Sunday, June 1, 2014

Bloom Binmaley

It all started one evening in February, while having our cauliflower fritas fix at Poppins, my friend Monette Victorio and I were talking about Sakura season in Japan and wishing we had one in the Philippines. I was telling Monette about the Balayong, more popularly called the Palawan Cherry Blossom tree. It's actually not a cherry tree but a variety of other tropical flowering trees like the Flame Tree and the Golden Shower. I suggested why not plant these trees in her hometown of Binmaley, Pangasinan and in five years, it will be a summer destination for tourists wanting to see the blooming Balayongs. Monette and her mother Josefina Victorio, a tourism consultant to their town Binmaley loved the idea.  I made a t-shirt design using the Keep Calm application on my iPad with Monette's brilliant tag line Bloom Binmaley, and Smart Communications happily sponsored the tree planting event.
We planted the seedlings a month ago, on the first of May, making it easier to remember the date, not only because it's Labor Day but also Pistang Dagat in the province of Pangasinan, a celebration of their sea's bounty. I'm so happy I'm finally realising a dream to plant a million trees, soon, I will be planting more Balayongs in San Jose, Tarlac with a couple of friends who share the same dream and love for our country.

A hut by the beach of Binmaley, Pangasinan.

The town monument to it's fishermen.

The bell tower of Binmaley church.

The Golden Shower tree.

Balayong seedlings from Manila Seedling Bank.

A Balayong tree in memory of Monette's sister, Jiji.

From the net, a Balayong tree in full bloom.


  1. Good job JC! I had been wishing the same thing too. Remember when we used to pass by Laguna on the way to Batangas where there were plenty of fire trees and golden showers in bloom during summer. If you have other friends in Tagaytay too who could encourage more planting of Golden showers in a single place and Fire tree in other places. If you could remember the tree they cut down in front of Bauan church - Caballero - it used to bloom as much flowers as the cherry blossoms too.

    1. Yes, I have a photo of that tree in front of the Bauan Church in a previous blog post. I felt so bad when they cut it down.
      It would really be a lovely sight to have them line our avenues and parks.