Maryknoll Ecological Sactuary

The Maryknoll Sisters arrived in Baguio in 1928 and in 1934 started the Maryknoll Convent School. The first school building was built in local pinewood lumber .

peace bell

In 1977 the name of the school was changed to Marishan, a name that incorporates the word “shontoug” or “shan” for short, an Ibaloi word that means “mountain” to reflect the indigenous nature of the location and help the school develop its own self identity.

A powerful  magnitude 7.8 on the ritcher scale earthquake on July 16, 1990 hit a large portion of Northern Luzon and Baguio was one of the cities  which suffered a great destruction .  The powerful earthquake destroyed a large portion of  the  convent .

collection of old photographs

In light of a growing awareness of earth’s fragility, an integrated program in the context of earth-based values became imperative, compelling the Maryknoll Sisters to make a radical decision to dedicate their resources in Baguio to alternative environmental education.  The grade school was phased out by 1999.  In its place the Maryknoll Sisters’ Center for Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, popularly known as Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary, began.

wild orchids

The ecological sanctuary boast of a man made cave, peace bell, an art gallery  and a gift-shop   . The place is home of at least 6 species of native orchids , native ferns  growing on pine trees. The center also offers short art courses, a summer camp , environmental learning advocacy, art exhibits and is an ideal place to hold meetings and retreat .

tour guide

Rugged pathways and walkways is ideal for hiking. There is also a retreat house were colorful paintings and native crafts collection from Baguio and elsewhere were displayed.

top view of the retreat house

The Cosmic Journey at Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary is a story of how everything came to be. It is the main educational tool; an eco-trail that celebrates the unfolding story of the universe.  There are 14 stations that celebrate the emergence of the universe.

Walk-in visitors as well as groups who reserve ahead of time for guided tours and other amenities .

For more information :

ph: +63 74 442 4602
fax: +63 74 442 4926
Mailing address: PO Box 41, 2600 Baguio City, Philippines


25 Nth Sto Tomas Road
Campo Sioco, Baguio City, Philippines


By jeepney: Take the Santo Rosario – Campo Sioco jeepney parked beside the Harrison Road overpass stairway.
Alight outside Maryknoll Ecological Sanctuary.

By taxi: Give directions to proceed to Campo Sioco.
At the rotunda across from Baguio General Hospital (BGH), take the road to the right, towards Marcos Highway.
Look out for the “Agua Vida” sign, where you will turn right and follow Sto Tomas Road for approximately 300m, until you reach the Maryknoll gate on the left.

Pozorrubio Orchidarium Farm

The Philippine Orchid Society held a field trip last April 19 to 22, 2008 . The group went to several provinces up in the Northern Regions of the country. The tour was called Baguio, Benguet , La Union , Pangasinan and Tarlac tour.

Pozorrubio is a 2nd class municipality in the province of Pangasinan. According to the latest census, it has a population of 63,689 people in 11,288 households. Often the town’s name is mistakenly written as “Pozzorubio” but the correct spelling is “Pozorrubio“.

group photo

The name were said to derived from old Hispanic name Pozo ( meaning well) rubio ( blonde  color) referring to the type of soil in the area.  Some people would say that the term was used in reference to the color of dried tobacco leaves – a large portion of the municipality was used as a tobacco plantation during the Spanish regime.

The municipality is politically divided into 34 barangays. The farm was located in Barangay Alipangpang beside the main highway , The town main livelihood is farming .

Mrs. Remedios Rodis- Santelices

The owner Mrs. Remedios ” Remy ” Rodis- Santelices is a lifetime member , a former board of director of the Philippine Orchid Society , Philippine Horticultural Society among others.

semi-terete vanda

She was born in the town and thus she named her farm ” Pozorrubio Orchidarium Farm” the farm according to Mrs. Santelices  had contributed somehow to the fame of the town . The farm would conduct  annual sale which buyers from all over Northern Luzon  would come and buy orchids , ornamental plants, ferns , hoyas among others.

Hoya meliflua- an endemic species from the Philippines

Her clientele includes local government officials, governors , generals , wholesalers, landscapers, ordinary hobbyists and even passers-by .

The group was treated with an assortment of native Pangalatok kakanins like Pangasinan puto,  biko and kutsinta.

a blooming sized Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety alba

While the group hurriedly bought rare orchids like Cymbidium finlaysonianum variety alba ,Grammatophyllum multiflorum variety citrinum , various Hoya species , Platycerium grande ferns, Platycerium coronarium , Platycerium bifurcatum , Asplenium nidus , Asplenium musifolium among others.

This rare albino form of Cymbidium  finlaysonianum command a handsome price tag

She had several varieties of ferns which quickly germinate in the orchid  media pots.

Her farm would had several  cut flower orchid  varieties like Dendrobium, Vandas, Mokaras, Kagawaras, strap leaf Vanda.

Mrs. Santelices used to host a popular late afternoon agricultural show on IBC channel 13 during the early 1990’s together with Mr. Zacarias Sarian and Ka Philip  ” Ipe” Daffon.

She also operates a retail outlet within  Greenhouse 3, Manila Seedling Bank and in Project 8.

Jo’s Chicken Inato

Good old-fashioned chicken barbecue that’s really delicious that you can’t help but come back for more.

Jo’s Chicken Inato restaurant  located in 27 Visayas Avenue corner Congressional Avenue in  Quezon City

Why not try it in “Inato” style? Jo’s Chicken Inato has branches scattered all across the country—from far-away Cagayan de Oro to local Quezon City.

house specialty – barbecue chicken inato with atchara

Based on the story – Jo’s Chicken Inato started in mid 1980’s. It is owned by Jesse and Josephine Ng of Negros , where the name of the place was derived. The name originated from a shorten word “atin ito” thus  “inato” meant the way they cooked chicken.  compared to other Visayan  styled grilled barbecue ,this recipe is not salty and has a sweeter taste ( due to ingredients and special way of marinating )

The restuarant is not only famous for their chicken inato but also buko halo-halo , lumpia, pancit macao, bicol express  and special lechon kawali .

Christmas party conservation group of Philippine Orchid Society

The place had several nipa hut ideal for small meetings. The restaurant had an interesting aquariums stock  with kois, pangasius, tilapias  while a  special glass coop had several small bantam chickens . The place is perfect venue to hold medium to large  reception . Orchids and ornamental plants are distributed  all over the place . The high ceilings allows heat to escape during hot morning  with interesting banga ( jars) in place for washing hands.  People are encourage to used their hands when eating at this place ala “kamayan style” .

The Visayas avenue branch accepts delivery , catering and venue place.

Local celebrities like Kapuso Mo- Ms. Jessica Soho , Atty. Anthony Taberna -host Umagang Kay Ganda / Kalye and DZMM ,Ms. Charlene Gonzales- Mulach, Ms. Winnie Cordero, columnist Mr. Zacarias Sarian , GMA channel 7 reporter Mr. Cedric Castillo, former Caloocan City Mayor Rey Malonzo  were  said to be frequent patrons of the place.

native delicacies and pastries

THE original branch, located at Siliman Ave., Dumaguete City. This branch is famous for its charbroiled chicken, making it one of the culinary must-trys in the city. If you want to enjoy dining by the beach, you can visit this resto’s another branch in the city—Jo’s by the Sea. The good thing is, whichever branch you find your place in, you’re sure that you won’t spend much just to have a delightful chicken meal because you’re in Jo’s Chicken Inato.

Jo’s Chicken Inato also had provincial branches in  Cebu, Mandaue, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Ormoc, Tagbilaran, Roxas, Bacolod, Iloilo, Dipolog.

The owner had a bakeshop and a resort style garden with a huge blessed mother .

Contact Information:

27 Visayas Avenue Corner Congressional Avenue Quezon City,  Metro Manila
Phone: +63(2)9279224

Mr. Chinkee Tan at Philadelphia High School

Philadelphia High School

This is one of the Filipino- Chinese schools that is located in 126 Talayan Street in Talayan Village in Quezon City.

The school was founded over 36 years ago. The school had an air-conditioned auditorium that could fit over 500 people. The school had a medium sized library which houses books, sports trophies and other memorabilia’s from the school roster of graduates. The school had produced several notable alumni and some of them are in the field of entertainment, business, teaching, publishing, television etc….

old cd’s were given a new art form

High school department had several active student organizations like Environmental Awareness Club, Drama Club, Art Club, Newspaper, Scouting movement etc….

a tarpaulin poster of the event posted in the school auditorium

One of the events that the school had hosted is a forum that the school PTA had organized. Mr. Chinkee Tan a comedian, writer, lifestyle trainer, Christian minister, entrepreneur and a book author narrated in the forum “Till Debt do us Part” held last December 6, 2008.  The package included a dinner meal, a certificate of attendance and a book authored by Mr. Tan.

He started to speak short Mandarin phrases that reminded everyone present in the occasion of his Filipino-Chinese origin, the crowd was euphoric to hear him say simple greetings in perfect intonation.

How life was very hard during his elementary days. He narrated to the audience that he had a pair of worn –out shoes that he always used during school days, playing basketball and while when doing some errands.

He would always make a sideline by selling tissues, collecting garbage and all sort of meager jobs just to make both ends meet. As a result, He was not able to concentrate on his studies and at one time became a “ pasaway ” as a consequence; He had to repeat another year in grade six.  Years went by, he became one of the hawi boys (bodyguard and personal assistant) together Mr. Dennis Padilla, Mr. Willie Revillame, Mr. Jong Cuenco to actor Mr. Randy Santiago in the mid-1980’s. Their constant presence made them visible in the entertainment industry that slowly made each one of them a star in their own right! Mr. Randy Santiago gave his  showbiz name Chinkee because of his ‘chinkee‘ eyes.

Road to stardom is not very easy, He had to do all the meager jobs from crowd control, to buying some foods, sleeping on benches, retiring homes late at night, cleaning shoes etc…. then he was noticed by a director who had given him a short break in the local movie industry. His role was short but meaningful. He would always be known to the public from playing different characters like a Japanese exchange student, nerdy student, a sidekick, a rich guy, love team etc….

Stardom had help his family cope some financial problems but doing a sidekick role is just enough to make both ends meet. “ It was not a permanent source of income, and it depends on the number of movies. There were other more famous actors ”.

Quickly, he tried various schemes to augment his meager income. He does not want to rely on the movie industry. He also realized that a lot of his co-stars in the industry do not know how to save money. When they get their paychecks they would spend it in bars and other hangouts places.

A business management graduate of Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA). He met his wife Nove Ann in 1999 during the prayer  meeting at Victory Christian Fellowship. His wife is a voice teacher at the UST Conservatory of Music where is also graduated magna cum laude.

He still worked in the wee hours of the morning doing different kinds of in -between jobs. This made him quite successful in the field of multi-level marketing, But despite being successful in the field of entrepreneurship. A second blow came to his life, His wife suffered a rare form of diseases which almost his entire savings including selling his homes and properties. Flat broke, he never forgets his creator and started his entrepreneurial skills. Slowly he rebounded from the deep slumber.

students performed  during the forum

After the very inspiring talk, the teary- eyed audience applauded him. Long lines of crowd went to Mr. Chinkee Tan in a corner of the auditorium for autograph signing.  “ His sold-out book is a must for everybody.  Children must know how to save and properly invest their money ”. A parent reiterated.

door prizes

As part of the program, solicited  raffle items that were donated by parents, sponsors , donors were raffled off to the audience.

I was one of the lucky individual which won an electric  water thermos.

For more details: Philadelphia High School

Tel: 711-46-04 / 711-40-68
Fax: 711-40-68

Global Taxonomy Initiative Workshop

The Global Taxonomy  Initiative Workshop ( ASEAN plus Japan, China , Korea and France ) Needs Assessment and Networking was held last May 18 to 22, 2009 in University of the Philippines Los  Baños in Laguna.

My room mate in the  SEARCA dormitory  is Mr. Nestor Bambalan a forester who is working for Forest Management Bureau-DENR Quezon City.

On May 18, The cultural and opening night was held at around 6:00 pm with  dances from different parts of the Philippines were performed by the University of the Philippines students  and the group was serenaded by  a singer from the college of mass communications.

college deans and UP chancellor Velasco personally welcomed the GTI participants

College deans including UPLB chancellor Dr. Luis Rey Velasco were on hand to personally ” welcome ” the delegates from the Philippines and the world. Buffet was served to the delegates

Binasuan- a popular folk dance using glass filled with water

I saw some familiar faces and met several new friends during the opening gala dinner – one of the first  foreign acquaintances is Dr. Jean Young from Singapore – we started our conversation with  exchanges of business card and telling stories on personal hobbies and profession.

The chit- chat extended to late evening and we were fetch by the organizers to our dormitory .

SEARCA convention center -site of the GTI workshop

Keynote speech was delivered by  DENR undersecretary Manuel D. Gerochi  in behalf for Hon. Secretary Joselito Atienza . opening remarks was made by ACB executive director  Dr. Rodrigo U. Fuentes , Mr. Alistair Mac Donald ambassador of European Commission , Dr. Noriaki Sakaguchi of Japan , Welcoming remarks from UP chancellor Dr. Luis Rey Velasco and Opening remarks from HE Maurice Siveton ambassador of France to Thailand   highlighted the importance of the GTI workshop.

The workshop, organized by the European Union-funded ACB, is supported by experts from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), specialists from other branches of the Japanese government, experts from the Museum of Natural History of France (MNHN), the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the French Research Institute for Development (IRD), European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy (EDIT), the a Global Network for Taxonomy (Bionet), and other taxonomic specialists in the region.

Four (4) representatives from each member-state shall be invited to participate:

  • One participant shall be the National Contact Point for the in-country GTI;
  • One participant from the academe/relevant research institution;
  • One participants from Government, involved in policy development and could champion the ASEAN GTI at the national policy-making level; and
  • One participant from the industry/private sector utilizing taxonomy in his/her professional work but is not a taxonomist (from the Trade & Industry, Tourism, etc.)


On the second day of the workshop , the participants were divided into three groups : Group 1 Scientific Capacity Development , Group 2 Information Exchange and Networking, Group 3 Biodiversity Information Inventory each of the group was specified to accomplished suggestions which will be brought to the plenary after intense debacle .

group photo of the second group

Dr. Sovanmoly Hul -curator of Asian Collection and editor of ” Flore du Cambodge du Laos et du Vietnam ” was the chair of the second group

Dr. Bakhtiar Effendi Yahya– Univeriti Malaysai Sabah served as co-chair

I served as the rapporteur for the workshop. Dr. Danilo Largo- University of San Carlos  , Mr. Danilo Dannug- Bureau of Plant Industry- NSQCS  ,Dr. Aida Baja -Lapis -ERDB -DENR gave interesting commendation ,suggestion  and outputs during the workshop. The Filipino group is highly commendable for their efforts.

The workshop is an eye opener for ASEAN members states and their  dialogue partners  that some of the  national policies  differ from each members states and there were a lot of problems with the information exchange between members states like  some herbarium specimens were not easily accessible even to taxonomist and para-taxonomist ( copyright restrictions) . Some taxonomists  had to fly to other countries in order to obtain typo- collection records . In the case of the Philippines, most of the 300,000 taxonomical records were destroyed during the closing months of the second world war .

Networking with other herbaria around the world is needed. Information exchange between member states and taxonomist is definitely encourage . IUCN and CITES status of each members states must be properly decimate  through  publishing books, internet websites, brochures and pamphlet to the public. Public information is one of the key to proper understanding of taxonomy.

Dr. Benito Tan -Singapore

These were all brought to the plenary for  discussion and to be able to set objectives for the next workshop. The plenary discussion were extended way beyond the allotted time . The second group proposal serves as a link to the two other group .

dinner buffet at the Kamayan sa Palaisdaan sa Bae

After the day’s presentation the group rode colorful passenger  jeepneys passed through narrow road and International Rice Research Institute – IRRI , UPLB, quaint houses  and we arrived at a tranquil place at Kamayan sa Palaisdaan sa Bae . The group had their evening buffet dinner at the main building. The place is dotted with an interesting   landscape complete with tropical ferns,orchids, bromeliads , native plams and trees . Grilled liempo , grilled chicken , tilapia , prawns, sinigang soup, chopsuey  complete with  chillies, calamansi,  vinegar and soy sauce dip.  Beers , juice , coffee,  soft drink were served to the guests. Desserts such as fresh fruits ,  leche flan were also part of the menu.

Singapore delegates with souvenir yellow t-shirts

On May 21, after the general plenary presentation , Each of the participants were given a yellow collared shirt, a biodiversity magazine,  several leaflets  and a certificate of participation. after the lunch , We quickly told everybody that we were leaving the place , Mr. Danilo Dannug  and I quickly rode a  bus going to Manila .

Philippine delegates

Field trips to Mt. Makiling , UPLB Museum of Natural History, National Herbarium in Manila , Intramuros etc.. were scheduled the following day after the Biodiversity celebration.

“The workshop is very timely as the international community will be observing the International Day for Biodiversity in 22 May with invasive alien species as this year’s theme.

2nd Flora Filipina Horticultural Expo 2009

Mabuhay and Warm Greetings in the World of Plants!
The Philippine Orchid Society, together with the country’s major horticultural organizations  hosted  the 2nd Flora Filipina International Expo 2009 at Quezon City Hall grounds (Lagoon area) from February 6 to 16, 2009. The theme of the of this year’s event was “Discovering the Best and Rarest Philippine Flora”.

The show partners were the Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture, Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry , and Natural Resources Research and Development – DOST, Department of Education Culture and Sports , CHED, National Commission for Culture and the Arts , Quezon City government , City Tourism Authority of Quezon City , Quezon Memorial Circle and various horticultural societies across the country.

Xavier school – one of the campus visited as part of the promotion of the event.

Department of Education Culture and Sports had also endorse the project with memorandum circular 242 series of 2008 issued on October 21, 2008 memorandum circular 242 series 2008.

Part of the publicity and promotion for the show was to invite schools and notable universities to come to the show and as part of the program , Lectures were given for free about basic  orchid and plant care during the campus tour where a lively Q and A portion was delivered .  The orchids and posters were given as part of the promotion during the Flora Filipina Expo. As part of the exchange deals,  some of the universities featured the show in their on-line websites, communities and groups.

Schools and various universities across the country had conducted a field trip into the site . Noticeable universities which had a large contingent were Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila, University of Makati, University of the Philippines, Far Eastern University , National University,  La Salle- Gregorio Araneta University , University of Santo Tomas , Rizal Technological University, Xavier High School , De La Salle, Ateneo de Manila University , Arellano University , University of the East , Colegio de San Lorenzo , Bicol University , Mapua Institute of Technology, Lyceum of the Philippines , Pamantasan ng Pasig , University of the Philippines – Diliman and Laguna among others…

Television live questing was also part of the elaborate publicity of the show like UNTV channel 37 ( program Kay Kuya  and Pundahan ) aired February 2 and 3, 2009. various radio programs also featured the show.

Special mention are Hon. Anna Maria ” Bambi ” Harper ( Intramuros Administration head),   Dr. Jaime An Lim dean  of Institute of Arts and Sciences  , Dr. Juliet Sarabia – head Biology Department-Far Eastern University ( Nicanor Reyes)  Dr. Lorna Basug – University of the East -Recto  and Head of Biology division of Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila whom the author personally met during the show.

Nepenthes truncata an endemic pitcher plant from Mindanao was exhibited

The main objectives of the event is to unite and uplift the ornamental plant industry and showcase what is new, encourage research and production and to disseminate new horticultural technologies and information.
The show is  to be one of Southeast Asia’s biggest gardening and plant event, which envisions to gather under one single international gardening event  horticulturists, flower and plant connoisseurs, collectors or rare plants, traders, suppliers, landscapers, architects,  manufacturers  and traders of  gardening tools, fertilizers, pesticides, garden equipment, environmental government and non-government organizations, private and government universities and colleges, government departments and agencies, foreign embassies, including local and foreign visitors. There will be 120 commercial booths and 60 exhibits featuring an assortment of plants including new hybrids and species..

Flora Filipina conference
The Flora Filipina had a 2-day Scientific Conference on Philippine Plants from February 6 to 7, 2009 at the Bureau of Soils, Visayas Avenue. corner Elliptical Road, Diliman, Quezon City.  which,  there was an organized tour to various plant nurseries and tourist destination in the Laguna, Cavite, Makati , Quezon  and Batangas area.

Special mention to Dr. Benito C. Tan a Filipino Bryophytes ( moss ) expert now based in Singapore , He is also a graduate of FEU summa cum laude and University of the Philippines. who was one of the speaker at the recent 2-day conference.

Opening ceremonies were held on February 5, 2009 with Las Piñas Representative Cynthia Villar, Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Meralco Chairman Manolo Lopez, and Department of Tourism Undersecretary Cynthia Carreon as guests of honor and dozens of foreign dignitaries and ambassador wives in attendance.

on the spot painting winners ( blue -first place, red-second place, white- third place )

Special  on the spot painting event was organized last February 7, 2009 and participated by public high school students from at least 20 schools around Quezon City . The participants were given a token Php 500.00 by CITAOand cash prizes , ribbons and glass trophies by the Philippine Orchid Society .

Ramon Magsaysay High School students  in Cubao won 2 first prize category. landscape and individual painting category. Notable foreign and local judges were invited.

Best Orchid Landscape Exhibit – first place

Media partners included NBN channel 4, UNTV channel 37, Manila Bulletin , World News,  Greenculture Singapore , Orchid Board , Filipino Forum. net , Market Manila , Tsinoy forum, Asiafinest,  Pinoy Horticulure blog, Abante Tonite , Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Malaya, Manila Standard , Sulit etc…

Other companies like Allied Botanical Corporation local distributor of Peter’s Osmocote , Goodwill Bookstore , Purificacion Orchids and Ornamental Plants  among others…

Marsha Adam’s mediterrean garden and restaurant

Marsha Adam’s Mediterranean garden & restaurant is located in the province of Cavite.

The owner is an active member of various horticultural societies and a plant lover.

The property in which she planned to open up a small Mediterranean style villa in which bricks , wood and demolished parts of old houses are assembled .

Some bricks were ordered as far as the province of Iloilo from old demolished houses .  surrounded with herb garden and a restaurant.

Collectibles,books,tours,philately,current events,orchids, plants, environment, trade fairs etc…

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