Bamboo groves in Subic

Bamboo thicklets

When our group was driving toward the Subic forest reserve , we saw a lot of bamboo groves dying , Bamboo belong to the family of  grass .  Bamboos are some of the quickest growing plants in the world, some species have been recorded as growing up to 100 cm (39 in) within a 24 hour period due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, South East Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product.

According to our  field botanist guide there are about  5 species of native erect bamboos.  However , most of the bamboos that the group had encountered in Subic is quickly dying . Why ? They had already started to bloom in the middle part of 2011 and most of the bamboo groves have begun their flowering cycle which according to our local guides may happen between 40 to 60- year intervals. So it was estimated that the last time a bamboo die-off occurred in the Subic area was maybe in the 1960’s  given the 40- year cycle interval.

Bamboo inflorescence and flowers

In China, pandas and local wildlife species which heavily depend their subsistence on bamboos may experience  severe famine and eventually death ! One threat that pandas face is natural: sporadic bamboo die-offs which occur every 40 to 120 years. Bamboo usually reproduces by sending up new shoots, but for reasons not yet understood from time to time the plants flower, seed and then die off en mass.

According to one report , In the 1970s more than 130 pandas died when a species of bamboo found in the Minshan mountains in Sichuan province  flowered and died. In the old days when die offs occurred it was easier for panda’s to simply migrate to an area with more bamboo. But these days their habitats are fragmented and human settlements may block them from reaching bamboo supplies.

Huge bamboo specimen dying -off

In the Subic areas, native buhos also serves as a home for native bats. The aetas  ( natives of the area) also uses the bamboos in many ways from building materials , food , medicine, and even utensils. Bamboos is very important in our daily life that some ethno-botanists and anthropologists say that bamboo plant is just equal in importance to coconut palms.

The rodent and snake population may also increase during the blooming season of the bamboo,  rodents eat bamboo shoots and flowers and thus the gradual increase of their population in the area. This is also the opportunity for the snakes around the vicinity to breed because of the increase of food supply .

fallen bamboo poles

Our group saw  specimens of Schizostachyum bamboo, which is said to be probably bikal or Schizostachyum diffusum according to our  botanist companions.  Some clumps  appeared  to have flowered .  Some are in a state of disarray maybe due to the recent typhoons and heavy monsoon rains that swept the Subic region . We had to be very careful in crossing the bamboo  groves  since the split bamboos may cause injuries , some  dried bamboo  also served as home to countless of insect species such as wasps and ants.

Some of the individual clump  shoots have dried out and were split open.  Majority of them have fallen which is why we saw the structure of the dry flowers. The inflorescence is big but the individual flowers are very small.

After this  die-off , we expect that the seeds would eventually germinate and hopefully – if not disturbed,  these seeds would grow into specimen sized bamboo plants in few years to come.

12th Likha ng Central Luzon

Likha ng Central Luzon regional trade fair is a yearly event organized by Department of Trade and Industry and Philexport with the full support of the regional development council and Central Luzon Growth Corridor Foundation Inc. with the 7 governors of the regions as members. This is considered as one of the major trade promotions activity that promotes the products, services and tourist destination sites of each member province.

This year’s theme “ Likha ng Central Luzon ” Alay sa Kalikasan at Kinabukasan , the fair is being held on an annual basis.

Capability building seminars were conducted before the fair to develop the technical capabilities of the micro and small enterprises and eventually develop them to become exporters.

Product development activities were also undertaken to develop new products and product designs.

bamboo products ” Special feature of the exhibit “

Now on its 12th year, this trade fair had proven to be an effective venue to promote the products of the region to institutional buyers and exporters based in major urban centers like Metro Manila. It is also a venue were foreign buyers could buy direct from these exhibitors.

This is one of the most awaited trade events in Metro Manila because of the distinctive and the quality products that the region may offer.

The event was held from October 20 to 24, 2010 at Mega trade Hall 2, 5th Floor Building-B , SM Megamall , Mandaluyong City. The seven governors of the region are member of the Central Luzon growth corridor.



products from the province of Tarlac

Modern bags use  native bamboo  on display

This is considered as one of the major trade promotions activity that promotes the products, services and tourist destination sites of each member province.

This year’s theme “ Likha ng Central Luzon ” Alay sa Kalikasan at Kinabukasan , the fair is being held on an annual basis.    Capability building seminars were conducted before the fair to develop the technical capabilities of the micro and small enterprises and eventually develop them to become exporters.

The province of Tarlac promotes their natural produce and organic lifestyle as part of the provincial slogan ” Natural Tarlac”

Good Earth Products from Tarlac province – This company specializes on organic farming , herbs , home decor and accessories

” Zambales Finest” if the provincial product branding – the finest products and produce of the province were on display

 

(left) Granda’s Sansrival from the town of Bacolor in Pampanga


Now on its 12th year, this trade fair had proven to be an effective venue to promote the products of the region to institutional buyers and exporters based in major urban centers like Metro Manila.

” Taas Noo Novo Ecijano” with the best products from the province of Nueva Ecija

There are over 150 exhibitors from different parts of region 3 . It is also a venue were foreign buyers could buy direct from these exhibitors.

” Tatak Bulakenyo” products from different towns and municipalities of  Bulacan

This is one of the most awaited trade events in Metro Manila because of the distinctive and the quality products that the region may offer. Unique products are also awarded for their designs and quality .

” Vida Pampanga” products on display were made from the province of Pampanga

winner for best design and best product


Jesslyn Marie Marketing from Nueva Ecija with their wooded lamp products and dolls

various array of native barongs and embroidered clothes from Bulacan

Special showcase on engineered bamboo products , This showcase aims to heighten awareness on the significant contribution of the bamboo to environment   protection, poverty mitigation and disaster management .

Bulacan Bamboo Craft specialties in various bamboo products such as frames,   baskets, accessories,  pot holder,  wall decor among others.  According to one of the sales staffs , most of their buyers were balikbayans and foreigners.


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