Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleum within Manila Memorial Park ( Part 2)

Manila Memorial Park is a treasure trove of tombs, family mausoleum, flora, fauna and famous personalities.

walking or jogging around the park is a healthy option to enjoy the scenery. The park is ideal for spotting some insects, birds or even flowering plants.

Among the unique tomb is the pyramid shaped tomb of Mr. Pedro T. Patalinghug Sr.

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Pedro T. Patalinghug Sr. tomb

Pyramid shaped tomb of Mr. Pedro T. Patalinghug Sr. who died in 1975.

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chinese temple style mausoleum

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frangipani/ plumeria aka kalachuchi

Horticulture Walk

This chinese temple style mausoleum had several decades-old kalachuchi / plumeria or frangipani trees blooming.

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traveller palm, kalachuchi, mango tree, royal palm, mussaenda hybrid

Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as traveller’s tree or traveller’s palm

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Familia Rocha-Perez mausoleum

Famila Rocha -Perez mausoleum is overrun with Ficus pumila which reminds me of an open type tomb at the Manila Chinese Cemetery. The family tomb also had palms and potted sanseviera / mother- in- law plant.

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Catañeda family mausoleum with Ficus pumila creeping into the walls of the family mausoleum.

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L- R Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr., Teresita M. Reyes, Amparo Reyes, Luis M. Reyes and Alfredo M. Reyes

Reyes-Montinola family mausoleum- I have been to this mausoleum several times. Paying my homage and respect to the founders of Far Eastern University.

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Reyes- Montinola family mausoleum

The outer and inner wall had old Ficus pumila creeping of the walls of the family mausoleum. The hedges are planted with Hibiscus or Gumamela hybrids.

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Mr. Geronimo Velasco tomb- The walls had creeping Ficus pumila, palms, crotons and bermuda grass.  The family tomb is located just beside the Reyes-Montinola family mausoleum.

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Sison family

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Montinola-Varona family mausoleum

Montinola-Varona family plot is neatly planted with bermuda grass, blooming boungainvilleas, auracaria and sansevieria plants.

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classic with touch of modern style

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Bangkok Kalachuchi or Adenium obesum hybrid blooming

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Antonio Welborn mausoleum

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Manila Memorial Park creek area

There were several ficus trees, bougainvillea hybrids and hedge plants planted in this portion of the park. The creek which flows within the manila memorial park property is dirty and needs periodic flushing to remove the trash.

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boungainvillea hybrids

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columbary units with cycad

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The columbary area had some man-made cave with planted areas for foliage anthurium, ficus, dracena plant and aviary. There is also an aviary where a couple of crows are kept.

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Euphorbia millii hybrid

Some family plot owners and caretakers prefer to plant Euphorbia millii hybrid within their designated area. According to them, It save them money and their brightly colored flowers also serves as flower arrangement. This also avoid some park goers to pick them since these plants are thorny.

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Court of Eternal Tribute

The adobe entrance also had several Ficus trees planted to create an effect.

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Royal palm, Bunga China were some of the palms planted in this family mausoleum

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modern neo-gothic style mausoleum

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Lagdameo-Revilla family mausoleum

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Hibiscus or Gumamela  flowering

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a circular family mausoleum

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family mausoleum with a lot of bromeliad hybrids and date palm

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Limpe Family mausoleum

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 family mausoleum

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bromeliad hybrid planted in a family mausoleum as hedge

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Japanese-modern family mausoleum

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Evangelista -Ongpauco family mausoleum

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Carunugan family mausoleum

Carunungan family mausoleum is chic and shabby style architecture. With large windows, natural light can enter the mausoleum. This looked like a tooth from a distance.

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Guatemalan rhubarb ( Jatropha podagrica), sometimes mistakenly called tropical ginseng. A deciduous ornamental often grown as a pot plant or in rockeries, this shrub has a thick gouty, swollen stem up to 60cm, often a few large leaves near the top of the plant.

This ornamental plant was introduced into the country during the Spanish colonial regime. This is normally used for landscaping, ornamental plant and hedge plant. This does not require frequent watering and does not have any medicinal value. Do try to eat any parts of the plant since it had a toxicity level of 2 and 3.

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Dischidia ionantha or Manaog ka Irog naturalized on a tree

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family mausoleum

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ornately decorated family mausoleum

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chapel style family mausoleum

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Tantoco-Rustia family mausoleum

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Samson family plot with neatly manicured lawn and ornamental plants

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Cabarrus Family mausoleum with family crest

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Castillo family mausoleum – Mr. Horacio ‘Atio’ Castillo III is buried along with his grand parents. He was a University of Santo Tomas (UST) freshman law student who died due to hazing cause by frat members on September 17, 2017.

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Don Mariano Lim mausoleum

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mausoleum

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mid-modern family mausoleum painted in apple green

This family tomb had several mahogany trees, talisay trees planted within their property.

There is problem in water supply in the memorial park. Those planning to plant ornamental plants or trees within their family estate. Try to choose native flowering plants and trees which can withstand drought, minimal care or even petty theft, like those picking flowers or branches.

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Dita tree

Alstonia scholaris or Dita tree is a native tree which is commonly planted in open spaces, parks and glad to have seen several trees planted in this portion.

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Kalaw -Katigbak family mausoleum

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Barringtonia asiatica or locally called Botong/ Bitun/ Bitung/ Boton is another tree which is commonly planted in the memorial park.

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Lim family mausoleum- This reflect combination of Filipino-Chinese, Catholic and simple modern mausoleum.

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De Vera family mausoleum- This family mausoleum is located near Rico Yan , Angela and Narciso Ramos mausoleum. The mausoleum architecture is the same with the Lim family mausoleum since they were designed by the same contractor.

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family mausoleum

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Co family mausoleum with blooming ixora / santans, Ochna serrulata / Mickey Mouse plant planted in cement plant boxes.

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cannonball tree flowers

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 Couroupita flowers also have mild scent

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Couroupita guianensis is also called Ayahuma or cannonball tree. This tree is extensively used as landscape tree in Manila Memorial Park and even at the Holy Cross Memorial.

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Pisonia alba is also known as Lettuce tree, maluku or Koles maluku. The apple green leaves of this ornamental tree can be eaten and used as salad or fried into tempura. This ornamental tree used to be commonly planted in many parks, private homes and garden in the 1970’s till the late 1990’s.

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Tricycle TODA

Saw the mausoleums of AJ Perez, Ambassador Yuchengco along the way. There are also tricycle route inside the park. The special fare cost Php 30.

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meditation tower – one of the landmarks of the park

One can visit Manila Memorial Park anytime. People could normally visit the park early in the morning to avoid the traffic and late afternoon.

Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleums within Manila Memorial Park Part 1

 

Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleums within Manila Memorial Park

Manila Memorial Park is the biggest private cemetery with combined total area of all its parks totals 342 hectares. It is located along Dr. A. Santos Avenue along Sucat, Parañaque City. The Sucat property alone covers 142 hectares.

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Tan Seng Co family mausoleum and Benigno and Corazon Aquino mausoleum

Plaza of Dignity XIX– This is where the family mausoleum of former president Corazon “Cory ” Aquino and husband Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino is located. The park also manages the Holy Cross Memorial Park in Barangay San Bartolome, Novaliches, Quezon City.

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flowers were neatly arranged at the tomb of  President Corazon Aquino and Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

The memorial park was opened in 1964, one of the first place in the country to have to western style concept of lawn burials.  In 1985, the memorial park also boasted of modern crematorium.

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lawn type burial place

We have several relatives, distant cousins, family friends and close acquaintances who were buried in different sections of the cemetery.

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royal palms, acacia trees, narra and mahogany tree dot this landscape

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food stalls

Food stalls from small , medium and large companies had already set-up inside the park as early as October 29. Most of these stall will be open until November 2.

Horticulture and Mausoleums

There were at least 250 species of trees, flowering shrubs, ornamental plants, native trees, ficus, cacti, succulents, ferns, orchids and even variegated palms which can be easily spotted with the park. Most of the trees and ornamental plants were planted by the park management or by the families.

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Adonidia merrillii / Bunga China mutant form with several kinds of ti-plant

At least 2 dozen bird species from Eurasian tree sparrow, Philippine pied fantail, turtle doves, pigeon and others which call the park as home. The wooded areas also host a number of bats, butterflies and bees. There is also an informal jogging group who meet at the park.

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Valero family mausoleum

Valero family mausoleum is simple with two Egyptian sphinx guarding the main entrance. This remind me of the tomb of Tuazon-Arroyo within Manila North Cemetery.

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Litonjua family mausoleum

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Narciso Ramos and Angela Ramos family mausoleum

Statesman Narcisco Ramos and Angela Ramos mausoleum is just located within few meters away from a relative’s mausoleum.

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Josephine “Jo” Martinez Ramos tomb- daughter of President Fidel V. Ramos is buried near the mausoleum of Narciso and Angela Ramos

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Yan family mausoleum

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Rico Yan mausoleum

Ricardo Carlos Castro Yan ( March 14, 1975 – March 29, 2002) mausoleum is simple, stylish and modern. Almost every caretaker within the cemetery knows this spot. Another uncle was buried just 100 meters away from this mausoleum.

Some of the fans and friends of the celebrity would visit his mausoleum every March 29 to commemorate his death anniversary.

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family tomb with foo dogs and blessed mary statue

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family mausoleum

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Filipino-Chinese family mausoleum with foo dogs

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Mabolo and Talisay tree

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Adapon family mausoleum

Adapon family had a unique family mausoleum which resembles an old town church.

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chinese style pagoda

Chinese style pagoda mausoleum resemble those in Manila Chinese Cemetery.

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california mission style mausoleum

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Co family mausoleum -with greek columns

Co family mausoleum is stately with Araucaria pine and Ptychosperma macarthurii, known as the Macarthur palm planted within the family lawn.

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This chinese style mausoleum had neatly manicured lawn with large Polyalthia longifolia, the false ashoka native to India, is a lofty evergreen tree.

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classical style with Manila palms and Bermuda grass

There were many interesting native trees and flowering plants within the park.

Horticulture Walk and Visit to Family Mausoleums within Manila Memorial Park Part 2

Sanggumays Flowering in the City: A Noteworthy Philippine Orchid Species

Metro Manila, Philippines

sanggumay orchids mounted on living Mac Arthur palm (Ptychosperma macarthurii ) grown by the author

Blooming Season :

January, February, March , April and May ,  When the western parts of the country in nature experience the start of a dry period . Is also the time when the right time temperature is lower ( over 20F around 10 to 15 degree Celsius difference over the day time temperature ). These changes give signal to many plants species including the “ Sanggumay “ to produce buds and flowers.

Dendrobium anosmum grown  on a living palm ( grown by the author )

However the drop of temperature and dry spell must remain constant and continuous in order to successfully initiate buds for the period of 4 to 6 weeks. Watering during this period must be strictly reduce or withheld for about 4 – 8 weeks, Otherwise fewer buds and flowers are produced.

Dendrobium anosmum variety dearei or alba being sold at Centris Sunday Market

Ethno-Botanical Importance and Folklore :

Dendrobium anosmum are more popularly called ” Sanggumays ” the word were derived from two Tagalog root word ” Sangsang ” and ” Umay “.

Sangsang– is Tagalog word for nauseating , over-powerful  , stench smell .

Umay , nakakaumay, gumay – is another Tagalog word for fed-up ,   tiresome.  A sight to behold especially when grouped in clusters or clumped together in several trees or palms . Its generosity extends to its fragrance that seems to overpower the sense of smell but can be pleasant as one becomes acquainted with the scent that is distinct with sanggumay.

Sometimes local orchid orchid growers would also refer  other pendulous type of orchid species as” Sanggumays” Like Dendrobium aphyllum/ Dendrobium cucullatum , Dendrobium crumenatum ( from General Nakar- Quezon ) .

Dendrobium anosmum with different shades of violet

The smell of a blooming Dendrobium anosmum can be very overpowering for some distance. The name would also vary from one person to another and from one region to another. Some people call this orchid species ” Latigo ” in reference to the long cane similar to whipping cattle or horse  , Some people call this orchid species ” Purple Rain ”  In , Hawaii – This orchid species is called ”  Hono-hono “. Some people would also refer this orchid species as ” Grandmother ‘s orchid” In reference to their grandmother . This particular orchid species are grown by backyard gardener’s for several generations.

Dendrobium anosmum grown on a trunk of coconut palm in San Jose del Monte City , Bulacan province (Photo credit :Mr.Jeffrey Samonte )

The orchid  depicted above was from Mr. Jeffrey Samonte ( my friend )- an orchid enthusiast who lived in Novaliches , Quezon City.  This orchid species bloomed  few weeks ago in his parents home in San Jose del Monte City , Bulacan province. According to him , The original orchid plant  was from his grandmother’s orchid collection which is about 20 year- old plant.

Sanggumays used to be extensively grown in many parts of Metro Manila particularly Novaliches, Fairview, Valenzuela , Deparo, Caloocan , Marikina , San Juan  and in some posh villages where large trees are found.

almost withered flowers ( photo courtesy of Mr. Jeffrey Samonte)

This orchid had a long pseudo bulbs / canes and almost 1 meter long canes that are attached to a coconut palm along with some native orchid species.  However in recent years due to extensive land development in Metro Manila and lands that used to be mango orchards are now converted into subdivisions and concrete urban jungle prevails. Compared 20 to 30 years ago , there are fewer people know how to take care of these orchids species. Some housewives would prefer other plants or some orchid hybrids because they are more free flowering / blooming compared to this once in a year- bloomer!

sanggumay attached to a mango tree within Greenbelt , Makati City

We are also documenting some green spaces around Metro Manila where they are using native orchids as part of their landscaping projects.

We are happy that land developers like Ayala took notice in the beauty of these native species and try to incorporate them with their landscaping projects.

sanggumays at the recent 68th annual orchid show

These large flowering sanggumays are from the collection of Ms. Vangie Go. Their long canes and large flowers came from Abra and Benguet area. Some local taxonomists say that they are Dendrobium anosmum variety superbum / giganteum . They have larger pseudo bulbs compared to the ordinary ones , Some  orchid canes may reach 3 meters or even longer and flowers can reach more than 12 centimeters to 15 centimeters !!!

Some people have different superstitious beliefs with regards to the cultivation of these wonderful orchid species . Some believe that they ward -off evil spirits , Other believe that they bring good fortunes . While some believe that they are bad for Feng Shui since they grow downward.  . Some ethnic groups use the thick canes for  medicinal purposes , rope, and handicrafts . The orchid flowers are also used as lies for graduation ceremony and decoration for altars . Aside from the aesthetic value used by landscapers .

Care and Propagation:

Propagation is a simple technique, We acquired our first sanggumays more than 20 years-ago , When a caretaker of a temple in Quezon City is making some clean-ups on the so called dead canes . We ended -up with a couple of canes and planted them on a living tree. Some of our sanggumays were given by relatives coming from provinces. Others were bought from different garden centers or provincial flea market .

I used to prefer fern slabs as a good media for planting these orchid species , they are hardy and durable however since Department of Environment and Natural Resources ( DENR ) and other conservation organization are raising the red signal over the over collection and habitat loss , I decided to shift to other media like coconut husk, charcoal, kakawate trunks, live palms or live trees . Old pseudo bulbs / canes can be propagated and can be induced to produced keikis ( anaks /suhi / offsets ).

Watering and Fertilization:

I  fertilize my Dendrobium anosmum after watering / drenching  them , 2 to 3 times a week !  Especially during warm and sunny days ! –  But i dilute the water soluble fertilizer to just 1/4 of the recommended dosage . I normally use 2 to 3 kinds of fertilizer brands ( formulation 20N-20P-20K) As they say ” WEAKLY WEEKLY ” I would also use  fresh rice washing ( hugas bigas) . I would delegate the choirs to my other sibling. They would dilute the rice washing and  water the orchids from leaves and roots. I would also use water from our fish tank or aquarium then dilute them 1 part aquarium water to 1 part ordinary tap ( de-chlorinated ) water whenever we change water in our aquarium. This is a practical organic way of fertilizing plants and orchids!

specimen sized orchid

I also fertilize the undersides  leaves of my sanggumays . Sometimes when we harvest our coconuts we would also use 1 part coconut water and then dilute them to a mixture to 1 part of water and would use the diluted coconut water and drench our sanggumays and other orchid species!

During rainy season , I would only apply fertilizer once a week and put slow release fertilizer ( 15 to 20 granules sewn to a small cloth ) for mature plants and ( 10 to 15 granules sewn to a small cloth ) for immature  per clump.  This would save me time to fertilize my orchids .  We would also apply fungicide just before the onset of the rainy season ( early May ) then apply them every 2 to 3 weeks intervals . These will help the orchid build resistance to any fungal diseases .

Air circulation is also a key to successful orchid cultivation. When in doubt , you can forgo watering them for 1 to 2 days ! over watering can kill an orchid .

Light: These orchid can tolerate high levels of    light and benefit from some hours of full sun, some can even stand full midday sun without complaint, Dendrobium anosmum can take between 50 % to 70% sunlight .  So try to choose a tree or a palm which have an ample spot of sunlight to penetrate . Try to prune over bushy trees like caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito )   , mangoes , chico , langka (Artocarpus heterophyllus )   and acacia ( Saman samanea) before the onset of the rainy season . While i prefer to mount them on living palms like Bunga china, Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii ), Mac Arthur palm.

Range and Distribution:

China , India, Sri Lanka , Thailand, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia, and Papua and New Guinea in gallery layers of lower primary forests at elevations up to 1,300 meters with terete, arching to pendulous, to 4′ [120 cm] long or even longer , many noded stem with each node enveloped by a loose fitting sheath and carrying oblong elliptic, acute, deciduous leaves.

Varieties

  • Dendrobium anosmum
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. huttonii
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. dearei or alba ( white form )
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. semi-alba (ordinary type, lavender column and white petals and sepals)
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. semi-alba -rubra (red orange lip semi-alba which is slowest growing and shortest canes of the species)
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. superbum / giganteum ( 12 cm to 15 cm across)
  • Dendroium anosmum var. javierii ( with pinkish column )
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. coerulescens ( blue type)
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. concolor
  • Dendrobium anosmum var. parviflora (small flowers)

References:

page 26 , How to produce more flowers on your Dendrobium anosmum or sanggumay Vol. 15 no. 1 Philippine Orchid Review , 2005

Orchids of the Philippines Cootes 2001

Website: http://stuartxchange.com/Sanggumay.html

http://www.orchidspecies.com/denanosmum.htm

http://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/13008333

Note : All photos posted in this article are from the author , Except those photos with “courtesy of ” are the property of the people who took the photos and thus permission were sought .

Some of the sanggumays ( Dendrobium anosmum)  are grown personally by the author.

Holy Cross Memorial Park Horticulture Walk

Holy Cross Memorial Park is one of the private memorial parks located in Barangay San Bartolome , Novaliches , Quezon CityMetro Manila that is a favorite place for joggers and a perfect place to relax .

rows of anahaw palm

ficus trees lined the street going to the park

The park is home to more than 150 species of trees and flowering plants  plus about two dozen known birds. Every Year there were at least  75,000 to 150,000 people who visit the  their beloved ones who are buried . There is a also a group joggers from different associations.

Spathodea campanulata or African Tulip Tree

This tree species  was probably introduced to the country  from tropical Africa during the American regime. In certain parts of the world, it is known as the Fountain Tree as well as the Flame of the Forest.

This is a popular ornamental tree in the tropics and is much appreciated for its showy reddish-orange or crimson flowers. It can provide ample shade and because of its bright flowers, it’s always a colorful addition to any garden. The wood is difficult to burn, so the tree is also valuable for fire resistant landscaping. It is cultivated in parks, gardens, and along roadsides. It is commonly seen growing around Metro Manila and Tagaytay area and is often considered an evergreen, though it sheds its leaves during summer.

The flower buds form a ball-shaped cluster. Each brown banana-shaped flower bud is filled with water, forming a natural water pistol when squeezed. The outer buds bloom first before the inner ones. The tree blooms year round and a flower lasts about 3 days. The ripe pods split open into a woody, boat-shaped form. Children use them in boat races, by placing the opened pods in a fast flowing drain.

Medicinal Value:

Though there is no reported folkloric use here in the Philippines, Its leaves, root bark, stems, and fruits yield alkaloids, tannin, saponin, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoid and are used in African medicines. In some African countries, the stem bark is used as a paste for healing wounds as it has anti-microbial properties. In Ghana, the stem bark and leaf are used for treatment of dyspepsia and peptic ulcer; while the leaf, root bark, and fruit is used for arthritis and fractures.

Though there is no reported folkloric use here in the Philippines, its leaves, root bark, stems, and fruits yield alkaloids, tannin, saponin, steroids, terpenoids, and flavonoid and are used in African medicines. In Africa, the stem bark is used as a paste for healing wounds as it has anti-microbial properties. In Ghana, the stem bark and leaf are used for treatment of dyspepsia and peptic ulcer; while the leaf, root bark, and fruit is used for arthritis and fractures. The stem bark is also used for toothaches and stomach aches while the root bark and seeds are used for stomach ulcers.

a traditional Chinese-style family mausoleum

This tree can survive in shaded areas, but it requires full sunlight exposure to be able to grow fast and bloom with an abundance of flowers. It can even grow faster when there is plenty of moisture though it endures droughts by shedding leaves.

Couroupita guianensis or Cannon Ball Tree

Couroupita guianensis, whose common names include Ayahuma or  Cannonball Tree, is an  tree allied to the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa), and is native to tropical northern South America and to the southern Caribbean . In India it has been growing for the past two or three thousand years at least, as attested by textual records; hence it is possible that it is native to India also. It’s part of the family Lecythidaceae and grows up to 25m (82ft) in height.

flower

The “Cannonball Tree” is so called because of its brown cannon-ball-like fruits. The majority of these trees outside their natural environment have been planted as a botanical curiosity, as they grow very large, distinctive flowers. Its flowers are orange, scarlet and pink in color, and form large bunches measuring up to 3m in length. They produce large spherical and woody fruits ranging from 15 to 24cm in diameter, containing up to 200 or 300 seeds a piece.

Introduction:

This introduced species was probably brought to the country during the American regime . Its decorative flowers and fruit makes this tree ideal as a focal point in large gardens and estate. However it is not recommended to plant this tree in small garden spaces .

The tree gets its common name from the large, spherical fruits it produces. The fruit falls from the tree and cracks open when it hits the ground when mature, often causing the sound of a small explosion. The fruit emits an unpleasant aroma when exposed to the air. Individual seeds within the “ball” are coated with hair, which is thought to protect the seed when it is ingested and may also help in the passage of the seed through the intestines.

Traveller’s palm

Ravenala madagascariensis, commonly known as  Traveller’s Palm, is a species of plant from Madagascar. However , horticulturists do not consider this plant as a true palm(family Arecaceae) but a member of the bird-of-paradise family, Strelitziaceae.this plant is the sole member of its genus. This plant was introduced to the country during the early American regime and is widely distributed as a common landscaping plant material.

Chrysalidocarpus  lutescens called palmera / butterfly palm

  Local folk called this palmera because of its fronts and commonly used as an ornamental plant and backdrop for flower arrangements . This is a common palm found in most pan-tropical countries around the world.

A slender , clustering palm that can grow height to more than 12 meters. The graceful yellow green leaves and can reach up to 2 meters. This palm is native to Madagascar and was introduced in the early 20th century in the country as landscaping material. It is now commonly found in parks , private homes and this palm is also popular as indoor potted plant.

a flowering palm

Cassia fistula, known as the Golden shower tree , is a flowering plant in the family Fabaceae,   native to southern Asia, from southern Pakistan east through India, Mayanmar and south to Sri Lanka.

Golden shower tree or Cassia fistula

It is the national tree of  Thailand, and its flower is Thailand’s national flower. It is also state flower of Kerala in India and of immense importance amongst Malayali population.  This is a very popular plant throughout its range and has medicinal and folkloric uses.

Hyophorbe lagenicaulis or bottle palm

Bottle palm was introduced to the country some  20 to 30 years ago via Bangkok, Thailand  and Florida nurseries  , Filipino landscapers usually used this palm to landscape the front lawns  of the houses. The compact growth of this palm is ideal for those who do not have large spaces. There are specimen sized palm planted in some exclusive villages in Forbes Park , Corinthian Garden, Valle Verde, Ayala- Alabang  and in Greenhills .

Chua family mausoleum

Bottle Palm has a large swollen (sometimes bizarrely so) trunk. It is a myth that the trunk is a means by which the palm stores water. Bottle Palm has only four to six leaves open at any time. The flowers of the palm arise from under the crown shaft.

Roystonea regia or Royal Palm

Royal palm was introduced to the country during the late Spanish period and was planted in public places such as in Malecon drive ( aka Bonifacio Drive) , Intramuros , Hardin Botanico de Manila now known as Mehan Garden .

Roystonea is a genus of eleven species  of monoecious palm, native to the Caribbean Islands and the adjacent coasts of  Florida , Central and South America. Commonly known as the royal palms, the genus was named for Roy Stone, an engineer in the US Army . It contains some of the most recognizable and commonly cultivated palms in tropical and subtropical regions.

Champaka trees planted in one of the family graves

The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. They are primarily used for worship at temples whether at home or out, and more generally worn in hair by girls and women as a means of beauty ornament as well as a natural perfume. Flowers are used to be floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, and for garlands.

rows of anahaw palm

Aside from its wealth of plants and birds, Holy Cross Memorial Park  is the final resting place of controversial massacre victims of Vizconde family and Mr. Renato Victor A. Ebarle Jr. son of  Undersecretary Renato Ebarle Sr.who works for the Office of the Presidential chief of staff during the Arroyo presidency.

final resting place of Mr. Renato Ebarle Jr.

Mr. Renato Ebarle Jr. died in a tragic road rage shooting incident which involve the son of  Mrs. Marilyn Aguilar -Pollard in November 18, 2009 .  There are also unique tombstone and family mausoleum located within the memorial park .

castle inspired mausoleum

Assistant Pastor Lina C. Almeda tomb

Assistant Pastor Lina C. Almeda is the wife of Pastor Wildie E.Almeda of Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry , her tomb is a mecca for the followers of JMIC members.

She was fervent in teaching about loving, obeying, and totally surrendering one’s life to the Lord. She was passionate about living and teaching a life of holiness. She died on January 24, 2004.

Mussaenda philippica variety aurorae

This is a tropical shrub or sub-shrub that will grow to 10ft tall in tropical areas, but more likely will reach 1-3ft tall in containers. Clusters (corymbs) of small, tubular flowers with five spreading lobes bloom in summer, however it is the large and colorful, ovate, leaf-like sepals (to 3” long) that provide the real ornamental display. Some individual flowers in each cluster will develop a single enlarged sepal. Elliptic to ovate, bright green leaves (to 6” long). Hybrids typically feature flowers in red and/or yellow with showy sepals of white, bright red or pink.

Origin: named after Donya Aurora Aragon- Quezon , wife of a former President Manuel Luis Quezon of the Philippines .

White Mussaenda also commonly called  Virgin Tree or Donya Aurora can be grown as ornamental in parks and public gardens or along roadsides, byways and highways. Use in landscaping, this plant serves well as a decorative specimen with its showy blooms and would fit beautifully in home gardens too! Attractive to butterflies, bees,  and insect pollinators as a nectar plant.

tombstone with Tagalog inscription

family mausoleum with interesting cathedral -like dome

                                                            a circular family mausoleum ( some architectural details  have some  similarities of planetarium in Luneta )

The golden form of Golden Vietcha or Adonidia merrillii  golden is widely used as landscaping plant

This is a mutant variety of the, Bunga China , Bunga de Jolo, Manila Palm or Christmas Palm.The palm can reach up to  a height of 15-20 feet. The gently arching fronds are bright green and grow lushly from the top of the crown shaft. They grow to a length of 5 feet with leaflets up to 2 feet long by 2 inches wide.

Two foot long, branched flower stalks emerge from the area where the crownshaft meets the gray trunk. Pale green flower buds open into spidery cream-colored blossoms.

Tale of Discovery:

One mutant palm that has made a lot of growers much richer is the so-called Golden Veitchia. This is a golden mutation of the ordinary Bunga China or Veitchia merrillii. This was first discovered in the garden of Mr. Cesar Pecson in Singalong, Manila, in the mid-1980s. It came from the fruits of a Bunga China planted beside the gate of Pecson’s home.

According to Mr. Zacarias  Sarian , While having snack  in Pecson’s garden,  Mr. Sarian  saw some of the seedlings that sprouted from the fallen fruits on the ground had golden leaves. He suggested to Pecson that he pot those golden seedlings and then sell them at the Baclaran plant market where he had a stall. That’s exactly what he did and was glad to sell them at only P25 per seedling. When he observed that people were buying his seedlings, Pecson raised his price. He raised all the more when the plant traders from Bangkok learned about the Golden Veitchia and bought everything that was available.

Somehow traders from Bangkok and Malaysia were able to buy some seedlings of the mutant variety which they re-package the name Golden Butia or Golden Vietcha !

Many of the local growers made money by selling some of their full grown plants to landscapers at a high price. Some of the plants they retained bore fruit and they also produced Golden Veitchia seedlings which they were able to sell at a good price.

In Thailand, the Nong Nooch Garden Resort is now growing Golden Veitchia by the hectares and is selling them at a high price. The price of the mutant variety sky rocketed and even reach a several thousand of pesos !This has made not a few growers not just a little richer.

Since the Thai’s were very good in cultivating the mutant strain , they were able to successfully marketed in mass quantities  in just matter of years .

Now, the price of the mutant variety is more affordable but still more expensive then the ordinary form.

                                       Bread Fruit/ Kamansi/ Rimas (Tagalog ) Kolo

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of  the mulberry family, Moraceae  growing throughout Southeast Asia and most Pacific Ocean islands. Its name is derived from the texture of the cooked fruit, which has a potato-like flavor, similar to fresh-baked bread.

The ancestors of the Polynesians found the trees growing in the northwest New Guinea area around 3500 years ago. They gave up the rice cultivation they had brought with them from ancient Taiwan, and raised breadfruit wherever they went in the Pacific (except Easter Island and New Zealand, which were too cold). Their ancient eastern Indonesian cousins spread the plant west and north through insular and coastal Southeast Asia. It has, in historic times, also been widely planted in tropical regions elsewhere.

                                                                                         Banaba tree in bloom

Lagerstroemia speciosa  is a  decidious tropical flowering tree, 5 to 10 m high, sometimes growing to a height of 20 meters. Leaves, large, spatulate, oblong to elliptic-ovate, 2-4 inches in width, 5-8 inches in length; shedding its leaves the first months of the year. Before shedding, the leaves are bright orange or red during which time it is thought to contain higher levels of corosolic acid). Flowers are racemes, pink to lavender; flowering from March to June. After flowering, the tree bears large clumps of oval nut like fruits.

Author’s note: Most of the trees and plants that the author featured in the horticulture walk blooms on a seasonal basis. It is wise to plan  the tour in order to see what is flowering for a particular month.

References:

ANTIALLERGIC AND ANTIDIABETIC COMPOUNDS FROM SOME PHILIPPINE MEDICINAL PLANTS

http://home.hiroshima-u.ac.jp/~shoyaku/member/yamasaki/Philip99.htm
Hypoglycemic effect of extracts from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. leaves in genetically diabetic KK-AY mice
Kakuda T, Sakane I, Takihara T, Ozaki Y, Takeuchi H, Kuroyanagi M. / Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 1996 Feb;60(2):204-8.

Balick, M. & Cox, P. (1996). Plants, People and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany. New York: Scientific American Library HPHLP, p.85

McLendon, Chuck (May 16, 2000). “Ravenala madagascariensis”. Floridata.com. Retrieved September 14, 2009

Spathodea Campanulata: an Experimental Evaluation of the Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Traditional Remedy / Emmanuel E Ilodigwe and Peter A Akah / Asian Journal of Medical Sciences 1(2): 35-38, 2009

U. S. Department of Agriculture, William Saunders; Catalogue of Economic Plants in the Collection of the U. S. Department of Agriculture; Washington D. C.; June 5,

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