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

15 Things to Do During Enhanced Community Quarantine in the Philippines

Enhanced community quarantine had been in effect in the entire Luzon island and the country last March 17. People are getting wary because a significant portion of the population have their usual work or employment disrupted.

For at least 1 week people living within Metro Manila and nearby provinces affected have a hard time procuring basic necessities like food, medicines and cellphone load.

While Extreme Enhanced Community Quarantine means that there were at least 2 to 3 cases of covid 19 within a barangay or locality. Household members of coronavirus patients are not allowed to leave their residences. People within a 500-meter radius from these houses are also under strict monitoring.

Quezon City had 142 barangays in the city, 42 now have coronavirus cases. There were at least 12 barangays that were classified under this category. This mean that there were multiple of cases of COVID 2019 in the 12 barangays.

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memorandum circular

15 Things to Do During Enhanced Community Quarantine

15.) Try to stay tune to national government, local government, reputable blogs,vlogs or  news agencies thru their valid social media sites or websites. Another alternative is to listen and check radio or community bulletin. Community bulletin are normally posted in some villages, subdivision, barangay centers or by their respective social media accounts.

There are daily updates send via short messaging service by National Telecommunication and Communication (NTC) and weather updates by Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA).

14.) Stay at Home – Staying at home is the best and try to practice social distancing even to immediate members of the family.

13.) Wait for the Special Quarantine Pass to be Issued- In many areas, community quarantine pass were already issued. Try to assign the most capable and healthy member of the family to do some errands.

12.) Observe local curfew time and other local ordinances: Some people especially in the marginalized sector of the country may not observe local curfew time and quite a number of people had been arrested because they violated local curfew or ordinances. Some towns like Marilao, Bulacan implements odd even scheme for their residents base on the quarantine passes given to the residents. Liquor ban may be enforced in some areas.

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photo courtesy of ( pixabay: klaushausmann-1332067 )

11.) Disinfect and Practice Good Hygiene- Here is a pdf site where one can make home made disinfectant. The ratio is 1 tablespoon of bleach per 1 gallon will give you 50 to 200 ppm sanitizing solution. Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap at least 20 seconds. Try to sing “Happy Birthday ” twice.

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photo courtesy of (pixabay: wian-1852106)

Before entering one’s house, Be particular of the pair slipper/ tsinelas or shoes used from going outside. Never enter the house with dirty shoes or slippers. In our case, we have two set of slippers, One set is left outside and one set for indoor use. In extreme cases, one can make a do it yourself foot bath, which is vital for not spreading the virus inside your house. This practice is done in farms, piggeries or hospitals ICU.

10.) Boost Your Immune System- Aside from taking your multi-vitamins and vitamin C medicine. Getting sunshine can also help boost your immune system, The best way to get vitamin D is by going out from 6:00 am to 8:00am, Try to observe social distancing. These includes vitamins D-1, D-2, and D-3. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when it is directly exposed to sunlight.

9.) Prepare a Budget and Meal Plan- Since a lot of people does not have a regular means of earning an income. Try to sort out which food item or material is the most necessary. It is also good to have a good credit line within your community.

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photo courtesy (pixabay: stanwilliamsphoto-10634669)

8.) Avoid sharing fake news and rumor mongering – Before sharing fake news and rumors, try to verify it a number of times from reliable sources. According to a recent televised briefing conducted by Secretary Karlo Nograles in PTV ( government owned television station) He said that Philippine National Police,CIDG, NBI cyber crime office were monitoring social media sites and fake news sites. Remember that people or websites which spread fake news can get flagged down or get maximum penalties.

Do not forget about some myths about the covid2019 which can cause panic to the general population. A lot of the myths were unfounded and does not have scientific basis that were proven.

7.) Exercise- Do not forget to keep healthy and do not forget to keep your body healthy. Doing household choirs like washing dishes, washing clothes, watering plants, taking care of pets and scrubbing floors can be substitute for exercises.

6.) Practice General Cleaning- Try to check every nook and cranny of your house. Try to remove dirt by cleaning windows, brushing floors and throwing away items of no use.

5.) Learn New Hobby or Skill- Learning new skill or hobby like cooking, gardening, knitting, arts, basic carpentry or try to spend time watching your favorite television series or old movies.

4.) Stock Up on Plastic Containers- There can be an unannounced water or electricity interruptions during the period. Some villages or communities which rely on water pumps which may not have enough water to go around. Same with portable plastic ware for food containers. Living in an area where there is water problem and rotational water service interruption may pose some problems when it comes to potable water or even water for general usage.

It is also good to have portable water filter system or batteries in case of prolonged blackout.

3.) Sleep Early (Depending on age bracket)- Maintain good sleeping habits from 6 to 8 hours of good night sleep.

2.) Presence of Mind- Having presence of mind, sane attitude and calmness are needed in this times of crisis.

1.) Have a Sunny Disposition in Life-Nothing beats a person with a sunny disposition in life. Remember to have faith and always be positive no matter how challenging times.

Sources and References: (website and social media accounts):

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group ( CIDG) http://www.cidg.pnp.gov.ph

Department of Health (DOH) http://www.doh.gov.ph

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)

Johns Hopkins: coronavirus.jhu.edu

National Telecommunications and Communications (NTC) www. ntc.gov.ph

Offical Gazette.Gov.Ph : http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph

Philippine Information Agency (PIA) www.covid19.gov.ph

Philippine National Police (PNP) www. pnp.gov.ph

Presidential Communications (PCOO) http://www.pcoo.gov.ph

People’s Television Network (PTV 4) ptvnews.ph

World Health Organization (WHO) http://www.who.int

PAG-ASA 150th Anniversary and Compound Tour

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAG-ASA ) Quezon City , Philippines

PAG-ASA exhibit area

We were invited by Mr. Resly George Amador  for an open house tour of PAG-ASA and its exhibit. It was scheduled last March 26, 2015 . We met at around 10:00am at the PAG-ASA planetarium. The planetarium is smaller compared to Luneta but it had a seating capacity of between 80 to 100 people at any given time. The Open House and Tour was conducted in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the institution. History : It all started  on January 1, 1865  when Jesuit priest Fr. Francisco Colina set up simple meteorological instruments in an abandoned pigeon house.

Planetarium within PAG-ASA compound

That led to the Observatorio Meteorologica de Manila — designated as the official weather forecasting institution in 1884 through a Spanish royal decree.

PAG-ASA head from 1860’s to the current

On April 28, 1884, King Alfonso XII issued a decree recognized the observatory  as an official institution of the  Spanish colonial government in the Philippines .

Mr. Resly Amador together with teachers of Pasay City Science High School

At the start of the 20th century, meteorological observations were transferred from the Roman Catholic Church to the American colonial government. By act of the Philippine Commission, the Weather Bureau of the Philippine Islands were established under Act No. 131 on May 22, 1901.

outdoor observation area

The government agency was created on December 8, 1972 by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 78 reorganizing the Philippine Weather Bureau into PAGASA

Stevenson Screen

The Stevenson screen holds instruments that may include thermometers (ordinary, maximum and minimum ), a  hygrometer , a psychrometer , dewcell , barometer and a thermograph  Stevenson screens may also be known as a cotton region shelter, an instrument shelter, a thermometer shelter, a thermoscreen or a thermometer screen. Its purpose is to provide a standardized environment in which to measure temperature, humidity, dewpoint and atmospheric pressure.

Engineer Marc Francis C. Calpo

Stevenson Screen is a box shape, constructed of wood, in a double-louvered design. It is slightly tilted to avoid the direct rays coming from the sun . The whole screen is painted with several coats of white to reflect sunlight radiation  .  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) agreed standard for the height of the thermometers is between 1.25 m (4 ft 1 in) and 2 m (6 ft 7 in) above the ground.

 poster making contest

weather instruments on display

National Radiation Center

Mr. Arman Griarte

Sometimes, There are people who would steal these items , thinking that they are very valuable objects , Some thinks that those are for magical instruments. Although the instrument is not cheap each instrument is said to cost around Php 69,000 to Php 70,000 each .

Campbell Sun Stokes

It was invented by John Francis Campbell  in 1853 and modified in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes . The original design by Campbell consisted of a glass sphere set into a wooden bowl with the sun burning a trace on the bowl. Stokes’s refinement was to make the housing out of metal and to have a card holder set behind the sphere.

They are placed in some observatories in different parts of the country.  Hence the name was coined after the two famous inventor – Campbell Sun Stokes.

The glass sphere – typically 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter – is designed to focus the rays from the sun onto a card mounted at the back and is set on a stand. The card is held in place by grooves of which there are three overlapping sets, to allow for the altitude of the sun during different seasons of the year. In the northern hemisphere the winter card is used from 15 October to 29 February, the equinox  card from 1 March to 11 April and 3 September to 14 October. The summer card is therefore used from 12 April to 2 September. Each card is marked as to the hour, with local noon being in the center, and is read in 10ths. In the northern hemisphere , the unit is set in a stand facing south to enable the maximum amount of sun to be recorded. It is important to place the unit in an area where the sun will not be blocked by buildings, trees or flagpoles.

Panahon Television

Panahon.TV is the earliest weather & environment-related news television program airing live at 5:00-5:30AM on People’s Television (PTV). Panahon.TV airs from Mondays to Sundays with hourly express updates from 5:30AM until 8:00PM, also available on live streaming via Ustream.

We manage to get a sneak peek on Panahon Television within the DOST -PAG-ASA compound. We were greeted by Mr. George Vincent Gamayo – Segment Producer of the program.

Note: We would like to ” Thank’ all the people of PAG-ASA and Panahon Television for their warm accommodation.

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/Panahon.TV/info?tab=page_info

PANAHON.TV: http://www.panahon.tv/

PAG-ASA : http://pagasa.dost.gov.ph/

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