It's Showtime

It's Showtime

Today is the official opening of the Mid-Year Orchid and Garden Show of the Philippine Orchid Society.  I am encouraging everyone to visit the Hardin ng mga Bulaklak (translated: Flower Garden) of the Quezon Memorial Circle anytime today, August 30 until September 9.

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A Plant Addict in Cavite

Remember Paul from my Plant Clinic post?  He and his wife, Michelle, have become avid tillandsia collectors. Michele works at a university with a Centennial Garden and Botanical Park where she happened to find, surprise, surprise, tillandsias.  It turns out that the airplants were being brought there and cared for by Joel N., a consultant of the university's Environmental Resource Management and Campust Development Office and another tillandsia lover.  He invited Michelle and Paul to visit his collection and I invited myself (hehe) and tagged along.

Joel lives south of Metro Manila and to avoid traffic, we decided to visit him on a Sunday.  Here is a quick peek through the grills of Joel's gate.  His plot is filled with plants.

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Typhoon Orchid

Thirty-one years ago, around this time of the year, powerful Typhoon Orchid roared in the Pacific. It threatened the Philippines but it recurved north northwest and unleashed its full fury on Japan. It left a large swath of destruction and a number of casualties.
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Plant Chaser turns Orchid Hunter

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.

Brassia rex

BLC Pink Diamond

Dendrobium anosmum alba

Doritaenopsis Chai Xen Queen "JB"


Grammatophylum multiflorum

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum

Phalaenopsis maki watanabe

Rhynchostylis gigantea

Vanda sp.

BLC dolosa alba

Dendrobium smilliae

Doritaenopsis hsinying "Fortune Star"

Paphiopedilum hennisianum

Phalaenopsis sp.

Vanda "Gordon Dillon" x "Jaophaya sapple"

Doritaenopsys taida salu "Alison" 

Vanda lamellata

BLC White Diamond "Sang Sa Ngon"

Dendrobium lasianthera

In between hunts, I was interrupted by several photo opportunities.


Vangie Go

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.



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