Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan ( Part 4)

Bustos , Bulacan province – Philippines

 

The group then toured some of the most historical and oldest still existing houses in Bustos .

facade of the house ( Avelina Perez Ancestral House )

This house is a favorite shooting place among local films and television. Among the films that were shot at the house were Ibulong Mo sa Hangin ( Whispher to the Wind ) by Gerardo de Leon in 1966 .  Nasaan ka Maruja  1978 , Agua Bendita ( Television series Feb. 2010 to September 2010  ), Villa Quintana (November 2013 to June 2014 series) , Ang Biyahe ni Drew and I Juander QTV channel 11 .

living room

Aside from the films and television series , There are some instances that pre-nuptial photo sessions are also held at the sprawling garden.

 

plateria cabinet

Plateria is a furniture cabinet which is popular among jewelry / silversmith maker and rich families . Some of the compartments are used for storing materials that are used for making jewelry  . They are made using the best hardwood tree species and are ornately carved.

minasa wooden mold with 1874 date

What makes this furniture cabinet so special to the family is that this was one of the only 2 plateria that the Rizal family owns . And one of them is given to the family . They say that it might date backs to the late 19th century .

Sometimes, heritage and travelers would also tour the place upon coordination with the owners or tourism office.

Parts of the house was renovated , thus the facade of this ancestral house does not look old .

family tree ( courtesy of the family  )

According to the current owner of the house, They are distantly related to Reyes clan ( Nicanor Reyes Sr. of Far Eastern University  – who’s family hails from neighboring town of Baliwag ) They are also distantly related to Rizal’s -Lopez family clan, Mercado family and some prominent families in Baliwag and Bustos.

tables and chairs

There is also a book that was printed several years ago commissioned by one of the family member and written by Ms. Lourdes L. Mercado  .

library

 group photo together with Ms. Avelina Baby- Perez

We finally bid farewell to the owner of the house and the group went to the adjacent Perez Ancestral house – They owners of these houses are relatives .

 Perez House as viewed along the highway

The Perez Ancestral House was built around 1858, It is considered as one of the most important ancestral house both architecturally and historically .

stone carvings

The house had intricate stone hand-made carvings located at the sides of the house. Historians and architects are puzzled with the intricate stones carvings with two double headed eagle like creature with crown.

Habsburg -Lorraine royal seal -courtesy of  Wikipedia

This is like HabsburgLorraine ( Austrian- Hungarian ) or Augustinian in origin.

There are several theories:

1.) The family might have a royal lineage from Europe , hence they were able to have the stone carvings at their house.

2.) The family origins might be of Mexican royalty or nobles and was incorporated to the house design.

3.) Agustinian order – There are high priests and bishops who might once lived at their house.

4.) Royal merit from Spanish government for their family meritorious act or services .

Website link: http://www.habsburger.net/en

intricate stone carvings

 Jesus Christ

fray luna

Fray Luna is also called Versoza chairs which is popular during the late Spanish colonial furniture.

living room area

The living rooms of both houses looks quite similar except that this house got more crochet works and more simple.

 Cafe Apolonio

The house and compound is a good example of re-adaptive reuse by the present owner.

Dendrobium anosmum aka sanggumay

There are pocket garden and native orchids like  Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumays ) were mounted on living trees. It seems that this is the most popular orchid species being grown by the people in this town.

They opened a cafe and restaurant located at the ground floor of the ancestral house with a garden area good for 50 to 60 people . Inside , The restaurant cafe area can host of around 20 to 30 people at any given day .

There is a patio area which can accommodate 4 to 6 people.

Ms. Ofelia Perez- Genabe together with some participants of the tour

We were met by the owner by Ms. Ofelia Perez-Genabe and  she showed us the living room and parts of the colonial house. The old ancestral house was built around 1858.

Business Hours:

M-TH: 11:00am to 10:00pm, F-S : 11:00am to 12mn

Mercado House

Mercado House is another ancestral house which is located near the Perez Ancestral  Ancestral Houses . This was built around mid- 19th century and is another sample of a house with Baroque-style carved stone corner pilasters, carved stone garland and crucifix motifs in the entrance, chrysanthemum designs, decorative reliefs, molave planks with narra sidings, capiz windows, moveable panels, graceful grilles.and baroque style.

Mercado House ( closer view of the stone carvings and pillars) 

Unfortunately, it was sold to an unnamed doctor just a few years ago and the new owners which are private people  is not keen to open the house to heritage tours from outsiders.  Based from the personal stories from the adjacent houses. The former owner is also a distant relative of the Perez. ( Conrado Mercado ).

Some of the group took photos of the exterior of the house from the street.

Bustos Dam :

Brief History : Built in 1926, 50 kilometers upstream from the Bustos Dam as a fixed type river weir without gates, the AARD, Angat Afterbay Regulator Dam (commonly known as Bustos Dam) is the longest rubber dam in Asia at 79 meters and the second largest in the world.

Bustos Dam

The present dam was rehabilitated by Kurimoto, LTD., Osaka, Japan , manufacturing date, as of May, 1997.

It has Washed Out, Intake, Sluice and Roller Gates sets. Its clear spans are 4.6% 1.53 meters. Its gate (opening) heights are 4.5 and 1.0 meters. The weights of the leaves are 5.4 and 1.0 tons. The operating speed is 0.3 m./ min.

Mr. Conrado Garcia Mercado statue

He is known as “Mr. Irrigation” or Mr. NIA . He was the first National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Assistant Administrator; Original owner of the Mercado Ancestral House in Brgy. Bonga Menor; the government created a statue for him to serve as a memorabilia for him and his contributions. The statue is located within the  park near the entrance.

commemorative marker

 The Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2001 , (JICA) has approved a P500-million grant-in aid to the government for the repair and improvement of the Angat Afterbay Regulatory Dam (AARD) in Bustos, Bulacan, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) .

closer view

six-span dam’s main features are easily deflatable and inflatable rubber body.

intake gate with irrigation canal

a boat made from cement

mermaid riding a large fish

The park and the vicinity area is a favorite shooting place for films and television shows .

picnic area

We were given a snack which consists of puto bumbong , suman and avocado tea made from the fruit .

dog sleeping in one of the picnic table

There is a small entrance fees of Php 5.00 for tricycle , Php 10 for jeep , Php 20 for car , Php 50 vans and Php 100 truck.

group photo

My only concern is that the place had a lot of graffiti and some areas  needed some rehabilitation . The authorities must try to reforest the surrounding areas with native trees to improve the water holding capacity of the place.

Cunanan Ancestral House

Cunanan Ancestral House had some similarities in terms of stone carvings with the Mercado House , although the house looks like there were some expansion done maybe during the early or mid 20th century  .

The house looks smaller compared to the Mercado house . The house had capiz windows and adobe stone walls hand carving in floral details .

details of the stone crucifix  carving

We manage to take some photos of the exterior parts and adobe walls and its details . Unfortunately , The current owner of the house ( around 92 years-old might not be around ) .

carved stone corner pilasters

A visit to these ancestral houses must be properly coordinated with the local tourism office set several days or even weeks in advance.

Special Mention to Mr. Edwin Del Rosario of Bustos Tourism office , Office of the Mayor and Sir Gilbert . Maraming Salamat Po !

Please visit the links:

Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan part 1: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan/

Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan part 2: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-2/

Lakad Pamana of Bustos , Bulacan part 3: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-3/

Lakad Pamana of Bustos , Bulacan

Bustos, Bulacan province-Philippines

I woke -up early around 3:30am took a bus ride to Baliwag bus station along EDSA . The bus that i rode did not stop at the Kamuning or Cubao area ( later the bus conductor told me that they will take the ilalim route -under the bridge route ) . The bus driver took us off at the Main street which is about 500 meters away from the station . So i took another bus north bound going to Cubao ( Baliwag bus station) . The bus ride was indeed a hell raising experience . The travel was less than 25 minutes south bound from Fairview/ Novaliches area.

. I met Mr. Philip Reyes ( blogger friend ) at the Baliwag Bus station  , He was there around past 4:30am and told me that the first bus left (The bus had a Baliwag town signage) .

I arrived past 4:50am and we waited until past 5:20 am for the next bus going to the town of Cabanatuan . ( with Plaridel town signage) . There were a lot of people waiting to ride the bus and We are quite fortunate to get a seat .  It took less than 10 minutes before the bus was filled-up and some commuters were even standing . The travel from Cubao to Plaridel is quite fast . We manage to arrive around 6:30am at the meet-up / pick -up area at the Waltermart -Plaridel .The usual travel time from Cubao to Plaridel is around 1 and 1/2 hours.

entrance arch

We were fetch by 2 vans on our way to the town of Bustos around past 7:00am . The group passed by the town of Baliuag then Bustos ( around 14.5 kilometers)  . It took us about 20minutes to reach the municipal hall grounds.

name tags

We were greeted by the municipal tourism guide and staffs, pre-registerd participants got their name plates with proper identification .

huge minasa cookie at the Bustos municipal park

LAS MINASAS GIGANTES represent the iconic and historical confection of Bustos,Bulacan,the MINASA,cookie conceived during the Spanish era at the time when the privileged families of the town built houses made of adobe using egg whites to glue the bricks together.

letras y figuras

Letra y Figuras a stone carving of the municipal’s name, “BUSTOS” in all caps, inspired by the intricate design of the Mercado Stone House , art of letter writing with floral with caricature designs and the people of Bustos’ most favorite finger food, Minasa. It was installed on April 7, 2014.

akalatan bayan ( town’s library )

There is a quaint town’s library that used to share an office with the municipal tourism office.  It had a unique  green roof.

Ambu – The town official mascot

Ambu is an acronym for Asenso Mamayan ng Bustos . This was conceived about 6 years ago and symbolizes by the hardworking , progressive and friendly nature of the town’s people. While Green is the adoptive color which means progressive an environmental consciousness efforts of the government .

 There is also a mini-zoo within the plaza, with reticulated python  , albino python and eagles .

commercial stalls

Within the municipal ground there is also an agro-commercial trade fair , where more than 100 stalls offering different kind of products from Bustos and nearby provinces .

Princess of nutrition 1989

This statue was installed to commemorate an event in 1989 where 14 students from 14 Bustos  barangays . They were able to realized to build Paraiso ng mga Bata during the incumbency of Mayor Pablito V. Mendoza and the sangguniang bayan led by Barangay Captain Martin Perez. The project was successfully initiated by Dra. Rosalinda F. Mendoza.

Conrado Mercado

Mr.Conrado C. Mercado Jr. –  hails from Bustos, Bulacan, Philippines. He was born on (October 20, 1945 – February 27, 2010) to parents Conrado, Sr., a civil engineer and to Conception nee Camacho, a former school teacher.

The youngest of three sons, Conrado is the only one who showed a penchant for the art. His entry into this field is by ni means an accident. He holds A Fine Arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas, Manila which has produced a long line of fine artists.

 cocoon -year 2001

He is the founding president of Figure Artists and chiefly instrumental in reviving the then-dormant Society of Philippine Sculptors in which he served as president from 1993 to 1998.

valley of the dolls- welded bronze 1993

close-up view of the art work

giraffes

Website: http://conradomercado.com/

There is also a battle memorial plaza ( Bulacan Military Area )  which commemorates the 1945 battle with the Japanese forces.

There is also an electronic time clock  timer which had a countdown time in time for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Bustos.

post office branch

There is also a small post office with some old P.O. boxes and letter box near the municipal town hall. Since it was sunday , The post office is close.

native orchids like Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay ) Dendrobium aphyllum ( lesser or fairy sanggumay ) and native ferns

Our group got a short private tour within the house of the mother of the current town’s mayor which is located near the town hall.

cacti collection

large tarpaulin poster within the municipal grounds

There are several large tarpaulin poster within the town’s main plaza advertising the calendar of events and activities .

Here is the official video uploaded by the Bustos Municipal government

We took a quick walk around the municipal town hall , post office, Zeny’s Minasa, Pan de Bustos and we were welcomed by the mother of the current town’s mayor .

Mayor Arnel F. Mendoza 

Mayor Arnel Mendoza and Ms. Aprille Keith Lazaro ( member of sanggunian bayan  and chairperson of the tourism council ) gave a short welcome speech and gave a short history of the town and various projects.

Bustos tourism office and museum

We were also one of the first group of people who witness the formal opening of the newly constructed Bustos Tourism and Museum .

group photo

Please Visit :

Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan  Part 2 : https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-2/

Website: http://bulacan.gov.ph/bustos/index.php

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/bustos.gov

BAHAY Buffet Goes to Bahay ni Kulas in Amadeo Cavite

70 Barangay Minantok West , Amadeo – Cavite province, Philippines 

We passed several houses with small garden  and orchids

It was a bright and sunny weather when we were fetch by BAHAY Buffet team from Hotel Intercontinental in Makati , It took us over 2 hours and went on a road trip south of Metro Manila passing several towns along its way .

That is nice about BAHAY Buffet dining experience ,is not  just about foods but also camaraderie, opening of new friendship , sharing one’s personal experiences in life and road trip adventure ! Here is a link to a previous event  held last July 21,2015 in MOCA Farm within Padre Garcia , Batangas

entrance to the farm

The farm is about 2 hectares owned by the family of Cuevas who made a lot of improvements within the property during a 7- year period . Turning the once vine laden with old coffee trees and coconuts area into a lush tropical plantation with dragon fruits, calamansi  with different kinds of orchid hybrids  and bananas.  What i liked about the perimeter wall around the farm is that they are planted with hedge shrubs which makes the family -style farm rustic and green.

The family farm is located a few kilometers from Amadeo Public Market and the town boast  a lot of agricultural produce like Coffee which earn the town its nickname ” Coffee Capital ” of the Philippines .

cattleyas in coconut husk

Almost every home got a small plot of land where they plant coffees, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, dragon fruits and among others .

dancing ladies orchid

Some houses would have Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumay)  and Dendrobium aphyllum ( fairy sanggumay) planted on host trees such as mangoes, champaka, acacia among others. There are also orchid hybrids like Oncidiums , Vandas , Mokaras .

Dendrobium anosmum aka sanggumay growing on a ficus tree

Weather

Since the town of Amadeo is located between 1,200 feet to 1,400 feet in elevation , The weather is milder and cooler . It is not much developed compared to the town of Silang, Tagaytay , Mendez and Indang.

Ms. Gigi Morris , Ms.Dawn Bolus Mawis , Dr. Ikit Sipin-Chan and  Mr. Racs Cuevas

variety of buffet meal

Buffet

Buffet meal consists of family -style heirloom dishes and those regional food that are found in Amadeo and within Cavite province.

puto seko and jacobina

The dishes were laing , mussels and oysters , steamed vegetables, pininyahang manok, sinaing na tulingan ,halaan soup, binagoongan na baboy,  fern salad , fresh fruits , toasted buttered bread, jacobina , potoseko , freshly brewed Amadeo coffee.

Binagoongan na Baboy

I liked all the foods that i have tasted , it was the epitome of home-cooked recipe which were handed down from several generations.

Seafood Pancit Palabok ni Kulas

One of the family specialties is the Seafood Pancit Palabok which had a mid- flavored sauce and a rich toppings of fresh sea foods like squid, shrimps, tinapa flakes ( smoked fish ) deep fried tofu cut into small cubes, boiled chicken eggs , chopped spring onion leaves and crushed chicharon flakes ( pork crackling ) and calamansi fruit.

SEAFOOD Pancit Palabok

Ms. Jo Bie

Ms. Jo Bie is the one who cooked this seafood pancit palabok

Since this is a weekend family farm, The farm is ideal for team building , retreat , event place ,  buffet meals are also available .  But visitors who wish to come must make a prior appointment before hand. Some of the menus might not always be available due to the availability of the ingredients.

grotto

group photo

Note: I would like to ” Thank” the gracious hosts and Bahay Buffet family for the invitation .

Contact Information:

Contact Persons: Mr. Droz or Ms. Ikit

0917 517 7547, 0929-3612986 or (02) 873-4252

Bahay ni Kulas

Bahay Buffet Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/bahaybuffet

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.

Dendrobium cucullatum flowering in our garden

Dendrobium cucullatum R. Brown 1822 with over 200 flowers

Our family had been growing orchids and ornamental plants for several generations.  My grandmother is a plant and orchid lover, I have several aunts who cultivate and grow different flowering plants in their backyard or at  their farms.

Dendrobium cucullatum grown on a Mac Arthur palm  (Ptychosperma macarthurii )   for  about 3 -years

Mac Arthur Palm was introduced to the Philippines during the American colonization and was a popular ornamental palm : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptychosperma_macarthurii

Click to access ptymaca.pdf

I think we got curious and have acquired our first pendulous -type of Dendrobium species  Dendrobium cucullatum aka Dendrobium pierardii  in the mid-1990’s when my mother went to her hometown in Bicol . According to her,  This particular orchid species  was widely cultivated in Bicol.  She also reminiscent  that when she visited the last time, around mid- 1980’s . she saw  massive clumps in one of her second cousin’s backyard.   She only took some photos and did not bother  to ask for a few keikis ‘ anaks” .

 Dendrobium cucullatum  clumps more than one ( 1) meter -long attached to the trunks of Mac Arthur palm

This orchid, Dendrobium aphyllum (Roxburgh) C.E.C. Fischer is previously called Dendrobium pierardii Roxburgh ex Hooker, which is now considered a synonyms.

Common Names:

Here in the Philippines ,  people  called this  orchid  species ” fairy sanggumay ” ,  ” dainty sanggumay ” , ” lesser sanggumay ” ” salome ”  or simply ” sanggumay” .   The flower are not as massive compared to the local sanggumay  ( Dendrobium anosmum ) and the flowers are pale in color , There somewhat  faint smell on the flowers .  The pendulous canes are thinner compared to the typical Dendrobium anosmum. Some neighbors in Novaliches would also have some small clumps of these orchid species tuck in one corner of their garden.

Renaming:

Then, in 2003, orchid experts Mr.  Eric Christenson and Mr. Howard Wood turned everything upside-down when they pronounced that D. aphyllum was not the same species as D. pierardii after all. They asserted that the plant William Roxburgh had illustrated back in the eighteenth century was a related but rather different species, which in 2003 was widely known as D. macrostachyum (never popular in horticulture due to its small, dully coloured flowers, but unusually widespread in the wild, from Sri Lanka to Australia and most areas in between). They also pointed out that the long-neglected name D. cucullatum was slightly older than D. pierardii.

It was again returned back to its original name Dendrobium aphyllum sometime 2010 after the some errors was reported .  But for the purposes of writing this article , i will stick to the 2003 re-naming .

Economic and Ethno-Botanical Importance:

Some internet sites call this hooded orchid, hooded cow orchid , since the flowers looked like a cone shaped -lip .  My father would call this Tiāngōng shíhú 天宮石斛 in reference to the pendulous habitat and it grow epiphytic . Some Chinese drugstore in Manila and in many Asian cities would used the dry canes for medicinal purposes .

In the Philippines, superstitious beliefs may vary from one town to another. It may depend on one person to another on ‘why’ they would cultivate and propagate these lovely orchid species in their backyard or properties.

One orchid collector  considered them as lucky plants ( when they started growing and collecting Dendrobium anosmum and Dendrobium cucullatum – Their business gradually flourish and got more clients  .

Dendrobium cucullatum / aphyllum were mounted on old trees

A backyard grower  believes that it is considered unlucky since they are pendulous and growing downward position thus gave away all their orchids ( Sayang ! ) . Another collector believes that they ward -off evil spirits and thus  planted their orchids near the entrance of one’s abode or house.  Another neighbor told us that she saw some Aetas using the canes for their native handicrafts in Zambales .

Dendrobium aphyllum / cucullatum grown within Far Eastern University campus

This orchid is also popular among landscapers and property owners with large trees or palms .  I saw a lot of mature specimen -sized orchids on large trees in Ayala-Alabang Village, Greenhills Village, Corinthian Gardens, Valle Verde,  Forbes Park, Rizal Park , Far Eastern University – Nicanor Reyes Street , De La Salle University and Ugu Bigyan Pottery Compound .

a fairy sanggumay mounted on a duhat tree  ( Syzygium cumini ) within  Mrs. Adelina Almerol residence

When i attended an eyeball of the Pinoy Coke Fanatics  last March 1, 2014 held at Ipil street , Marikina Heights, Marikina City  – I walked from Ipil street  number 1 to 150 plus.  Along Ipil street ,  I saw several homes growing this particular orchid species mounted on living tree such as caimito, mango,  jackfruit  ( langka/ nangka)  ,guava, madre de cacao ( Gliricida sepium ), duhat tree and even in boungainvillea ! I was surprise the almost total neglect that the homeowners gave to their orchids, and some even thought that are  almost dead!!!!!

bougainvillea with a small clump of fairy sanggumay on the trunks

Although i did not not won any major prize during the raffle and contest held at the premises  . I was rewarded by Tita Adelina Almerol , the owner of the place whom i tried to ask some keikis . She  told me to just get some keikis in one of the duhat trees. ” Maraming Salamat po Ulit” rest assured that i will propagate those keikis!

 Dendrobium cucullatum orchid festoon this guava tree

Her garden is simple but with a lot of big trees and full of native Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium cucullatum and Dendrobium crumenatum .

a jack fruit tree with orchids ( Dendrobium anosmum and  Dendrobium cucullatum ) attached to its main trunk add beauty to the landscape

Some of her neighbors also have some orchids too!!!! I tried to ask her about when did she started growing them?  According to her,  The   sanggumays, she refers to both small ( Dendrobium cucullatum ) and big types  ( Dendrobium anosmum )as she brought from the province. Most of the orchids are more than a decade -old.

Another duhat tree with  Dendrobium anosmum , Dendrobium cucullatum/ aphyllum and a Philodendron species

We used to have at least 100 fully grown specimen sized- plants of Dendrobium cucullatum collected from  Nueva Ecija, Masbate, Sorsogon, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bulacan , Pampanga, Albay, Marinduque , Ilocos , Pangasinan and even Metro Manila .  Some were bought at the Manila Seedling Bank,  sunday market,  orchid peddlers , some are just given to me as keikis  by neighbors and friends . I carefully tagged the different kinds or localities . However during the BIG construction boom ,  Almost half of our 100 specimen -sized  Dendrobium cucullatum orchids were among the first casualties due to theft, concrete cement pouring by construction workers who cared-less for these native orchids ! Hindi man lang kayo nagpasintabi ….Tsk tsk tsk….

BUT just not to spark any flame wars with our neighbors who cared -less for these native orchids. HUH they do not have an idea it took almost 20 -years of collection ?

We just rescued all the orchids, hoyas, native ferns and attached them to a living host palms, trees and even re-potted some of the remaining survivors . We hope to re-collect some of the species we lost ! Ganyan talaga ang Buhay !

Growing and Propagation Method:

My growing techniques are simple and are tested , I would divide the clumps after the flowering season into 5 to 6 pseudo- bulbs from a specimen or “mother orchid” mounting them in small pre-cut kakawate wood putting a few mosses on top to keep the root in moist condition.  When tree fern slabs were still common in the garden stalls , I would use them as a material before.

a juvenile plant mounted on a tree fern slab with small cloth ( with slow release fertilizers)

I would put some mosses or fern roots ( pasdak  ) on the keikis in order for them to get establish before removing them when they reach at least 10- inch long with most of the roots covering the moss or fern roots. Thus the survival rate will be higher.

I would give them about 1- month rest period after blooming . Then  fertilize my Dendrobium cucullatum or Dendrobium anosmum with a diluted NPK 20-20-20 every twice a week  – reduce strength from the label.

Alternately giving them organic fertilizers and different brands of fertilizer once in a while  ( example Peters , Siam, Gaviota ) . During its growing season ( starts after they bloom , when you see new growth had started mostly around  late April or Mid- May  ) . I would put a small bag of slow release fertilizer (  gather used stockings, socks and old clothes sew them into a small tea bag -like pack .

I had to put between 20 to 30 pellets of slow release fertilizer for a full grown orchid  plant and between 10 to 15 pellets of slow release fertilizer for a immature orchid keikis , This will boost the growing rate of these orchid, normally since it is hot and rainy by the time their growing season started. I had to repeat putting the granules every 1 month , It is faster in tropical regions of the world that slow release fertilizers would leach-out their properties rather in the temperate areas ( mostly 2 months ) . The more frequent it rains , the more chances that we need to replenish the slow release fertilizers and start applying fungicide before the onset of the rainy season too ! I have to repeat this at least 5 to 6 times within the growing period from late March till October or November  ( growing season may also vary from region to region and by continents )  . I would slowly stop my fertilization to all my Dendrobium ( deciduous type  ) .

a smaller flowering sized – Dendrobium given to me as keikis 3 weeks -ago by Ms. Adelina  Almerol of Marikina City

I have to wait until the last growth and slowly minimizing my watering cycle from almost daily ( due to monsoon rains everyday – We get at least 91- inches of rain in Novaliches, Quezon City  area ) To almost twice-a  week by October and almost once a week watering cycle by November . When the growth is plump and the leaves are mature enough. Slowly reduce the watering and by late November or early December,  Start to dry the deciduous-type of Dendrobiums . I completely stop all watering and just reduce all  watering activities to just misting the surrounding areas and plants just to avoid too much shivering of the pseudo-bulbs. At this time all leaves are becoming yellow or had fallen -off the pseudo-bulbs.

Within 1 or 2 months period, Maybe late January ,  February until first week of March  , You can see small bumps at the pseudo-bulbs indicating that flowering is on its way . You can resume watering , flowers can last between a few days ( maybe due to thrips )up to at least 2 weeks.

Habitat and Distribution Range:

This orchid species can be found in wide range of habitat from 100 meter elevation up to more than 1,000 meters  elevation . It can be found  on trees and may grow on rocks or boulders as  Lithophytes.  This orchid species is widespread from  India, Sir Lanka, Yunnan, China,  Taiwan ,  Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Maldives, Himalayas, , Andaman islands, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Borneo, Lesser Sunda Islands, Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Queensland , Australia, Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines.

According to some observations, This orchid used to be collected in Mindoro, Leyte , Quezon , Laguna , Batangas , Bicol provinces , Visayas and Mindanao area.  However  due to the nature of this species, It also invaded some lowland fruit tree plantations and can be found growing in cultivated areas such as lansones plantations, caimito , acacia , duhat tree. There were some Dendrobium cucullatum / Dendrobrium aphyllum that were deliberately introduced from neighboring Thailand, Malaysia and India in the late 1970’s by plant traders which introduced them to the Philippine market. They are larger and darker in color form compared to the type species that are normally encountered .

I hope that with what remains  in our garden will inspire , orchid species collector like me had gone through .” Kahit kaunti na ang natira ” , even if there are few that survive the onslaught . There is still a renewed HOPE that in our small way , we can nurture , care , help and propagate these valuable native species   ! I hope to seek the other forms from other sanggumay collectors in other parts of the country.

Note: Currently we are looking for some forms of this orchid species for eventual re-establisment in one of our group member who had a small farm in Antipolo, Rizal.

Philippine Orchid Conservation and Preservation Volunteers

Facebook Page ( Private group ) : https://www.facebook.com/groups/407610329339909/

The group currently had 75 members in different parts of the Philippines

 Kindly visit theses website links:

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

http://www.orchidsonline.com.au/node/4404

http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?461110

 http://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/229453

http://www.kew.org/science-conservation/plants-fungi/dendrobium-aphyllum

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