Horticulture 2012 Show – New Trends and Creative Techniques

Charito Planas Garden, Quezon Memorial Circle- Quezon City L-R  Mr. Joselito ” Butch” Campos, Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar , Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe , Quezon City Vice- Mayor Mrs. Joy Belmonte- Alimurong


Landscape of King Louis Farm – a show stopper and a hall of fame awardee

It was a fine sunny afternoon last January 26, 2012 Thursday when the author was invited  to the opening of  Horticulture 2012 held at the Quezon Memorial Circle near the Commonwealth Avenue side. The venue of the show was the Bonsai / Araos Garden, it was recently renamed as Charito Planas Garden in honor of former Quezon City Vice-Mayor 1992- 1995, socio -civic and human rights leader, A former president of the Quezon City Parks Development Foundation Inc., which manages the Quezon Memorial Circle, she is also known as an advocate of women’s causes. – Atty. Charito M. Planas. She is accredited to have gradually developed the area into a horticulture and medicinal plant haven during her term as vice-mayor.

Untying of the garland  led by  board of directors of different  plant societies , members,  guests of honor , vips, and sympathizers

This is a favorite venue area  of various horticultural and bonsai shows. The location was chosen because of its accessibility to joggers, students and passersby. There is a mini cemented stage were programs are held.  There are already several members of the Philippine Horticultural Society Incorporated 1976, Philippine Bonsai Society, Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines, Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Incorporated 2007, Ayala-Alabang Garden Club, Makati Garden Club and Las Piñas Garden Club among others.

Miss Joy Belmonte-Alimurong

This year marked the 37th year of PHSI annual horticulture show with its’ theme ” New Trends and Creative Techniques in Horticulture “ the show featured an array of multifaceted landscape exhibits which showcase some of the   youngest, best and brightest landscapers in the country.

 Mr. Modesto Manglicmot , Architect Oscar Duque,  Mr.& Mrs. Romeo Gutierrez-President of PHSI  ( wearing light green vests ) & Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernanbe in pink and Mr. Joselito Campos

There are around 75 commercial booths where one can buy plants and plant materials from the ordinary ones, to rare and collector’s item plants.

nepenthes alata / pitcher plant being sold in one of the stalls

There will also be a  daily lecture where those interested in gardening and plants can attend.  This year’s over-all show chairperson led by the tandem of  Dr. Romeo Gutierrez and Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe or more popularly called Tita Dorie / Dory  by almost all people in the horticultural world.

Mr. Francis Gener being interviewed by a staff and crew of PTV channel 4

Tita Dorie is very active in almost all horticultural societies in the country. She has vast collections of ferns, bonsai, cactus, succulents, orchids, exotic fruits, suseiki, antique furniture and among others, She is also well-known in other parts of the world.

Unigreen Ornamental Farm booth

There is also a member who said ” Kapag si Tita Dorie ang nag-show chairperson ng isang event, bongga ang show”   The show is quite impressive if Tita Dorie is the chairperson. Spectacular Indeed!

Quezon City band

It was around past 4:00pm when the guests of honor arrived led by Vice- Mayor Ms. Joy Belmonte, administrators of Quezon Memorial Circle, Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar and Mr. Buth Campos. They were warmly greeted by all the board members of the society and well-wishers,  from various horticultural groups. Kuratong was performed by the Boys Scouts of the Philippines that led the guests of honor in their places at the prepared garland, which was be untied.

boys scout of the Philippines with kuratong

When the guests are already properly positioned the Kuratong had stopped. After the garland was untied, the Quezon City band played a welcoming band. The sunshine ladies and gentlemen then led the guests to the exhibition site – (These are the term given to the group of usherettes and reception committee members of the society.)  After the guest had taken seats, the doxology was led by a group of kids from The Learning Tree Growth Center, Incorporated.

After the doxology , the children performed a modern song using angklung , a traditional bamboo instrument used in many Southeast Asian countries.

kids with angklung

      It was pat 5:00pm when Dr. Romeo Gutierrez -President of PHSI in his welcome addresses the need of gardening in towns and cities.   Dr. Gutierrez is a plant enthusiast, He is also a plant breeder and painting collector .    A short power point presentation was prepared before the opening speech of Mrs. Cynthia A. Villar chairperson of the Villar Foundation, This foundation is known for its meaningful community projects like assistance to OFW in distress, Skills and Livelihood assistance, various environmental projects like water hyacinth handicrafts, River Rehabilitation Programs and Social Enterprises in Las Piñas City.

native baskets  made from water hyacinth with organic compost packs

Horticulturists and environmentalists across the country would always remember the Villars as big players in the horticultural industry; plants are needed to beautify their real estate projects.  Mrs. Villar is very friendly and down to earth person,  Her passion and love for the environment truly reflected on her glowing presence.   ” Iba ang aura ni Mrs. Villar ”  . Mrs. Villar had a different aura, this was according to one of the on-lookers.  Eager members and invited guests requested her to have a photo opportunity. The foundation also gave away native handbags with compost soil packs as a started kit! For those who wanted to know more about the advocacy  and projects of the Villar Foundation here is the link:

Website: http://www.villarfoundation.org/

Another guest of honor is Mr. Joselito ” Buth ” Campos Jr. of  Del Monte Pacific LTD. Philippines and chairperson of Evergreen Holdings,  He also pledge to donate an undetermined amount of money for the Philippine Horticultural Society various projects. He is also known to be a  koi breeder, animal lover, furniture collector and specializes in collecting of rare plants from all over the world.

 Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc. members and board of directors

Not to be outdone was wives of former ambassadors, members  various NGO and cause- oriented groups which  donated the trophies to the winners of the show.

Among the exhibitors is Mr. Yuyung LaO who is well known for his many exotic ornamental plant collections  from all over the world . He is also considered as one of the most-in-demand landscaper  not only  in this country but also in other Asian countries.  Mr. LaO  long list of  clientele  included  dignitaries, politicians, resorts ,  well-known celebrities, businessmen and even royalties !  Another exhibitor is  Mr. Boyet Ganigan of Aroids and Arids. He has a big collection of rare plants in Silang, Cavite.  A frequent winner in the field of landscaping and plants , His  fame led him to be featured in some of the country’s top newspaper and blogs .

Landscape booth executed by internationally known landscaper Mr. Yuyong La’O – this exhibit won third prize.

Other exhibitors were Mr. Fred Salud, Professor Serapion Metilla in tandem with Dr. Romeo Gutierrez, Mr. Francis Gener of King Louis Flowers and Ornamental Plants.  Mr. Gener has been a frequent winner in landscape exhibits both local and international.

L-R Mr. Botchie Canicula  , Mrs. Siony Ng , Ms. Rebecca C. Buenaventura &  Ms.Myrna Magalong

  Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula which specializes in fern, variegated plants, anthuriums, cactus , succulents , bromeliads, native plants  and among others.  An entrepreneur at heart , He converted their family  garden into a thematic NVC garden restaurant in San Mateo , Rizal . He was featured in some television shows like Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho ( cactus episode aired last January 10, 2009) on  GMA Kapuso channel 7  and Umagang Kay Ganda of ABS-CBN channel 2 .

Mr. George Mendoza  have their exhibit booths. While, the Philippine Bonsai Society will  exhibit their prized bonsai trees, Natural Stone Society will also display their stone collections.

Best Landscape in Show Award – executed by the tandem of  Mr. Lardy Abundo, Mrs. Teresa Baldonado and Ms. Marilois Estrella

There are also exhibits by Mr. Lardy Abundo, Tess Baldonado and Marilois Estrella, the World Flower Council,  Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Incorporated , Cactus and Succulent Society, the group of Wendy-Fern Study Group or FSG and Ariod Study Group or ASTIG , Mett’s Plant Arts and a community booth for members of the society which displayed their prized collections of plants .

The plants in this landscape exhibit had numerous awards  – executed by Mr. Noel Vincent ” Botchie ” Canicula

The Horticulture 2012 committee heads  :  Dr. Romeo Gutierrez and Ms. Dorie S. Bernabe, co-chairpersons; Mrs. Teresa Baldonado, commercial; Dr. Romeo Gutierrez, exhibits; Mr. Modesto Manglicmot, physical arrangements; Architect Oscar Duque, security; Mrs. Felicidad S. Gupit, invitation; Mr. Fernando Aurigue Jr., judging and awards; Architect Patricia Regalado, lectures and program; Professor Serapion Metilla, publicity; Mrs. Norma Villanueva, secretariat and raffle; Mr. Anthony Arbias, registration; Mrs. Rosita Yu, officers of the day; Mrs. Dorie S. Bernabe, ways and means and reception; and Mr. Vincent Canicula, finance.

Pastor Mike Lacanilao

Another media and radio personality is Pastor Mike Lacanilao a prime time news co-anchor of Ms. Helen Vela of GMA-  Balita ( 1986 to 1995 ) of GMA channel 7.

He is now a bible preacher and his passion over plants and gardening led him to become a member of the Philippine Horticultural Society.

After all the fanfare and impressive opening, the winners were finally announced, the official cater provider Ms. Baby De Leon is also on hand to supervise her staff.

Variegated Tupidanthus ” Best Plant in Show”

Hoya siarae 

Philippine hoyas was exhibited in memory of Dr. Simeona” Monina ” Siar 1962-2011 , She was accredited in identification and naming of new hoya species .

Olongapo – Cliff Royale resort tour

Last December 3, 2011 Mrs. Elisa Montecastro invited the PNPCSI group for a tour in Subic Cliff -Royale resort tour . The schedule date of the tour was on January 7 and 8, 2012 in order to coincide with the club’s monthly meeting. I quickly sign-up for the scheduled tour. After a few weeks, I was informed that the planned  tour indeed finally push through .

Although I have gone to Subic before, it would me my first time to visit and have an overnight stay at a resort. I woke -up at around 5:00am  in order to come on time in our meet-up place which is at EDSA Garden house within the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation compound . I arrived at around past 6:00 , while most of the participants are a little bit late ( as usual) . We finally left MSBF past 8:00 am then  we pass Mindanao Avenue  to North Luzon Expressway  and  Subic – Clark -Tarlac Expressway on our way to Subic. The travel took us about 3 hours .

entrance to the resort

We were accompanied by our gracious host together with  about a dozen members of the society . According to Mrs. Montecastro , They were offered by the previous owner of the one -hectare  property sometime in 1995. They pooled -in their resources and divided the property into club’s shares which had common areas like swimming pools, function areas , beach front and leisure areas. They started to develop the property sometime in the year 2000.

pavilion and main pool of the resort

The resort entrance is quite unassuming. Upon entering the premises, you will find yourself on a parking lot with full grown trees with no hint of the resort’s structures. To reach the main area, one has to either climb up a few steps or walk a slightly winding steep inclined cemented stairways . A swimming pool that overlooks Subic bay is the centerpiece of this 1-hectare land. One will feel closer to nature with all the flowers and trees in the surroundings. The owner’s love for horticulture,  shows in the exquisite selection of plants.

winding cemented  staircase going -up to the resort

They also hired an architectural firm which had an experience in developing a resort in Bohol.  She was the one who personally took care of the resort landscaping which  incorporated the fusion of Filipino/ Asian style of architecture in her resort buildings.

staircase going to the second floor of the cottage dotted with ornamental plants , ferns and orchids

What is nice about the cottage buildings  it  uses solar electricity to power the water heater

a collection of  native handicrafts from different parts of the country and the world

She is also the one who purchased all the furniture and fixtures within her resort. She is an active member  of  the  Philippine Horticultural Society, Fern and Nature Society of the Philippines , Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society  Incorporated  and other  cultural groups.

Her other hobbies included furniture, shells  ,  accessories,   native handicrafts  collecting  from  different parts of the country  and other countries in Asia.

cottage with Mascagnia macroptera / Stigmaphyllon cilatum or Butterfly vine drape the walls of the cottage

The clusters of dainty butterfly vine shine in the warm days. But its seed pods that give the vine its name, After the vine blooms , the papery pods will turn brown as they mature and can be harvested and planted .

close-up view of the  seed  pod

The wing-like  pods can also be used as part of  a dry flower arrangement. This particular was renamed  Stigmaphyllon ciliatum and originated from tropical Central America .

Biko- Subic style

Our group was treated by our gracious host a simple rice based dessert ( kakanin)  , which they called Bikong- Subic , somehow there is more latik ( brownish residue from the coconut milk and meat)  than the usual biko in Metro Manila.

According to Mr. Delmer Del Rosario , it is quite similar to Tarlac’s version of sinukmani .

            After a brisk tour of the facilities, the group was treated again to a lunch buffet which consists of  tinolang  manok with freshly pick organic vegetables, fried sisig ( deep fried and chopped ) they did not use the usual  pig’s face and ears but lean pork meat, which was deep fried .

tinolang manok with fresh organic vegetable from the resort vegetable garden

ginataang langka and they also serve fresh mangoes from the wet market of  Olongapo  and Subic Zambales is known for their sweet mangoes.

organically grown vegetables


Mr. Delmer Del Rosario, Mrs Elisa Montecastro ( the host) , Mr. Micheal Calamaro, Mr. Bonifacio Pasion,  Dr. Sandra Yap and Mr. Anthony Arbias

After the lunch, Most members took time off and enjoyed the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains, sea scape and the Subic bay harbor.


There are three building complexes dedicated to accommodate guests. Then there is a pavilion  dining/activity hall and two  big pavilions  for holding large events such as a wedding , meeting or party . There are also at least  three  garden setting areas where one can also hold small functions ,meetings , team building and gatherings.

winding staircase lead up and down from the resort

Beach Front

Access to the beach is through a cemented winding path, not more than a 5 minute walk down the mountain cliff . The beach area is secluded from other beach resorts as it is bounded by rock formations.  Locals arriving in their own boats or the ambulant vendors  just walk from one beach front to another .  The beach front area is considered a public area .

When Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 , the ashes that were spewed from the eruption still covered much of the beach front. According to the owner, the ashes were  so thick that the contractor were able to used the volcanic sand as construction material for the resort.

L-R Mr. Micheal Calamaro, Mr. Edwin Tadiosa, Mr. Anthony Arbias, Mr. Ronald Achacoso, Mr. Bonifacio Pasion, PAWB Assistant Director Nelson P. Devanadera , Mrs. Elisa Montecastro, Mr. Delmer Del Rosario and the author

Shooting Location

Cliff Royale  resort  is a lush, one hectare beach resort overlooking Subic Bay and the surrounding mountain area . It boasts a cove beach shoreline for its guests, with a charming, winding beach trail. Surrounded by abundant foliage of tropical greenery, vines and flowers, the resort is the perfect getaway for both family and friends. The place is not only known as a perfect get away but also an ideal venue for location shoot.  GMA Channel 7 prime time  drama show ” Magpakailanman ” Forevermore  hosted by Ms. Mel Tiangco had a location shoot within the resort premises at least   three  times  . The show ran from 2002 to 2008 .

picturesque view of the beach with native huts and native boat

According to one of the staff, nearby beaches  are also an ideal venue place for location shoot . Sources  from the rumor mill  confirmed that the  Filipino- American Php 745 million lotto winner last November 29, 2010  draw, bought a beach front property  within the area.

It was past 3:00 pm when PNPCSI members had its monthly meeting held at one of the open air pavilion of the resort .  This year’s projects and proposal was already calendar and the results are quite positive for the society.

This room provides a 360 degree view of Subic Bay and surrounding mountain views

This is the master bedroom with loft, this room  features a 360-degree panoramic window in its attic, where guests can view Subic bay and the surrounding  Olongapo city . The dorm type rooms are great for big families or groups. You can always request for an additional mattress with corresponding fees in order to squeeze additional person in one room.

Food and Drink

There are no restrictions in bringing your own food inside the resort. There is a personal refrigerator in every room to keep some of your homemade food fresh , There are grilling stations with the resort compound . But guests  may opt for the catering services that the resort is offering  .

In any case, guest  may purchase freshly caught bounties from the sea from the peddlers like fish, squid or marine crabs  in the beach side  and have them cooked ( paluto style)  by the resort staff for a certain fee. They can cook delicious food, even for big groups! Cold refreshments like bottled water, soft drinks or beer are sold in the green building lobby.

back view of the cottage

The author together with Mr. Delmer Del Rosario and Architect Patrick Gozon took a respite from the meeting  to explore the surrounding neighborhood beside the resort.

CBM Building

Love shop

We saw a store which sells lingerie items, sex toys , lubes and costumes obviously  to those people who wanted to have another adventure in their love life!

bedroom with a lot of ethnic inspired furniture.

The group had a brief rest on their private cottage and by past 7:00 pm the group was again treated to a dinner buffet.

enseladang talong, grilled fish  and fresh bananas

evening meal which consists of rice,  tinolang manok, labong- ( young bamboo shoots )

This endless buffet meals is also like having a food tour of the place.  Meal buffet usually starts at Php 150.00 per head  for breakfast and Php 250.00 per head  for lunch / dinner depending on the menu. 

The Cliff Royale at Subic Bay
Km 133, National Hi-Way, Barangay Barretto , Olongapo City, Philippines

Contact Information:

Mrs.Elisa Montecastro
+63-917-8515273 (Globe)
+63-922-8672705 (Sun)
215-7923 (Landline)

Mrs. Victoria Montecastro-Benabaye
+63-906-3089480 (Globe)
+63-932-9899616 (Sun)

Website: www.cliffroyale.com

Great Value For Parties, Social and corporate celebrations, company seminars and functions , location shoot, etc…

  Capacity 100-120 People


Swimming pool with jacuzzi, club houses, picnic area and Beach

Saint Anne Church

Saint Anne Church in Taguig City

This 400 year old church was a survivor of war and calamities but still held its ground and now the center of Catholic Churches in Taguig City, Philippines.  The town celebrates it town fiesta every July  26.

centuries-old acacia tree within the church patio

The old acacia tree ( Samanea saman ) is a mute witness to the revolution of 1896 , the American occupation of the town , the Japanese atrocities during the war and the post war economic boom of the town.

collection of various church artifacts

The church had accumulated collection of priest vestments, books, baptismal record, old photographs, antique santos set in a museum.

Ms. Sandra Aguinaldo -program host ” I-Witness report “

Ms. Sandra AguinaldoI-Witness program host , segment writer and reporter featured this in ” Puno ng Kasaysayan” or ” Historical Trees” episode of the program aired last October 7 , 2008 early Tuesday morning on GMA kapuso channel 7.

In some instances , people within the community believed that there are unseen spirits living within these heritage trees. Cutting or hurting these trees  made some environmental group like tree huggers  a crusade that is worth emulating .

tree huggers with Ms. Sandra Aguinaldo

In a country plagued with selective amnesia especially in history and heritage  , where saving  heritage trees are not a priority of the government .   It is almost up to the communities where these trees lives to nurture and save these trees.

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