New Normal Chinese New Year 2021 Celebration

We arrived early to visit some relatives and friends living in Chinatown,Manila. The new normal Chinese New Year celebration is very much subdue with very little fireworks display, dragon and lion dance is limited only to IATF approve guidelines.

This marks the arrival of 4719 year of the metal ox, since the Chinese lunar calendar was invented.

New Normal Chinese New Year 2021 Celebrations

Unlike the previous Chinese New Year celebration, 2021 celebration is more of close knit with fewer people ever ventured in Chinatown’s Manila and Chinatown in Quezon City.

fewer people came and joined the celebration

People had to wear face mask, face shield, one must observe minimum health protocols, guidelines set by the local government and IATF. This was is stark contrast prior to the coronavirus 2019 lock down in middle of March 2020. Before the pandemic, Business was brisk with hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life would visit Manila and Quezon City Chinatown to celebrate, buy their favorite nian gao, ti ke or tikoy and even dine-in their favorite restaurants.

New Quan Yin Chay Vegetarian restaurant Ongpin street corner Salazar street

The annual parade and other activities were canceled by the Manila City government via executive order no. 4 series of 2021 stating that no dragon dance, street party, stage show, parade or any other similar activity will be held for the celebration of Chinese New Year from February 11 to 12, 2020.

charm store along Ongpin street

We were not able to visit some sites like Buddhist temples and Chinatown Museum located at Lucky Chinatown Mall . There were also fewer ambulant vendors and peddlers along Ongpin street.

Heritage advocates like Mr. Allan Martinez, Ms. Mabelle Tenorio visited the Masuki Noodles along Benavidez St, Binondo and some parts of Manila’s Chinatown later part of the day and enjoyed the noodles.

Masuki mami

We decided to leave to leave the place at around past 11:00 am after shopping and visited Banawe, Quezon City.

Note and special “Thanks” To Mr. Allan Pardilla Martinez for some of the photos posted in this site.

Kung Hei Fat Choi, Gong Xi Fa Chai , Kiong Hee Huat Chay !!!!!

Memorable Valentine’s Day Sweets and Chinese New Year Treats at The Manila Hotel

Celebrate Chinese New Year 2021 and Valentine’s Day 2021 with your favorite sweets, pastries and dishes at the grand old dame of Philippine hotels. Do not forget to treat your special someone to something special from The Manila Hotel.

Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year 2021

Chocolate gifts have long been a staple of Valentine’s Days for decades, so what better way to show your love than with handcrafted chocolates. Two new items from The Manila Hotel Deli will surely make your Valentine’s night all the sweeter. Surprise your loved one with either the Valentine Praline Bouquet or the Chocolate Strawberry Bouquet.

For only Php980 nett, the Valentine Praline Bouquet is exactly that—a round bouquet of hazelnut gianduja-based pralines, with highlights of rolled pistachio nuts. Timeless and popular, round bouquets are popular in weddings, but this artisanal chocolate bouquet is one that will surely add a sweet touch to Valentine’s Day.

And just in time for the day of hearts, the Valentine-inspired Raspberry Delight heart-shaped cake combines three ingredients that make the perfect combo: Chocolate Mousse brings sweetness and mellowness; raspberries an acidity note; and pistachio biscuit just the right crunch. For only, Php1,300 nett, this indulgent dessert is just what you need to satisfy your sweet tooth without going overboard. One-day pre-order is recommended.

Chinese New Year 2021

The Manila Hotel also sells ( Red Bean Round )Tikoy for just Php 888 and handmade nian gao – (Almond Round ) or locally known as tikoy/ tike for just Php 888

These sweet surprise variants can be pre-ordered from The Manila Hotel’s Delicatessen, or by calling 85270011 or 09989501912.

75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 (Part 4)

Plantiquarians, plantitos, plantitas, halamoms, batang halaman will always on a look-out for cheaper and trendy plants this coming 2021 and 2022.

Many are looking for small plants which can fill their limited space. They can be grown with minimal care. The crazy and abnormal rise in prices are brought by the limited supply and high interest by the general public in plants. This is called as plantdemics meaning plants are in demand.

75 Trendy Plants in the Philippines for 2021 to 2022

63. Nephrolepis exaltata ( Boston Fern)- This is a popular fern found in almost every part of the world. often grown in hanging baskets or similar conditions. They are grown near entrance or hung on main window. It is believes to invites good chi or good fortunes into one’s home or business.

Caladium hybrids -Photo credit: pixabay user: leoleobobeo-1487549

62. Caladium hybrids – Popularity of caladium hybrids will still be strong up until early 2022. Newer varieties and more colorful spotting will be flooding the local market. However, the prices of the caladium especially the older cultivar varieties will slowly taper off since there are a lot of backyard growers propagating those varieties.

61. Dracena sanderiana – popularly called Chinese lucky bamboo, lucky bamboo, friendship bamboo, ribbon plant, water bamboo and corn plant. This is very common and is found in almost every homes, business establishments and offices. This plant is quite hardy.

Commonly peddled by ambulant vendors, The demand for these plants will still be strong. Some people believes it bring good luck or good chi in homes and businesses.

60. Aloe vera and related species- Aloe had been quite popular succulent plant in the country for several decades. Aside from the medicinal value that the plant is known for. This can be grown in pots, the species requires well-drained, sandy potting soil and bright, sunny conditions.

mature plants can bear flowers and it is highly attractive. There are between 550 to 560 species of Aloes in which a lot are highly decorative. There are also several hybrids.

59. Ficus benjamina, commonly known as weeping fig, benjamin fig , ficus tree, balete. This is highly ornamental and commonly propagated in many garden centers. MMDA and some local government unit had planted hundreds if not thousands of this ficus along road side in the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s.

Ficus benjamina

Photo credit : pixabay user: manfredrichter-4055600

NASA determined that this plant was effective at removing common household air toxins like formaldehyde and xylene. Hence the popularity of the plant.

Weeping fig cultivars and its variegated types are in demand like ‘Danielle’, ‘Naomi’, ‘Exotica’, and ‘Golden King’ since these are much fewer compared to the ones found in garden centers, streets and parks. Propagation is quite easy- one can propagate Ficus benjamina thru seeds, air layering and to some extent cutting from stems with roots.

58 . Ficus elastica commonly called rubber fig, rubber bush, rubber tree, rubber plant, or Indian rubber bush, Indian rubber tree, banyan tree or Balete.

Ficus elastica

Photo credit: pixabay user: tortic84-2633672

Another well-known type of belete tree. One can encounter mature Ficus elastica in many parts of the country. According to some botanists, this was probably introduced into the country by Indian and other southeast Asian traders before the arrival of the Spaniards in the 16th century. Some would otherwise dispute this theory, Since the range of this ficus is found in Southeast Asia.

In the United States, This can be grown in sub-tropical areas of Florida and in USDA Zones 10-12.

Some of the cultivars varieties includes Ficus elastica ‘Robusta’, Lemon Lime among others surge in popularity during the enhanced community quarantine in early part of 2020. In recent visit to local garden centers in Metro Manila. Prices for the common types had been falling due to increase supply. An example was the 1 foot cutting newly established Ficus elastica ” Lemon Lime” which sell between Php 1,500 to Php 2,000 would now averages between Php 750 to Php 1,200. Variegated forms will still be in demand.

Croton or San Francisco

Photo credit: pixabay user:pixasandid-356019

57. Crotons hybrids- Locally known as San Francisco. This was popular as hedge plant, potted plant in the countryside for a long time. The leaves are used as accents in flower arrangements. Large scale farms like Costa Farm would grow these in large volume. Other Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan would have different cultivar varieties.

There are hundreds of cultivar varieties to grow and these plants are easy to propagate.

Epipermum aureum also known as pothos, money plant, taro vine

Photo credit: pixabay user: sweetlouise-3967705

56. Epipermum aureum and varieties ( pothos, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, money plant, and taro vine) are just few of the common names given by sellers and backyard gardeners. The plant is a member of Araceae family. Price of the more common types have begun leveling off but the variegated forms are still in demand.

Photo courtesy of Mr. Lebon Ong, Dennis Lao and Mr. Jorge Sahagun

55. Asplenium australasicum plicatum Cultivar Variety ” Mini Philippine Cobra” This is a compact growing mutant fern (gamma irradiated Philippine Cobra) of Asplenium australasicum plicatum2021 population finally released to the industry. This is a project of Mr. Jorge Sahagun of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) in Quezon City.

Compared with the older variety in the market, This particular form is ideal for small growing area, office, condominium spaces. Fern collectors are already waiting for its release next year, There are already some reservation for this mutant form for release in 2022.

Note: These are just a partial list of the 75 trendy plants for 2021 and 2022! Happy Growing to all .

Special Mention : Mr. Lebon Ong, Mr. Dennis Lao , Mr. Jeorge Sahagun, Mrs. Letty Manalo, Ms. Esperanza Sanchez

Sources:

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Plant growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

Related article link 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 part 3) ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 2) and ( 75 Trendy Plants for the Philippines in 2021 Part 1)

75th Philippine Orchid Society’s Orchid and Garden Bazaar

Philippine Orchid Society in partnership with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration will be having the 75th annual orchid and garden bazaar to be held from February 11, 2021 to March 2, 2021 at the Quezon Memorial Circle elevated garden area.

75th Orchid and Garden Bazaar Show

Philippine Orchid Society will mark the Platinum Jubilee anniversary which was formed right after the second world war. This will be first of the two orchid shows slated this year . The next one will be held sometime late August to early September 2021.

There will be exhibits, orchid competitions, ornamental plant display, daily talks and bazaar at the evelated garden area, Quezon Memorial Circle within Quezon City.

Those who wanted to view the exhibit and orchids on display, it would be better to visit the show during the first few days of the show. As of the moment there is no posted schedule of daily talks and demonstration.

Entrance fee is Php 50.00 for the general public, Php 30.00 senior citizens, students and person with disabilities with valid identification card this was based on the last orchid show entrance fee.

For additional information on the garden show and bazaar, Please try to contact:

Secretariat :0917-848-5468 / Landline (+632) 795-735-24 ( office hours- 8:00am to 5:00pm)

Manila Hotel Postcard from Northwest Airlines

Manila Hotel was featured by foreign airline companies since the iconic hotel opens for business more than a century before. Many heritage advocates regard this landmark as national patronage.

This is comparable to Raffles hotel in Singapore, Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand among others.

Manila Hotel is still in business for more than century. Cardinell Vincent is just one of the company which featured this landmark few years after this was built. Early photographers also used real photo postcards and sold them to tourists, postcard collectors and curio collectors .

Unknown to some, There are thematic collectors which collects postcard, stamp and photo of this iconic hotel not just fellow Filipinos but foreigners from different parts of the globe. They also hunt for other collectibles items like matchboxes, table napkins, tickets, letterheads, key chains, pencil or even souvenir items with the hotel logo.

Northwest Airline Postcard

Northwest Airlines is one of the biggest network of airline companies in the world. Until its subsequent absorption by Delta airlines in 2008. But during the heydays of international travel, Northwest airlines have several destination flights to Asia like Bangkok, Busan, Hong Kong,Kaohsiung,Seoul, Singapore, Taipei,Tokyo and even Manila.

The airline company issued some postcards in these major cities and among the landmark featured in their postcards was the iconic Manila Hotel.

This postcard was issued between late 1950’s to early 1960’s by the company. The airline company also featured some Philippine landmarks like Quiapo church during their operation.

Back Portion

The back side had a short written history on the landmark and have a portion where one can affix stamp.

Manila Pearl Of the Orient” is fast regaining its pre-war beauty and charm. The Manila Hotel, among others is restored almost fully to its former elegance. Stores and native shops, swimming pools,tennis courts, golf courses and beautiful vistas of tropical splendor will make your Northwest Airlines Philippine holiday a never-to-be- forgotten experience. ( printed in the USA) Kodachrome. With code PF 16-N

This was purchase several months ago during a big sale at an online site. The postcard cost was just $1.99 with a shipment fee of $2.99.

According to an online friend, this postcard used to be commonly sold in many flea market bazaar just few years ago. He was able to purchase the Northwest airline postcard for just few US cents.

Note: the price quoted in this blog was the actual purchase of the author in the online selling site. Prices may differ from time to time and cannot be use for comparing the market value.

Useful Links: American Regime Postcards of Manila

American Regime Manila thru Postcards 1:https://renz15.wordpress.com/2019/08/22/american-regime-manila-thru-postcards-part-1/

American Regime Manila thru Postcards: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2019/08/27/american-regime-manila-postcards-part-2/

American Regime Manila Thru Postcards 3: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2019/09/13/american-regime-manila-thru-postcards-part-3/

American regime Manila Thru Postcards 4: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/american-regime-manila-thru-postcards-part-4/

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