Flora Filipina 2012 Opening Highlights

Hardin ng mga Bulaklak, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City – Philippines


tarpaulin poster of Flora Filipina 2012 within Quezon Memorial Circle

The sun was very bright and according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the temperature in Metro Manila reached 34.4 degrees Celsius. So far, it was the hottest day in 2012.This is also a signal that summer season in this part of the hemisphere is about to begin.


Quezon City Memorial Circle background  and the famous Quezon City Lancaster 

L-R seated Mrs. Rhodoro “Rhodie ” H.  Gazmin , Mrs. Susan Lee , Mrs. Maritess Amante and  Mrs.  Mary Ann Castillo-Wu standing at the back ( reception and registration committee )

Dress in their finest Filipiana attire, members of Philippine Orchid Society, Philippine Horticultural Society, Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines, Davao Orchid Society, Negros Orchid Society ,  Los Baños Horticultural Society other major plant societies and avid plant enthusiast, sympathizers, media and special guest from different parts of the world gather together with much anticipation for the opening gala of the 3rd Flora Filipina Show.

 Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. , Helen Valmayor and Ms. Vernie Lucero

Dress in their fineness  and native costumes, members of the Rizal Technological University cultural dance group pose with distinguished guests from  Los Baños Horticultural Society led by Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. ( dress in white barong)  Dr. Helen Valmayor and Ms. Vernie Lucero.

vertical landscape using different foliage plants , ferns, vines ” Gardening is More Fun at Flora Filipina ”

This year’s theme was re-adopted from the Department of Tourism slogan ” It’s More Fun in the Philippines” Hence  the theme ” Gardening is More Fun at Flora Filipina “.

Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe in green shirt  – President of Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines

This aims to attract people not just local tourists but also  a slice in the international horticultural market.  Some industry experts say it is called horticultural  tourism ! There had been an upsurge in the interest of people and business trying to cash in on the tourism boom in this part of the world. One of the growing interest is the relationship between horticulture , gardening , organic farming and environmental tourism.

International speakers  register at the Flora Filipina Expo registration counter L-R Mr. JB Tay , Mr. Wong Kiang-Ho and Dr. P. Mukundan

This is definitely a big business in other ASEAN neighboring countries of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia , Vietnam and Singapore . They have regular  organized orchid farm tours, fruit orchard tours , botanical garden tours with  matching historical locations and horticultural shows.

a stamp from Malaysia depict the country’s rich flora and fauna biodiversity

These countries proudly display their rich plant biodiversity during these events  and where the newest trend in horticulture and tourism  that prevails in their localities .  An example of the famous Eco-tours in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia marked specific months  for the blooming season of their  rare rafflesia species. Another event is the  Royal Flora Ratchaphruek  flower festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These events and other horticultural exports  bring in millions of dollar  in their revenue.  So why not the Philippines ?

Mrs. Amelita ” Ming ” Ramos former first lady 1992 to 1998 is one of the distinguished guests of honor during the opening ceremony

Before the much-awaited cutting of ribbons, special guests of honor led former first lady Mrs. Amelita “ Ming “ Ramos ( 1992 to 1998) escorted by student dressed in their finest Filipiana costumes.

a lovely lady dress -up with  flowers , mosses, dracena leaves holding bamboo parasol with peacock feathers

 There were several male and female models  with exquisite Flora Filipina inspired – costumes made from foliage plants and flowers.  Warm “Mabuhay” greeted the foreign guests and wives of foreign diplomats.

Hon. Jejomar C. Binay Sr. ( Vice -President of the Philippines )

A few minutes had passed when Dr. Elenita S. Binay together with Vice President Hon. Jejomar C. Binay and their entourage was escorted to the exhibition site.

Dr. Elenita S. Binay ( Flora Filipina 2012 honorary chairperson )  was escorted to the exhibition site

The security is tight during the event; This is to secure the safety of the special guests of honor that included  wives of foreign ambassadors , former diplomats , former first lady , government officials , well-known plant collectors , congressmen, and the vice president of the country.

Miss Gionna Cabrera

     The author also saw Miss Gionna Cabrera a former Binibining Pilipinas- Universe 2005 and Miss Universe 2005 “ Most Photogenic ”award winner . I also had the opportunity to exchange some pleasantries with the former beauty queen. After all, it is not an everyday experience that you meet a national beauty titleholder. Ms. Cabera was part of the Secretariat at the office of the Vice President. I only manage to got some stolen shots and completely forgotten to have my picture taken with the former queen.

L- R Mrs. Amelita ” Ming ” Ramos , Dr. Elenita S. Binay , Hon. Jejomar C. Binay Sr. , Mrs. Marta Otero wife of Argentinian ambassador to the Philippines, Ms. Evangeline  ” Vangie ” Go president of the Philippine Orchid Society .

Mrs. Amelita ” Ming ” Ramos

A brief speech led by former first lady Mrs. Amelita “ Ming ” Ramos about the importance of gardening and her various environmental advocacies  during her time . She also showed the crowd her bag that was made from recycled soft drink can tops .

Hon. Jejomar C. Binay Sr.

   Vice- President Jejomar C.  Binay in his keynote speech detailed the importance of the flora biodiversity of the country and conservationist and horticultural group  thru  the various plant societies like the Davao Orchid Society and Philippine Orchid Society which lobbied the congress for the passage of House committee House Bill No. 4073, “Subject to Style,” after the National Museum of the Philippines recommended the Waling-Waling to be declared as another national flower of the country.  He also cited our endemic , one of the most beautiful and economically important orchid species Waling-waling or Vanda sanderiana as one of the two national flowers of the country,  the other one is Jasminum sambac or Sampaguita .       Most of the vandaceous  orchid hybrids in the world today can trace their lineage back to our own Vanda sanderiana or Euanthe sanderiana.

A thunderous applause was given the the crowd which numbered around 400 . There were also a large contingent of  orchid  and ornamental plant growers from Mindanao and foreigners from India , Taiwan and Singapore.   An exchange of some pleasantries and warm smiles were given by the organizers of the event.

Mr. Christian Joule Nicerio a young fashion designer with his model and Mr. Lawrence Chan

There was a mini-fashion show of sorts, which tapped the  talent of local florists and budding fashion artists.

If this was a national costume competition or a modeling event. This designer and his model will  definitely won the approval of the crowd.  The designer told me , that they were given a small budget and a variety of fresh flowers, twigs, live plants , mosses , wire mesh and green foliage , all they had to do was to conceptualized a costume that can fit the Flora Filipina theme.

 RTU students dressed in Yakan tribe costume

Rizal Technological University cultural group was tapped to perform the traditional plate dance from the Yakan tribe ( normally preform during special occasions like wedding , welcoming important guests )  . Unlike the first and second Flora Filipina opening in 2006 and 2009, the cultural presentation was centered in this cultural group.

carefully balance steps in order not to break any plates and small wooden chair

Some invited guests was overheard “ Mas madaming folk dances iyong last Flora opening noong 2009”. There are more folk dances during the opening of the last Flora in 2009.

an array of bromeliads for sale  at the commercial section

Never least I must agree in a certain way, But come to think of it with budgetary constraints , limited time and human resources. The opening is still quite commendable. Hey, this is not a cultural or folk dance event isn’t it ?  So do not expect to have a long cultural presentations .

Mr. Norberto Bautista received the trophy in behalf of Malvarosa Orchids  

After all the fanfare, Ms. Vangie Go  got the “Best Ornamental Plant in Show ” was judged to an ornamental plant  — Anthurium hookerii x Anthurium Marie ,   The ” Best Ornamental Landscape Exhibit ” was also won by Ms. Vangie Go.   The award for “Best in Show for Orchids ” was given to the orchid Trichoglottis latisepala grown by Mr.  Kelvin Neil Manubay.  The ” Best Orchid Landscape Exhibit ”  was won by Malvarosa Orchids by Dr. Hernando ” Nani ” Perez.

Best showcase landscape exhibit award  was won by Mr. Manuel and  Mrs. Susan Lee.

Another big winner of the event  is the tandem of  Mr. Manuel and Mrs. Susan Lee won the  “Best  orchid showcase landscape exhibit ” . They also had several of the prized bonsai collections exhibited during the show .  All the major winners had a special glass trophies specifically  made  for the event.

Mrs. Luz Santa Maria in pink kimona  , Mrs. Susan Lee together with other vip’s pose at the award winning orchid showcase exhibit landscape ( this is smaller compared to the usual exhibit booth )

Also, from February 24 and 24, 2012 a two-day conference with the theme “Achieving Global Competency in Floriculture,” was held a day after the opening at the Conference Hall of the Bureau of Soils and Water Management along Visayas Avenue. On hand at the conference were several plant enthusiasts, gardeners and researchers from around the country.  Guest speakers from the United States, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India and also from our country will take turns in presenting the new innovations in horticulture and the new plant cultivars developed.

Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula – an avid cactus and succulent member and collector of variegated plants.

Together with Architect Bimbo Santos they have executed this Vigan turn of the 19th century inspired landscape complete with wooden trellis , bromeliads,   rare exotic cacti and succulents plants are exhibited.

The guests toured the 32  landscape exhibit grounds while Ms. Baby de Leon provided the Filipino food like suman, biko , sago at gulaman and continental foods for the  international guests  .  The night was capped with live musical band  . Until my next Flora Filipina 2012 updates and articles !

Please visit the Flora Filipina Pre-Opening :

https://renz15.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/flora-filipina-2012-pre-opening/

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