HoCha- a traditional mami house on the block

Ho- Cha Mami House and Restaurant first started its operation three years ago at a corner lot located in Katipunan road corner King George street near the Christ the King of the Universe Parish within the Kingspoint Subdivision in Barangay Bagbag , Novaliches , Quezon City .

Ho Cha Mami house and restaurant

Ho Cha is a Hookien- Chinese term for good to eat .  The mobile mami push cart style vending is similar to any  mami vendor in the city . It’s first clientele were the ordinary tricycle drivers, taxi drivers,  joggers ,  sunday church goers , passers-by and ordinary folks which lived nearby .  There are only 2 type of beef menu (way back  then) ordinary beef mami and special beef mami ( with  hard boiled eggs ) .   Business operations  started small with  stainless steel noodle pushcart,  a handful of  kitchen equipment, bowls ,mono-block chairs, tables ,spoon and fork   .

beef mami  push cart style service

According to one of the faithful patron of the restaurant  “Gusto namin  humihigop ng mainit na beef mami ” , We wanted to sip hot beef mami. Compared to instant noodles, this had all the original ingredients including beef stock , beef  meat , spring onions and traditional mami served the fast-food way!

Satisfied customers started to bring in more customers, by the word of mouth and personal advertising of their friendly proprietors  ,  More and more people became loyal clientele . Another reason for the expansion of their customer base  was the  store is  strategically located within the main thoroughfare (short-cut route ) from  Mindanao Avenue to  Bayan – Novaliches town .

Soon after-wards, the proprietors decided to rent the small  commercial space ( former sari-sari store space) and ventured into opening a carinderia- style restaurant serving Filipino- Chinese cuisine like adobo, Chinese kikiam Que Kiam , orange chicken , siopao , Yang Chow fried rice, adobong pata tim , pancit bihon , lumpiang shanghai  among others.

Now ,this mami house can  add the growing list of  some local celebrities , staffs and crews of giant television networks to the lists of people who ate  in this   restaurant.

Pictures of their visit and acquaintances with the owner were posted in one corner of the store (  picture souvenir corner )  TV channel 5 comedy show Lokomoko High and WOW Mali used to film their restaurant . These  gag shows  features different comedy sketches, spoofs, and even musical numbers that will tickle the funny bone of viewers, young and old alike.

The store had also adopted a unique logo with Chinese character and a Chinese man in thumbs -up with chopstick  .  Now , the home- style restaurant had 4 branches located within Metro Manila like in Tondo , Novaliches and a concessionaire store in Pure Gold – Commonwealth branch.

The proprietor told the author that Ho Cha is soon to open franchising to interested parties and also accepts catering and pack meals packages for delivery .

HO CHA Mami House and Restaurant

Location: Katipunan Avenue corner King George street ( near Christ the King of the Universe Parish , Kingspoint Subdivision, Barangay Bagbag, Novaliches , Quezon City

Store Hours: Monday to Saturday 6:00am to 7:00pm

Contact Information: (+632) 440-85-69

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64th Annual Orchid and Garden Show

The 64th annual Orchid and Garden show kicked off  last February 25, 2010 within the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation compound while the landscaped exhibits ,   orchid  and plant competitions  were held at the nearby Greenhouse #2 site of major plant and horticultural exhibits.

After several unconfirmed venue  sites like those at the  Sunken garden within the  Quezon City Hall grounds,  Quezon Memorial Circle  in Quezon City – Ugarte fields  , Makati Park , Makati Cityhall  grounds , The orchid society board decided on the last minute to move the venue of the show back  to Quezon City.

64th annual orchid show poster

This marked the return of the Philippine Orchid Society annual show at the Manila Seedling Bank compound after almost 14 years ! The show theme  focus on climate change,  Hence the annual theme , “Protecting our Orchid Species from Climate Change.”

This event is expected  to enhance interest in the orchid culture.  Thus, it has been the tradition of the Society provide awareness, appreciation and knowledge in the field of orchidology, and with this inspire Filipinos to value and conserve Philippine orchid species and create improved hybrids. There are about 50 commercial ” flea market style ” stalls selling various ornamental plants, orchids, pots, seeds.

Guests of honor included Umagang Kay Ganda host Ms. Bernadette Sembrano- Aguinaldo , Manila Seedling Bank Foundation – General Manager  Mr. Lucito  Bertol and Dr. Helen Valmayor of UPLB  an authority on Philippine orchids.

In addition, the Society aims to be at the forefront in raising the level of awareness and appreciation of its members and orchid enthusiasts alike, in the rich and diverse Philippines orchid flora.

BLC. Chia Lin a Cattleya inter-generic hybrid

The orchid show is also being held to mark the beginning of the blooming season of the Phalaenopsis (butterfly orchids) and  Dendrobium species such as Dendrobium anosmum or Sanggumay .

Malvarosa Orchid – Best Orchid landscape exhibit

Big winner in the”  Best  Orchid Landscape exhibit ”  category is Malvarosa Orchids and ” Best Orchid in  Show ” was  a big specimen -sized  orchid known as  Grammatophyllum multiflorum.

Grammatophyllum multiflorum

Among the newly released orchid hybrid was a yellow colored BLC variety  an orchid named after the former Department of Agriculture Secretary Mr. Arthur Yap .

Best ornamental landscape exhibit winner

Winner for “Best Ornamental Landscape exhibit” went to Mr. Vic de Rona a bonsai  plant collector with a store within the Manila Seedling Bank compound.

There was also a landscape exhibit with a lot of yellow flowering orchids , plants and yellow ribbons  on display purposely celebrating the 24th anniversary of the EDSA People Power .

Here are the daily list of lecture series

Philippine native plant garden inside PAWB

a landscaped portion executed by members of the society

Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society had a small site located near the Ninoy Aquino Park and Wildlife  Bureau – Visitors’ Center for a few weeks now. The society have been appointed as the execution arm of a proposed botanic garden prototype in Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife sponsored by the GTZ is a German funding agency and managed by PAWB.

They were scouring gardens in all over the country and around the metropolitan areas  to find suitable specimens to include in the botanic displays.  I visited the place in time for the January 16, 2010 monthly meeting at the  PNPCSI office in which Architect Andrew Patrick Gozon is said to conduct lecture with the topic ” Landscaping Using Philippine Native Trees”  .

As time flies quickly , Out of the dozen or so pre-registered participants for  the meeting,  only a handful  of people came!

group present during the meeting

The group composed of Mr. Patrick Gozon , Mr. Ronald Achacoso,  Anthony Arbias, Mr. George Yao, Mr. Leonard Co , Professor  Elena Ragrario and myself  toured the almost finished project of the society.

The collection of botanical plants ranges from orchids, hoyas, dishidias, aglaonemas, pitcher plants, ferns, cycads, native trees, aquatic plants among others.

Lumbang tree with heritage marker

The area had several identifies heritage trees by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources

pavilion within  the man-made lagoon

This park started as a portion of the Quezon Memorial National Park which was established in July 5, 1954. The original plan was an area of 197.8 hectares. However, in1969, the National Park was reduced to it present size of 64.58 hectares.

Park entrance from Quezon Avenue side

The park has a number of entrances. Its pedestrian entrance however is located along Quezon Avenue. The gate from this entrance opens to a wide, two-lane asphalted road,  Administration building stands at the end of the road. Another entrance is located on the North Avenue side.  The  parking space in this side of the park is bigger and  can accommodate buses .

The administration building with a salakot style green  colored- roof . The bust of the former Senator Benigno ” Ninoy” Aquino Jr. was installed during President Corazon C. Aquino term.

There is a flagpole in front of the administration building. Part of the building is used for conference and for exhibition purposes.

An aviary beside the main building housed several pairs of native Philippine horn bill birds, owls, eagles  and herons.

These aviaries are maintained with the donations and help of some of the country’s top  corporations , individuals and other NGO groups.

Bagawak (Clerodendrum quadriloculare)

Some people also call it Bunga de Febrero, due to the fact that it flowers fully in about  January to February. This native flowering shrub of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, has one of the most impressive flower displays among our native flora. Bagawak  thick green leaves and reddish undersides, makes the plant  very attractive addition to any garden.

The problem is bagawaks are still not popular as a garden plant. Most of the plants are seldom seen  in collection, mostly in posh subdivisions. If you would want to see the spectacular magic burst  of flowers the ideal places are within Manila Seedling Bank  Foundation,  some in the botanical garden , in Antipolo areas and in UPLB areas.

According to some horticulturist,  This plant blooms better in a higher elevations like those in Antipolo, Silang, Laguna , Lipa , Tagaytay areas.

Location: Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau

Central Office: Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center , 1100 Diliman Quezon City, Philippines

Telephone: +(63 2) 9246031-35

Amazing display of Cactus and Succulent

Cactus ,  succulent enthusiasts , plant lovers and garden enthusiasts were in for a visual attraction as the officers and members of the Cactus and Succulent Society of the Philippines (CSSP) organized a grand display of their rarest , most coveted  and favorite plants. As part of the program,  instead of the usual cutting of ribbons ceremony a unique opening presentation untying of garland was  made from a succulent plant scientifically named  Dischidia oiantha or commonly called as  (Tagalog :  Manaog ka Irog) . This versatile plant is a favorite hanging plant in almost every homes throughout the country. The theme of the show was ” Gardening for a Better Environment” .

The event was formally opened by Ambassador Marciano Paynor Jr., together with  Ms. Joy Belmonte, president of the Quezon City Ladies Foundation, Quezon City  councilor– Mr. Jorge “Bolet” Banal Jr., with Vice Mayor – Mr. Herbert Bautista , presidents of major plant societies across the country were present last November 20,2010 at around 4:00 p.m.

VIP guests posed for a souvenir shot

The opening and awarding  program was held at the Mabini Hall inside the premises of the Quezon Memorial Circle in cooperation with the Quezon Memorial Circle Administration headed by a Engineer Zaldy dela Rosa and the  Quezon City government . There was a live musical numbers by the tandem Peter and Vangie which serenaded the  members and guests of the society.

An interesting display of cactus dish garden ( keeping the Christmas season)

Media partners -Philippine Star, Manila Bulletin, bloggers  among others .

The various lectures and demonstrations  attracted many plant lovers, students, and enthusiasts. Commercial participants included an array of  ornamental and flowering plants, cacti and succulents, fruit trees, garden materials, Suiseki or Natural stones, organic fertilizers, natural medicine, bonsai plants, antique furniture, Christmas  décor,  orchids, ferns, garden tools and equipment etc.., While the daily raffles of plants , soy sauce , cellphone, home furniture and other items were a big crowd drawer for the event !

CSSP -President Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe

In 2006 , CSSP  organized a xerophyte (cactus and succulent) garden show.This year can be judged as one of the best show so far. Members and guests have exhibited their best and rarest collections which  competed  for the top honors. The judges did not have an easy time of determining which are the best from all the entries. For the first time in CSSP, a  landscape competitions for  ornamental and flowering plants. The judges, headed by Mr.  Kevin G. Belmonte and  Dr. Nena Evidente among others , eventually came out with the following winners.

Mr. Herbert Bautista was given a cactus dish garden as a token of the society for gracing the event.

President’s Landscape booth – Mrs. Adoracion S. Bernabe ( a non-competing booth )

The grand top placers are the following: the Best Plant in Show and also the Best Succulent was a caudiciform plant, the Dioscorea machistachys — sometimes called the “turtle back” plant — owned by Anna Ruth Conde and Cora Purificacion of the Purificacion Garden. The Best Cactus was given to an Astrophytum ornatum, “Fukuryu,” was won by Mrs. Rebecca C. Buenaventura ( CSSP) Corporate Secretary .

Winners of the garden show

The following groups were adjudged winners:

Dish Garden Competition

First place – Group 5, head: Becky Buenaventura, members: Elvie Peczon, Julie Hipolito, and Reuben Almazan

Second place – Group 2, head: Aireen Bernal, members: Nolie Perez, Jeff Patiag, and Chit Rufo

Third place – Group 3, head: Tess Gomez, members: Elisa Montecastro, Vicky Valle, Siony Ng, and Charing Tiongco.

Cacti And Succulent Landscape Competition

First place – Arid and Aroids, owned  byMr. Boyet Ganigan and Dr. Jay Silvestre

Second place winner

Second place – DAP Garden owned by Mr. Daniel  Palentinos

Third place – Mett’s Plants Arts, owned by Mr. Serapion Metilla

Ornamental Plant Landscape Competition

King Louis Flowers and Plants- First Place

First place – King Louis Flowers and Plants, executed by Francis Gener

Second place – Constel Nature’s Garden, owned by proprietor Tansing Bais

Third place – Purificacion Orchids by Anna Ruth Conde and Cora Purificacion

Best Ornamental Plant

Aglaonema “Dona Carmen,” owned by the Purificacion Orchids

Here are the results of the other categories for the Cacti and Succulents table exhibit :

Astrophytum

First place – Astrophytum ornatun variety “Fukuryo” owned by Becky Buenaventura

Second place – Astrophytum ornatum owned by Mr. Botchie Canicula

Third place – Astrophytum myriostigma Hakuun hybrid owned by Becky Buenaventura

Other Globular Cacti

First place – Frailea cataphracta, owned by Nolie Perez

Second place – Echinocereus grusonii owned by Eliane Daclis

Third place – Ferocactus latispinus owned by Sally Obien

Mammillarias

First place – Mammillaria sp. owned by Lily Ann Tan

Second place – Mammillaria sp. owned by Anna Ruth Conde

Third place – Mammillaria plumose owned by Lily Ann Tan

Clumping Cacti And Succulents

First place – Monadenium reflexum owned by Purificacion Orchids

Second place – Mammillaria elongate rubra owned by Purificacion Orchids

Third place – Mammillaria sp. owned by Botchie Canicula

Columnar Cacti

Mr. Botchie Canicula received the glass trophy

First place – Cepahlocereus owned by Botchie Canicula

Second place – Cereus sp. owned by Botchie Canicula

Third place – Notocactus leninghausii owned by Becky Buenaventura

Monstrous And Crested Forms

First place – Sansevieria “crested Hanii,” owned by Dan Palentinos

Second place – Euphorbia crested owned by Bimbo Vergara

Third place – Euphorbia ingense monstrous owned by Becky Buenaventura

Variegated Cacti And Succulents

First place – Aloe nubilis, variegated, owned by Becky Buenaventura

Second place – Agave potatorum “Kishokan” var. owned by Becky Buenaventura

Third place – Furcraea Variegated owned by Daniel Palentinos

Haworthias

First place – Haworthia cv. tortousa owned by Elaine Daclis

Second place – Haworthia limifolia variegated owned by Elaine Daclis

Third place – Haworthia truncate owned by Aireen Bernal

Aloes/ Gasterias/ Astrolobas

First place – Aloe Nubilis variegated owned by Becky Buenaventura

Second place – Aloe sp. owned by Botchie Canicula

Third place – Gasteria hybrid owned by Becky Buenaventura

Agaves/ Fucreas And Yuccas

First place – Agave potatorum “Kishokan” variegated owned by Becky Buenaventura

Second place – Agave hybrid owned by Bimbo Vergara

Third place – Agave Victoria reginae, variegated owned by Becky Buenaventura

Sansevierias

First place – Sansevieria masoniana owned by Dan Palentinos

Second place – Sansevieria specks owned by Arid and Aroids

Third place – Sansevieria layranos owned by Arid and Aroids

Pachypodium

First place – Pachypodium lamerei owned by Mely Sibayan

Second place – Pachypodium lamerei owned by Purificacion Orchids

Other Caudiciforms And Pachycauls

First place – Dioscorea machystachys owned by Anna Ruth Conde

Second place – Fockea edulis owned by Purificacion Orchids

Epiphytic And Climbing Succulents

First place – Dischidia sp. owned by Tess Baldonado

Second place – Epiphyllum, owned by PHSI

Third place – Hoya buotii owned by Architect Patricia ” Wendy” Regalado

Xerophytic -Bromeliads

First place – Tillandsia andreana owned by Aireen Bernal

Second place – Tillandsia ampla owned by Purificacion Orchids

Third place – Tillandsia xerographica owned by Botchie Canicual

For the Ornamental Plant category, first place went to the following categories and owners:

BROMELIAD – Alcantarea imperialis owned by Botchie Canicula

AROIDS A – Aglaonema “Dona Carmen” owned by Purificacion Orchids

FERNS & FERN ALLIES – Asplenium serratum owned by Mr. Nonito Dolera

ORCHIDS – Vanda Charles Good fellow x Vanda Udom Gold  by the Philippine  Orchid Society

Annual Flowering Plants

Euphorbia pulchemma “Strawberry & Cream” owned by Francis Gener

Special Awards: Bonsai

First place – Pemphis acidula (Bantigue) owned by Vic and Analyn de Rona

Second place – Pemphis acidula (Bantigue) owned by John Mateo

Third place – Malabayabas – owned by Mr.  Lincon Yu

SUISEKI

First place – Water Falls owned by Jerome Bulos

Second place – El Nido owned by Erwin Paolos

Third place – Matang Baka owned by Jerome Bulos

Interesting Notes:

Succulent (plant)  A plant adapted to drought-prone climates or periodic arid conditions (water deprivation) and characterized by fleshy water-storing tissues (stems, roots, or leaves) that act as internal reservoirs sustaining life when external water is not available or periodically insufficient. Succulents   have also adapted plant systems that maintain metabolism with minimal exchange of water with the environment.

( Succulence) meaning the plant adaptation.

Some Philippine  growers tend to include succulent plants such as bromeliads , hoyas , dischidias in the grouping.

Collectors may tell that all cactus are succulents but not all succulents are cactus. Succulent plants come from many plant families.

Cactus make up the family Cactaceae and are mostly spiny succulents. Cacti are succulent xerophytes that have adapted the three main plant parts to survive in low moisture conditions.

A xerophyte is a plant adapted for life to a xeric (or dry) environment with a limited supply of water but does not need to be a succulent. They are often described as drought escaping, enduring, or resisting. All succulents are basically xerophytes but not all xerophytes are succulents

Caudiciforms (appearance of the plant) , Caudex ( bulging plant part near the base)example Adenium obesum locally called Bangkok Kalachuchi.

The terms are derived from the Latin word caudex meaning tree. This is a nontechnical term used to describe a plant which has a thickened root or stem, often of a large bottle or round form. A “true” caudiciform should have a water storage rather than a food storage organ in the fattened portion.

In some Asian countries like in Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan Vietnam collectors often include any plant that has a fat lower portion that they find attractive enough to cultivate.

cactus and succulent collectors are sometimes called xerophyte collector.

Quezon City 70th founding anniversary

Quezon Memorial Circle

In the aftermath of the devastation by the recent typhoons not only to Quezon City but to the entire National Capital Region and nearby provinces, major events lined up for Quezon City’s 70th Foundation Year Anniversary this October are rescheduled. Read more for the new schedule or contact the Secretariat at 444-7272 local 1116 or 701-4365 for more information.

Quezon Cityhall building with murals

On October 12, the following activities are lined up in celebration of Quezon City’s 70th Founding Anniversary:

Quezon City officials led by Mayor Sonny Belmonte, Vice- Mayor Herbert Bautista and Postmaster General Mr. Hector Villanueva led the unveiling ceremonies

4 commemorative Quezon City stamps depicted  -Manuel L. Quezon and Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon Cityhall, Araneta Coliseum , East Wood in Libis a new technology and business development outsourcing area.

Postmaster General Mr. Hector Villanueva and Quezon City Mayor Honorable Sonny Belmonte

Morning

  1. Flag Raising Ceremony at QC Hall grounds
  2. Mayor’s speech on the 70th Anniversary celebration
  3. Unveiling of the Bonifacio and Rizal monuments at the Quezon City Hall compound
  4. Unveiling and first release of QC@70 commemorative stamps (Legislative Wing Atrium, ground floor)
  5. Blessing of twin tower buildings

Afternoon

  1. Games and activities for barangays (open to all, including QC employees) at QMC
  2. Concert night at QMC, with live band
  3. Fireworks display

Complementary Activities

  1. Sale ng Bayan at all QC malls (up to 70% off)