Tag Archives: Los Banos

Los Baños Horticulture Show 2017

Los Baños Horticulture Society will be having their annual show at the Senior Social Hall within University of the Philippines Los  Baños campus in Laguna.

The show will be held from April 21 until May 1, 2017 . The plant that will be featured are flowering plants and orchids.

This year’s theme is ” There’s Gold in Recycling ” The show is from 8:00am to 6:00pm. There is a minimal entrance fees of Php 20 for the general public and Php 15 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s.



Los Baños Horticultural Society 2015 Show

Los Baños Horticultural Society in cooperation with Department of Trade and Industry  (LBHS) Laguna will hold its October Flower and Garden Show from October 9 – 18, 2015 at the University of the Philippines Los Banos Senior’s Social Garden.

Aside from ornamental plants, various commodities from the members of DTI Laguna will be available during the said event. Garden Show starts at 8am – 6pm.

Entrance fee is Php 20 general public and Php 15 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s.

Philippine Hibiscus Hybrids Featured on Stamps by PHLPOST Authorities

Manila Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Philippine hibiscus sheetlet

Philippine Postal Corporation issued a series of Philippine hibiscus ( gumamela) which were developed by plant horticulturists from the University of the Philippines Los Baños in Laguna province.

First Day Cover with Blocks of Four:

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Goria’.     Has medium flowers, regular single, deep rose petals with white eye zone and prominent white vein markings. Plants are bushy, medium height, and a good bloomer.     This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.     Suitable for growing indoors and in containers.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Nay Isa’. Has medium to large flowers, fully overlapped single, brilliant yellow petals with splashes of orange on the eye and zone. Plants are tall, bushy with upright habit, and prolific bloomer.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Tandang Sora’.     Has a single medium regular flower, and creamy white petals with prominent red eye zone. Plants are very prolific bloomer, upright with average height.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – ‘Nazaria’. Has medium flowers, cartwheel overlapped single, cerise pink petals with deep red eye zone. Plants are bushy with medium height, and good bloomer.

 Souvenir Sheet:

First Day Cover -Philippine Hibiscus souvenir sheet

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Emerita V. De Guzman”.     Named after Dr. Emerita V. de Guzman, Filipino scientist who researched the propagation of pure makapuno trees. In particular, she studied the growth and development, in vitro, of the makapuno coconut embryo. Emerita De Guzman research led to the faster propagation of pure macapuno trees and increased makapuno nut production from 3-5 makapuno nuts to 14-19 nuts. Emerita De Guzman also invented tissue culture techniques for the rapid propagation of abaca and banana plants.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Helen L. Valmayor”.     Named after Helen L. Villamayor, Philippine Orchids propagator and author of several books on Philippine orchids.     Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Helen Valmayor’ has bright orange petals with yellow edging and pronounced red eye zone. Flowers are medium to large, single, and have overlapped blooms that bloom for two days. Plants have good blooming habit and upright with leggy bush habit. It is part of the UPLB Millennium Hibiscus Hybrids Series.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gelia T. Castillo”. Named after Gelia T. Castillo, noted for being an outstanding Filipino rural sociologist. Dr. Castillo is a figure recognized internationally for her contributions as a social scientist. Her publications are major and definitive works on Philippine agricultural and rural development. Dr. Castillo and was elected as Academician in 1983, and was later conferred as National Scientist in 1999.

Hibiscus rosa – sinensis  ” Dolores A. Ramirez”.     Named after Dolores A. Ramirez, a Filipino national scientist known for her research in biochemical genetics and cytogenetics of plants. After her doctorate Dolores went back to University of Philippines as a professor and researcher. She focused on the cytogenetics of various important Philippine crops, including rice, coconut, banana, sugarcane, ornamentals, legumes, fruits like durian, lanzones, santol and balimbing.  In 1976 she received the Gregorio Y. Zara award in basic research. In 1981 she was the recipient of a Rizal Pro-Patria award for outstanding achievement in biochemical genetics, and in 1985, a UP Professorial Achievement award in agriculture. She was conferred as a National Scientist in 1997.

Technical Description of the STAMPS

Se-tenant Blocks of Four  (30,000)

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gloria”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Nay – isa”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Tandang Sora”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Nazaria”

 Miniature Sheets of 16   (7,500)

 40p Souvenir Sheets 4  (5,000)

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Emerita V. De Guzman”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Helen L. Valmayor”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis “Gelia T. Castillo”

10p  Hibiscus rosa – sinensis  ” Dolores A. Ramirez”

 Layout Artist:  Rodine Teodoro

 Litho Offset, Amstar Company, Inc.,  Perf 14

Stamp size : 30x 40mm

Se-tenant Blocks of 4, Miniature Sheets of  16;  Souvenir Sheets of 4 First Day Cover

Designs:  The design of the stamps came from the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) Hibiscus Hybrid “Centennial Series”, dedicated to Filipino women who unselfishly served the cause of the Philippine revolution during the Spanish and American regimes, hence named after them.

Los Baños Horticulture Society 2014 Mid-Year Show

Los Baños Horticulture Society  will be having a plant sale and exhibit from Oct 10-19, 2014 at the Seniors’ Social Garden,In University of the Philippines ,Los Baños in Laguna province  . The show will feature fruit trees and many other ornamental plants.

Seedless Dwarf Ambarella

photo courtesy : Dr. Roberto Coronel

Ambarella or hevi (Spondias cytherea), a native of Polynesia, is a large tree botanically related to the red mombin or siniguelas. This photo is from the RC Fruit Conservation Farm in Calauan, Laguna. A potted fruiting tree of the seeded strain will be on exhibit at the Flower and Garden Show .

special lecture

There will be a special lecture about propagating fruit plants in home and garden by Dr. Roberto E. Coronel , Mr. Bayani Mendones ( Farm Manager ) RC Farm on October 18, 2014.  There will be an attendance raffle after the lecture .

Aside from the plant , landscape competition, there will be bazaars and plant stalls . There is a minimal entrance fee of Php 30 and Php 20 for students and senior citizens with valid ID’s . See you at the Show!

Los Baños Horticultural Society’s Show 2014: Flores de Mayo

Senior Social Hall, University of the Philippines , Los Banos, Laguna-Philippines

center garden landscape executed by VS Orchids

The 2014 annual garden show unfolded at the Senior Social Hall . The annual show theme” Flores de Mayo  ” showcase the flowering plants that are blooming during the month of April and May. This year’s show is in cooperation with University of the Philippines- Los Baños, Los Baños Horticultural Society , Department of Trade and Industry – Laguna , Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCCARD) with the support from various affiliated societies . 

Dendrobium cucullatum

 Dendrobium cucullatum – fairy sanggumays or lesser sanggumays add beauty to the landscape exhibit  done by Mr. Vicente Chin Jr.  The orchid with thousand of flowers ( 5 clumps ) won a special prize .

This also coincide with the yearly graduation of the students and visits of some balikbayans and alumni in time for the summer break. The show organizers will pay tribute to Ms. Lita Ibarra of Gintong Talulot farm.


The center piece landscape was executed by VS Orchids and Ornamental plants which showcase different bromeliad hybrids , tillandsias, annuals and different kinds of orchid hybrids.

community booth

Exotica by Dr. Ben Vergara

This booth was executed by the landscape team of Dr. Ben Vergara, His booth won 2 prizes 3rd Prize ” Booth Construction” .

The main plant featured in his booth were Kalanchoe hybrids

Ms. Fe Venenoso booth#8

Ms. Fe Venenoso landscape booth won 2 prizes ”  2nd Prize Booth Construction ”  and 2nd Prize ” Booth Composition ” aside from the countless of ornamental plants that won some prizes at the ongoing show. Ms. Fe specializes in growing anthuriums for  cut flower varieties like “white color” and Hawaii varieties. She also accepts landscaping jobs.

Contact : 0927-373-6014 ( GLOBE)

Mr. Raymundo Catipon

Mr. Ray Catipon is LBHS board member and  is also into plant propagation and seller of ornamental plants.

Contact : 0921-5959185



Los Baños Horticutural Society show-Romance in the Garden

 Senior Social Hall, University of the Philippines – Los Baños, Laguna -Philippines

Senior Social Hall

The Los Baños Horticutural Society in partnership with the University of the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry– Laguna, PCARRD-DOST opened the  biggest garden and horticultural event south of Metro Manila on October 9, 2013.

Dr. Leopoldo Santiago ( UP Class 1951) address the crowd

The event started at about 4:00pm with ribbon cutting ceremony, and a tribute by the organizers  to Dr. Ben Vergara.  There is also a message given by Dr. Helen Valmayor – member and board of trustees, Message from friends led by Dr. Bart LapusMama Sita Foundation and Dr. Leopoldo Santiago ( UP Class 1951).

Doxology was led by the Church among the Palms and Students from the  Los Baños Community National High School.

The bi-annual show ,( one held during March or April )  then ( October ) attracts thousands of plant enthusiasts from Laguna  and  parts of the southern Luzon , Horticultural Societies ,  UPLB alumni and students  .

awarding of Certificate of Appreciation led by Ms. Virgina M Lasap, Ms. Marina Catipon , Dr. Ben Vergara and Mr. Vicente M. Chin Jr.

The show will also coincide with the University of the Philippines ” Loyalty Day ” where alumni from all walks of life visit the university campus. Featured Plants on display will be the different kinds of Ti-Plants and Orchids .

center exhibit was executed by Exotica, Gintung Talulot and Mr. Vicente M. Chin Jr.

The center exhibit  was executed by Gintong Talulot’s of Ms. Lita Ibarra and National Scientist- Dr. Ben Vergara. This year’s theme for the show is ‘Romance in the Garden‘.  The  themes  change constantly to challenge  to the members to create meaningful exhibits and trends.

Ms. Irene Marcos-Araneta 

She was among the several VIP’ s that was invited to the show. I am also surprise that she loves plants and gardening . I saw that she bought several ornamental plants  at the show site.

Ti- Plant cultivar name ” Cameroon”

Oncidium Sweet Sugar

The recent trend for florists and flower arrangement experts is to use live flowering orchids and potted flowering plants as a flower display in homes and center pieces. Aside from longer floral shelf- life, Having a living plant inside your homes or offices will help purify the quality of indoor air.

Oncidium Grower Ramsey

More popularly called ” Dancing Ladies” , ” Dancing Dolls “,  These yellow -colored orchids are now making a big come-back, not just for the cut-flowers or planted in gardens but in the LIVE Flower Arrangement displays.

Best Collection of Foliage Plants

LBHS  also feature our own plants from our small growers as well as imported plants from members who specialize in importing plants. we also have participants from DTI who will sell native products and delicacies.

Dr. Ben Vergara , Ms. Adoracion S. Bernabe and Mr. Fernando Aurigue Jr.

 ” Ti Plants ”  in the Philippines was also launched  during the opening ceremony. The handbook cost Php 150 each and is available at the office of LBHS, EXOTICA , Philippine Horticultural Society office in Quezon City.

late afternoon snacks were served to all the invited guest, I just forgot to get the business card of the caterer. Anyway – This is a horticultural show ! We were also given some banana chips courtesy of Mama Sita Foundation.

Here is also a special lecture with Speaker Mr. Ken Love ( Executive Director – Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers)  on October 19, 2013 .  His Topic: Culinary Uses of  Tropical Fruits  at 10:00am , So do not miss this chance !

Major Winners of the Horticultural Show

BEST Dendrobium-  Dendrobium Popeye

Exhibited by Ms. Lita Ibarra

Website: http://www.thaiorchids.com/Dendrobium-Orchids-Wholesale/Dendrobium-B/S-Wholesale/Den-Popeye-Blooming-Size::283.html

Third Place: LC Little Irene ” Malvarosa”

Second Place: BC. Malvarosa Sunset

First Place: BC. Chia Lin

Best Fern : Blechnum gibbun

Website link: http://www.forestferns.co.uk/tree-ferns/blechnum/blechnum-gibbum

BEST in Show : Ben’s Magic ” andrea” – Ti Plant

Best Cactus and Succulent : Euphorbia sp.

variegated bamboo

Showcase Landscape Exhibit WINNERS

Second Place – Showcase Landscape Exhibit – Mr. Rey Catipon

First Place- Showcase Landscape Exhibit- Ms. Fe Venenoso

Regular Landscape Exhibit WINNERS

Third Place – Booth Construction and  Booth Composition by Mr. Tony Pajaro

Exhibit of Mr. Tony Pajaro

Second Place –  Booth Construction by Mr. Vicente M. Chin Jr.

The colorful orchid flower paintings on the exhibit was done by  Ira Adlawan  writer for Naglalayag  ( Silent Passage) film in 2004.

First Place: Malvarosa Orchids

Malvarosa exhibit won 3 awards-  1st Place ” Best Booth Construction ” ,  1st Place Booth Composition and Most Outstanding Booth.

I would like to ” Thank” Dr. Ben Vergara , Mr. Ray Catipon , Mr. Vicente Chin Jr. and the officers of LBHS for the warm accommodation during the event! Until the Next Show in 2014!

The show will be until October 20, 2013 !

Rafflesia manillana spotted in Mount Makiling

Mount Makiling National Park ,Los Baños ,  Laguna province -Philippines

Mount Makiling Visitor’s Center

Every blooming season of  Rafflesia  , horticulture , biology , botany students , environmentalists  and nature lovers would want to see these rare flowers in bloom.

a picture posted from PNPCSI facebook – photo courtesy by : Mr. Ronald Achacoso

A few members had posted pictures thru their Facebook and other social media sites last April 13, 2013  of their Mount Makiling trek  and rafflesia finds.  A few of us missed the trek of  the Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society Inc. , UP taxonomy professors and their botany students up to Mount Makiling . According to them it was an impromptu and private trip!

Station 1 is also known as Visitor’s Registration Center

Then thru the initiative of Ms. Cel Tungol and Mr. Alexander Loinaz members of  PNPCSI and Wild Bird Club of the Philippines , They scheduled an unplanned trek to the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve .  Ms. Cel Tungol just tried to ask the  previous climbers on the exact location of the rafflesia that they have encountered and if there are still more in blooms. Although positive , We are not very sure if we can still spot those rafflesias that they have spotted . Those blossom might already withered ,  It had been almost a month since they have posted the photos. ! Brushing aside , We also want to take the hike and photos of the rare blooms.


The big day had come, Our group is just small and Mr. Alex Loinaz fetch us at the PhilCOA area  around past 6:00am .  Since it is sunday and there is no traffic at the SLEX area, We arrived past 8:00am at the Mount Makiling Forest Reserve.  When we reach the visitor registration booth- We paid a small entrance fee of Php 10.00 per person and  were given yellow leaflets.

motorcycles  for hire

We hired 3 motorcycles  at Station 1 , They told us that the parasitic blooms  might be seen after Station 13 which is about 13 kilometers ahead. If we are going to walk our way to the station,  our group may reach the station after 3 or 4 hours! Since we are all in a hurry and needed to be home in Manila by afternoon.  We decided to take the motorcycle  further into the forest to conserve some of our energies for the main climb. This decision proved to be the right choice.  Mr. Alex Loinaz hire them for a round trip ,  According to one of the young drivers, They even gave a big discount to our group since they would charge at least Php 100 pesos ( one way ride )  up to Station 10 . Our generous benefactor paid them for the round trip.  He even treated us  Burger King’s  burger and fries which we took them on our hiking trip  .  So it was a ” Mother’s Day  and Father’s Day Treat ” . Maraming Salamat ulit ! Many Thanks !

Mount Makiling trail with a fallen ficus tree

After about 30 minutes or so, Sir Alex and Ms. Cel arrived at the station 10 . I arrived  10 minutes later due to some technical problem with the motorcycle .  The road is unpaved and very slippery  due to the onset of the rainy season . They started their photography session while waiting for me.  We started our ascend and made  a short survey of the existing flora and bird species along the man- made trail . After several minutes of walking , I have spotted a terrestrial orchid in bloom ! WOW it is indeed a sight to behold .

Pocoglottis acuminata in bloom

This terrestrial orchid also inhabits the rocky areas of the trek site. According to one of the residents of Mount Makiling Forest Reserve , They do not have an idea that those plants are terrestrial or lithophytes in some areas. They would slash those weeds!!!!!! OMG …

Agila  base camp

It took us at more than 1 hour just to walk from station 10 to the boulder site. I have spotted at least 10 species of orchids , half a dozen ferns , several hoyas and at least half a dozen bird species. The place is quite humid and dark.

a passage way was created by slicing this big mountain adobe stone

We saw big trees , ferns, ficus trees, orchids , spiny rattans and insects along the trail . After more than an hour or so , Our group reach the Malaboo camping site.  ( The place is a favorite camping site for mountaineering and scouting groups)  Rains have started a few weeks ago,  thus promoting a lush growth of cogon grass within the Malaboo camping site.

Malaboo Camping Site

We already passed station 13 and Malaboo camping site and still no rafflesia sightings ! We keep following the trail up  to the Wilderness zone.

Wilderness Zone signage

When we reach this spot ,  We started to ask each other if we can still spot a rafflesia in bloom during our trek .   Did we arrive too late? Did the rains stop the rafflesias from blooming ?

fallen tree with ferns and orchids

Then we started to climb towards Station 14 and still there are no faint smell or sightings . There was a heavy rainfall the day before we trek Mount Makiling and some of the trees lying on the ground might have fallen the day before.

Coelogyne sp.

This orchid genus is just about 2 -meters away from us.  Since it is not in bloom , I can’t identify the particular species. We cannot touch the orchid because the tree is located near a deep ravine.  Based on the withered inflorescence, The orchid  have bloomed  few weeks ago !

Mr. Bryan Buenaventura and Ms. Cel Tungol

After a few minutes of walking , We saw a mountaineer going down from station 14 .   We introduced ourselves and tried asking Mr. Buenaventura if he had smelled any rotting meat , rotting stench or dead rats along the way? He quickly nod his head and  pointed the trail  between  station 14  and station 16 .

a Rafflesia bud growing from an infected host vine

But he caution us of the falling leeches , lematics or linta. They are everywhere, that is “why ” he is going down and did not finish the climb.

four Rafflesia manillana buds growing in a tetrasigma vine ( host vine or plant)

Link: http://rmbr.nus.edu.sg/nis/bulletin2012/2012nis263-270.pdf

Rafflesia manillana flower growing in the tetrastigma vine

Minutes after he cautioned our group. Lematics began falling from trees , we had to remove them one by one. We had a short walk , then i immediately  saw the small red patch of flower in a cliff side clearance then i called the attention of Ms. Cel Tungol , Mr. Bryan Buenaventura and Sir Alex soon followed us.

Rafflesia manillana in bloom

It was a discovery of our lives !  We tried to smell the flower and took photos . Mr. Bryan Buenaventura is also as trilled as our group. He also took photos with this rare parasitic bloom! This is the smallest known Rafflesia in the world and slightly larger than a cup plate.  After taking a lot of photos of this rare jewel  . We immediately hike going down the trail since it started to rain.

 a Rafflesia flower  growing in a tetrastigma vine

I send a couple of pictures to some taxonomy experts. One of the experts said that the Rafflesia had just bloomed a day or so and we were lucky that the rains did not left the flowers rotting.

the author with Ms. Cel Tungol -courtesy of: Mr. Alex Loinaz

The past decade saw a dramatic increase in the number of Rafflesia species described  in the Philippines. From the original two species described in 1841 (Rafflesia manillana Teschem.) and in 1885 (Rafflesia schadenbergiana Goeppert)  eleven  more species were described  as new to science  starting in 2002 and the latest in 2011.

Rafflesia manillana withered bloom with  a bud

Our group is considered quite lucky to have spotted a blooming rafflesia within the trail, but i must say the first group who spotted the bloom about a month earlier were more luckier than us , since they have spotted at least 4 or 5 blooming rafflesias.

Ms. Tungol , Sir Alex Loinaz and  Rare Fruit Network of the Philippines members

We rode the motorcycle going down to station 1 and this time – it took us barely 20 minutes ( faster to go down) We saw some familiar faces at the sari-sari store and we showed them photos of  our rare find .  Sir Alex treated us with fresh buko juice while having a short chit chat with fellow hikers.

The Philippine Postal Corporation had featured Philippine rafflesia in the stamp issued on March 30, 2007  ( right side )

Tip : It is feasible for visitors or institutions  to  secure  permits from the MCME office during weekdays so that they can allow private cars up to station 10 , Otherwise one must rent  motorcycle from station 1 to station 10  . Rafflesia blooms on a seasonal basis  and forest guides can be hired .  They can also give a tip on where to spot a blooming rafflesia .

For those who want to plan a day trip to Mount Makiling – Here are the contact numbers:

MCME (+049) 536-35-75 ,UPLB Police  (+049) 536-22-43 ,   Los Baños Action Center (+049)536-7861


Acta Manilana Volume 55 ( 2007) : http://www.philjol.info/philjol/index.php/ACTA/issue/view/204/showToc

Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology :  Volume 6 (2012) http://www.philjol.info/philjol/index.php/PJSB/issue/current