Orchids to keep the stress away

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For many women, mothers, and housewives, growing orchids is an effective way to keep the stress away.

Take it from the women of the Negros Occidental Orchids Society, Inc. (NOOS).

NOOS president Ana Mercedes Gatuslao said, “Growing orchids is very relaxing, most especially if you live a stressful life. You just go out in your garden to see your orchids. As soon as you see that it starts to have a bud until it unfolds, you will be happy to see the beautiful flowers.”


The NOOS officers and members opened their 12th Waling-Waling Festival at the fountain area of Robinsons Place Bacolod yesterday.

There are 12 exhibitors showcasing their rare and beautiful species of waling-waling.

The opening ceremony was graced by Dr. Marilyn Marañon, wife of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr.; Elsa Leonardia, wife of Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia; Josefa Puentevella, wife of Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella, and officers and members of NOOS.

The NOOS was founded by Julie Campos-Benedicto in 1983 with a vision to start a new industry for orchid enthusiasts in Negros Occidental.

“It started 31 years ago with a group of ladies who are orchid enthusiasts who formed a group and from then on the purpose was really to promote the orchids in Negros. This is not an expensive hobby. As long as you give it a tender loving care, it will truly give you pleasure when you cultivate one. It is not hard at all as people think it is. But one should take care of it just as you take care of a person,” Gatuslao explained.
She added that the species of orchids were discovered sometime in 500 B.C. when the Chinese and Japanese began cultivating their native species of orchids.

“In Europe, the interest in orchids became a status symbol for the rich and famous. Expeditions were sponsored to search for unknown orchids in new regions. This was how our waling-waling was discovered,” she said.

According to Wikipedia, euanthe sanderiana is a flower of the orchid family commonly called waling-waling in the Philippines. Waling-waling is considered to be the "Queen of Philippine Flowers."

It is called Sander’s Euanthe after Henry Frederick Conrad Sander, a noted orchidologist. Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach originally named Euanthe sanderiana as Vanda sanderiana.

Waling-waling has two colors— pink and white. M. Roebelin discovered the original pink variety in the Philippines in 1881 or 1882. Euanthe sanderiana is endemic to Mindanao in the provinces of Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga where it is found on the trunks of dipterocarp trees at elevations below 500 meters.

Meanwhile, Gatuslao revealed that some members of the NOOS are hobbyists and others are already into the orchids business.

The 12th Waling-Waling Festival runs until August 26.*

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on August 19, 2014.


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