Henry Chua – featured collector

Mr. Henry  Chua was an officer of the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club from 2002 to 2004. He started collecting stamps at an early age , He used to manage a  bookstore in the province of Pampanga.

picture courtesy of : Mr. Henry Chua

He was one time an associate editor  from 1994 to 2004 of Peoples’ Journal Group of company  ( People’s Tonight) – a popular national tabloid  written in  English .

Old photograph – Rizal’s execution

Personal collections included books, old photographs,music, old movies, first day covers, Philippine stamps , Japanese stamps, Thailand stamps, United Kingdom, Australia, Hongkong, Taiwan, China , United States , popular  Japanese anime characters like Doreamon, Conan, Astroboy, Gundam, Hello Kitty among others.

stamp albums in a book shelve

He is also an active blogger , according to him ” It is like in the field of journalism ” you need to be updated with a lot of things. His blog site was nominated at one time as “Best  personal blog site”  !!!.

collection of stamps, Marilyn Monroe, painting  framed and hung on one side of his room

His wife’s  hobby included caring for over half a dozen Rugrats cats- this breed is almost similar with Persian cats with shorter hair. 2 large aquarium with different colored cichlids , a bengal cat  and  chow-chow dogs…

If these were not enough, their garden boast of several  Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, Aglaonema and Euphorbias .

Interested persons who wanted to trade or buy stamps are required to have an appointment with Mr. Chua in Quezon City

For those who are interested in his blog and wanted to trade.

http://www.pogiforlife.com/


Malvarosa Farm

When you think of Cattleyas, the first think that will come into your mind is Orchids !!!! and Malvarosa Orchids and Ornamental Farm is one of the local farms which supplies the local market.

Philippine Orchid Society organized  field trip

Dr. Hernando Perez started growing orchids as a hobby in the late 1960’s. The orchids were  mostly given to him by his clients and friends . He started to acquire his specimen orchids in 1973.

He began his operation as a backyard hobby. He and his partner decided to go into full operation in 1989.  Hence ” Malvarosa ” orchids was born.  The name was derived from Malvar – the town’s name were the orchid farm is located and  Rosario stand for the name of his wife.

cattleyas

The company initially focused on their production on Cattleyas , they continued to expand their production to other orchid genera such as Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, Phalaenopsis , Doritis , Vandas and other native Philippine orchid species.

The company is is producing ornamental plant varieties. In 1990 , the company started their maiden operation. The company initially to sell their orchids via catalogs and word of mouth  .

The farm was  hit by a super  Bagyong  Rosing ( Typhoon Angela )  in 1995 , The typhoon destroyed most of the greenhouses which were built on wooden bases. The damaged caused their orchid stocks got diseases, thus the company stopped  temporarily their operation. Slowly after the rehabilitation of their greenhouses ( now built of steel frames and concrete).

The farm started to re-acquire new stocks and started mass propagation of new orchid hybrid cultivars.

a pair of peacock roaming the property

The company is proud to have  named over 100 Cattleya hybrids,2 dozen  Phalaenopsis croses, a dozen Dendrobium and 2 Vanda hybrids crosses registered with the Royal Horticultural Society of England.

Cattleya hybrids have been awarded ” Best Philippine Hybrids ” included BLC. Corazon Aquino , BLC. Malvarosa Sunrise, BLC. Malvarosa Sunset, BLC. Malvarosa Princess, LC. Annette Castro among others.

BLC. Corazon Aquino ( yellow form)

The company had consistently won awards in the orchid shows and exhibit of the Philippine Orchid Society , Philippine Horticultural Society, Los Banos Orchid Society , Philippine International Flora and Fauna Garden Exposition among others.

Best Orchid landscape exhibit – Batangas Road Show of the Philippine Orchid Society held May 10 to 18, 2008 at  SM Batangas City -Barangay Pallocan

A visit to their farm would show all the trophies , medals, ribbons that the company received during its 20 year operation.

The farm had some peacocks, native chickens, native deers which roamed the property.

The farm can be visited via appointment:

For further inquiries :

Ms. Beth Quidagen (+632)409-6731 / (+632)638-2355

Telefax (+632)636-0504

Expedition trip to General Nakar, Quezon

I was informed that the Philippine Orchid Society may send 3 representative together with staffs from Manila Orchidarium ( Clean and Green Foundation), SMART Communications to do an initial survey of Barangay San Marcelino within the General Nakar area in Quezon .

Last August 18, during the POS monthly meeting in Mr. Modesto ” Mody” Manglicmot garden within UP Diliman . We were asked to join the so called expedition which is set on August 20 to August 21 (2 days) . Mr. Dennis Sy, Ms. Tina Narzo and I were the volunteers coming from the POS side.

I was quite hesitant  to go , since the publicity and promotion for the forthcoming show is already more than  1 week delayed due to cancellation of classes and office .

the group

August 20, I was already within the MSBF compound as early as 6 am , Most of the group arrived more than 1 hour later. We  rode several  hours passing scenic towns, mountains and road stalls before  our group arrived way past 1pm and the town mayor had treated our group a lunch then we quickly rode a small motorized boat on the way to the San Marcelino area of Gen. Nakar , We went from the mouth of the river to the Pacific Ocean side of the town .

mouth of the river flowing to the Pacific ocean

Our group saw flying fishes and sea weeds on our way, It took us over 1 hour to get to the site since the boat is not moving fast due to the waves. We arrived way past 2pm in the old poblacion area of Gen. Nakar which was destroyed by the landslide in 2004 due to the effect of two bagyo.  Typhoon Muifa and Nanmadol. Virtually the entire town were buried under several feet of mud and big boulders .The flash floods brought down logs from the surrounding mountain while the river had even changed its course !

big logs were left on dry river beds

Our group had saw large logs and house foundations still left as an eerie reminder of what had happened several years ago. According to our guide , Before the disaster in 2004 the area was very beautiful and there were lots of people  with blooming orchids,ornamental plants and nice quaint houses.

Dendrobium crumenatum (locally called white sanggumay )

A few hundred of meters away from the old town , we saw several dead trees which were covered with some common orchid species like Dendobium crumenatum , Liparis, Hoya bilobata, Hoya incrassata ,Bulbophyllum makoyanum , Platycerium coronarium ,weed ferns and an unidentifed Vanilla species !

Vanilla species growing on a tree just several meters away from the shoreline

We had met a lot of nice people and they told us that we were the ones who appreciate their garden and local species, Some people were even curious that we were speaking a weird language which are the  scientific names of these plants!

Even the local names of the orchids and plants were all mixed -up since they only rely from the Dumagats for the names of the plants, orchid species like Dendrobium crumenatum which is called   as dove, pigeon or 1 day orchid  in Metro Manila  were called sanggumay by the local people . Sanggumay is called Dendrobium anosmum here in Metro Manila , Renanthera philippinensis is locally called “Red Waling-waling ” . But since local names were given by the  people ,we are not in a position to correct them , Our group just got the names of the orchids, plants and trees for our reference .

Nepenthes alata (pitcher plant) green variety

It is a settled area and there were no electricity and we just got our drinking water from dug spring , Just simple amenities would do, Even cellphone signals were virtually out! This is due  to the mountain ranges and lack of communication tower .

Syzygium polyephalum ( lipote, balig-ang)

We picked several fruits like guavas , pomelo , lipote ( Balig-ang in Bikol) , bananas , santol . The local people sometimes gave it to our group, edible ferns also abound within the area.

Rufous Hornbill (Buceros hydrocorax)

There is a tamed  Rufous horn bill (kalaw) perched on a coconut tree. The group saw some sun birds- pollinator of flowers , Philippine hanging parakeet (kolasisi )  , kite and Malayan fantails.

At the end of the second day , The group had counted about 35 species of orchids , 6 species of hoyas and dischidias , 40 species of ferns, 2 dozen native trees, dozen kinds of cut foliage plants, 3-5 species of ginger plant (curcuma, kamia), an epiphytic begonia, 2 species of nepenthes ( pitcher plant) and had a chance to see the World’s Largest Orchid in flower ! Grammatophyllum wallisii and  fond memories of the people living in the area.

Grammatophyllum wallisii

Despite of poverty ,the people had treated us very-well ! there are signs that the place is slowly recovering from the destruction .

Some of the group had a chance to take a bath with the beach. the water is not that salty compared to the rest of the sea side beaches. This was attributed that there are a lot of small streams, rivers and creeks which empty the Pacific ocean.

and some  of us had got “Batong Buhay” as some sort of souvenir from the place!

Paging.. Mrs. Gupit -Natural Stone Society !!!!! We might sign up as members of the society… Hehehehe

The group reported out preliminary expedition details to the town mayor for further evaluation . This would also give an idea on what sort of plants that could be massed propagated for livelihood projects of the town.

To the people and Mayor of General Nakar -Mr.Leovegildo R. Ruzol , Thanks!

Ming’s Garden and Restaurant

bromeliads , guzmanias

Ming’s Garden in Tagaytay a couple of weekends ago. The garden restaurant is owned by former first lady Amelita ” Ming” Martinez  Ramos, hence the name.

Mrs. Amelita Ramos is an honorary member of the Philippine Orchid Society, an orchid lover , environmentalists, educator, sports enthusiast , writer etc…

An orchid was named after her by a Hawaiian breeder Miyamoto registered in 1982 in honor her.

Ascocenda Amelita Ramos

The seed parent is Ascocenda Pokai Victory x Vanda sanderiana variety alba ( pollen parent).

The ambiance is so nice that even inside their comfort rooms have a garden in it. orchids, medinillas , mums, bromeliads, euphorbias, yellow vines and angel’s trumpets, suntans and marigolds are just some of the many species you can find there. The resto also serve nice bibingka, halo-halo and a lot of native delicacies. This place is favorite stopover when visiting Tagaytay.

restaurant menu

When we went to the garden, the place is being used as a location shooting for the late afternoon television series ” Bud Brother” of ABS-CBN channel 2.

Cydista aequinoctialis locally known as Ahos-ahos , garlic vine

The garlic vine is one of the most rewarding, flowering vines that you can grow, unless that you are a vampire. Interestingly  it smells like garlic, Hence the common name implies .  However, it doesn’t smell if the plant is left alone, only when the leaves are crushed. Flowering twice a year you will find it quite often covered with flowers. Flowers start off purple and change to a lighter shade of lavender with age. Eventually fading to almost white. You will see 3 different color of flowers at the same time on the plant. It can be grown in containers or trellis  and should be trimmed after the flowers are gone.

According to the caretaker , television network ,  film makers, bloggers and travel magazines had featured their venue.

Mount Makiling Forest Reserve and Botanical Garden

Mount Makiling in Laguna  the Philippines was conceived as early as 1910. During that year, the Act 1989 of the Philippine Commission proclaimed Mt. Makiling, a forest reserve.

The idea to develop a national botanic garden within the 4,200 hectares of secondary forest.from that time up to the post war era of the 1950’s , the Bureau of Forestry ( now called Forest Management Bureau) FMB established plantations of both endemic and exotic trees of economic as well as aesthetic value in the lower and mid-level elevations of Mount Makiling.

Some foreign trees such as Mahogany from South America in early 1914.

Mr. Cereno acted as tour guide to the visiting group

In addition, palms and medicinal trees and ornamental plants were also introduced and planted in scattered areas in and around the main campus of the then College of Forestry.

spathiphyllum hybrid

From 1950 to 1960, Mt. Makiling was  placed under the administration of the Parks and Wildlife Commission. In 1960, Presidential Proclamation 629 turned over the administration of the “Park” to the University of the Philippines (UP) specifically for use of the College of Forestry. In 1961, the U.P. gained ownership of the area and renamed the forest reserve as the Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG). The MBG is a unit of the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems, located in University of the Philippines, Los Baños-College of Forestry and Natural Resources (UPLB-CFNR). It was established in 1963 by virtue of Republic Act 3523. The MBG is being developed to support professional instruction and research related to forestry and plant sciences, and to serve the needs of tourism as well as educational and recreational needs of the general public. Improvement and development of the gardens started as early as September, 1965.
specimen sized –Medinilla magnifica in bloom
The MBG showcases living collections of indigenous plants of Mt. Makiling such as Medinillas or Kapa-kapa  huge specimen sized flowering Medinilla magnifica delighted every visitor to the center.

The genus Medinilla had about 150 known species of flowering plant in the family of Melastomataceae , indigenous to tropical regions which spread from Africa,Madagascar , Southern Asia , to the western Pacific, The Philippines had about 90 species . The genus was named after governor J. de Medinilla of Marianas islands in 1820.

Medinilla species ( erect flowers)

The center had a collection of Mussaendas hybrids which were bred by professors and researchers of UPLB. Some of the Mussaendas were named after Philippine first ladies .

The Botanic garden also serves as a sanctuary for endangered and rare plant species in the country. It features a dipterocarp forest and nature trails, as well as the Molawin and Marulas creeks. Visitors to MBG also get an added treat of viewing Philippine birds of prey at the Center for Philippine Raptors (CPR).

tree frog sitting on a floating quiapo

the endemic COMMON FOREST FROG (Platymantis dorsalis) in Alcala and Brown’s illustrated field guide to Philippine Amphibians is common in the place , however this amphibian is a favorite list of menus of local snakes , birds of prey and including stray cats .

One of the continuing projects of the center is to introduce native orchids and epiphtytic  plants like ferns in the sanctuary . local garden clubs like Los Baños Orchid and Garden Society , Philippine Orchid Society had donated some orchids to the center. Most of the donated orchids were naturalized on big trees.

The botanic garden had several century-old trees like Mulawin, Narra, Dao, Betis, Mabalacat , Kamagong.

These are highly sought after lumber, A lot of Philippine towns and cities were named after these trees and plants. A mayor of the town of Betis in Pamapanga even asked some seeds from the center since there were very few trees in his native Betis in Pampanga.

Location

College of Forestry and Natural Resources
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Laguna 4031  Philippines

Visiting hours

MBG opens from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday except on New Year’s Day, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, All Saints Day and Christmas Day

For further information, please contact

Roberto P. Cereno
Head
Botanic Gardens, Parks & Ecotourism Division
Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems
College of Forestry and Natural Resources
University of the Philippines Los Baños

History stroll thru postal stamps

Walking tours of city’s rich heritage
By Jeannette Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 21:41:00 04/25/2009

Photos : Renz

Filed Under: Tourism, Hobbies, Culture (general), history

Liwasang Bonifacio

MANILA, Philippines — It could be a magical mystery tour with a slight twist and a different setting.

The postal heritage walking tour around Manila hopes to resurrect the dying art of stamp collecting in an age of e-mail and instant messaging through leisurely strolls around historic sites around the country’s capital.

What’s magical about the tour is the Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club’s (FSCC) ability to uncover hidden gems of history around Manila using postage stamps as its guide.

back view of the Main Post Office and Postal Bank

Lawrence Chan, FSCC vice president and tour guide, conceded: “Stamp collection is a dying art. Let’s face it, people would rather send an e-mail rather than send snail mail.”

Chan told the Inquirer that the primary aim of the postal heritage walking tour is “to promote through philately our rich cultural heritage.”

Philately is defined by the Philippine Postal Service in its website as “the world’s most fascinating hobby. Through philately, you can learn of a country’s history, art, culture, and industry as depicted in special commemorative stamps.”

Chan said his group has organized the walking tours to “show participants how diverse and rich our culture is.” The tours are usually scheduled every third Sunday of the month but can be held on other days depending on requests made by students or other interested groups.

He pointed out that sometimes, they even spend for the participants just so they could join a tour.

The FSCC officers and members usually meet every third  Sundays at the Postal Museum and Philatelic Library to trade or sell stamps.

Josie Cura, FSCC president, told the Inquirer that her group accommodates people who want to start their own stamp collections.

Cura, who has been collecting stamps since 1966, said that people can write them through snail mail and ask for free stamps to start the hobby. “As long as they enclose self-stamped envelopes, we can give them stamps.”

The FSCC was first organized by stamp collectors in October 1994 as the Manila Stamp Collectors’ Club aimed at catering to beginners and intermediates at the hobby.

It was later renamed as the FSCC in January 2000 and has some 70 active members to date.

The Philippine postal heritage walking tour kicked off at the Aduana or the Customs House, where goods including mails were brought from overseas and declared.

Aduana ruins

What could be seen now of the then “Intendencia” is its ruins at the heart of Intramuros. The building was built from 1823 to 1829 , was demolished in 1872, and a new one replaced it four years after to house the customs offices, the Intendencia General de Hacienda (Central Administration), the treasury, as well as the casa moneda (mint).

First day cover of the Intendencia building circa 1974 -25th anniversary of the Central Bank of the Philippines

It was destroyed by American artillery in 1945 and was restored and used by the Central Bank of the Philippines, the national treasury, and the Commission on Elections until it was completely ravaged by a fire in 1979.

The Puerta Isabel II monument and gate is marked by the bronze statue of the Spanish queen which was first erected near the Teatro Alfonso XII (now the Metropolitan Theater) in Arroceros (now Plaza Lawton) on July 14, 1860.

Moves to dismantle the statue after the queen’s downfall was thwarted by a sympathizer who hid the monument in his home.

Puerta Isabel II gate and monument

In 1896, the statue resurfaced and was erected in front of the Malate Church for some 70 years until Typhoon “Yoling” (international code name Patsy) toppled the statue. It was only in 1975 during the visit of then Prince and now King Juan Carlos of Spain that the monument was erected on its present site.

Reina Isabel II of Spain- portrait and stamp issued in 1854

Liwasang Bonifacio was also part of the itinerary. The park which is known as the venue for most rallies used to be known as Plaza Lawton until it was renamed in the 1960s after the Plebeian hero Andres Bonifacio.

The Manila Cathedral inside the walled Intramuros was also part of the tour as it was also previously featured in stamps when its bell tower has not yet been constructed.

The final leg of the tour showed a virtual trove of philately in the form of the Postal Museum and Philatelic Library which is located within the Manila Central Post Office compound.

The postal museum is hidden at the third floor of the building of the Security Inspection Services Division and Postal Police Force that any Manileño would scratch his head in wonder at not knowing that it exists and is in fact the oldest museum in southeast Asia.

It was organized in 1992 to enable the public to view the country’s rich repository of stamps and items used by the post office through the years including: Old mail boxes, typewriters, awards, paintings, stamps, philatelic magazines, as well as books and catalogues.

Chan revealed that the Philippines is the first country in Asia to issue stamps, printing and releasing them on Feb. 1, 1854.

He disclosed that the first stamp is highly collectible because of the error in printing where “correos” was misspelled as “corros” and could fetch a price ranging from P5,000 to as much as P25,000 a piece.

Another collectible stamp is the June 30, 1981 Philippine issued stamp and souvenir sheet without any indication of the country of origin and carried “new republic” on its face.

A Sept. 25, 1995 issuance honoring Cesar Bengson bore the picture of his brother instead. When the error was discovered, 2,070 stamps had already been sold while the rest were recalled and replaced.

Chan pointed out that errors and mistakes in printing of stamps make them precious to stamp collectors.

He lamented that the hobby is no longer as thriving as it was during the snail mail era and the museum is not being promoted when other countries take pride in their culture.

“We have a very rich history. We should just take time, take it slow to enjoy what we have,” Chan stressed.

The FSCC can be reached by prospective hobbyists through Manila P.O. box 2986 or through 7355001.

Reprinted from Philippine Daily Inquirer – April 25 issue

Angelina Taruc Farm

Clean and  Green Foundation in partnership with Philippine Orchid Society, Smart Communications and the government of General Nakar in Quezon.

The group went to Rizal, Laguna and Quezon for exploratory expedition to survey the remaining plant habitat last August 20 to 21, 2007.

The group met at the Manila Seedling Bank and the group went to the rolling hills, fertile plains of Antipolo and parts of Rizal.

Before heading to General Nakar, the convoy decided to visit the farm of Mrs. Angelina Taruc in Baras Rizal.

Dendrobium anosmum aka sanggumay and Hoya pubicalyx

We were met by the caretaker of the farm and showed us what available plants that were on sale. Most of the farm are is dedicated to growing different orchids genus namely Dendrobium hybrids, Cattleya hybrids, Mokaras, Kagawaras, Oncidiums, Terete Vandas and native orchids such as Dendrobium anosmum and Hoya pubicalyx were naturalized on the acacia trees fronting the main entrance.

Brassavola nodosa hybrids

The group went into a buying spree and reserved a lot of important cut flower varieties and promise to come back after the 2 day exploratory trip to Quezon. Some of the semi-terete Vanda orchid mounted on kakawate driftwoods were bought by the Clean and Green Foundation for a discount.

a yellow cattleya hybrid

Being familiar with the group, the caretaker obliged to reserve some plants. The farm was said to be the main source of plants in the Rizal region. Wholesalers and retailers who had small plant and landscaping stores within the vicinity of Rizal are the frequent buyers, but according to the caretaker, they also encounter buyers from as far away as Quezon, Laguna and Bicol region.

The farm also produced several varieties of ferns, ornamental plants and gardening equipment and fertilizers.

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

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