Bonsai and Suseiki Alliance Show at the Circle

Last June 25 , 2010 , The newly formed  Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines (BSAPI), in cooperation with the Quezon Morial Circle Administration, the Legend Hotel Palawan and the Lacelli International Corporation held a special opening rites on June 25 for special guests, members and media representatives , The show was officially opened to the public  from June 26 to July 11, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

poster of the show at the Quezon Memorial Circle

With the theme, “Nature’s Best at the Comfort of Your Home,” the show will also feature lecture-demonstrations on various aspects of plant arts and environmental concerns, a bonsai challenge, on-the-spot painting contest
exhibit, a bonsai workshop,  a flower and garden bazaar. Quezon City is a favorite show site for most plant associations which included the newly formed society.

a Japanese style landscape garden complete with waterfall and wooden bridge

The show attracted several thousand of people from all walks of life while  the bonsai and garden show will last for about 15 days .

officers , members,   international bonsai judges, media  during the formal opening

Notable guests include former QC councilor Hon. Jeorge Banal Sr.,  Supreme Court Justice Hon. Conchita  Carpio – Morales, Dr. Elenita Binay wife of Vice -President -elect Jejomar Binay, Mrs, Joyce Kato , Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe, Professor Serapion Metilla, Mrs. Leticia Ligon , Mr. Nonito Dolera – President Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines, International Bonsai and Suseiki Judges Li Tiong Hong, Li Quo An,Cham Yeon Sien.

The lecture-demos are as follows: “Introduction to Suiseki and Biseki” by Dr. E. Villareal, and “Basic Bonsai Culture Techniques” by engineer A. Villareal, June 28; “Logical Guide to Raising Bonsai” by David Du, and “Bonsai Making with Power Tools” by Mody Manglicmot, June 29; “Miniature Tray landscaping  (Penjing)” by Vic de Rona, June 30; “Anthurium Culture and Hybrids” by Vangie Go, July 1; “Cultural Guide to Growing Sympodial and Monopodial Orchids” by Norby Bautista, July 2; “Benefits of Rock Salt” by Jaime Dyliaco, July 3; “What’s New in Exotic Fruit Trees” by Zac Sarian, July 4; “Gamma Radiation to Produce Mutant Ornamental Plants” by Nanding Aurigue, July 5; “Flower Setting for Wedding Occasions” by Tony Padilla, July 6; “Basic Fern Gardening” by Anthony Arbias, July 7; “The Bounty and Plight of Philippine Hoyas” by Wendy Regalado, July 2 and 8; “Landscaping Using Native Trees” by Patrick Joson, July 9; and “Ikebana for All Occasions” by Ikebana professor Serapion Metilla on July 10.

a mother and child suseiki

Four international members of the board of judges from Taiwan have been invited. They are Li Tiong Hong, director of Bonsai Education of the National Bonsai Association of Taiwan; and NBAT certified judges Li Quo An and Cham Yeon Sien. Chong Hwa Stone Society president Lu Sam Tien will judge the suiseki.

a bonsai tree with several ribbons

Suseiki is an ancient art of natural stone appreciation and collection in which started from China and spreading to Japan where it was improved  . Sometimes gathering stones from the wild  can be illegal or ecologically damaging to take large rocks from the natural environment or national parks. Many landscape supply centers sell large rocks, although you may have to spend time picking through them to find ones with character. Some curious rocks shaped like snakes, dogs, cats and animals were an instant hit among suseiki fanciers and collectors. Unique pieces are eagerly  sought after by collectors .

Natural stones neatly arranged and labeled  for judging

One day after the show opening,  The author hosted a group of photographers from Marikina and also toured students from the Far Eastern University about one  week later.

a group of  tourism students of Far Eastern University toured the show last July 4, 2010

Winners  received the Mody Manglicmot Bonsai and Suiseki Cups.

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FEU-IABF exhibit

Last February 18, 2010 organized by Far Eastern University – IABF entitled ” Reuniting with Alumni ”  , After the inspiration talk we were invited to grace the exhibit of famous FEU- alumni at the lobby of Nicanor Reyes Sr. building .

The event started with a short prayer , then the first speaker was Ms. Sherisa Nuesa an FEU alumni , she recounted her working experiences with the Ayala company and Manila Water among others.

Ms. Sherisa P. Nuesa- chief financial officer -Integrated Microelectronic , Inc.

The event was initiated by the IABF student council together with the office of the alumni affairs.

the author received a plaque of appreciation from the IABF – student council, Dr. Jesus Paraiso , Dr. Anido

Mr. Jun Mark G. Sison -AVP operations manager JP Morgan

After the inspirational talk, the author , Mr. Jun Mark Sison, Dr. Jesus Paraiso  , Dr. Anido and the IABF student council were on hand to grace the opening of  photo exhibit of famous FEU alumni , among them are the Filipino- Chinese tycoon Mr. Henry Sy, Manila – Mayor  Alfredo S. Lim ,former Quezon City  councilor Mr. Jorge Bernal, veteran television and radio broadcaster Mr. Reynante Langit , Dr. Wilfredo Tecson , Mr. Tomas G. Viray among others…

other notable alumni

statute of Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr.

Statute of Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr. was created by Mr. Peter de Guzman and was installed  in 2008  to coincide for the 80th anniversary of the university .

Heritage Trees

old trees behind the main building
old trees behind the main building

Far Eastern University is one unique institution that had molded hundreds of thousands of its alumni, employees and even passerby to the campus vicinity. This institution had preserved its unique architectural heritage which earned 1st runner-up mention during the 2005 UNESCO – for the largest and best preserved Art Deco architecture ensemble in the entire country. Various national artists like Vicente Manansala, Pablo Ocampo Sr., Carlos “Botong ” Francisco, Antonio Dumlao , Robert Ko  and international artists  like Italian sculptor Francesco Monti made its lasting contributions to the university.

But, silent testimonies to the university history are its living natural heritage found inside its main campus located inside Nicanor Reyes Sr. street (formerly Morayta).  Several trees like acacia (Samanea saman) and narra (Pitherocarpus indicus ) were carefully planted and nurtured by its founding president Dr. Nicanor Reyes Sr .in the early 1930’s. During convocation in the university before the outbreak of war, the late President Manuel L. Quezon visited the university in 1940 and paid unsolicited tribute to Dr. Reyes “ as an educational builder”.  The trees were already several years old back then and the student population is more than 10,000. Then during the early part of the bombing of the Philippines in 1941, Dr. Reyes was only person among the officials of the university to visit the school every morning to check the school premises and usually hands over the keys of the post office inside the school compound.

When the Japanese brought chaos to the country, The Imperial army had occupied the school compound and the school was crisscrossed with foxholes and the whole place was enclosed with barbed wire. The university became a veritable prison and was made a headquarter of the Kempetai (Japanese military police) the trees were the silent hostages, the army used some of the branches as firewood or bonfires which lighted the campus grounds since there was lacked of electricity.

On February 5, 1945 at around 7:00 pm heavy bombing and air raid were rampant in the Sampaloc area. Battle was ranged in the vicinity as the Japanese in heavily fortified campus sternly opposed the American advance. When the American occupied the university the school was re-opened during the second semester in 1945 .the Americans also set up quonset   huts at the quadrangle which was later converted into classrooms. The trees were also there to witness the university rise in the ashes of the war.

After the war, some trees still stood within the campus, while some of the trees were toppled down by typhoons that had hit Manila during the 1960’s and 1970’s. These trees were also there when then president Cory had visited the campus in 1987 .

present day- FEU chapel with narra trees

Somehow trees do tell stories of happy individuals, students who stayed under their canopy, famous personalities and common people who happily stayed under these old majestic trees inside the campus that is not only known for its architectural heritage but also living natural heritage that one will surely become a link to a distant past.

The university also had a guided tours around the campus which attracts art , environment , architecture and heritage advocates  for more information:

Address: Nicanor Reyes Sr. Street ( formerly Morayta) Sampaloc, Manila

Telephone : 735-56 21 loc. 283 Alumni Affairs ( Mr. Martin Lopez)

Monday to Friday -Office Hours