Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Winners Proclaimed

Miss Universe- Philippines 2020 winners and runner-ups were proclaimed few hours ago at a pre-taped telecast.

This was after more than 10 months of preliminary competition, enhanced community quarantine lock down, some candidate had dropped out due to covid 2019 and personal reasons.

Image: courtesy of the Miss Universe Philippines organization

Miss Universe -Philippines 2020 Winners

Ms. Rabiya Mateo  of Iloilo City was named Miss Universe Philippines 2020 during the pageant’s pre-taped coronation ceremonies at the Baguio Country Club’s Cordillera Convention Hall over the weekend.

The almost three hour pageant was also shown in different parts of the world via youtube and television broadcast.

Ms. Ysabella Ysmael from Parañaque City bagged first runner-up honors while Ms. Michele Gumabao from Quezon City was named second runner-up.

Ms. Pauline Amelinckx from Bohol was named third runner-up while Ms.Kimberly Hakenson of Cavite was fourth runner up.   

The 22-year-old Mateo, who bested 45 other candidates, will represent the country in the 69th Miss Universe pageant, the venue and date is still to be announced.

Stately Dracena multiflora

Dracena multiflora Warb. ex P. Sarasin & Sarasin is known by different common names like false yucca, flowering yucca, yucca,flowering green dragon among others.

This species is found in Melanesia, Caroline islands, Palau, Celebes, Sulawesi and the Philippines. This is found in limestone cliffs in many parts of the country. It is one of the native plants found in many provinces like Batanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Nueva Ecija, Polilio islands, Quezon, Mindoro, Palawan, Ticao, Masbate, Sorsogon, Samar, Leyte, Sulu Archipelago among other areas.

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Dracena multilfora growing on an outdoor garden with mounted orchids within a gated subdivision in Novaliches, Quezon City

Specimen sized plants looked stately and serves as focal point in many houses with large manicured garden.

Dracaena L., a member of the family Ruscaceae, was first founded by Sprengei in 1826.

Genus Dracena

The genus name “Dracena” is derived from the Greek word “drakaina“, which means “dragon” referring to the sap or juice of the stems which resembles blood.

Dracaena means Dragon Goddess or a female Dragon. The first named species, Dracaena draco has been used as a medicinal plant in Europe and China. The species is also the symbol of Canary Islands.

This had 120 species which is mostly found in the old world with dozens of hybrids and cultivar varieties.  Some of the popular indoor plants are found in this genus and grown extensively in many parts of the world were Dracaena fragrans, D. goldiana, D. surculosa, D. sanderiana and D. ellenbeckiana have variegated forms used as indoor plants.

Sanseviera is a historically recognized genus of flowering plants, native to Africa, Madagascar and parts of southern Asia on the basis of molecular studies were officially included as part of the genus just about two decades ago, but it is only few years ago that horticulturist began reclassifying the genus.

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Economic Uses

Dracena multiflora is fairy popular in horticultural, ornamental plant industry where this plant was planted in large estate, focal point in landscape, big terracotta pots, subdivision, parks and schools. Some old plants can be spotted growing in Ayala -Alabang in Muntinlupa, BF Homes Parañaque,Greenhills in San Juan,Forbes Park, Urdaneta Village, Bel-Air, Dasmariñas Village in Makati City, Batasan Hills, Corinthian Garden, White Plains, La Vista, Teacher’s Village, Project 6, 7 and 8, Kingspoint Subdivision within Novaliches, Quezon City among others.

This became popular in the late 1960’s, mid- 1970’s, early 1980’s, mid-1990’s and few years ago. This plant can grow as tall as 5 to 6 meters if not disturbed.

Some backyard hobbyist would mount ferns, orchids, hoyas, dischidias and tillandsia on mature stems of the plant. Which add beauty to the bare stems.

This species had naturalized in many parts of tropical Asia, Latin America, Australia and the United States.

Small Dracena multiflora would cost between Php 350 to as much as Php 600 in some garden centers in Metro Manila, While bigger ones would cost a few thousand bucks depending on the height and growth.

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Dracena multiflora in bloom within Holy Child Academy Kindergarten section in Katipunan Avenue corner King Ferdinand street, Kingspoint Subdivision, Barangay Bagbag, Novaliches, Quezon City

Superstitious Beliefs

A homeowner from Greenhills, San Juan believe that whenever the plant bloom, There will be a distant relative who will get marry. Another grower from Novaliches told the author that dwarfs would come and play whenever the plant is in bloom.

Another old time grower from Quezon City also believe that having Dracena multiflora planted in front of their house attracts positive vibe or chi.

This plant came into limelight when Tiyang Amy or Ms. Amy Perez in her youtube recounted saving her yucca plant from the monsoon rains.

Propagation

The fastest way to propagate this plant is via stem cuttings or by seeds.

Care and Fertilization

For newly planted stem cuttings, part shade is recommended and moving gradually to higher intensity light is recommended.

Keep them hydrated by misting the leaves with water and keeping the soil lightly misted (never soggy) as well with good drainage. Always allow the top soil to dry out before watering. Do not over water.

One can start pruning the older stems just before on the onset of the rainy season to encourage branching.

Apply minimum amount of water soluble balance fertilizer 20N-20P-20K every other week, trace elements and organic fertilizer during growing season which also coincide with the rainy season.

20% loose soil, 60% loam soil and 10% organic compost, combination of 10% coco choir, aged cow dung and rice hull for the mixture.

References, Sources and Bibliographies

Personal communication among local growers and landscapers.

Co’s Digital Flora of the Philippines

Dracaena multiflora Warb. ex Sarasin Reisen, Sulawesi 1 (1905) 136; –Pleomele multiflora (Warb.) Merr., EPFP 1 (1922) 205. Philippines, Sulawesi. BATANES, LUZON: Nueva Ecija, Quezon, POLILLO, MINDORO, PALAWAN, TICAO, MASBATE, SULU ARCHIPELAGO. Chiefly on coastal limestone formations.

Lu, Pei-Luen & Morden, Clifford W. (2014), “Phylogenetic Relationships among Dracaenoid Genera (Asparagaceae: Nolinoideae) Inferred from Chloroplast DNA Loci”, Systematic Botany, 39 (1): 90–104

Madulid, Domingo; Winner, National Book Award, Science, 1995. Revised Edition, 2000 with 388 pages. AGAVACEAE: Page 49, Bookmark, Makati, A Pictorial Cyclopedia of Philippine Ornamental Plants.

Philip, D; Kaleena, PK; Valivittan, K & Girish Kumar, CP (2011), “Phytochemical Screening and Antimicrobial Activity of Sansevieria roxburghiana Schult. and Schult. F.”, Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 10 (4): 512–8

Dracena multiflora: http://www.phytoimages.siu.edu/imgs/pelserpb/r/Ruscaceae_Dracaena_multiflora

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Shaw, JMH. 2011. Miscellaneous nomenclatural and taxonomic notes mainly relating to cultivated plants. Hanburyana 5: 47-56. [Disporopsis]

Takawira-Nyenya, R, L Mucina, WM Cardinal-McTeague & KR Thiele. 2018. Sansevieria (Asparagaceae, Nolinoideae) is a herbaceous clade within Dracaena: inference from non-coding plastid and nuclear DNA sequence data. Phytotaxa 376: 254-276.

Color Forms of Cymbidium Finlaysonianum and Arrival of Rainy Season

There were some backyard growers of Cymbidium finlaysonianum who posted their blooming orchids in different Fb group and social media sites since late May 2020.

We were again rewarded with the blooming of Cymbidium finlaysonianum clumps which were mounted in living Manila Palm (Adonidia merrillii) for several decades. The first specimen clump bloomed late April 2020.

Color Forms of Cymbidium finlaysonianum

One can spot the different color forms of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum from the actual orchid grown and photographed by the owners.  This also coincide with the blooming season of this species.

It was last June 11 when PAG-ASA , the local weather bureau officially declared the start of the rainy season in the western part of the country.  This marks the transition to hot humid dry season to the wet season. The transition happened when we experience more rain showers in April and May which signals the onset of the transition period.

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The first specimen Cymbidium finlaysonianum started to send spike late April with 20 flowers and then another spike with 23 flowers bloomed within two week interval.

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pale yellow form ( first inflorescence) 

This is the larger clump and having pale yellowish flower. The blooming season was late April to early part of May 2020.

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pale yellow form ( second inflorescence)

The orchid species had been growing in our garden for at least 30 years. Another clump with smaller more compact leaves and smaller inflorescence developed on the last week of May and the bloom lasted only until June 8. Before the last flower wilted because of the intense heat, Another much longer inflorescence develop with at least 15 flowers.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum ( second clump with smaller flowers and compact growth)

We also noticed that the Davallia fern or rabbit foot fern had also grown luxuriantly. With a combination of slow release fertilize attached to base of the clump, weekly weakly regimen of fertilization program can also help boost the growth of both the orchid and fern. Some local growers would also plant bird’s nest fern near the orchid, which can enhance the aesthetic beauty of the mounted orchid.

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A neighbor sometimes would collect small amount of cow dung ( manure) dry them for at least 3 to 4 months in semi-shade. She would apply it once in a while in their Cymbidium finlaysonianum especially during its growing period.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum with reddish lip grown in Morong, Rizal province ( photo courtesy of Mr. Gelo T. DL)

An FB friend from Morong, Rizal province posted his wonderful specimen clump of Cymbidium finlaysonianum which had more reddish lip and darker yellowish flowers compared to the ordinary clone. He told me that it was rescued from his grandmother’s ancestral house and could be at least 30 or so years old.

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Cymbidium finlaysonianum grown by Mrs. Anita Are

Another backyard grower and lifetime member of the Philippine Orchid Society is Ms. Anita Arcebal Are who gladly shared her specimen sized Cymbidium finlaysonianum growing in a living tree within her garden for several decades in Baras, Rizal province.

A Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety flava  with pure white lip is grown by few growers. The orchid grows a little slow compared with ordinary forms.

Bibliographies and Sources:

Personal communication with growers like Ms. Anita Are, Mr. Gelo T. DL and Mrs. Fe Nanguil

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.

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.

12 Well-Loved Dishes at Calle Real in Tanza, Cavite

Calle Real is one iconic restaurant in the old poblacion area of Tanza, Cavite province. It is at least 1 hour drive from Cavite City and one bus ride from PITX in Parañaque City in Metro Manila.

Calle Real is an art deco style architecture ancestral house built in the 1920’s. The house was then converted into a restaurant and venue place. Currently the restaurant had 4 branches within Tanza and Cavite province.The town is also known for notable historical events and Kaibigan Bakery.

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ancestral house converted into a restaurant

Calle Real specializes on Spanish, Filipino, heirloom and contemporary dishes.

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newspaper feature

It used to have a pastry restaurant on the second floor but the proprietors decided to focus their attention to the main restaurant.

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signage and parking area

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interior

The restaurant had a sitting capacity of between 70 to 80 with a special function room which can handle at least 100 person.

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12 Well-Loved Dishes at Calle Real

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The group was fortunate to met the proprietor of the restaurant. Although i met her several times before.

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12.) Crunchy Pork Binagoongan – Deep fried pork cooked in bagoong paste ( Php 245 per order).

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11.) Crispy Pata – The deep fried crispy pata comes with a dipping sauce with a combination of soy and vinegar with chopped chilies and onion.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/uRgqiS659DkiJMJx9

10.) Tokwa Sisig– The tofu sisig had a combination of fried tofu, chopped cucumber and chopped onions. ( Php 160 per serving)

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9.) Cheesy Beef Kaldereta– Another nice dish to try at the place is their version of beef kaldereta with bell pepper, carrots and well seasoned. The meat of the beef is tender and topped with cheese. Ideal for sharing between 2 to 3 persons. (Php 245 per order)

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8.) Pork Sisig– This is another favorite dish at the restaurant. This is best paired with rice.

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7.) Callos – Another nice dish, with with sliced olives, chorizo, garbanzos and chopped tomatoes. (Php 245 per order)

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6.) Breaded Fried Chicken– Another well -loved dish which can be shared between 2 persons. This had a nice dipping sauce.

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5.) Chicken Teriyaki with vegetables and rice- ala carte meal which can be ordered anytime of the day. (Php 140 per order)

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4.) Calandracas/ Kalandracas – This is an heirloom dish which had sotanghon noodles, banana blossom, string beans,chopped eggplant or any vegetables seasoned with the famous patis de Tanza. Commonly served during funeral wakes in the province of Cavite.

Vegetables used in the noodle dish were normally given by visitors attending the wake. ( Php 170 per order) Can be shared between 3 to 5 persons.

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3.) Sotanghon Negra- The sotanghon noodles dish is cooked with squid ink, squid, pork meat, carrots, cabbage, sugar peas/ chitsaro and topped with fried garlic.  (Php 260 per order) can be shared between 3 to 5 persons) Php 1,500 bilao ( 10 to 15 persons)

The town is in the coastal area of Cavite and squid is one of the popular seafood produce.

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2.) Paella Jambalaya– The paella jambalaya consist of generous topping of mussels/ tahong,  green peas, chorizo, sugar pea/ chitsaro, bell pepper and hard boiled eggs.  ( Php 290 serves 2-4people, Php 950 serves 5 to 10 people, Php 1,150 serves 10 to 15 people) .

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1.) Paella Negra – The paella had squid ink with toppings of bell pepper, squid,  pork meat, chorizo, sugar peas/ chitsaro. ( Php 320 serves 2 to 4 people, Php 1,050 serves 5 to 10 people, Php 1,600 serves 10 to 15 people). This is another well-loved dish of the restaurant.

The restaurant also have dishes good for small group and ala carte meals.  Other highly recommended dishes that are worth ordering are Pollo Frito, Lengua Con Cetas, Chicken ala Pastel.

Desserts

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Churros with Chocolate

Another popular desserts of the restaurant was S’Mores with Skillet cost Php 120 per order and Churros at Php 60 and comes with thick chocolate.

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group

Note: prices quoted are by the restaurant during the time of the visit.

Calle Real Restaurant

Address: 8 Sta. Cruz Street Brgy. Poblacion 2, Tanza, Cavite 4108

Branches: Puregold, Tanza / The Square, Lancaster/ Robinson- General Trias

Landline: (046) 505 2836

Operations: Daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm