Timely bloom of Cymbidium finlaysonianum

It is the height of the dry season in most of the western part of the country. It is also the  blooming season of one of the most common Cymbidium species in the country.

The inflorescence of Cymbidium finlaysonianum is pendulous, can reach lengths of over one meter or so, bears up to 30 well-spaced blooms about 5 cm in diameter. This is one of the most commonly seen orchid species, anywhere in the Philippines.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum -pale yellow form
The one featured above is a Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown in our backyard for about 30 years. ( probably given by a distance relative or neighbor). While a smaller form is growing on another Manila Palm ( Adonidia merrillii) for several years was bought from an ambulant vendor some 25 years ago.
The orchid species was originally collected by an Englishman named Mr. Finlayson and Company in Cochin- India in the early part of the 19th century. The species was dedicated to him by Lindley who described the plant in 1832.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a moringa tree (malunggay) Samonte road within Barangay Nagkaisang Nayon, Novaliches, Quezon City.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a narra tree within Quezon Memorial Circle.
Cymbidium finlaysonainum commonly grown in the country had at least 3 to 5 color forms. The common ones have yellowish-brown sepals and petals, and a white labellum with red blotches and two yellow ridges. The flower had a slight fragrance especially during the first few days of its opening.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum and probably Cymbidium atropurpureum naturalized on a kalachuchi tree in University of the Philippines ( Church of Risen Lord chapel) in Diliman, Quezon City.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on a coconut palm in Tanza, Cavite province.

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brownish pale green form

Another form is the brownish greenish color form found in an old ancestral house in Tanza, Cavite province.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with large petal and darker color ( photo courtesy of Plantchaser)

There was another dark yellow colored flowering type with fuller petals and sepals collected in the provinces of Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Quezon and Ifugao.

I featured Pozorrubio Orchidarium Farm of Mrs. Remedios “Remy ” Rodis Santelices in 2009 which had a couple of blooming Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava ( yellowish form) in Pangasinan.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava ( photo courtesy of PlantChaser)
 The more sought after form was Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava or yellowish sepals and petals with pure white labellum. I think i have seen some being sold before in Pangasinan and there are some orchid growers in Metro Manila, Antipolo, Bulacan, Laguna, Davao and Bukidnon regions.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with Davalia fern in Liliw , Laguna province.
Cymbidium finlaysonianum used to be commonly cultivated in many areas until few years ago when gardeners grew tired of growing these orchid species.
There were a lot of folklore surrounding the growing of this species in many parts of the country.
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Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown on tree fern slab in Santa Fe Orchidarium in Nueva Viscaya  province.

Timely Bloom

This is a timely season for the blooming of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum, It had rained for almost 8 times and This specimen plant rewarded us with 3 spikes with between 25 to 30 flowers.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum naturalized on Manila Palm within Chapel of the Holy Sacrifice within University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum featured by Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPOST) in 2004

Cymbidium Species

There were at least 11 known species with some color variations found in the country and is divided into epiphytes /lithophytes and terrestrial growing.

Cymbidium aloifolium, Cymbidium atropurpureum, Cymbidium chloranthum and Cymbidium finlaysonianum, Cymbidium bicolor  Lindl. subsp pubescens. which are found growing on trees, while i have seen some orchid grown or mounted on rocks, man-made grottoes, adobe rock or even on hollow block walls.

We got Cymbidium finlaysonianum and Cymbidium atropurpureum grown on a Manila Palm for several decades.

Cymbidium aliciae, Cymbidium dayanum,Cymbidium cyperifolium, Cymbidium ensifolium subsp. haematodes , Cymbidium lancifolium, Cymbidium macrorhizon are classified as terrestrial.

While Cymbidium macrorhizon had a special relationship with symbiotic fungus, the only time it is ever seen is when it flowers.

Bibliographies and Sources:

Plant Chaser

Personal communication with growers

Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology ( issue June 2007) : http://asbp.org.ph/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/907-3032-2-PB.pdf

The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 1 Quisumbing 1981; The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 2 Quisumbing 1981 drawing

Second Print 1982, Manila pages, 86 to 91: Davis S. Reg and Steiner Mona Lisa: Philippine Orchids ” A detailed Treatment of Some One Hundred Native Species” printed by M& L Licudine Enterprises, Dongalo, Parañaque, Philippines 

Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984
The Orchids of the Philippines Cootes 2001
Teo, Chris K. H. Cymbidium Pages, 44 to 49; Native Orchids of Peninsular Malaysia 1985, 2001, Times Media Private Unlimited.

Rico Yan PhoneCard Series

Mr. Ricardo Carlos ” Rico” Castro Yan (March 14, 1975 – March 29, 2002) was a popular matinee celebrity, product endorser, model, entrepreneur, columnist, youth leader and spokesperson.

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PLDT touch card series was issued few months after his death in 2002 and was valid for at least 1 year. There are some collectors who collected this in MINT condition and the value was Php 100 each. A collector must shed at least Php 500.00 to complete the entire set.

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The card can be used in both local and international call. The proceed from the sale were donated to the Rico Yan Youth Foundation.

Got a chance to visit his tomb located in Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque last year.

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PLDT Touchcard

The set includes photos that were taken by his family and friends, life quotation and his specimen signature.

The local phonecard collectors do not have an idea on the exact quantity or number of these phonecard that were issued by PLDT. But it was one of the most sought after item or memorabilia which bore feature of Mr. Rico Yan.

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This was after movie posters, magazines, personal signed items or photos with signature.

Used phonecards cost a fraction which were sold between Php 50.00 to Php 150.00 for a set of 5. Phonecards were available during collecting club’s auction and were highly sought after by his fans or collectors from all over the world.

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During the first few years, phonecards which feature Rico Yan were mostly sold-out during collecting club’s auction. Eventually took me at least several years before outbidding a fellow collector. The set of 5 used phonecards was bought at around Php 120.00 for the set.

Some of the avid phonecard collectors were former OFW’s, those who used to work for PLDT, Bayantel or Pre-Paid Internet ISP Bonanza dealers.

In some countries like Japan, Australia and Germany, there were some catalogs published by the telecommunication network which issued the phonecards.

Local phonecard collecting community seems to have fizzle out during the past few years since big named telecommunication provider such as PLDT, GLOBE, SMART, BayanTel have not issued collectible series for a number of years.

I totally have forgotten my phonecard collection until few weeks ago while cleaning for my collection. It had been almost 20 years since the passing of Mr. Rico Yan and his life works thru memorabilia have given collectors some nostalgia.

Any additional information on the quantities of the phonecard is highly appreciated.

Note : photos of the phonecard is the property of the author.

Blast from the Past: Isko Moreno and Claudine Barretto Love Team

Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso or Yorme Isko Moreno long before becoming a successful politician and father of “Manila” the capital city had a colorful television and movie career.

During his early years as a budding movie star, Isko signed a contract with Seiko Films producer Mr. Robbie Tan and starred in several movies, and was paired with Ms. Claudine Barretto, notably Muntik na Kitang Minahal (1994), Eat All You Can (1994). Other films included Siya’y Nagdadalaga (1997), Exploitation (1997), Mga Babae sa Isla Azul (1998) and Misteryosa (1999).

According to some movie insiders, The pair was an instant click among movie goers that time.

Blast from the Past Photo

iskomoreno

This was a group photo of then Yorme Isko Moreno together with Ms. Claudine Barreto, Ms. Rica Peralejo, Ms. Camille Prats in school uniform. The other guy at the back could be Mr. Gio Alvarez.

I got this photo together with couple of old photos during a collecting club auction/ subasta few months ago.

Just sharing this vintage haul while arranging my old photo collection.

22 Superstitious Beliefs and Folkore During Holy Week in the Philippines

Holy Week is also known as Mahal na Araw or Semana Santa in the Philippines. It is the time of the year where people in many parts of the country practice several well-known superstitious beliefs and practices.

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photo courtesy : geralt / 21357

In a country where almost 81% the general population belongs to Roman Catholic faith, some of these superstitious belief are still practiced. The practice had underlying pre-Hispanic influences, Malay, Indian, Chinese and religious origin.

22 Superstitious Beliefs and Folklore

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photo courtesy :Dariusz Sankowski

22.) Try to finish reciting the Passion of Christ ” Pasyong Mahal” and the reader will be protected and luck will bestow the family. The uninterrupted recitation or Pabasa of the whole epic is a popular devotion especially among older generation.

21.)  Travel is reduce or limited at home- It is widely believe that during the Holy Week, unseen spirits and demons are out in the open, owing to the fact that on these days Christ is suffering and cannot protect people. Anyone who travels during the Holy Week is likely to have an accident on their trips.

20.) Moving to another place or house is not the recommended. This must be postpone until after the Holy Week. Moving in to new house will brings bad luck because it is unprotected. You should let the Holy Week pass because Jesus Christ has risen again and will fill your house with bountiful blessings.

19.) Placing blessed palm frond or “Palaspas” on one’s main door or windows can ward off evil spirits or bad fortune starting Domingo de Ramos or Palm Sunday. When mixed with coconut oil or holy water, these blessed fronds are believe to miraculously cure illness or antidote against kulam  ” sorcery or witchcraft”.

18.) Holding and using of pointed objects and knife is reduced to a minimum. It is widely believed that since Jesus Christ suffered and died during this time, using pointed objects or knife will do some harm.

17.) Wound Takes a Longer time to Heal – old folks believe that getting hurt and wound heal slower during this time.

16.) Swimming and Any outdoor activity is discourage- Swimming, playing basketball or any physical activities must be reduced or discourage.

15.) Avoiding Meat – Meat is associated with impurity and bad luck. It is generally practice  without eating meat for the week. Most older Catholic will also make some fasting especially “Good Friday” to atone their sins. Some would start fasting and eating only vegetables during “Ash Wednesday” and every ” Friday” Although few Catholics would observe and practice.

14.) Placing blessed sting rays tail ” Buntot Pagi” near a pregnant woman’s room to help protect against evil spirits, aswangs (vampire shape shifter ghouls) and manananggals (viscera sucker),tiktik. People believe that these evil beings have the most power during this time of the year.

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Photo courtesy of :conger design

13.) Excessive Noise Making is Reduce – Many believed that everyone shall not make any unnecessary sound or noise so as not to distract others’ meditative focus.

12.) Wearing of somber colors- Avoid wearing loud colors like red, pink which are colors of celebration. People would wear white, green, grey, brown and light colored shirts during this time of the year.

11.) Best time to hunt for amulets or “Anting-anting” – Some people in the provinces and mambabarangs would make amulets and herbal concoctions during this time of the year.

10.) Visiting albularyo, mananambals or mambabarangs – Visiting local albularyo, mananambals or mambabarangs during Holy Week especially “Holy Thursday or “Good Friday” is touted to be the time when the native local albularyos are the most potent. Some would visit Mount Banahaw, Mount Cristobal, Siquijor, Mount Apo in order to get holy water or some potions made by local quack doctors. This belief can trace back to pre-hispanic shamans and folk religion.

9.) Putting blessed cross or rosary on one’s door to protect the inhabitants of the house. Although very few pious Catholics had been practicing this. There were still old folks who still practices this.

8.) Taking a bath after 3:00pm during Good Friday is observe – This traditional belief also had some parallel belief with burial customs and practices. This could be influenced by Chinese or Malay traders.

7.) General Cleaning of one’s house is strictly prohibited.

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Photo courtesy of : wilhei

6.) Washing clothes or drying clothes especially during Good Friday is not allowed.

5.) Sweeping the floor during Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday is not allowed. Old folks believe that sweeping the floor will release any luck, grace of blessings contained within the home or that could come in.

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Photo courtesy of : ErikaWittlieb

4.) Covering Mirrors and One must not stare at the mirror after 3:00 pm. Some pious Catholics in the provinces would cover their mirrors with black or white cloth. Mirror serves as a portal for the ethereal beings to visit and haunt living people. Bad elements are strong after the death of Jesus at 3:00 pm onward. A gaze at mirrors during these time will invite evil spirits or demonic spirits.  The cloth is then removed after Easter Sunday celebrations.

3.) Children must hop to grow tall – When one hear of bell tolls during Black Saturday morning, It is believed that the act will make the children grow taller, just like doing it on New Year’s Eve.

2.) Shaking of fruit bearing trees on black saturday or sabado de gloria. It used to be widely practiced among Ilocanos is to shake the main trunk of fruit trees on every sabado de gloria.. and chant ” gloria, gloria, ragsakan ti agbunga” ( glory, glory, fruits be bounty). This will make the fruits trees more fruitful and harvest will be bountiful.

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Photo courtesy of : diego_torres

1.) Rain on Easter Sunday has therapeutic powers. One is encourage is take a bath whenever rains fell on Easter Sunday. Aside from healing powers, Easter rains is said to brings good luck.  Old people called these “Agua Bendita” or Holy Water in which they collect and used for healing or anointing of the sick.

Sources, Reference and Bibliographies:

Insight Guides, Philippines, APA Publication 4th Printing 1991, pages 54 to 60

Personal communication -Ms. Erlie Querubin, Aling Cita Arenas, Mrs. Pilar San Jose, Mr. Rodolfo Enalfe

Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines

Mendoza, Liwayway (September 1977). “Lenten Rites and Practices [The Philippines]”. The Drama Review. 21 (3): 21–32.

Sauyo Market Visit During Enhanced Community Quarantine in Quezon City

Sauyo market is located near Quirino Highway within Barangay Sauyo in Novaliches, Quezon City.

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There is a public market which is accessible to the residents of West Fairview, Barangay Sauyo, Barangay Bagbag and Barangay Talipapa in Novaliches, Quezon City.

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Qurino Highway corner Mindanao Avenue near Barangay Talipapa, Novaliches

Quirino Highway is quite busy even on ordinary days but the traffic is just reduced to handful of vehicle which ply the main avenue.

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Barangay Sauyo is home to about 80,000 residents of the district. While Barangay Bagbag had about 60,000 residents.

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buyers lined-up at a local general merchandise stall within Sauyo Market

The market is normally jam pack on ordinary days since there were a lot of people buying wet, fresh produce and dry goods.

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COVID 2019 cases in Quezon City as posted at their social media accounts as of April 2, 2020

Sauyo Market

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Social distancing is limited to just a mere 1 feet with people crowding on stalls which sells basic necessities like canned goods, biscuits, rice, powdered milk, sugar, coffee among others.

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Saba banana

What i noticed is the price of saba banana which is usually being retailed per piece from Php 1.00 to Php 3.50before the pre-COVID 2019 enhance community quarantine. But was sold for Php 50 per kilo just a couple of days ago.

Some people believed that eating 1 saba banana or banana will help them better immune system in order to fight the coronavirus. In fact i have posted30 myths about coronavirus few weeks ago.

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local bakery

Local bakeries within Sauyo market still have a lot of baked pastries and local breads. But the seller told me that their stock of flour, milk, sugar and margarine which are the basic ingredients for making bread may not last for more than two weeks.

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squid and tuna

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smiles from fish vendor

Despite the hardship that these vendors endure, they still managed to give smile.  As they say there is a rainbow at the end of the tunnel.