Katipunan Tree

Century old tree w/in Metro Manila College campus

The country is rich in natural resources and old trees tell a lot of interesting stories. There is a 155 year old duhat tree ( Syzygium cumini )  which is located at the foot of a wooded hill called “ Binugsok” now within Barrio Kaligayahan , Jordan Plains Subdivision . Within the Metro Manila College compound just about a kilometer  away from  Our Lady of Mercy Church in  Novaliches town proper in Quezon City . The area was once heavily covered with thick vegetation up to the late 19th and early 20th century .

Wild chickens , native deers, monitor lizards and boars roam while the revolutionaries’ troops forage for food within the immediate vicinity.

The natural contour of the hill served as a battery and an outpost of the Katipuneros during the 1896 revolution and served as a target of many Spanish soldiers.  The late Kapitan  Bernabe Serrano popularly known as Kabesang Abeng who was a member of the Katipunan and the former owner of the property where the historic duhat tree stands. He stated that on several occasions, the place was visited by Andres Bonifacio , the Supremo of the Katipunan in order to bolster the morale of the troops. Under the canopy of the duhat tree served as medical headquarters, resting, meeting place and troop formation of the revolutionary forces.

This is also where Melchora Aquino , popularly known as Tandang Sora , treated those who are sick , wounded under this tree.  The tree also provided some nourishment to the Katipuneros and to the people of the surrounding area. The natural elevation of the land served as a vantage point and lookout for the guerilla forces in Novaliches also during the Japanese occupation.

Older residents within the place would recall that they even bathe in the nearby streams and would also remember how they would climb and pick the fruits of this duhat tree.

Now the tree is within the property of the Metro Manila College and the school had some artifacts and old pictures to prove that when the revolution broke out in 1896 the tree is already several decades old.

Big holes, scratches and scars are visible on the trunk and branches of the tree and up to now the tree still fights for its survival. The tree has a diameter at breast height of approximately 140 meter, and about 15 meter tall and has a crown diameter of approximately 16 meter.   When the hill was leveled during the development of the area and many bullets made of copper were found in the area presumed used during the Spanish period .

There are 2 younger duhat trees nearby which is presumed as the siblings of the tree.  This duhat tree is a silent witness in the history that every Filipinos should never forget and the urgent need to care and protect the tree from natural diseases and human harm.

Dr. Mamerto S. Miranda the founder of the college is a native of Novaliches and is a war veteran who founded Metro Manila College formerly known as Novaliches Academy in 1947.

For those who wanted to visit the school , here are the contact number:

Address: 966 Plaza Novaliches
Barrio Kaligayahan, Novaliches
Quezon City, Metro Manila 1123
TEl : (1123)939-11-62 , 9363082
Fax : (1123)419-14-82

Earth Keepers Organic Farm & Restaurant

Earth Keepers Garden and Restaurant is located on Kilometer 101, Brgy Talisay in Tiaong , Quezon

Last March 29, 2008, I was very excited to visit the restaurant and organic farm. The jam packed 50 seater tourist bus hired by the Philippine Orchid Society went to this place.   The crowd was eager to see this wonderful place which promotes healthy lifestyles and living. Some parts of the property had small relaxation area which could be instantly be converted into a spa or an informal meeting place.

Pesticides, which is concentrated on the vegetables and foods that we usually buy from the market, had traces or laced  harmful chemicals .

A lot of the people in this world is already facing with serious dilemma.

Ms. Teresa Perez Saniano conducting a short lecture

According to Ms. Teresa Saniano or simply Ms. Tere  the owner of the demo farm said that urea, which is the primary source of fertilizer in farms is already increasing in price, the main component of which is made from petroleum based, the soaring world market of petroleum had caused increase in the prices of these fertilizer which also increases the farm gate prices of these foods.

We all know what is happening all over the world in the quest to have higher yield in food production.

Ms. Tere had warmly welcomed the group and had a short power point presentation in which her advocacy group want to spread not only within the province of Quezon But also all over the country.

native chicken fed with termites

Her demo farm is very productive; She had organically grown vegetables, papaya fruits, organic rice, free-range chickens is fed naturally with organically grown vegetables and termites which is high in protein unlike the usual poultry grown chicken that  had to be fed with feeds .

She even had formulated an organic feeds for the pigs which are grown in the farm, she had also vermicomposing which used African night crawlers and their vermin –waste is transformed vermiculite  into organic fertilizers and organic spray.

Even kitchen waste such as fish gills, fish innards and leftover bones are also transformed into organic fertilizers.

The fish gills and innards is then prepared with a ratio of 1kilo fish gills and innards to 1 kilo of molasses then fermented for 20 days, after which the organic waste is then filtered into  a loin cloth then the fish emulsion is already ready substitute for a high nitrogen based organic foliar fertilizer . The fertilizer is then mixed with 155 grams of ordinary sardine can.

Congressman Prospero Alcala -second district of Quezon

While enjoying the sumptuous  organic buffet lunch  Congressman Prospero Alcala dropped by and joined the group. He  is happy that the group had toured his district and ecstatically  shared some of his insights on  agriculture and organic farming.  he also gladly posed for a souvenir shot with the group .

His involvement in agriculture is deepened and was convinced there is a big market for their crops. However, to be competitive they should get into organic farming.

According to Mr. Alcala ,  If  the farmers, if motivated, could indeed maximize their produce. They were given the seeds and necessary farm inputs—from fertilizers to pesticides, and after their produce were sold in the market, they managed to pay for the inputs provided them. The rest of the profit goes to them.

he recent surge in prices of farm inputs—nearly doubling the cost of fertilizers—deepened their conviction of the need to go organic.

She had also collection of native handicrafts, jars , ornamental plants, native orchids, water lilies  and wood work. Tere also accepts guided tour to her demo farm and restaurant but prior appointment must be made several weeks or even months  before coming to the farm.

For reservations:

Contact Person : Ms. Teresa Perez Saniano

Km. 101, Brgy. Talisay, Tiaong Quezon Province

Tel: (042) 545-7112

House of Bamboo in Laguna

Bamboo house
Bamboo house

This is the ancestral house of Mr. Carlos Valeriano C. Lazaro of Laguna located near University of the Philippines .

This house is almost entirely made of local bamboo treated in sea beaches using the centuries -old  technique which required bamboo poles to be  buried  into the beach sand  for several months in order to treat the bamboo.

This house was built in early 1950’s and had withstood several calamities like typhoons and even termite infestations.

garden with orchids, ferns and ornamental plants
garden with orchids, ferns and ornamental plants

The house , garden and dormitory compound is always a favorite  stopover for  members of plants and orchid societies which always made it to a point to visit the area whenever there is a field trip within Laguna area.

The house is an ideal location set -up for  shooting in some of television series  and movies . The garden also boast of various Philippine native orchids, hoyas , ferns , tillandsias,  exotic plants and even had a koi pond .

The family also had a fine collections of old family photos, ceramic jars, old memorabilia and even  orchid shows trophies .

For those who wanted to visit this magnificent house and  garden you can contact Mr. Carlos Valeriano C. Lazaro who conducts local tour around UPLB with  food trip  .  He also an award winning landscaper and florist.

Mr. Carlos Valeriano C. Lazaro contact information :

SMART (0918) 520-9795  Sun ( 0922)895-9545

Land line # (049) 536-2463

2nd Pinoy Aquatic Fair

Date: September 18 to 20, 2009
Venue: AANI -Quezon Memorial Circle facing Department of Agrarian Reform

The 2nd Pinoy Aquatic Fair is organized by the Agri-Aqua Network , Incorporated with a showcase of different aquarium products , lectures, trade fairs, fresh water aquarium fish keeping for hobbyists , business opportunities ,fish health , ornamental fresh water breeding and production

Here is the link

30th Manila International Book Fair

Poster of the 30th MIBF

Date: September 16 to 20, 2009
Venue:Exhibit Halls 1 – 4, SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia , Pasay City

Considered as one of the longest running book fairs not only in the Philippines but also in Asia .  MIBF is also considered one of the most accessible venues for showcasing published works.  Several giants in the book retail industry like National Bookstore, Goodwill  Bookstore, Joining or expanding your presence at the MIBF can open your business to an audience of different generations, backgrounds and cultures. Reach out to this ever-growing crowd, dialogue with your customers and engage in a forum with your peers in the publishing industry.

The organizer of the event is Primetrade Asia, Incorporated with partner organizations like Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc, Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippines Book sellers Association and Publishers’ Representatives Organization of the Philippines.

Here is a short trivia on book collectors and lover of books:
Bibliophilia is the love of books. Accordingly a bibliophile loves books, but especially “for qualities of format.” A bookworm loves books for their content, or otherwise loves reading in general. The practice of loving or collecting books is dubbed bibliophilism, and the adjective form of the term is bibliophilic. Also, a Bibliophile refers to a person who collects books.

Here is the website link of Manila International Book Fair

MIBF

Unique collections !

Collections of Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe

Tita Dorie as she is fondly remembered by her peers in various plant societies and other affiliate organizations had vast collections of plants, rocks, stones, memorabilia , paintings , antique and stamps among others in her Pansol  Laguna home.

She is  the current president of Cactus & Succulent Society of the Philippines and also an active member and officer of various horticultural societies  across the country.

For security reasons , the author will not disclose the exact location of her home and the  extent of her own collection.

Heritage Trees

old trees behind the main building
old trees behind the main building

Far Eastern University is one unique institution that had molded hundreds of thousands of its alumni, employees and even passerby to the campus vicinity. This institution had preserved its unique architectural heritage which earned 1st runner-up mention during the 2005 UNESCO – for the largest and best preserved Art Deco architecture ensemble in the entire country. Various national artists like Vicente Manansala, Pablo Ocampo Sr., Carlos “Botong ” Francisco, Antonio Dumlao , Robert Ko  and international artists  like Italian sculptor Francesco Monti made its lasting contributions to the university.

But, silent testimonies to the university history are its living natural heritage found inside its main campus located inside Nicanor Reyes Sr. street (formerly Morayta).  Several trees like acacia (Samanea saman) and narra (Pitherocarpus indicus ) were carefully planted and nurtured by its founding president Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr .in the early 1930’s. During convocation in the university before the outbreak of war, the late President Manuel L. Quezon visited the university in 1940 and paid unsolicited tribute to Dr. Reyes “ as an educational builder”.  The trees were already several years old back then and the student population is more than 10,000. Then during the early part of the bombing of the Philippines in 1941, Dr. Reyes was only person among the officials of the university to visit the school every morning to check the school premises and usually hands over the keys of the post office inside the school compound.

When the Japanese brought chaos to the country, The Imperial army had occupied the school compound and the school was crisscrossed with foxholes and the whole place was enclosed with barbed wire. The university became a veritable prison and was made a headquarter of the Kempetai (Japanese military police) the trees were the silent hostages, the army used some of the branches as firewood or bonfires which lighted the campus grounds since there was lacked of electricity.

On February 5, 1945 at around 7:00 pm heavy bombing and air raid were rampant in the Sampaloc area. Battle was ranged in the vicinity as the Japanese in heavily fortified campus sternly opposed the American advance. When the American occupied the university the school was re-opened during the second semester in 1945 .the Americans also set up quonset   huts at the quadrangle which was later converted into classrooms. The trees were also there to witness the university rise in the ashes of the war.

After the war, some trees still stood within the campus, while some of the trees were toppled down by typhoons that had hit Manila during the 1960’s and 1970’s. These trees were also there when then president Cory had visited the campus in 1987 .

present day- FEU chapel with narra trees

Somehow trees do tell stories of happy individuals, students who stayed under their canopy, famous personalities and common people who happily stayed under these old majestic trees inside the campus that is not only known for its architectural heritage but also living natural heritage that one will surely become a link to a distant past.

The university also had a guided tours around the campus which attracts art , environment , architecture and heritage advocates  for more information:

Address: Nicanor Reyes Sr. Street ( formerly Morayta) Sampaloc, Manila

Telephone : 735-56 21 loc. 283 Alumni Affairs ( Mr. Martin Lopez)

Monday to Friday -Office Hours


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

%d bloggers like this: