Would you risk your life for these?
Some people did.
Due to the uniqueness and rarity of the plant in Europe in the 1800's, the profession of orchid hunter was created. The early orchid hunters would face death, tropical diseases, wild animals and cannibalistic tribes.
Even modern-day orchid hunters could not avoid these ordeals. Lance Birk, author of the book "The Last Orchid Hunter", writes of getting shot at (more than once), contracting cholera, falling off a cliff, encountering pirates and so much more. As late as 2000, Tom Hart Dyke, an English horticulturist, was kidnapped and kept captive by guerillas for nine months while hunting for rare orchids.
Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to transform from Plant Chaser to Orchid Hunter. I am not sure if I should be relieved that the exercise was free of the thrills and dangers that would make Agent 007 proud. All I had to do for my pseudo orchid hunting was head for the Annual Orchid and Garden Show of the Philippine Orchid Society which is open to the public beginning today until March 7, 2011 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.
My orchid hunting experience was so much different from Birk and Dyke. Instead of being attacked by wild animals, I had the company of a tour guide in the person of the very bubbly and knowledgeable Lawrence Chan. Instead of getting lost in the jungle, the orchids were arranged in beautiful landscapes by the different exhibitors of the Philippine Orchid Society. Instead of getting diseases, I got to eat a sumptuous snack after the awarding ceremony. Instead of facing death, I met face to face with orchid authorities among them Jim Cootes, author of The Orchids of the Philippines, the multi awarded Ana Purificacion and the iconic Vangie Go.
It was smooth and easy as I hunted down amazing orchids that Birk and Dyke dreamt of seeing.
BLC Pink Diamond
Dendrobium anosmum alba
Doritaenopsis Chai Xen Queen "JB"
Phalaenopsis maki watanabe
BLC dolosa alba
Doritaenopsis hsinying "Fortune Star"
Vanda "Gordon Dillon" x "Jaophaya sapple"
Doritaenopsys taida salu "Alison"
BLC White Diamond "Sang Sa Ngon"
In between hunts, I was interrupted by several photo opportunities.
Author Jim Cootes
Anyone can be an orchid hunter in his own right. But will you be willing to risk your life for these? That is the question.
***Click on images to enlarge.
***For more information on the 65th Annual Orchid & Garden Show, click here.
***For a list of the winners, click here.