Hello Colombia Prohibited in the Philippines

Miss Universe pageant is still fresh in the mind of Filipinos and every year, new types of firecrackers were being developed by the firecracker manufacturer’s in the Bocaue, Bulacan province which is nicknamed ” Firecracker Capital of the Philippines “.


 illegal firecracker PNP has discovered “Goodbye Bading.” and ” Hello Colombia Photo Credit: Chiara Zambrano/Twitter

For the past years, different names were identified to classify these firecrackers from the weaker ones to the stronger ones.  The creative minds of these sellers really know how to attract their customers.

With the pageant still fresh and controversy hound , The raid conducted by PNP on some firecracker stalls on tuesday December 29 yielded , the new names .

Banned firecrackers are those that contain a net explosive content of more than 0.2 grams or approximately 1/3 teaspoon under Republic Act 7183, the law that regulates the manufacture, sale, distribution and use of firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices.

Goodbye Bading and Hello Colombia trended in local social media like twitter and instagram users.

Some of the newest types of crackers are:

  • Goodbye Bading (Goodbye Gay)
  • Crying Bading (Crying Gay)
  • Goodbye Universe
  • Hello Colombia
  • Goodbye Chicser
  • Yolanda
  • Pop Pop
  • ALDUB fireworks

Some of the weird names includes Gangnam Boom, End of the World, Babasi, and Pacman Ultrana all of which are banned.


A Trip to Baclaran Plant Bazaar

Bayanihan Street corner Roxas Boulevard , Parañaque City – Philippines

orchid and native plant lovers living south of Manila would always refer this narrow street alley corner as one of the best places to find native plants particularly orchids , native ferns and hanging plants.

According to plant enthusiasts and people living near the Baclaran church , There are already plant and orchid peddlers selling in the late 1950’s or early 1960’s near the church . The peddlers would sell them during Wednesday , Saturday and Sunday , mostly gathered from jungles or grown from backyards.


Baclaran Church or Redemptorist Church

When Manila Seedling Bank Foundation in Quezon city was still at the infancy in the late 1970’s and 1980’s . Plant enthusiasts, traders, hobbyists , landscapers and foreign traders would flock at the Bayanihan street just a stone throw away from the church . Plant traders would rent a small space and sell some plants .


Bayanihan street is located beside this popular restaurant

Popular Names:

The place is more popularly called Baclaran Plant Center, Some people would call the narrow street as Baclay’s Plant Center, Max’s Plant Alley ( in reference to the famous restaurant) , Bayanihan Plant Center among others.  The narrow street is about 50 meters away from the church.

Plant Craze

One of the plants that became a bestseller in the Philippines , Thailand and some Asian countries what is popularly called Golden Veitchia. This is a mutant form of  Bunga China (Veitchia merrillii). The leaves  are bright yellow form.

According to some plant hobbyists, It was first sold at one of the stalls of Mr. Ceasar Pecson for just Php 25 small sproutling ,Then some traders from Bangkok, Thailand bought all that they could find. That sent the price soaring, especially when there were no longer golden seedlings available.
During the plant craze of the 1980’s,  a few feet tall mutant form will command several thousands of pesos!  Traders from far away provinces and international plant buyers would frequent the place in search for outstanding plant varieties and newly imported ones.
( Due to the proximity to local provincial bus stations and international airport. ) It makes the area an ideal place to trade plants.
Luisia teretifolia mounted on coconut husk – They are incorrectly called Singapore Orchids.
Hence, It explains why native orchids , ferns , hoyas that were being sold within Albay ( near Mount Mayon) , Sorsogon are presented almost the same way as in Baclaran. There is a slight price difference ( It is cheaper in Albay and Sorsogon ) but for hybrids – I think it is cheaper in Baclaran .
 Dischidia oiantha ( known locally as Manaog ka Irog, Timbang-Timbang  ( Tagalog)
The place had its own story to share .  Regular native plant sellers have relatives from Bicol , Quezon , Mindoro and Visayan region which supplies them with native plants like orchids, ferns , hoyas and dischidias.
Dendrobium orchid hybrids in bloom
Orchid hybrids like Dendrobiums, Cattleyas , Vandas , Oncidiums and ornamental plants came from orchid farms. The blooming Dendrobium orchid hybrids were being sold for Php 50, Php 75 and Php 100 per plant with flowers.
Some of the prize winners at the Philippine Orchid Society  and Philippine Horticultural Society were initially bought at the center.
The lists of notable buyers includes wives of politicians, celebrities and tycoon magnates! The unassuming narrow street is indeed a beehive of activities.
 Vanda hybrids
I remembered some of our neighbors would visit every  ( Saturday ) at Baclaran church while some of their loots were native plants , orchids and hoyas. It was quite unfortunate that we did not have a potable digital camera back then, Otherwise – I would have recorded some of the noteworthy loot of that time.
The narrow street also had its share of somber stories, the main building where the plant traders burned down several years ago and unlike its heyday – there are fewer plant traders.
I visit this street on my route to Cavite province ( mini- buses that ply the Roxas boulevard ) . Since it was a few days after Christmas , There were fewer native orchids and ferns for sale. ( I guess that the native sellers and gatherers had their time-off) .
RTW stalls dominates the narrow street
Now, there are at least a dozen full-time plant sellers and a couple of pet shops among the hundreds of stalls which sells t-shirts, Ready To Wear  (RTW’s) and toys which dominates the street.
Asplenium nidus ( Bird’s Nest Fern ) or Dapong Lalaki is the most commonly traded hanging plant in Baclaran
Asplenium nidus ( Dapong Lalaki ) are sold from Php 10 small ones , Php 20 , Php 35 to few hundreds of pesos for the big ones . ( It depends on your haggling skills.)
pet shop
Here are just some of the tips that i can share with my fellow readers, First you must have passion to care and nurture for plants and the art of haggling , Try to research online for useful datas and how to properly take care of these plants.
Remember that some of the orchids , ferns and hoyas are just newly mounted in coconut husk or Drynaria quercifolia rhizomes . So try to place them in shaded areas.
Dancing ladies and Vanda Asco ( Vanda lamellata )
 Some of the orchids and plants are mislabeled , so that they can be priced a little bit more expensive. ( I do not know if this is deliberate , marketing gimmick or inability to recognize a plant) One example is the orchid on the far right side which is being sold for Php 50 per plant ( Vanda Asco) .
There is no orchid species or hybrids that is called Vanda ASCO –  the orchids are the native Vanda lamellata being mislabeled as Vanda ASCO. I also think that Php 50 per Vanda lamellata is a bit quite pricey . I bought a clump at just barely Php 150 . ( So buyers , try to be smart in choosing the right plants)
Sometimes , peddlers just  wanted to earn a few bucks to unsuspecting housewife would insert a different orchid flowers to the native orchid species. It was good that i was not able to see some orchids with different flowers! LOL
plastic pots and fertilizers
Another useful tip is to befriend the seller and try to connect with them.  ( maybe every 2 weeks or  so, for those living near the place ) Since majority of the sellers lives within the vicinity , Most of the stalls are open before 8:00am . Try to get their contact information and give them a few sms once in a while.
The variety of plants and garden supplies however is not that much compared to the more establish plant centers like Cartimar in Pasay , Mindanao Avenue Plant Center, Araneta Plant Center , Quezon Memorial Circle , Centris Sunday Market.
But for native orchid and ferns enthusiasts – This is a good place to visit , once in a while.
I bought a few native ferns on my way home , It is so tempting to buy a few more….



Miss Philippines Wins Miss Universe after a Terrible Blunder of the Host

After 42 years, The Philippines finally got a well-deserved 3rd crown  . I have met Ms. Pia Alonso Wurtzbach several times in some events.

Her third attempt to join Binibining Pilipinas and luckily won on her 3rd try.

Miss Universe 2015
Mr. Steve Harvey the host initially announced Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez Arévalo of Sincelejo, Colombia as the winner of the 64th edition of the pageant, and then proceeded to apologize and said that Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach had actually won the crown.
Although there was much confusion made during the LIVE telecast , There is also another confusion at the twitter . He misspelled Miss Philippines and Miss Colombia country’s name.


Miss Philippines glamor shots is one of the best
Congratulations to the new Miss Universe 2015


Ermita Malate Business Owners Association Gift Giving with 500 indigent street children

Remedios Circle, Malate, Manila-Philippines

Manila local tourism head , Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada , Ms. Michelle Pe

Ermita Malate Business Owners Association ( EMBOA) members gave Christmas presents and cheers to at least 500 indigent children  aged between 7 years-old to 12 years-old and their families at the newly landscaped Remedios Circle.

Special guests of honor includes Manila’s Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada , officials from tourism office, barangay officials , EMBOA members and schools.

Partner schools include Ermita Parish School choir, Emilio Aguinaldo College choir, Universidad de Manila choir and Philippine Women’s University choir.


Aside from the traditional gift giving , participants were treated to Christmas carols, cultural dancers and folk dances.

 Universidad de Manila students

The students of Universidad de Manila performed folk dances like Pastores Talisay – A Christmas folk dance which originated from the town of Talisay -Bicol region.  This folk dance with voluminous dress similar to Poblana China which dates back during the Manila-Acapulco galleon trade.

cultural dance

This year’s activities and theme ” Maligayang Pasko: Handog Pasasalamat ng Ermita , Malate Business Owners Association ( EMBOA) , sa Remedios Circle , Malate .

Mr. Tetsuhiro ” Show”  Suzuki and Ms. Angel Jores host of the program

  The said occasion is one way to give ” Thank” to the 16 barangays which are partners of the organization . They are the ones who give their time ,  people and resources to improve the community .

” This Christmas Season, we wanted to share joy,love ,happiness and peace to the people most especially to the less fortunate kids. We want them to know that we care for them same as we care a lot for the development of Ermita , Malate” according to Ms. Michelle Pe ( President of EMBOA).

crowd which includes officials , media and bloggers

There were at least between 1,000 to 1,200 people attending the event.

After the program we were treated by the organization to a hotel tour , I will post the stories of our exciting tour .

I would like to ” Thank” the organizers and the PR’s for the invitation to the event.

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





Interesting Items at the Chrristmas Toy Fair 2015

SM Megamall , Megatrade Hall B, Mandaluyong City -Philippines

Chrristmas Toys & Collectibles Fair 2015 (X Mas Toy Fair) from Dec. 11-13,2015 .

There are almost 100 booth and there were a lot of shoppers and buyers . For those who wanted to shop toys and collectible items for upcoming Yuletide season, This is the best time to shop .

Here are some of the interesting items , toys and collectible items .

NBA cards

National Basketball Association trading cards are always a collector’s item . I still remember that we used to collect them and trade them. These NBA trading cards are the ultimate collection starter and collection addition to have in your possession. Available signed and unsigned, NBA trading cards are a valuable investment you should stop overlooking today.

During the height of the NBA trading card collecting ( late 1980’s to late- 1990’s)  some schools had imposed guidelines to their students not to bring NBA cards during class hours ( They are subject to confiscation )  . There are also some incidents before that trading NBA cards also involves money thus are branded by some as some form of gambling.

In the Philippines, the fad of collecting NBA cards had begun to fade , but there are still a big number of collectors around.


Postcards is always part of communication and an important  collectible items ever since. It started the mid- 19th century and gradually became important in the tourist trade .

The most popular theme are the tourist , scenic , map , flag,flora , fauna, anime ,costumes, cartoon characters and gotochi ( shaped postcards)

Though Wagon Marketing-Mr. Carlos and China Cabanlig

The couple had started their own anime -related gift items and is gaining some online fans for their creative items for sale . They created cute characters like mokatokki , binky burrow and sachiko .

Among the collectible items for sale are the button pins , note pads, key-chain holder , stuffed toy and postcards ( 9 designs) . These items are locally patented and the design will surely catch your eyes.

I gave them a few handy tips on how to improve their products and especially their postcards .

Address#108 Road 3, Project 6, Quezon City , Philippines 1100

+63 998-975-8829, +63 22964227 Landline : (02) 926 4004

Website: carlos@twmgraphics.com

Website: http://www.thoughtwagon.com/

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ThoughtWagon/?fref=nf

Vintage Toy Raygun

Pope Francis

At the toy fair , Buyers can buy Pope Francis stand-up for ONLY Php450

Retro Toy Collection

Die-cast toy cars -Super Mario Brothers

Before leaving the toy fair, i was able to purchase some hot wheel die cast toys

I would like to ” Thank” the organizers for the invitation

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