Hortikutura Extravaganza Advocacy and Horticulture Tour

Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. personally welcomes tour participants from different parts of the country

Philippine Horticultural Society organizer of Hortikultura Extravaganza 2015 in partnership with Department of Tourism , Department of Agriculture and Department of Trade and Industry conducted a tour on several farms, tourist destination spots and livelihood advocacy NGO tour. We left Quezon Memorial Circle at around past 6:00am on our way to Laguna, Cavite provinces . Our first stop is Mr. Vic Chin’s Orchids and Ornamental Farm in Calamba , Laguna.

hundreds of potted flowering plants

The tour open another aspect of agriculture/ horticulture  tourism a fast growing tourism sector . We were also joined-in by Negros Occidental Garden Club with over a dozen members.


There are over 1,000 named cultivars of Caladium bicolor from the original South American plant. Many cultivar hybrids are produced with striking foliage and markings . Mr. Chin also shared a lot of stories and growing techniques. His farm is clean and production is at par with world class standards.


Aside from orchids and ornamental plants, Mr. Vic Chin is also an award- winning fish hobbyists and breeder . He had several hundreds of fish tanks with different kinds  of tropical fresh water fishes.

cattleya orchid

There are several hundreds of cattleya hybrids that greeted us on our visit his farm.

Ding Hao Restaurant

Mr. Chin farm is located within  Ding Hao Restaurant compound  which is just beside SM Calamba. The farm covers about 3,000 square meters. It is also a favorite tourist destination among travelers and clients of the restaurant.

 restaurant is popular event place

The participants wasted no time in buying orchids and ornamental plants .  For those interested to buy plants in bulk , Please try to contact Ding Hao restaurant for scheduled appointment.


Itlog ni Kuya

We made a short stop over at Itlog ni Kuya outlet . Participants bought salted eggs, balut and penoy . Among their specialties includes Yummy Leche Flan., Lechon Kilulob na Itik , Pekin Kilulob

Compared to the ordinary salted egg in the market , Itlog ni Kuya salted duck eggs are not that salty and less sodium content. Love the taste !

Ming’s Garden

This is another favorite stop-over and venue place among tourists and garden lovers.

bromeliads , neoregelias and guzmanias

There is a souvenir shop , restaurant , coffee shop and plant selling area where visitors can buy their plant propagation like bromeliads, medinilla , ferns , flowering plants , herbs and garden supplies.

souvenir store

The place is owned by Mrs. Amelita ” Ming” Martinez Ramos – a plant , environment and orchid lover .¬† She is the wife of President Fidel Valdez Ramos – President of the Philippines ( 1992 to 1998)

comfort room

The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and had catering services . Ming’s Garden had also earned several accolades and awards from different travel magazines and local tourism organization . The comfort room is clean and maximizes the use of natural light.

semi-terete vanda blooming

Alcanterea imperialis

The genus Alcantarea, with approximately 20 species is an offshoot of the much larger genus Vriesea. For such regal plants, the genus is fittingly named after the 2nd Emperor of Brazil. Alcantarea imperialis is the most regal , largest and is considered the prominent species of this genus. It is one of the giants of the bromeliad family.  This Bromeliad grows to a span of more than 1.5 metres, although it can take up to ten years to get to this size.  The thick flower spike reaches up to 3.5 metres in height, producing hundreds of slightly fragrant creamy white flowers.

Strongylodon macrobotrys

This vine is called Jade Vine in the Philippines . It is called jade vine because of the color of the flowers which is bluish-green ( turquoise)  . With its long cascading translucent jade-green flowers beneath a canopy of pale green foliage, the jade vine is one of the most beautiful and elegant of all tropical climbers.  We are quite fortunate that the vine had several blooms that awaited us.

group photo

Address: Sta. Rosa-Tagaytay Rd., Tagaytay, Cavite, Philippines

Related link: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2009/10/09/mings-garden-and-restaurant/

China Palace

We went to China Palace restaurant located in Tagaytay Highlands . The group were served Chinese style lauriat for lunch

spinach soup

yang chow fried rice

breaded pork

fried chicken with shrimp kropek

sauteed broccoli and baby pak choy in garlic

group photo

Negros Occidental Garden Club members enjoying the cool and windy weather

We toured the Tagaytay highland vicinity and enjoyed the breathtaking views and cool temperature.

Ms. Marvi Tulauan greeted the participants of the tour

Ms. Marvi Tulauan

Email: marvitulauan@yahoo.com

Ms. Delphine from France

The Focolare Movement, present everywhere in the world, is like a vast and varied family. It began in 1943 during the Second World War as a current of spiritual and social renewal.

handmade greeting cards

‚ÄėA people born from the Gospel,‚Äô is how it was defined by its founder Ms. Chiara Lubich (1920-2008), a charismatic and significant woman of the 20th century.

Website: http://www.focolare.org/en/

The place is quite spacious and ideal for retreat , vacation and convention. A newly built dormitory -style building was completed to accommodate budget conscious people.

fashion accessories

They have several livelihood projects from arts, craft, baking pastries, greeting cards, jam, fashion jewelries, bags, t-shirts , door opener,  ladies bag, stuff dolls and religious items

wheat bread baking

Their wheat bread production is good only for the day and all orders must be pre-order at least a day or so .  The quality of their bread and prices are even lower compared to commercial bakeries and pastry shops .  Almost the entire production of the day were already ordered by the members of the Philippine Horticultural Society .

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/focolare.org


Arids and Aroids – This is a one hectare farm of different kinds of ornamental, flowering trees, orchids, hoyas, ferns , tillandsias , variegated plants from different parts of the world. They supply a lot of plant nurseries in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao area. Their first farm was located in the municipality of Do√Īa Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan before relocating in Barangay Tartaria, Silang , Cavite province.

The climate is very suitable for growing ornamental plants and even orchids. The company is planning to breed small types of sweet smelling orchid flowers for eventual export to other countries.

variegated philodendron

This is a beautiful variegated philodendron which commands a handsome six- figure sum .

After all the shopping , we were treated to a tasty afternoon snacks of toasted siopao and soft-drinks by the gracious hosts.

Note : A visit to Arids and Aroids Farm can be scheduled by appointment .

I would like to sincerely ” Thank” Tita Adoracion S. Bernabe , Tita Norma K. Villanueva, Tita Leny R. Fabul and PHSI family for the accommodation extended to us .


Hortikultura Extravaganza 2015 Opening Highlights

Tropical Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City- Philippines

Special guests of honor includes ambassadors, Hon. Maria Josefina ” Joy ” Belmonte ( Vice Mayor of Quezon City ) Mr. Joselito ” Butch ” Campos ( Del Monte, Philippines )

Philippine Horticulture Society Incorporated in partnership with Quezon City government , Quezon Memorial Circle management , Del Monte Philippines, UNAGROW a division of UNAHCO , Department of Agriculture , Department of Tourism , San Miguel Corporation, Texas Eagle , TORO, The Turf Company¬† different plant and horticultural organizations from all over the country. This year’s theme “ Yaman sa Paghahalaman ” that there can livelihood opportunities and how to generate money in the horticulture industry .

L-R Dr. Romeo Gutierrez , Vice Mayor Maria Josefina” Joy ” Belmonte and Architect Patricia ” Wendy” Regalado posed at the Japanese-themed landscape by Mr. Vic de Rona

Ms. Maria Josefina ” Joy” Belmonte together with Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines president Ms. Becky Buenaventura posed at the East-West Company landscape exhibit

Quirino High School Choir led the invocation and national anthem

It was a full week of activities which included a 2-day Horticulture Congress held at the Bureau of Soils and Water Management on January 21 and 22, 2015 . 10 floral floats which were accompanied by street dancing , battle of the bands , landscape exhibition, competition , trade fairs and horticultural tours in Laguna and Cavite provinces.

Mr. Jonathan Badon

Mr. Jonathan Badon is ” Best Global Pinoy ” awardee¬† . He serenaded the crowd in Italian, French love songs .

Ms. Adela Ang – Herbal plants

There were at least 200 trade fair participants from different parts of the country . One of the biggest agriculture group AANI ( Agri-Aqua Network Incorporated ) had proudly showcased different agriculture produce and technologies .

Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie” Canicula with his award winning landscape exhibit ( His landscape won -Special Commendation )

Garden Wedding by East West Seed Company

An eye catching landscape exhibit was the booth executed by East West Seed Company . The company is one of the largest producer of vegetable seeds, flowering annuals in the country.

Website: http://www.eastwestseed.com/philippines/ph/

Allied Botanical Corporation

Another fascinating exhibit is the vertical landscape with flowering marigolds , petunias, vincas herbs and vegetables .

Website: http://www.alliedbotanical.com/

 Address: No. 15, 21st Avenue, Brgy. Tagumpay,Cubao 1109, Quezon City Philippines
Email: sales@alliedbotanical.com
Tel. Nos.: +63-2- 911-0836 or +63-2-437-6606 to 08
Cell. Nos.: 0917-812-0264; 0922-815-0031; 0922-815-0056
Fax No: +63-2- 911-0159

Mr. Ralph Soriano together with Dr. Elenita S. Binay

 Binondo Fireworks and Firecrackers Lover  Association-president Mr. Ralph Soriano led the fireworks countdown .

The  mission is to  preserve and continue the use of fireworks in celebration, like fiesta, anniversary, funerals,weddings, debuts , inauguration, birthday,tourism,and other pertinent events Along with this giving safety precaution about using fireworks firecrackers is what the organization acquire to achieve

To protect the history of fireworks firecrackers tradition culture in Binondo Mla. and local fireworks industry.

Facebook Page:https://www.facebook.com/groups/439655816135493/


Del Monte Philippines – 3rd Place

The float was inspired by pineapple which is the main product of the company. The company won Php 40,000 cash , Trophy

Villar Foundation- 2nd Place

The Villar Foundation float was inspired by water hyacinth plants which are made into various handicrafts, bags, organic fertilizers , slippers and even costumes.  The foundation won Php 60,000 cash and Trophy

King Louis -Grand Prize

King Louis Ornamental Flowers and Plants emerged as the overall champion of this year’s float parade. The company is a veteran in Baguio Panagbenga Flower Festival¬† . The company bagged home Php 100,000 Cash and Trophy.

Mr. Francis Gener conceptualize and executed the float.

The company had a stall within Quezon Memorial Circle and is one of the biggest potted flowering plant grower in the country.

The event was highlighted with the awarding of the Best in Show, Best in Landscape , Best Float . There will be twice a day lecture which will start on January 24 until February 2, 2015 .

* Note: Special Mention is the League of Orchid Conservationists of the Philippines and Best Fern Group in Thailand .

Website Links:


San Miguel Corporation: http://www.sanmiguel.com.ph/

Quezon City :http://www.quezoncity.gov.ph/

Horticulture Congress 2015

Bureau of Soils and Water Management, Visayas Avenue, Quezon City -Philippines

Senator Cynthia Villar together with the Philippine Horticultural Society board members

special guest of honor together with PHSI board member

Senator Cynthia A. Villar is one of the keynote speakers

Unacho gave away free-t shirts , leaflets and handouts to the first 100 registrants of the congress.

Website: http://unahco.com/

Bulacan Culinary and Heritage Tour (Part4)


 Bulakan and Guiguinto , Bulacan province-Philippines


Enriquez Ancestral House

This is the last ancestral house that the group had visited and it is getting dark . Our driver is getting moody .

lobby of the main house with Katipunan flags and props used in the theater play

Mr.Vicente “Bong ” S. Enriquez -one of the descendants of the clan – welcomed the group to their ancestral house. He is also a well -known director , entrepreneur, author, writer and artist.

Mr. Jeremy Lord Dancil of VSE Production

We were treated to an early evening cultural presentation by members of local arts guild. They are continuously teaching young artists of the town the art of Balagtasan and Pagpuputong .

bouquet of flowers and crown

Pagpuputong or Coronasyon is tradition in several towns of Bulacan , where poetry , theater art are combined. They pay homage to a beautiful maiden or important person . It is presented in such way that crown or bouquet of flowers that are in bloom are given . It is like a coronation night for beauty pageant.

 Ms. Rheeza Santiago- Hernandez

Ms Rheeza S. Hernandez or Reeza is one of the torch bearers of the famed culinary icon Mrs. Milagros S. Enriquez РShe recalled that her aunt would always like to teach those interested in traditional cuisines and pastries of Bulacan , along with some nephews and grandchildren . Unlike other traditional and  family heirloom cuisines which died out . Almost all of their heirloom cuisines and those cuisines that are favorites by our national heroes were preserve by their Tita Mila.

They are carefully pass thru their culinary books, demonstrations and actively being taught to those people who are interested .

Ms. Rheeza S.Hernandez together with Ms. Samantha Enriquez ( grand daughter ) of Mrs. Milagros Enriquez

Ms. Rheeza Hernandez gave the group a demonstration sample of 2 important heirloom desserts . Gurgurya ( Bulakan style ) ,  In Malolos -they spelled it Gorgoria or Gorgorya while in other parts they called them Golloria . These are often snail-shaped and firm pieces of dough that is also deep fried and coated with sugar syrup or just dredged in sugar flavored with kalumata leaves extract.

The said dessert in one of the favorite foods of the revolutionary forces, katipuneros and even Dr. Jose P. Rizal.  Gurgurya can last up to a month without refrigeration.

According to Ms. Rheeza , Ms. Samantha and Mr. Vicente ” Bong ” Enriquez,¬† There are several different varieties of the famed desserts just like Adobo, The only difference is that there are some ingredients that are substituted maybe due to availability¬† or preference.

She also noted the spelling differences from place to place.

Gurgurya – Bulakan ( Enriquez version )

The recipe that they demonstrated is ideal for senior citizens , because it is not too sweet unlike the other varieties. Mr. Vicente Enriquez also told us that her mother thru her love and passion for traditional Bulacan cuisines have interviewed and done some research on traditional cuisines usually from old-folks from the province. However , there are still a lot of heirloom cuisines that were not shared by some.

Here are the Ingredients :

  • 2 cups flour / all purpose flour
  • 1 cup margarine ( ordinary margarine being sold in wet market )
  • 4 tsps milk
  • 1 egg,¬† beaten
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsps water
  • grated dayap rind (native lemon)
  • ¬†8 to 10 leaves of Kalumata leaves (¬† flavoring )
  • 1 to 2 cup cooking oil ( vegetable oil )

Substitutions:  One may add vanilla extract , cinnamon powder or chocolate powder , depending on their preference.

Kalumata leaves which is not common in Metro Manila and urban areas.

Procedure :

1.)Mix all ingredients together except sugar, water , kalumata leaves and dayap. Mix evenly. Mold dough and cut into small pieces.

2.) Press each dough into a fork and roll to form a shell shape.

3.) on a separate deep pan , try to put 1 to 2 cup of vegetable oil then try to deep fry the gurgurya dough until golden-red. Set aside.

4.) Boil sugar and water until thick. Add in grated dayap rind .

5.) On a separate pot , Try to put 1 to 1/2 cup of water to a boiling point then upon boiling try to add 8 to 10 pieces Kalumata leaves to get the extract . Boil for few minutes until the water turned into greenish yellow.

6.) mix the  until fully coated.


finished Gurgurya

Note: Some of the participants have recorded the entire cooking demonstration and uploaded some videos in You Tube .

Nilasing na Mangga ( Fermented  Mangoes ) were popular among the revolutionary forces. They are fermented using cerveza (San Miguel beer РThe company was founded in 1890) . According to Ms. Rheeza РThey were an accidental discovery by the women of Bulacan.


When the Spaniards are chasing the revolutionary guerrillas from the towns. The women had to cover their traces by hiding all the foods and provisions.

Instead of throwing away the cerveza ( beers) what the women did was to pour them in  earthenware jars together with rock salt , sugar and mangoes . They hid the earthenware jars by covering them with banana leaves and buried them .

After 2 or 3 days when the revolutionary forces came back and tried to ask for the cervezas or beer . The women pointed to the earthenware jars with mangoes . The fermentation process made the mangoes delicious .

In elementary , One of our home-economic teacher ( who hails from Bulacan )  taught us on how to preserve foods and preserved mangoes  using almost the same technique minus the beer.

Ingredients :

1 kilo ( carabao variety  green ) but there are other varieties that can be used like piko and baklang mannga ( intermediate variety )

1/4 cup of rock salt ( they call it bastos )  1/2 cup of white sugar ( taste can vary ) for more sweetness (1 cup)

1 bottle San Miguel 375ml beer pale pilsen  for every kilo of mangoes

Procedure :

1.) Try to sliced the green mangoes into smaller size

2.) Mixed the ingredients in a bowl

3.) Put the ingredients inside the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days .

San Miguel Corporation : http://www.sanmiguelbrewery.com.ph/

Kalumata or Kalomata Tree

The leaves of this tree is very important in the flavoring of Gorgorya / Gurgurya / Golloria /  . It took a while before some local horticulturists, botanist before they were able to properly gave its scientific name.

Local horticulturists and botanists at first could not properly identify this tree species because of its similarities between  Curry Tree or Anise but since the tree is not easily propagated and will require moist soil conditions . The viability of its seeds is quite short.

It was narrowed down to just  Causena anismum -olens  or related species. But we are still not sure until properly examined. This was identified by my friend Ms. Regielene Soriano РGonzales because we cannot rely on website alone.

It is called in a lot of local names mostly from the Tagalog and Kapampangan speaking areas.

Common Names: Kayumanis , Kalumata , Kalomata , Kama√Īgianis , Maisipaisi

Stuart Exchange : http://www.stuartxchange.com/Kayumanis.html

Sukang Bulacan -Pamana ni Ka Mila

There is a room at the ground floor where  vinegar is fermented and converted into a small selling area . The town is known for- Sukang Bulacan made from fermented nipa palm sap said to be of the highest quality and is organic .  The fermentation process is said to have been an heirloom family recipe from Mrs. Milagros S. Enriquez hence on the label РPamana ni Ka Mila

Several participants again went on a buying spree for this unique organically fermented vinegar made from the sap of nipa palms. A 700ml bottle of the famed vinegar cost around Php 70 to Php 80 pesos ! It is quite Cheap considering the amount of time and quality of the ingredients that were used.

I bought 2 bottles 700ml of nipa palm vinegar  and some of their homemade products

For those interested in buying this products along with the Gurgurya and other pastries that the foundation sells. Due to the high demand and limited quantity of production . It is wise to pre-order in advance specially for bulk orders.

Address: Pamana ni Ka Mila Products -Molina Street , Barangay San Jose , Bulakan- Bulacan province.

Contact Information : 0922-4410520 / 0918-9031230

Nina Enriquez 0922 441 0520

The group was given another round of tour within the ancestral house and a sampling of the desserts and pan de bonete ( specialty of the town) Unfortunately , I did not took photos of the upper floors since my camera is getting low battery .

Pan de Bonete, Pambonete , Bonete

Pan de Bonete , Pambonete, Bonete РThis is one of the specialties of the town . The pan de bonete looks different from what we are used to eat in Metro Manila.  But this is quite popular in the towns of Bulakan , Lolomboy , Bocaue, Pateros, Pasig ,  Paete in Laguna .

Bonete -They are call as such since bonete bread is tall shaped buns or shaped of baby’s¬† bonette .

Pambonete / Pan de Bonete was derived from the Spanish phrase “pan bonete”, “pan” which means bread and “bonete” which means cap.

Everyone is very full and some of the participants dubbed the tour ” Busog Liglig sa Sarap” .

It is past 7:00pm and We still have 2 more places to go. We decided to shoved-off the Guiguinto Plant Center tour since it is already dark by the time we left the Enriquez Ancestral House. It took us another 20 minutes to reach the next stop.


Euro Bakery is another food institution of Bulacan. They are known for their different pastries like Inipit , Ensaymada and Rolls. The bakery’s tagline ” Old Fashioned Ensyamada of Malolos ” means that their ensaymada’s¬† are the ones that our grandparents and parents¬† enjoyed. Meaning that they have not changed the ingredients and style of baking¬† these ensaymadas.

The group were greeted by the proprietor of the bakery Ms. Bessy Ramos. Their most famous specialties are the inipit and ensaymadas.

Ms. Bessy Ramos together with Ms. Patricia Karol-Ong one of the participants of the culinary tour.

Inipit de Leche ( Pressed ) chiffon cake with sweet custard fillings in between then fold-up it up  . They are cut into small bite-size cubes then packed them in a box РEach box cost Php 250 while there is a much cheaper alternative , the excess ( tabas) is also being sold at a slightly cheaper price.

The custard used in the filling consists of  condense milk , sugar and butter.

inipit making demonstration
What makes it a little bit more interesting is that we met one of the proprietors of the bakery . I must say that this is one of my favorite pasalubong center whenever i go to Malolos .
traditional cookies 

The bakery also sells other popular cookies and regional pastries among them are galletas , tortillas, uraro , pepsin , pilipit, San Nicolas biscuit among others.

 slicing them into smaller portion
putting grated cheese on top of the ensaymada
 Ensaymadang Malolos РIt is a localized brioche pastry made of soft floppy bread topped with generous butter, sugar and cheese with salted duck eggs . They come in 2 sizes .


ensaymadas being packed in plastic wrapper 
According to Mrs. Ramos , Their ensaymada is a family traditional recipe and they are happy that locals,  balikbayans , foreigners , celebrities and politicians would always come back and patronized their bakery .
They also allowed the group to taste their famous ensaymadas and inipit.  Almost all of the participants have bought their ensaymadas, inipit and cookies .
participants enjoyed the inipit and ensaymada demonstration
Since everyone is busy in taking photos, interviewing our gracious host , video taping and buying their pastries . Time went by so fast that it was almost past 9:00pm when left the place.
I bought 1 box on inipit, 1 pack of inipt pinagtabasan , 1 large ensaymada and 6 small ensaymadas . Some of the participants also bought some ensaymadas and gave to our driver as pasalubong.
Architect Chieo Ongteco was fetch by a companion from the bakeshop , They are going to another town.  Mr. Dennis Dy Kho together with  3 participants left for Caloocan and  Our group rode the van going to Quezon City .
Note: I would like to ” Thank” all the participants , NHCP officers and staffs-Barasoain Church, Tita Mercy Antonio ,¬† Bulakan Tourism offers, Mr. Joey M. Rodrigo , Mr. Joey Munsayac , Mr. and Mrs. Rosalie Villanueva Lava , Rheeza Santiago Hernandez , Mr. Vicente Enriquez , Mrs. Bessy Ramos and NHCP Marcelo H. del Pilar shrine for the accommodation extended
Euro Bakery
369 McArthur Highway, Sta. Cruz, Tabang, Guiguinto, Bulacan. Tel: (044) 690-2588 / (0917) 533-8250.

 Other branches in Metro Manila:

  • Glorietta 4 ‚Äď Food Choices, Glorietta 4, Ayala Ave. cor. Pasay Rd, Makati Ave. & EDSA Ayala Center, Makati. Tel: 816-1651.
  • Greenbelt 1 ‚Äď Ground Floor, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St. Ayala Center, Makati
  • Greenhills Shopping Center ‚Äď G/F Lifestyle Center, Greenhills, San Juan. Tel: 616-0537.
Please visit the other Links:

Hortikultura Extravaganza 2015 Daily Lectures and Workshop

Philippine Horticultural Society Incorporated together with Quezon City government , Quezon Memorial Circle administration, Del Monte, Philippines, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture , San Miguel Corporation, The Turf Company , Texas Eagle, AANI group, Toro group , Villar Foundation and various garden clubs and plant organization in different parts of teh country  presented the much awaited plant show in 2015 .

Schedule of Daily Lectures and Workshops

* Note: There is a minimal entrance fee

For updates and information , Please call PHSI secretariat 0917-841-7860 Ms. Angel Marin or Ms. Norma Villanueva

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