Peak Summer Blooms of Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 6 spikes in our backyard

Cymbidium finalysonianum or also called as boat orchid is again in bloom, But for the first time we were rewarded with 6 spikes and its blooming season spanned mid- March 2021 to past May 13, 2021.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Peak Summer Bloom

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid flowering season tend to peak during the hot and dry season from early March to early June in the western part of the country. But it can vary in some regions of provinces where rainy season would gradually tapers off.

There is not secret, This once a year bloom is much awaited and anticipated by many growers. Its yellowish flowers are long and quite impressive when grown en masse. The flowers had also some color shades and some variations.

This is also the hottest recorded heat index and peak high temperature in many parts of the country.

3rd inflorescence

The orchid started showing its inflorescence during second week of March and gradually its flowers began to develop. This one is mounted on Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii) for a number of years. The first inflorescence grew 54 inches with 23 flowers, then 1 week later another one which grew 56 inches with 30 flowers, 3rd inflorescence grew with 27 flowers, then 4th inflorescence grew 32 inches and with 18 flowers, the 5th inflorescence grew 40 inches with 24 flowers, the 6th and last inflorescence is 60 inches long with 32 flowers.

4th inflorescence

Since it is very hot in Metro Manila with average day time temperature hitting between 33 to 36 degrees C, The flowers usually wilt within two or three days after it bloomed. But having over 150 flowers in indeed spectacular.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Care and Fertilization

small pieces of cloth with slow release fertilizer are mounted on top of the roots of Cymbidium finlaysonianum 1st inflorescence

During its growing season which coincide with the onset of the rainy season in western part of the country. We would put several slow release fertilizer ( ratio is 20 to 30 pieces per small cloth) and mount them on top of the root this orchid.

Since the orchid is quite big and over 25 years-old, we would put between 5 to 6 small cloth then mount them near the roots of the specimen orchid.

4th and 5th inflorescence

Then alternate every week with weak doze of water soluble fertilizer 20-N, 20P, 20K diluted into 1/4 to 1/2 strength, normally after watering the orchid. Then, try to apply some trace elements, calcium nitrate and epsom salt in small quantities once every two weeks intervals.

Try to spray the diluted water soluble fertilizer in the underside of the leaves and leaves too, whenever possible. In some instances having a companion plant like ferns particularly Asplenium nidus or Asplenium musifolium ( pakpak lawin/ dapo, paipaimo, dapong lalaki, dapong babae, manalo/ manalu) Davallia ( rabbit foot fern) would increase humidity around its roots and helps in retaining water.

3th which withered off , 4th, 5th and 6th inflorescences

The slow release fertilizer, water soluble diluted fertilizers and other trace elements would help fertilize the ferns hence maintaining a symbiotic relationship between the orchid and other plants. In some cases, insects like bugs, cockroaches, moths, garden spiders and geckos are observe making a small ecosystem or micro- climate.

Repeat the procedure of putting slow release fertilizer sewn in small pieces of cloth after 3 to 4 month intervals after all its content were flush out, This would be around late July or early August ( same formula balance) when the rainy season is on its peak. By the end of September or early October when the small cloth bags have leached out the nutrients. We would change the formulation to 10N-13P-13K for the slow release fertilizer and at the same time the formulation of water soluble fertilizer, 10N-30P-30K in preparation for its blooming season. By mid-November or early December, most of the nutrients coming from the slow release fertilizer have already leached out completely.

This is also the time that we try to reduce watering and completely stopping any form of fertilization for this orchid species. Drying is important for this species to induce its blooming season from early March to early part of June. This will depend on your respective local climatology chart posted by the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAG-ASA ).

Metro Manila and western part of the country is usually classified under type 1- with Two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.

But thru years of growing and observation, Majority of our Cymbidium finlaysonianum blooms between mid- March to early June. The orchid species is commonly grown in Novaliches, Fairview, White Plains, Corinthian Gardens, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City and in many parts of Metro Manila.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid is sold in Eaton Centris (Sidcor) sunday market, Baclaran Plant Bazaar , garden centers and sometimes peddled by ambulant orchid/ plant sellers.

The larger specimen Cymbidium finalysonianum can have dozens of inflorescence during the duration of its blooming season. Hope that this small practical care and fertilization will inspire new growers of this wonderful species.

The smaller and more compact type Cymbidium finlaysonianum had also started to bloom. Happy Growing to all !

Note: all photos are taken by the author

Escolta Saturday market attracts buyers

First United Building , Escolta street , Santa Cruz, Manila-Philippines

Escolta street early in the 20th century

After several weeks and months of planning and conceptualizing , The big day had arrived.   A guided tour organized by Heritage Conservation Society  , Escolta Commercial Association ( ECA) and various concerned citizens to promote the area  and aimed to revitalized the former glory and splendor of Manila’s premier business district . Heritage Conservation Society Youth  organized a tour at around past 9:00am to  past 12:00 noon  a tour dubbed as  “Escoltara!” to explore the district and get to know its many Art Deco buildings and immense on the rich history of the place.

old magazines, books are on sale

a dealer together with an interested buyer examining an item for sale

The venue was of the Saturday market is the bare-walled space in the ground floor of the First United Building . The  dealers /sellers  area was set up with mats and tables .

stylist office chairs

There are about 30 dealers/ sellers  offering a wide range of items such as old cameras, postcards, old photos, fashion accessories , toys, vinyl records , books, clothes, art pieces  to  old chairs , furniture and even old soda bottles.

Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta also  bought some old postcards of Manila ( circa 1960’s) . The postcards were being sold from Php 200 each to Php 500 each depending on the date of issuance.

a volunteer of 98-B gallery selling T-shirts, customized mugs with escolta designs and umbrella

  a dealer holding vinyl record ( mint condition )

In history, Escolta had a lot of firsts: first ice cream parlor, first cinema, first elevator, first escalator   . The younger generation must appreciate the value of the place . Some of them prefer to go to malls or elsewhere.

The Masonic temple building( PNB) and Escolta  before the onset of the second world war as photographed from Santa Cruz Bridge

Photographer: Harrison Forman 1904-1978

This image is from the American Geographical Society Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee USA collections

I would also add to the long list of first, When Far Eastern University was founded by Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. in 1928 ( Institute of Accounts Business and Finance ) The institute  rented a space in the former masonic temple within the Escolta street. The review center would eventually moved to Avenida then eventually to its present location .

Old Fajaro Building ( second building occupied by then Institute of Accountancy ) scanned copy from the personal collection of the author

El Hogar building from an old postcard collection: Filipinas Stamp Collectors’ Club

El Hogar  is a beaux-arts building, designed by architect Senior  Ramon ( may also be spelled Ramond ) de Yrureta-Goyena ( may also be spelled Irrureta-Goyena)   and set by the Pasig River on Muelle dela Industria street in Binondo, was built as a wedding gift for the union of a Zobel daughter and a Peruvian count back in 1914. It housed the offices of the lending company El Hogar Filipino (hence derived the name) and the original headquarters of Ayala Life Insurance Company. After World War II, the building found itself in the hands of the Fernandez clan who still run the building till this day.

present day El Hogar building 

 Darling of Movie and Television

The building and its offices spaces is a favorite shooting place for television commercials , movies and architectural photo-shoots . Some people would refer the building as ” Studio Three ” . The building and its premises  has now become the darling of Manila’s TV and film production design world. Aside from being used as the backdrop for Globe and McDonald’s commercials, it’s also used as the setting for the music videos of indie groups Bamboo (“Hallelujah”), Cueshe (“Stay”), Sarah Geronimo’s remake of Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”.  It was even used in the opening scenes of  Mr. Peque Gallaga’s recently premiered “Pinoy Blonde”.  Another recent shoot  was the MTV ” Pusong Bato ” of Mr. Jovit Baldivino  . Filipino directors love to shoot the building in different angles,  The place and building can be stimulated to look like those found in  Paris, New York , London or even Madrid.

However the tangled electricity wires and telephone lines makes it difficult for photographers to take pictures. The broken windows of the building adds to the charm .

used soft drink bottles for sale

Space rental  cost P500 for the entire day , However sellers had to bring in their tables and chairs. The same space had been Berg’s Department Store, one of the major stores in Escolta in the 1940s. The concept of holding a Saturday market was inspired by this department store.

Heritage Conservation Society  and Escolta Commercial Association members souvenir shot in front of the First United Building

While the Escolta Saturday Market ( frequency once a week ) can be  similar to Salcedo Sunday MarketEaton Centris ( Sidcor) Sunday Market or  collecting clubs which have a monthly event where members and non-members hold their bourse/swap meeting. The Escolta market  will target the collectors and lovers of art.  The next event is slated on April 27, 2013 . The organizers wanted to have it on a weekly basis activity in the near future.

Note:  parking space is limited within the Escolta area.

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