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The Theoretical Cook


Friday, March 03, 2006

Intramuros - Pretty Flowers at the Flora Filipino Expo

Philippine Orchid Society (60th anniversary)
Philippine Horticultural Society (30th anniversary)
Intramuros Manila

I'm not a flower person. I've always maintained that I prefer gumamela over roses, nevermind the imported tulips. This afternoon we stumbled on the Flora Filipino Expo in Intramuros. Driven by the memory of Aling Nena's goto, we were looking for street goto somewhere in Intramuros but before we could reach the carinderias in the far end we passed by the all spruced up Wow Philippines tent (Clam Shell?) abloom with flowers and plants of various species. We stopped in our tracks, goto momentarily forgotten, and surveyed the beautiful blooms.
Unforgettable plants: I liked the bonsai kalachuchi plants from Thailand. They cost the earth: one particularly robust looking plant had a P15T tag. It looked like the baobab drawing in The Little Prince except that it had bright red flowers. There were also some bonsai kalachuchi that had white flowers. Imagine your normal kalachuchi but with a bloated trunk (ala-Baobab). They managed to propagate the species in numerous pots. I wager five years from now, the price tag will be less atrocious.
Of course, I cannot not mention the hibiscus. A guy also sold hibiscus (gumamela) in all its permutations. Pretty, pretty flower. He showed me the Filipino varieties - yellow, orange, etc. The local varieties carried reasonable price tags. He also showed me the Australian and Hawaiian varieties. These blooms had more intense colors and strangely looked delicate. Gumamelas have always struck me as sturdy looking, blooms, stems, leaves and all. Anyway, for those who are into gumamelas and who have green thumbs, the owner has a store in Calamba, Laguna. He said he realized early on the commercial potential of the hibiscus. "The gumamela is a very Filipino flower," he further added.
I wish I had a house with a garden where I can plant plenty of hibiscus.
My friends bought herbs which sold for 3 plants for P100. They bought oregano, basil, and sweet basil. Oh lala. So for those who intend to start herb gardens, you might want to check out the scene at the Flora Filipino Expo in Intramuros. The expo runs until March nth 2006.


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