The impending closure of Manila Seedling Bank Foundation

Manila Seedling Bank Foundation compound, EDSA corner Agham Road, Quezon City- Philippines

Manila Seedling Bank Foundation office

My dad loves growing fruit trees .  My mom loves growing vegetables, flowering plants  like hibiscus ( gumamela ) , gardenia ( rosal) , ixora ( santan ) , dama de noche , frangipani ( kalachuchi ) and orchid hybrids  .  My younger sibling like to grow herbs, indoor plants ,  I would grow orchids, ferns, hoyas , tillandsias, bromeliads  ,   flowering vines and native plants,  While a distant relative likes to grow aquatic plants and small indoor plants. We always go to MSBF compound whenever we can find time .

vegetable corner near the MSBF office

Some of my fondest recollection on how this institution had help a lot of budding environmentalists , hobbyists , plant lovers nurture their love and passion  for plants and the environment.

MSBF Greenhouse #2

Almost all the people that we met at the MSBF compound are very sad  and teary- eyed . Metro Manila’s premiere garden and environmental center will be taken over by the Quezon City-hall management and eventually becoming part of the Quezon City business district…. This big chunk of land will soon rival Bonifacio Global City ( BGC), Ortigas Center, Makati , Ayala-Alabang in the south.

spider plants and five fingers – these ordinary plants can be grown in vertical gardens .

The entire compound  about 7 to 8 hectares  is just part of about 30 hectares  lot owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA), which was reserved for the use of the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation, Inc. (MSBFI) under Presidential Proclamation 1670 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos.

MSBF Greenhouse # 3

I have written several articles before about MSBF   from printed glossy magazines and online journals. The center had earned its reputation not only here in the Philippines but served as a model for its environmental advocates and food security for the country.

rare ornamental and orchid collection of Ms. Vangie Go

The Quezon City government –Business Permits and Licensing Office cited violations of the QC Revenue Code and the National Building Code, early this month ( December 2013 again )  supposedly for failing to secure the necessary mayor’s and building permits. If i can recall , the MSBF was also ordered closed for a couple of days last year.

EDSA Garden House of  Mrs. Adela Ang is having their big sale before moving to the Quezon Memorial Circle

The local government also took control of the lot last year for MSBFI’s non-payment of real property taxes from 2001 to 2011.

Despite the NHA’s ownership of the land, the local government said Manila Seedling Bank was not exempted from paying taxes.

Philippine Horticultural Society Incorporated office at the MSBF compound – The Secretariat temporarily moved to  1019 San Marcelino Street, Ermita – Manila ( near Adamson University )

The beehive of activities and fond memories of the garden societies lectures, meetings , social gatherings and school children doing their researches at the Philippine Horticultural Society Inc. ( PHS)  office (They have a mini-library with all kinds of books about plants  ) are just a memories of an era where nature and environment projects are given priority by both the local government and the national government.

some of the stalls facing Quezon Avenue side were being dismantled

MSBF compound was also the home of the Philippine Horticultural Society ( PHSI ) a society that was founded in 1976.  Now , Their office had transferred in Ermita,  Manila near Adamson University .

MSBF  fruit trees selling area with tarpaulin posters

I also recall  plant societies like Philippine Orchid Society garden and plant shows were staged at Greenhouse # 2 , Philippine Bonsai Society’s bonsai shows among others.

KOI Haven with the proprietor, According to the owners – They had already relocated at the Araneta Garden Center in Cubao

Land-line 668-75-92, 475-95-20 Cellphone : 0917- 8017246

There are estimated between 200 to 400 tenants ranging from small flower vendors, pebble and rock traders, carinderia owners to big companies like  the ones being managed by Puentespina , King Louis , Bulacan Garden, MEGA Orchids, Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental  , Ms. Vangie Go, Mrs. Soledad Agbayani– Console Farm, EDSA Garden House of Mrs. Adela Ang among others.

Mr. Andres ” Jun ” Golamco  store is also having their BIG Sale

According to some tenants, They are constantly being harassed, intimidated and to some extent even received death threats from the Higher-UPS and BIG People!

Everich Agriculture  Supplies -according to the saleslady, they will be relocating to a much smaller space at the Quezon Memorial Circle

Police Incidence

Manila Seedling Garden Owners Association (MSGOA) is an association of about 200 tenants within the compound . According to the members of the association,   There was a traumatic  incident last December 9 , 2013  night time where  police arrived at the Manila Seedling Bank compound , with their leader supposedly brandishing his gun and ordering his men to pick up (damputin ) everyone there. The tenants scampered to safety, but 13 were hauled off and brought to jail. It was even worst than Martial Law !

water lilies- day blooming varieties and kiyapo

Some of the tenants , will still have to face the daunting task of fighting for their livelihoods.

In the quest for industrialization and modernization, Let us not forget the environment in which we are all inter-connected , converting and selling  the 7 or 8 hectare piece of property is not the answer to the problem of corporate greed and insensitivity by the local government compared  to the the invaluable services that this institution had been doing for almost 37 years.  The original objectives of the foundation is to reforest the denuded forest lands, reforest LA MESA watershed , provide food to the masses by propagating ,  selling quality tree seedlings, vegetables , fruit trees and endemic trees all over the country.

In fact , some garden centers in other countries like Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan , Guam,  Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia  got some technical expertise  using the MSBF as a role model for their country’s greening projects and urban renewal projects.

Mabolo / Kamagong tree planted by President Corazon C. Aquino on October 25, 1990

The MSBF is also home to more than 400 species of trees, both native, exotic , endemic and even trees that were planted by former first lady Imelda Marcos, President Corazon Aquino , former first lady Amelita ” Ming ” Ramos . The area is also home to countless of butterflies, fireflies , insects ,  birds and Palawan Cherry trees too!

commemorative marker

( I hope that the new management will not chop this tree planted by the former president)

In some countries  ( like  Singapore)  is very active with their urban re-greening projects and  looking for solutions to their environmental problems. Here it is quite different. We neglect our natural heritage and environmental institution that had help so many………..

As I do not want to dampen everyone’s mood, We just recall our fond memories of the place that i must say was my second home…………. BYE for now and the fight for more green spaces and environmental institution in METRO Manila continues…….

NOTE: Almost all tenants will be having their LAST DAY SALE by Tomorrow -December 31, 2013.  Some of them have relocated at the nearby Quezon Memorial Circle , Cubao- Araneta Garden Center, Fairview Garden Center, Lagro area.

Some tenants will eventually find a way to sell their plants in some weekend markets, bazaars . Some will return to Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna , Quezon , Rizal , Benguet , Pampanga where they have garden spaces and plots of land.

The Cityhall will allow the tenants to dismantle all their structure until past April 2014.

Manila Seedling Bank Foundation: http://msbfi.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msbfi

Aerides leeana orchid in Mr. Ronald Achacoso’s garden

San Francisco del Monte , Quezon City, Philippines

The Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society’s members had decided to visit the wake of  Mr. Ronald Achacoso’s father who died a few days earlier.

macopa tree with a lot of ochids, bromeliads, ferns, hoyas, dischidias , epiphytic cactus

When we entered their compound , the group was amazed with the varieties of native plants, orchids, trees, hoyas, dischidias, tillandsias , ferns, fruit trees , aquarium plants at the Achacoso’s garden .

The house is beautifully preserve , according to his brother -in-law . The house was built in the late 1950’s with very minor renovation.  The area is about 800 square meter lot with beautifully landscaped garden,  mini pools decades-old mango tree,  macopa tree , coconut and caimito trees .

mango tree with a lot of orchids, hoyas, ferns and dischidias

I think it is my fourth time to visit the place and i always marvel Ronald’s affection for the environment and his passion for plants!

Aerides leeana

Aerides leena used to be called Aerides jarkianum by orchid hobbyists and taxonomist a few decades ago .

Habitat:

The orchid ( Aerides)  genus is fondly called cat’s tail orchid, fox bush orchid due to the shape of the orchid flowers and pendulous inflorescence. There were 25 known species and several varieties .

There are 5- known species and several forms that occur in the Philippines and this is one of the endemic ( found only in the country) . This orchid is found in the provinces of Bataan, Rizal, Quezon , Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Cavite in the island of Luzon.

  Aerides leeana is an erect  25cm to 35 cm tall monopdial, it sometimes becomes pendulous.

This orchid was bought from a weekend market about 3 -years ago and had been mounted on macopa tree .

Cultural and Etho-Botanic Values:

Aside from the aesthetics beauty of this orchid species, some people and ethnic groups believes that growing these type of orchid species can bring good luck and ward -off evil spirits .

 Aerides leeana had 3- inflorescence with at least 50 flowers

Status: 

This orchid used to be very common according to some orchid growers and hobbyists until the 1980’s. This orchid was collected in the provinces which are very near Metro Manila due to loss of habitat, over collecting , land development and lack of interest to propagate ( tissue culture) . This beautiful orchid species is already on the verge of extinction.

References:

Cootes, Jim : Orchids of the Philippines 2001

Cootes , Jim : Native Orchid Species 2009

Vizio Bar and Restaurant : Newest 3D bar in Quezon City

 

On Saturday, December 28, 2013 join us as Vizio bar open its doors to the public!! Vizio bar. Is located at Tomas Morato street corner Scout Castor street ( On top of 7-11) Quezon City Food at Vizio Bar aims to equally delight and surprise the senses of taste and smell, and is an integral pillar of the overall Vizio Bar experience .

Vizio Bar will specialize in high-energy performances that will make the customers enjoy. They will offer local and international beers, wines and an array of liquors and mixed drinks. It will also provide foods that are uniquely created and derived from Asian cuisines. In addition, the venue will sell nonalcoholic beverages such as soda, juices and bottled water. The initial hours of operation will be from 9:00 pm to 6:00 A.M., Mondays to Sundays.

The bartenders have one, and only one, mission: surprise their guests with unexpected combinations and refresh their spirits. Dance to the latest and greatest hits in House music, Electro, Top 40, Latin Pop, Hip Hop and much more!
Vizio. Dance club, entertainment venue, social club and a bar Experience QC’s most visually and musically stunning megaclub and dance the night away!

Vizio bar is the first 3D bar in Quezon City.

Please visit the link for more Information:

Website: http://www.viziobar.com.ph/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VIZIOPHILIPPINES

Mini Buses of Cavite

Tanza , Cavite province- Philippines

Mini-buses ply many places from the mid- 1960’s until 1980’s in Morong, Cardona, Binangonan, Angono , Taytay  in the province of Rizal while most mini-buses still ply the route of  Tanza, Cavite City, Bacoor , Naic, Tagaytay  City in  Cavite province until now.

Binangonan Liner is considered one of the first companies which introduced the  mini-bus  had  following signage  : Sta. Ursula, Joel & Aileen, S.A., Monina, Marsha, Tingting, Trinidad, Jaynar, Robeliner, Cabo among others.

I still remember that there are also mini-bus which ply the route of Sapang Palay , Malinta and Bagong Silang and their terminal is at Doroteo Jose station in Santa Cruz , Manila.

Most of the “mini-bus ” or ” baby bus”   were also converted into “service”   and  converted into school buses by their operators and rented out to  students , young professionals or groups.   The interior is like psychedelic  with loud music which accompany the route .  They are hip, fast and funky that can rival any passenger jeeps .

The colorful mini-buses seating capacity can range from 30 to 60 people depending on the size of the bus. Some people also call them auto-bus, trambia

I always ride the mini-buses from Baclaran to any parts of Cavite .

Unfortunately , recent news from Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board ( LTFRB)  is planning the phase -out theses buses to pave way for more modern fleet of buses.

Whenever you are planning to go and visit the province of Cavite and some places with mini-buses or baby buses route. Do not hesitate to ride them and fell the nostalgia and rich transportation heritage of our country.

Links:

GMA News: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/video/182591/balitanghali/mga-baby-bus-sa-cavite-ipe-phase-out-na-ng-ltfrb

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cavite.baby.bus

Land Transportation and Franchising Board :  http://www.ltfrb.gov.ph/

Eurotel Hotel : A choice for businessmen

Eurotel was conceived to meet the demand for unique services in the Philippines .

Managed by experienced hoteliers , it is the only lodging chain in the country that uses a distinctly European theme, motifs and service oriented crews.

Euro Suite 2-

Good For 2 Persons
• 1 Queen-size bed & 1 Single Bed
• 1 hair dryer
• hot/cold water
• bathtub/shower
• 24 hrs. cable TV / In-house movie channels
• Mini ref.
• Air-conditioned
• Safety deposit box
• With free buffet breakfast for 2

Note: Rate may vary depending on season -rate ranges from  Php2,950 – Php 3,395.00 inclusive of buffet breakfast for 3 persons

Services and Amenities:

Eurotel is  Philippine Travel Agencies Association  (PTAA) and Department of Tourism  ( DOT)  accredited  . If you’re ever wondered what it’s like to be pampered by the best European hotels, wonder no more. EUROTEL is a welcome haven for couples, tourists and travelers seeking respite and comfort in the heart of Metro Manila. Elegantly designed with subtle modern European influences, guests are assured of comfort and convenience with a good range of rooms. Affordability plus the traditional Filipino hospitality is a matchless combination.

Meeting modern-day standards of sanitation and safety, each room is guaranteed to satisfy your needs. Managed by experienced veteran hoteliers and staffed by carefully selected and well-trained personnel, EUROTEL will provide you with the best lodging experiences you will ever have.

BUSINESS FUNCTIONS– The hotel also provides function rooms for a variety of occasions:

1.) Seminars

2.) Conventions

3.) Party

4.) Debuts

5.) Social Functions

6.) Company Team Building

Large function rooms can be tailored to fit management development seminars, strategic planning, team-building and other corporate functions. EUROTEL can even provide lists of potential trainers depending on your needs. All rooms are equipped with the latest audio-visual equipment and training tools necessary for each event. Our rooms can accommodate up to 450 persons and packages are available to fit your budget and particular requirements. Participants can also choose to unwind at the end of the day using its Karaoke on wide-screen.

SPA– An in-house spa is also available for guests. Relax those tense muscles and lay your cares at the hands of our professionally-trained masseuse, either in the comfort of your own room or at our Spa. From body massage, foot scrubs and body scrubs we guarantee a relaxing experience.

Eurozen Bar and Bistro – Sit back and relax at the end of the day at the Eurozen Bar and Bistro. Enjoy a delightful meal or just appetizers while downing your favorite cocktail and drink. Or you could just unwind and watch entertaining programs with our wide-screen LCDs.

Wi-Fi – The hotel also offers unlimited wi-fi access on all floors. Computers are also available at the lobby for free.

Branches :

Araneta Center Cubao
General Araneta corner General Roxas St., Araneta Center Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. no.: (02) 911-2968 / 912-6735
Mobile No : 0922-834-4150
Email : eurotelaraneta@ymail.com

 Las Pinas
Alabang-Zapote Road, Barangay Almanza, Las Pinas
Tel. no.: (02) 806-7646 / 805-0095
Mobile No.: 09228226973 / 09158966859
Email : agarrieta@yahoo.com

 Pedro Gil
616 Pedro Gil. St. Ermita, Metro Manila
Tel. no. : (02) 523-5256 / 523-5164
Mobile No.: 09212553361
Email : eurotelpedrogil@yahoo.com.ph

 Makati
Chino Roces Ave. cor Arnaiz Ave
Tel. no. : (02) 844-8645 / 844-8603
Mobile No.: 09223614998 / 09173024928
Email : rabombita_eurotel@yahoo.com

 North Edsa
49 Bulacan St., Brgy. Bungad, Quezon City
Tel. no. : (02) 376-7096 to 99
Mobile No.: 09178527276
Email : allencvalerio@yahoo.com

 Baguio
Albanao Ext. Brgy. Rizal Monumento, Baguio City
Tel. no. : (074) 444-3876 / (02)8611086
Mobile No.: 09333604832 / 09496949654
Email : eurotel_baguio@yahoo.com

 Angeles
#21 Don Juico Avenue, Barangay Malabanias Angeles City. (Across SM Clark)
Tel. no. : 02-8615755 / 045-4581020-22
Mobile No.: 09333871607
Email : eurotel_angeles@yahoo.com

 Boracay
Station 2 Boracay Island, Malay Aklan
Tel. no.:02-8615686 Manila Line / 036-288 2111 Kalibo Line
Mobile No.: 09217952170
Email: eurotelboracay@gmail.com/rhea_castillo2000@yahoo.com

 Central Reservations Office
Tel. no. : 02-355-0000

Website and Links:

Eurotel Hotel: http://www.eurotel-hotel.com/

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/myeurotel?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/myeurotel?fref=ts

PTAA: http://www.ptaa.org.ph/