Meet some of the outstanding garden people at the Kadayawan Farm and Garden Agri-Trade Fair in Davao City from August 6 to 31, 2016.
SALLY LEUENBERGER, a CPA-turned-orchid magnate, ran away with the most number of prizes in the show. She got first prize in the landscape exhibit and in the orchids competition, she got first and second prizes in the Waling-waling category; first, second and third in Vanda Strap; first, second and third in Mixed Genera; second and third in dendrobium. Her Vanda Dr. Anek x V. Pompinol was adjudged the Best Orchid in the show.
VEN GALLEGO is the recipient of two Hall of Fame trophies. He is into bromeliads, palms and ornamental plants. He has a beautiful landscape exhibit but he did not enter it for competition. Ven is a retiree from the Philippine Coconut Authority. He is now full time in the plant business and is the president of the Mindanao Floriculture & Ecological Development (MINFED) which counts on a membership from all over Mindanao.
MONINA ABADILLA is the acknowledged trendsetter in the ornamental plant business in Davao. She was the first to introduce the multi-headed bougainvilleas. In one trunk, different varieties are grafted unto it. Then she brought in from Bangkok giant Adeniums (alias Bangkok kalachuchi to some people). These include plants with big trunks, many of them with double flowers. She also has lots of cacti and expensive rare plants.
MAE MAGNAYE is a hobbyist who grows unusual plant. Her Wave of Love foliage anthurium with golden variegation worn second prize in the anthurium category. This is an expensive plant because there are very few in the market. Then she has really well grown dwarf kamuning that’s easily more than 10 years old.
VICKY JIMENEZ is into rare ornamentals, including foliage anthurium, cycads and palms, ferns and many more. She is a workhorse during garden shows together with Angel Puentespina, Silva Alegria, Rose Damiana and others.
MARIO ATILLO is an agriculturist who is now full-time in the plant business based in Surallah, South Cotabato. He is very excited about breeding foliage anthuriums of which he has a wide collection. He is very upbeat about the Black Marie anthurium from Ecuador which is using as a stud plant to produce hybrids with black coloration. He says that Black Marie ha large black leaves about one foot wide and two feet long.
CIRILO ‘CHING’ CHUA says he has sent his children to college through the income from his plant business. He goes for bromeliads, orchids and foliage plants.
SALVADOR BARRACA, a.k.a. Rocky is the president of the Davao Bonsai Society. The society counts on about 50 active members. Whenever a member is a frequent absentee, he is ousted from the society. His favorite bonsai is Tugas or molave. But he quips that he is better known as Mr. Duranta bonsaist because his first bonsai was a variegated duranta but which unfortunately does not live long. Rocky started as a hobby in 2003. He is an engineer who is working for a telecommunications company.