Master Chua Hu Hua Bonsai Lecture

6th Floor – 820 – Liberty Hall, Benavides Street, Binondo, Manila -Philippines

Liberty Hall entrance

I received a personal call from Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus a few days ago . He told me that there will be a FREE lecture and demonstration about basic bonsai culture of a great bonsai master in the country.

It did not take that long to say ” YES” and I am eager to attend the lecture of the great bonsai and calligraphy  master.

After all, Bonsai is considered as an “Art  Form ” by plant hobbyists. It requires not only time but also patience. After conducting a short media, blogger and student tour at the orchid and garden show . Mr. Reynaldo Ong de Jesus fetch the author and Lol Philosopher and we ate a hearty lunch .

a bulletin board in the lobby of the Liberty Hall 

Master Chua Hu Hua together with his personal collection of bonsai

We arrived a few minutes before the scheduled 2:00pm lecture , The room was air-conditioned with strong political flavors of ROC ( Taiwan)  . We were greeted by a group of  registration committee members  and registered as participants for the lecture. The lecture is properly advertised thru several Chinese newspapers,  temple associations , school alumni associations , members of YMCA were presents and also bloggers were also invited to join.  I am also very happy that we were among the few privileged people to attend this lecture for FREE.

bonsai and punning materials

Biography :

Mr. Chua Hu Hua  is an active alumni of Saint Stephen High School ( batch 1969).  He is in his  late 70’s and is also teaching Chinese calligraphy and Chinese style painting.

some of the bonsai displayed at the lecture area were between 24 to 25 years -old!

He endeavored himself to studying Chinese painting and calligraphy under Masters Arcenia Chua (maiden surname) and Master Ju I-Hsiung (mentor of Virginia Lloyd Davies).

a jam packed venue

He started to appreciate bonsai in 1980 to present focused on Bonsai as an alternate branch of Chinese painting/calligraphy and the ascetic teachings of Buddhism.

Writer and poet for Buddhist organizations and Temples in Taiwan and the Philippines.

a fine sample of a bonsai ( ficus)

1985 to present lecturer extra-extraordinaire on many subjects involving the three main topics mentioned above mostly within the Chinese community and guest to most major Chinese Buddhist Temples’ cultural events.

Triphasia trifoliaTriphasia aurantiola Louror popularly called Lemonsito

 This  favorite plant  is  also called  lime berry, limeberry , red lime berry,  lemoncitong kastila , limonsito, kalamansito , limon de China is commonly used as bonsai material . It has a colorful and edible fruits . It is an indigenous to several tropical Asian countries from Malaysia, Thailand, Indo-China , Philippines.


It is probably called Lemonsitong kastila for a number of reasons, according to some gardeners –  It is one of the favorite plants cultivated during the Spanish regime -its leaves and fruits are used as natural insecticides .

It become naturalized in many Pacific islands .  An example is in Guam and Northern Marianas islands – It is called Limon de China – probably introduced during the Spanish regime .  Plants and seeds was  introduced from the Philippines but was mistakenly called – Limon de China as inhabitants “thinks’ that the plant had originated from China.

  Indian ocean archipelagos , sub -tropical areas of the United States like Florida .    Triphasias are very close relatives of citrus.  It is a spiny srub can can grow from 6 to 12 feet tall.  An ornamental plant , it can be grown as hedge or bonsai material .

My aunt also used the fruit as jellies .   My grandmother on the maternal side had propagated several lemonsito and gave them away as gifts for special occasions.

The fruit is a small berry-like . From green and when it is ripe the fruit turns from light orange , red to dark red .


A participant patiently watching Mr. Chua Hu Hua  while trimming his bonsai

Teaches and provides inspiration to serious cultural buffs of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy.

He shared with the participants his passion for bonsai and even admitted that he had his own share of trials and errors in maintaining his collection.

After his lecture, he was awarded a plaque and photo opportunity with the participants . Due to the warm reception and great interest of the public to his bonsai lecture. The organizers are planning to conduct another FREE public lecture before the end of this year.  All the participants were also treated to a light afternoon snack .

Upcoming Exhibit:

His works can be seen on the forthcoming Chinese painting/Calligraphy exhibit (October 27, 2013 – Sunday, 10am to 5pm) on the 6th floor of the annex building beside the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Binondo, Manila along Dasmarinas St. This cultural exhibit involves pupils and associates of Master Arcenia Chua who has actively kept the art of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in the Philippines with high esteem.

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