monthly meeting in Mr. Modesto ” Mody” Manglicmot garden within UP Diliman . We were asked to join the so called expedition which is set on August 20 to August 21 (2 days) . Mr. Dennis Sy, Ms. Tina Narzo and I were the volunteers coming from the POS side.

I was quite hesitant  to go , since the publicity and promotion for the forthcoming show is already more than  1 week delayed due to cancellation of classes and office .

the group

August 20, I was already within the MSBF compound as early as 6 am , Most of the group arrived more than 1 hour later. We  rode several  hours passing scenic towns, mountains and road stalls before  our group arrived way past 1pm and the town mayor had treated our group a lunch then we quickly rode a small motorized boat on the way to the San Marcelino area of Gen. Nakar , We went from the mouth of the river to the Pacific Ocean side of the town .

mouth of the river flowing to the Pacific ocean

Our group saw flying fishes and sea weeds on our way, It took us over 1 hour to get to the site since the boat is not moving fast due to the waves. We arrived way past 2pm in the old poblacion area of Gen. Nakar which was destroyed by the landslide in 2004 due to the effect of two bagyo.  Typhoon Muifa and Nanmadol. Virtually the entire town were buried under several feet of mud and big boulders .The flash floods brought down logs from the surrounding mountain while the river had even changed its course !

big logs were left on dry river beds

Our group had saw large logs and house foundations still left as an eerie reminder of what had happened several years ago. According to our guide , Before the disaster in 2004 the area was very beautiful and there were lots of people  with blooming orchids,ornamental plants and nice quaint houses.

Dendrobium crumenatum (locally called white sanggumay )

A few hundred of meters away from the old town , we saw several dead trees which were covered with some common orchid species like Dendobium crumenatum , Liparis, Hoya bilobata, Hoya incrassata ,Bulbophyllum makoyanum , Platycerium coronarium ,weed ferns and an unidentifed Vanilla species !

Vanilla species growing on a tree just several meters away from the shoreline

We had met a lot of nice people and they told us that we were the ones who appreciate their garden and local species, Some people were even curious that we were speaking a weird language which are the  scientific names of these plants!

Even the local names of the orchids and plants were all mixed -up since they only rely from the Dumagats for the names of the plants, orchid species like Dendrobium crumenatum which is called   as dove, pigeon or 1 day orchid  in Metro Manila  were called sanggumay by the local people . Sanggumay is called Dendrobium anosmum here in Metro Manila , Renanthera philippinensis is locally called “Red Waling-waling ” . But since local names were given by the  people ,we are not in a position to correct them , Our group just got the names of the orchids, plants and trees for our reference .

Nepenthes alata (pitcher plant) green variety

It is a settled area and there were no electricity and we just got our drinking water from dug spring , Just simple amenities would do, Even cellphone signals were virtually out! This is due  to the mountain ranges and lack of communication tower .

Syzygium polyephalum ( lipote, balig-ang)

We picked several fruits like guavas , pomelo , lipote ( Balig-ang in Bikol) , bananas , santol . The local people sometimes gave it to our group, edible ferns also abound within the area.

Rufous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax)

There is a tamed  Rufous horn bill (kalaw) perched on a coconut tree. The group saw some sun birds- pollinator of flowers , Philippine hanging parakeet (kolasisi )  , kite and Malayan fantails.

At the end of the second day , The group had counted about 35 species of orchids , 6 species of hoyas and dischidias , 40 species of ferns, 2 dozen native trees, dozen kinds of cut foliage plants, 3-5 species of ginger plant (curcuma, kamia), an epiphytic begonia, 2 species of nepenthes ( pitcher plant) and had a chance to see the World’s Largest Orchid in flower ! Grammatophyllum wallisii and  fond memories of the people living in the area.

Grammatophyllum wallisii

Despite of poverty ,the people had treated us very-well ! there are signs that the place is slowly recovering from the destruction .

Some of the group had a chance to take a bath with the beach. the water is not that salty compared to the rest of the sea side beaches. This was attributed that there are a lot of small streams, rivers and creeks which empty the Pacific ocean.

and some  of us had got “Batong Buhay” as some sort of souvenir from the place!

Paging.. Mrs. Gupit -Natural Stone Society !!!!! We might sign up as members of the society… Hehehehe

The group reported out preliminary expedition details to the town mayor for further evaluation . This would also give an idea on what sort of plants that could be massed propagated for livelihood projects of the town.

To the people and Mayor of General Nakar -Mr.Leovegildo R. Ruzol , Thanks!

Ming’s Garden and Restaurant

bromeliads , guzmanias

Ming’s Garden in Tagaytay a couple of weekends ago. The garden restaurant is owned by former first lady Amelita ” Ming” Martinez  Ramos, hence the name.

Mrs. Amelita Ramos is an honorary member of the Philippine Orchid Society, an orchid lover , environmentalists, educator, sports enthusiast , writer etc…

An orchid was named after her by a Hawaiian breeder Miyamoto registered in 1982 in honor her.

Ascocenda Amelita Ramos

The seed parent is Ascocenda Pokai Victory x Vanda sanderiana variety alba ( pollen parent).

The ambiance is so nice that even inside their comfort rooms have a garden in it. orchids, medinillas , mums, bromeliads, euphorbias, yellow vines and angel’s trumpets, suntans and marigolds are just some of the many species you can find there. The resto also serve nice bibingka, halo-halo and a lot of native delicacies. This place is favorite stopover when visiting Tagaytay.

restaurant menu

When we went to the garden, the place is being used as a location shooting for the late afternoon television series ” Bud Brother” of ABS-CBN channel 2.

Cydista aequinoctialis locally known as Ahos-ahos , garlic vine

The garlic vine is one of the most rewarding, flowering vines that you can grow, unless that you are a vampire. Interestingly  it smells like garlic, Hence the common name implies .  However, it doesn’t smell if the plant is left alone, only when the leaves are crushed. Flowering twice a year you will find it quite often covered with flowers. Flowers start off purple and change to a lighter shade of lavender with age. Eventually fading to almost white. You will see 3 different color of flowers at the same time on the plant. It can be grown in containers or trellis  and should be trimmed after the flowers are gone.

According to the caretaker , television network ,  film makers, bloggers and travel magazines had featured their venue.