Flores Para Los Muertos Mural Paintings at Manila North Cemetery

Flores Para Los Muertos (Flowers for the Dead) was a joint project between of Pino Art Museum, Davies Paints, Boysen and the Manila city government last October 6, 2019.

IMAGE

butterflies and birds

IMAGE

Caesalpinia pulcherrima is a flowering shrub introduced to the country during the Spanish colonial regime.

Locally called peacock flower, caballero, bulaklak ng paraiso or paradise flower.

IMAGE

heliconia

IMAGE

hibiscus or gumamela

IMAGE

bougainvillea

IMAGE

lilium hybrid or commonly called star gazer

Collective Art

There were at least 300 creative artists from Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Bulacan and Rizal provinces volunteered to come together and paint this mural.

IMAGE

sunflowers

IMAGE

 hydrangeas or milflores

Mr. Ferdie Montemayor ( artist) spearheaded in organizing the volunteers, together with other artists from the Pinto Art Museum.

IMAGE

 looked like santan or ixora

IMAGE

The team managed to paint the whole mural in just 10 hours which included 3rd district Congressman John Marvin ” Yul Servo” Nieto.

IMAGE

bird of the paradise

IMAGE

Managed to visit the wall few days after they painted the perimeter walls of the Manila North Cemetery.

IMAGE

chrysanthemum

This also gives more time for the paint to age and the art work to mature.

IMAGE

toucan and butterflies

IMAGE

tulips

IMAGE

roses

IMAGE

Project

IMAGE

 The project hoped to brighten the bare white wash walls of the cemetery which borders Manila and Quezon City.

IMAGE

Zanthedeschia hybrid and Rapidophora leaves

The wall paintings is located along the 500 meters perimeter wall along Andres Bonifacio Avenue.

IMAGE

Vanda hybrids

According to a long time resident of the area, The local government should also improve on the street lighting along the stretch of the avenue.

IMAGE

Vanda sanderiana and hybrids

IMAGE

Phalaenopsis hybrid aka moth orchids

IMAGE

anthurium

The most popular flowers which the artists painted were orchids, hibiscus ( gumamela), tulips, anthuriums and bougainvilleas.

The public is also advise not to put graffiti or destroy the wall painting.

Orchid Festival theme at the 73rd Mid-Year Philippine Orchid Society show

Philippine Orchid Society in cooperation with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration and Manila Bulletin will be having the 73rd Mid-year orchid and garden show. The theme is  “ORCHID FESTIVAL” which will showcase different kinds of orchid flowering during the from August 30 to September 9, 2019 at the Quezon City Memorial Circle (Flower Garden area/ Hardin ng mga Bulaklak), Elliptical Road, Quezon City.

Aside from the orchid landscape exhibits, There will be daily lectures, orchid and plant competition.  stalls selling different kinds of orchids, plants, pots, fertilizers and garden supplies.

There is a minimal entrance fees of Php 30 for the general public and Php 20 for students , senior citizens and pwd with valid Id’s.  This is based on the 72nd Mid-Year orchid show.

For more information and details, Please call Philippine Orchid Society secretariat Ms. Jenny F. Rivera or Mr. Jiffy Alegre at 0917-848-5468 / 02-9573524.

Summer Blooms of Cymbidium Finlaysonianum

Cymbidium finlaysonianum is one of the native orchid species which never fails to disappoint us. This specimen clump had been with us for more than 25 years. This was bought by my mom in the early 1990’s from an ambulant vendor selling her last few stocks of orchids.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum clump with 19 flowers on 1 spike

This orchid was first grown on a driftwood during the first 5 years after my mom brought the orchid home. When the driftwood rotted away. We decided to tie the orchid on a Melia azedarach (Paraiso tree) growing in our backyard. This orchid spend at least 15 years or so mounted and flowering every year. When the tree died sometime in 2010. We re-attached the the large one on to a Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii) sometime around 2011. It took more than 2 years before the main orchid started to bloom again. The flowering season for this orchid species became erratic ( it may be due to the change in growing condition) until a couple of years ago, when it would bloom at least once a year. We have given some divisions to  neighbors and friends, but unfortunately most of the divisions that we gave died out in their collection.

This particular orchid had a compact growth habit and would have small flowers compared to other Cymbidium finlaysonianum that we have in our house. This species blooming season is from March to May, but sometimes this can bloom late February or early June depending on the weather pattern.

A short drying period is necessary for the orchid species to initiate flowering. In our case, Some of our orchid clump would flower twice a year after a short dry season and after the rainy season.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with second flower spike

This orchid had rewarded us with two spikes ( 19 flowers) and ( 15 flowers) before the first spike had faded away, the second inflorescence started opening. Due to the intense heat, Most of the flowers do not last more than a week. There is a third spike which is expected to open by Easter.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 3rd flower spike

Gathering and Viewing Parties

I have seen some blooming -sized orchid planted in pots at the backyard of my aunt during my kindergarten days. She bought some of her orchids from ambulant vendors way back in the late 1980’s while some was brought from the province. This was some sort of a “BIG Event” in her house whenever these orchids were in bloom. Most of her orchids were grown on big earthenware pots and can be brought inside the patio area for easier viewing.

This would rival Epiphyllum oxypetalum (Queen of the Night, Queen for a Night, Dutchman Pipe ) whenever the plants were in bloom.

This orchid species use to be commonly cultivated in many houses within the subdivision that we live. Most are left untouched by the owners which were grown attached to coconut palms, manila palms, caimito, duhat, jackfruits and driftwood.

Unfortunately, New generation home owners would prefer orchid hybrids or other flowering plants. Some older residents which grew tried of growing them would neglect the orchids and a lot of them would end up dying.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum flowers are smaller than the usual form. a big one is only 1.5 inches across ( about 4cm) this one had a flower spike of 26 inches long.

Initially thought that this was Cymbidium pubescens or Cymbidium bicolor, until few years ago when i have shown some flower samples to fellow orchid hobbyists and collectors. They told me that this is the compact type Cymbidium finlaysonianum or small flowering size ones.

Habitat

Cymbidium finlaysonianum is the most widely distributed of all the Cymbidium species and it has been recorded from India, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, the People’s Democratic Republic of Lao, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, throughout the islands of Indonesia, Borneo, Maluku, Sulawesi, and throughout the Philippines.

Cymbidium finlaysonainum is found elevations around sea level to 1,300 meters in lowlands to mid-level altitude.

This orchid species would be seen growing in coconut plantations and semi-cultivated fruit orchard. Sometimes growing lithophytes on limestone rock formations.

There are some color variations in this species, While the highly prized Cymbidium finlaysoniamum variety flava sometimes called variety alba . Is seldom seen in cultivation.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 2nd inflorescence ( 15 flowers)

Care and Fertilization

Most of our Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchids are grown attached to living palms and on forks of trees.

Fertilization should only be done during the active growth periods, normally 2 weeks after blooming. We would use water soluble fertilizers at 1/4 strength of what is on the label usually 20N-20P-20K every week.  Applying some calcium nitrate, trace elements and epsom salt once every two weeks on very small quantity diluted on lukewarm water, then further diluting them on 10 liters of water. We would water first the orchid early in the morning or late afternoon before applying any fertilizers.

Try to put 25 to 35 pieces slow release fertilize sewn on old cloths then tie them few inches above the main orchid roots. This orchid species tend to be heavy feeders especially during their growing season. ( normally 2 weeks after they bloom- between late March, April to late October) towards late October or early November, We would adjust the fertilizer formulation to ( 10N-30P-30K) in preparation for the dry season.

As cooler weather approaches, reduce watering slightly, By early December, we would decrease watering to two or three times a weeks and stopping the application of any form of fertilizers.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum have evolved water storage organs (pseudobulbs) to withstand periodic, or months of dry season in their native habitats. The larger the pseudobulbs, the longer a period of dryness the orchid clump can withstand. For this reason, it is recommended that plants in cultivation be allowed to go nearly dry in between watering.

We would also flush our orchid at least once every 10 days using ordinary tap water to remove the built -up of salts and other fertilizer residue.

Once a while, we would also water our orchid from rice washings ( hugas bigas), but orchid experts forbid this practice since there are fungus and water mold which would kill the orchid. Hence, we would minimize the use of hugas bigas.

Etho-Botanical and Economic Importance:

Cymbidium orchids and its hybrids were long sought after orchid in the world. The Chinese were cultivating them long before Jesus Christ was born. Flower arranger and florist would use their large flowers for several occasions.

Some believe that growing them gives them good luck ( depending on the person or ethic group ) One ethnic group in the Philippines uses the leaves of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum as rope or accessories.

A neighbor also believe that growing them within one’s property could deter tiktik from entering one’s house.

In Borneo, people keep plants of this species in their houses to ward off evil spirits. Also sprinkling chewed roots of this species over an elephant is thought to cure it.

Landscapers would also use the beautiful orchids to cling on old trees and palms in big subdivisions , farm , resorts and local parks.

This is also often seen being peddled by Some aetas or ambulant orchid vendors. sometimes misnaming or mislabeling the orchid as Vandas or inserting the orchid with Vanda hybrid flowers or Mokaras.

Sources and Bibliographies:

Personal interview with backyard growers

The Orchids of the Philippines , Jim Cootes 2001

Orchid of Malaysia and Singapore ,Gunnar Seidenfaden, Jeffrey J. Wood, Richard Eric Holttum ,  Olsen and Olsen 1992

Page,148 Philippine’ Book on Orchids, Golamco Andres 1991, Jemma Inc ( ISBN 971-8636-54-4)

Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984; Orchidiana Philipiniana Vol 1 Valmayor 1984

The Complete Writings on Philippine Orchids Vol 1 Quisumbing 1981

Summer Blooms of Fairy Sanggumay

Fairy, dainty, lesser sanggumay season usher in the start of the summer or dry season in the country. Scientific name is Dendrobium aphyllum. The flowering season of this species overlap with Dendrobium anosmum or sanggumay.

Origin of the Name

This orchid species is popularly called fairy sanggumay, dainty sanggumay, lesser sanggumay, salome, latigo among others.  It is more popularly called as fairy or dainty sanggumay because the flowers looks like miniature fairies with wings flying in one’s garden. Or dainty flowering orchids. The shape, size and smell is less pungent compared to Dendrobium anosmum. Hence, locals would also refer this as lesser sanggumay.

Chef Paulo Castillo Fuentes from Angono, Rizal province recounted that they bought 3 big clumps of Dendrobium aphyllum at a sunday market, divided some of the orchids then mounted them on live alagao/ alagaw tree. He hope that within 2 to 3 years time, these orchid can make an spectacular display of blooms.

He is also a cake, artist, event stylist, florist, plant and orchid enthusiast too.

Dendrobium aphyllum blooming at the farm of Mr. Mac Pagsoligan from Pangasinan.

Mr. Mac Pagsolingan started growing these types of orchid species several years ago. according to him, there were massive blooms last year.

He would grew them with charcoal, kakawate wood on plastic pots. Adding slow release fertilizer to boost the growth during the growing season and would also apply water soluble fertilizers.

Mr. Mac Pagsolingan 0917-5505473 at Centris Sunday Market plant section or try to visit his booth at the upcoming Grow and Show within Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center from April 26 to 28, 2019.

Orchid Range and Classification

Dendrobium aphyllum is one of the top 10 commonly cultivated native orchids in the country. This orchid species can be found from India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Hainan China, Assam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Andaman islands, Maldives, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, parts of northern Australia and Philippines.

Dendrobium aphyllum more than 200 cm long

Classification

This orchid grows well in lowland and up to 1,800 meters in elevation. The species was discovered by Sir William Roxburgh in southern parts of  India and described in his book Plants of the Coast of Coromandel in 1795. During most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Dendrobium aphyllum was best known as Dendrobium pierardi or Dendrobium cucullatum which confuses a lot of orchid growers and even orchid experts.

This only came into general use after 1985, when the influential Danish botanist Gunnar Seidenfaden confirmed, albeit with some reservations, that this was the same species that people were growing as Dendrobium pierardii. Gradually, the name Dendrobium aphyllum has come back into use and is the accepted name. It will take at least a decade or so before local orchid growers would refer this as Dendrobium aphyllum.

There were two or three minor forms and an alba form of this species where reported in some parts of Asia. Some orchid experts in the Philippines thought that this orchid species got naturalized, since there were some local orchid growers who imported some orchids from Bangkok, Thailand in the 1960’s. This was resolved when local botanists and taxonomists have seen them growing wild in some parts of the country.

Dendrobium aphyllum with hundreds of flowers

This orchid species was not mentioned in the book authored by Mr. Andres Golamco ( Philippines’ Book on Orchids) when it was published in 1991. He must have omitted this wonderful species by not including this lovely species in the book.  This is a common species which are sold during orchid shows and found in many garden centers.

Plant is an epiphytic orchid and sometimes lithophytic with clustered, cane-like, overhanging to pendulous stems of 20cm to over 200 cm long.

This orchid species is also commonly sold in Sunday market in Quezon City and plant centers. IUCN classify this orchid species as LEAST Concern.

Dendrobium aphyllum grown by Chef Paulo Castillo-Fuentes

Superstitious Belief

Dendrobium aphyllum is grown in many areas of the country. It is grown primarily due to its beauty and landscaping value. It is normally attached to large trees, palms and fruit bearing trees like mangoes, lansones (Lansium parasiticum ), sapodilla (chico), duhat, caimito, jackfruit (langka) and guava.

Some people believe that having large clumps of these species can ward off unseen spirits. While some believes that having such orchids in one’s garden can attract good chi.

Some Filipino-Chinese have different beliefs, A friend would consider these orchid species as bad luck since they grow downwards. While another friend would consider them as good luck.

When we visited the province of Quezon. local orchid trader told us that the Dumagats/ Aeta would use the stems of Dendrobium aphyllum as material for weaving small trinkets several years ago, along with Dendrobium anosmum, Dendrobium crumenatum and Cymbidium finlaysonianum.

 

Care and Fertilization

I would recommend to secure these orchid species on a living tree (or mounting them on a tree slab). Try to prune the tree so that enough sunlight can reach its lower trunk. Put between 20 to 30 pieces slow release fertilizer ( 20N-20P-20K), and try to fertilize the orchid at least one a week with any water soluble fertilizer. Calcium nitrate, trace elements, boron and epsom salt ( at least once every 2 weeks) during its growing season. (Normally from late March to mid-November in western parts of the country). Do not forget to flush the orchid periodically with ordinary tap water to remove excess salt accumulation of fertilizers.

One can change the fertilize formulation when the rainy season starts to taper off in western parts of the country by late September or early October. Try to start fertilizing the orchid with high potassium and phosphate around late September ( 10N-30P-30K) until late November.

Try to observe change in weather pattern by watering less often by mid-November or when the onset of dry season and arrival of the Northeast monsoon (Amihan). Cool winds coming from mainland China and Russia.

Remember that this orchid species requires some drying and losing some of its leaves before it can flower.

One will be rewarded with hundreds of beautiful blooms once the blooming season start the following year.

Photos courtesy of  Chef Paulo Castillo Fuentes and Mr. Mac Pagsolingan

Sources and References:

Kew Garden of Life : Catalog of Life

Personal communication with growers

A Guide to the Dendrobium of the Philippines, Cootes and Tiong 2015

Philippine Native Orchid Species, Cootes, 2009

Philippines’ Book on Orchids , Andres Golamco and Jemma 1990 ISBN 971-8636-54-4

Highlights of the Flora Filipina 2019 Opening

Flora Filipina 2019 which is a project by the Philippine Orchid Society in partnership with Quezon City government, Department of Tourism, Department of Agriculture with media partner Manila Bulletin had a grand opening held at the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak ( Flower Garden) area within Quezon Memorial Circle.

flora-filipina-2019-expo

international and Filipino delegates ( photo credit Mr. Norberto Bautista)

The opening was capped with a ribbon cutting ceremony around past 4:00 pm. Lion dancers with drum beaters paving a post Chinese New Year vibe at the opening.

lion-dancers

lion dancers

There were cultural performers dancing popular Filipino folk dances. International delegates, members, invited guests were serenaded with Filipino music.

allied-botanical-corporation-landscape-exhibit

Allied Botanical Corporation landscape exhibit

Allied Botanical Corporation or simply called ABC presented a beautiful landscape exhibit using their popular flowering annuals, marigolds and sunflowers.

malvarosa-orchid-booth

Malvarosa landscape exhibit

The landscape exhibits have several flowering gerberas, marigolds, aglaonemas, tropical foliages, Phalaenopsis hybrid orchids, Rhyncostylis gigantea, strap leaf vandas, Dendrobiums and BLC type hybrids.

bimbo-vergara-landscape-exhibit

cacti and succulent landscape exhibit ( third place)

This landscape exhibit showcases several variegated agaves, tillandsias and succulent plants. This landscape carefully used some upscale material from old wooden window panels, and utility poles among others.

vangie-go-booth-1

Mrs. Evangeline ” Vangie” Go landscape exhibit

Mrs. Evangeline ” Vangie” Go orchid landscape exhibit booth won several awards. The award also includes ” Best Orchid Landscape ” award.

vangie-go-booth

The orchid landscape exhibit included different orchid species and hybrids. Among the gorgeous blooming  Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumays), Vanda lamellata,   Vanda lamellata var. boxallii, yellow and reddish flowering cattleya hybrids, strap leaf vandas. oncidiums and Epidendrums hybrids.

flora-filipina-2019-

Grammtophyllum multiflorum variety citrinum

Grammatophyllum multiflorum variety citrinum have hundreds of greenish yellow flowers that is a big head turner at the landscape exhibit area.

vangie-go-booth-2

side portion of the landscape exhibit ( photo courtesy of Mr. Jaime Chua)

The accents included old capiz window panels, wooden doors and old ceramic vases.

vangie-go-landscape-exhibit

The orchid landscape exhibit also use some old drift woods finished with bermuda grass and white pebbles.

exhibit-booth

orchid landscape exhibit

This orchid landscape exhibit won second place at the competition.

exhibit-booth-5

orchid landscape # 5

This orchid landscape exhibit was executed by Ms. Rona Latorre use different kinds of strap leaf vandas, oncidiums, cattleyas, Phalaenopsis orchids, ferns and old logs. This won third place in the orchid landscape exhibit.

indonesian-inpired-booth

Indonesian themed orchid landscape ( photo courtesy of Mr. Jaime Chua)

This landscape exhibit was executed by Mr. Rudy T. Mintarto, Mr.Bagus Asharnanto and Mr.Win. They used several cut-flower orchid varieties, wooden face mask, head gear and costumes from Indonesia.

palawan-landscape-exhibit

Palawan landscape exhibit

fred-salud-landscape-1

ornamental landscape exhibit #13

Mr. Godofredo ” Fred” Salud is the person behind this award winning “Best Ornamental Landscape” exhibit booth. He is also the person behind the Solaire Resort and Casino gorgeous lobby landscape.

fred-salud-landscape-2

ornamental landscape

The plants included some Paphiopedilum haynaldianum with dozens of flowers, Dischidias, bromeliads,anthuriums, Alcantarea imperialis, Alcantarea odorata, Tillandsias , Dracenas, Begonias and Aglaonema hybrids.

awards

multi-awarded winning landscape exhibit

best-variegated-

award winning plants with large blue ribbons

Alcantarea imperialis c.v.” rubra”- Best Variegated Ornamental Plant, best Cultured Ornamental Plant and Best Ornamental Plant in Show- owned and exhibited by Mr. Godofredo ” Fred” Salud

fred-salud-landscape

Mrs. Delia and Mr.Bong Pionela ornamental landscape exhibit

Mr. Bong Pineda executed this lovely landscape which used several flowering guzmanias, bromeliads, crotons, foxtail palms, ferns, flowering bougainvilleas and Tillandisa usneoides.

best-bromeliad

Mrs. Delia Pionela posing for a souvenir shot ( photo credit Mrs. Delia Pionela)

Alcantarea imperialis c.v .” julietta” – Best Bromeliad in Flora Filipina 2019

For those who wish to visit the exhibit area, There is a minimal entrance fees of Php 50.00 for the general public and Php 30.00 for students, senior citizens and pwd’s with valid ID’s

Exhibit areas is open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and Flora Filipina International Exposition is until March 5, 2019.

Note: Photo credits Mr. Jaime Chua, Mrs. Delia Pionela, Mr. Norberto Bautista and the author