Sunday, March 20, 2016

Hortikultura Extravaganza and Chinese New Year 2016

HORTIKULTURA EXTRAVAGANZA is one of the biggest garden/plant show in the Philippines organized by Philippine Horticultural Society Inc. held annually at the Quezon City Memorial Circle. The garden show features incredible landscape works and plants from all over the country.

This year, the Hortikultura Extravaganza event was held from February 4-15. Some of its events include art competitions wherein people use plants as their subjects. According to one of the judges, their frequent contestants are students from nearby University of the Philippines. Different companies also participate in the show, bringing in some of their best landscape artists to showcase their skills.

The landscape work is not isolated to plants, however. Some of the artists made use of furniture (an example is shown below) and paintings. The hosting organization was kind enough to give us goodies (thanks again to PHSI)

One of the most outstanding things about this organization and their show is that they promote gardening to the people, making them fall in love again with the beauty of plants and flowers and helping people who are just starting out in gardening. 

Outside the show, a fair of sorts is held where companies sell a wide array of gardening tools, plants, flowers, and products made from plants such as the Ashitaba Tea. Since it was the eve of Chinese New Year, we headed off to the oldest Chinatown in the metropolis (and, as some say, in the World)

Binondo boasts of a wide arena of food for the food lover and an explosion of color for those into photography. To wit, the oldest restaurant in the country is located at the heartland of this flavor haven. The Antigua Toho (Now called the Toho Food Center), which once served what is now the country's prominent heroes, still serve their age-old cuisine to the younger generations. 

The Chinese New Year in the Philippines, as most thing in Binondo, uses an interesting mix of cultures that, instead of clashing, blends with each other, owing mostly to the fact that Chinese culture is deeply rooted and spliced into the Filipino plant, having been a part of us for a very long time now. Catholic traditions mingle with Chinese ones; joss sticks in front of a cross and tigers and dragons bowing down to a Catholic altar while people know their luck from fortune telling things called Jiaobei in front of this very cross. 

Truly, Manila is a fascinating city.

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MANY THANKS TO PHSI and Mr. Rence Chan for the wonderful time!