The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

04 November 2011


Even as a young boy, I always enjoyed a group of plants that I did not even know the name of but was fascinated by the variety of patterns and hues of its lush foliage. I would bug my Mom to bring to my Lola's house empty pots to have them filled by her gardener Mang Ciano. It was up to him what to put but I would particularly request for these, which he collectively called sédang dáhon (silk leaves). [A footnote: after some months and I failed to keep them healthy, we repeat the cycle of the empty pots and the bugging and the requesting...]

Now that I have my own garden, I started collecting aglaonemas, which turns out to have an even bigger number of varieties and cultivars. They are a member of the aroid family (Araceae) just as alocasias, anthuriums, philodendrons, and xanthosomas. Also, despite them being given the popular English name of Chinese Evergreens, they are actually endemic to the Philippines, particularly to Luzon.

They thrive best in filtered sunlight: too much and the leaves will burn while too little will not bring out the patterns and the colors. I place them under big philodendrons as proportionately-big ground covers and to offset each others' leaf shapes and patterns.

They would also look good as potted specimens and do well as indoor plants. Moreover, most of them have unusually-colored or patterned stems, all the more it is best placed on a tabletop to better appreciate the plant. 


  1. I remember seeing that pattern (second photo from the top) in Lola's garden. I'd love to decorate the inside of the house with those plants, but I'm afraid I'd kill them. We'll see... :-)

  2. It might not survive the cold and dry weather in your area, but if you take care of it indoors, it might just work.