On Golden (Conservation) Pond

On Lotus Pond

This is no ordinary pond. It is a lotus conservation pond. Lotus plants are considered sacred in many countries. They used to thrive in the Paoay Lake National Park and now they’re gone. It’s heartwarming to discover that the Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanic Gardens, managed by plant-crazy fellow and I mean passionate-to-the-max-horticulturist slash conservationist slash curator, Michael Agbayani Calaramo, has built this promising pond. He speaks a lingo only the academe and plant enthusiasts with scientific background can understand.

The NU botanic park and the Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society recently hosted the Norwesterniana Native Plant Conservation Forum/Workshop to bring awareness to the biodiversity hotspot in the Philippines, the area being home to endangered species and notably, meticulously catalogued by who else but Michel C., promote intelligent exchanges with respect to in-situ and ex-situ conservation (see what I meant by scientific knowledge) and spearhead such ideas in order to maintain the ecological integrity of the area being developed as a model for community development as an all-important factor in mitigating climate change, and promote Ethnobotany, which is gaining worldwide popularity, as a means to protect our natural and cultural heritage.

I commend Ms. Liza Nicolas, Northwestern University President, for the vision and efforts put into the Norwesterniana area.

Water HyacinthLotus Conservation PondLotus PondLotusPlant-crazy Rock star Michel C. giving Brandon and Klein a mini lecture. The guy is an endangered extraordinary specie, I tell you. Below is a carnivorous specie, Drosera spatulata, commonly known as sun dews.TentaclesBabyMaple LeavesThe Canadian insignia — the maple leaf.

Some bulbous plantwith members of the Philippine Native Plant Conservation Society

Besides revisting Michael and the park, I had to catch sir Anthony Arbias, who was my lecturer in an ecoguiding class at ma’am Mina Gabor’s International School of Sustainable Tourism. He is also an honorary member of the Philippine EcoGuides Association (an organization of which I’m one of the founding members). Another plant-crazy fellow, Anthony has a ginormous plant photo collection and he can name each and every specie by heart. Coincidentally, sir Tony Manila of DENR, another lecturer in ISST, was also with the group comprised of legendary figures and enthusiasts in the field of plant conservation.

My straight from the beach garb is making me look like a fancy plastic flower, my apologies.

Michael creates the most spontaneous gorgeous flora-themed adornments around.

Flora Table CenterpieceFlora-Themed Table Setting

The park is worth visiting. For park details, contact numbers, etc., click here and scroll down to the bottom.

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2012

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