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.

31 May 2013

Philippine Tree of the Month: Santol

 A beautiful local tree that's part of our everyday life is the common backyard tree, Santól (Sandoricum koetjape). Many people are familiar with this as it is one of the few tropical trees with random leaves that turn red before falling off. Its trunk is usually straight and can be sawed as lumber. In fact, Mang Pilô from whom we bought the farm, asked to cut three trees for lumber to make a new house before turning over the land to us, and a tall and regal santol tree was one of them (the other two were duhat and muláwin).
And who wouldn't know its fruit? I think everyone's grew up with it, peeled and eaten with rock salt, cringing from its slightly acidic taste just to get to the luscious whitish pulp at its core. To this day, it's such a simple pleasure to end a long, weekend lunch with a bowlful of santol, eating candy-like the sweet white pulp around the seeds. I guess it is for this reason some foreigners call this the lolly fruit!

26 May 2013

Spathiphyllums in Bloom

The gardens look dazzling now that the spathiphyllums are in full bloom! They are in the pink of health and look like they're bursting with energy.

When I did not have the farm yet, I used to grow these in pots in Manila and were perpetually undernourished, no matter what I did. Now, we hardly mind them and they look like they even prefer it! They're actually low-maintenance plants that would always look good in a garden, what with its shiny, dark green leaves and creamy white spathes.

25 May 2013

Six-Foot Long Ferns

After a long, dry hot season, it's so exciting to see the ferns grow back to life and regain its lushness and beauty. And nothing is more enchanting to see than the amazingly-long Goniophlebium ferns (Goniophlebium subauriculatum), elegantly hanging like long green feathers gently brushing our faces every time we pass by the fern garden. 

It's strange though that something as stunningly desirable as this has no common name in either English or Filipino. I've been researching on and off for some years and I have yet to find out how this is commonly known as. 

It's been three rainy seasons by now since this transplanted fern has established itself and flourished this much here in its new environment.

17 May 2013

A Bowl-ful of Macopa

A bowl-ful of lusciously-crimson macòpa (Syzygium malaccensis), slightly chilled to make it even more refreshing on this hot summer day. Our lone tree, planted by the gate, always makes a lot of guests wax romantic about childhood days and lazy afternoons, long weekends in the province and family time that everyone now just can't have enough of.