What to expect and things to do in Arid and Aroids Living Gallery in Silang Cavite
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Best things to do in Arid and Aroids Living Gallery
Silang, Cavite. June 13, 2021. Arid & Aroids nursery garden went under major renovation and came up with a more versatile idea to convert the 3,000 sq. m. land to a tourism-friendly hub for plant collectors, the Arid & Aroids Living Gallery or AA Living Gallery is soon to rise as “Jungle Paradise.” The project is a work in progress and is targeted to be completed by September 2021.
How they started. For over twenty-five years, Arid and Aroids has been actively gathering plant species across the borders, in the pursuit of creating a leading botanical garden in the Philippines. “The Philippines has had its share of plant species to the world’s most renowned Araceae farms and botanical gardens, but ironically still does not have its own, thus the dream of having one in our country was put in mind.” As told by Mr. Neil “Boyet” B. Ganigan, co-founder of Arid and Aroids.
Together with co-founder Dr. Jae Silvestre, the team knew the potential of the country and committed themselves to establish the Philippines as one of the horticultural sites, and to continue the discovery of our very own Araceae breeds. Arid and Aroids is the top producer of variegated Sansiveira in the world. This plant was genetically altered by Dr. Silvestre. The other two countries who developed variegated Sansevieria were in Germany and in Florida, USA.
Arid and Aroids joined the Tropical Plant International Convention in Florida, USA. An annual exposition happens every third week of January, where members gather and convene to see the new development of their project.
Plant Preservation and Development. In spite of having a mega-diverse in the vast collection of flora, the Philippines is yet to make a name in the horticulture industry. Thailand being the mecca of plant people, they are the center of plants in Asia. While in Europe, they have Holland, Netherlands and Hawaii and Florida in the USA. These places have continued development programs on plants.
“Luckily, other big companies, every year they visit the Philippines to hunt for plants. They are after the wild plants or the jungle collected plants. Reasons why the foreigners hunt in the Philippines. They are like poachers. The locals who sell plants that came from “gubat” are not aware that these plants are new species and could be rare plants. Foreigners are after these plants.
Some local sellers (selling poach plants), need to be screened. We usually advise them to propagate the plant and when the time comes they have grown in numbers, then we will buy it from them. Otherwise, when a foreigner brought it to their country and had it identified (ID), that same plant species will be recognized as theirs” said Ganigan.
AA Living Gallery as a representation of plant species. Throughout the pandemic, people find themselves escaping from the stress and depressing issues of living under a lockdown. The hardships of the pandemic were really crazy. For middle class and low-income families, it was a test of survival. Jobs were lost and finding temporary means was kind of difficult.
To cope up with it, creative means popped up with different interests. One of which, they turn into plants. Apart from the growing plant enthusiasts, young people and late starters began to appreciate the beauty of ornamental plants and fruit-bearing plants/tears, and to be one with nature.
One of AA Living Gallery missions is that they are bound to give information and to provide the community a livelihood program. They give jobs where AA is there and they have partnered with local groups to strategize marketing and selling options. Mr. Ganigan also mentioned that there are three garden municipalities in the country. Silang is known as one of the garden cities in Luzon, together with Bay or Bae in Laguna and Guiguinto in Bulacan.
The main vision of AA Living Gallery is to develop new plants and develop new advancements in the horticulture business. “We developed the living gallery as part of a mental health solution. It greatly helps people, this pandemic as close space malls aren’t safe to visit. At AA Living Gallery, everybody can roam around the open space area and move freely.” said Ganigan.
The living gallery also serves as a depository of plant species around the world. The plants being planted in the area are the holy grails which are being protected. These plants no longer exist in their C2 or habitat for some reason such as over collection, poaching and environmental deterioration due to killing of mountains. Scarcity happens because of growing interest; it creates a high demand for the plants.
AA Living Gallery sees the demand for setting an ideal place for the growing Philippine community of plant collectors. The concept of the living gallery is a small and compact area, but the content is diverse. Each one of us has different interests, in the same way we choose what ornamental plants we like. From rare plants, trending plants, to varieties of philodendron and monstera. Some people like aroids, but to some they’re addicted to orchids and ferns.
Landscape artist Bienvenido Haro collaborated with engineers to come up with a design suit for the paradise theme. The focal point of the design was the installation of the mossed pillars accentuated with premium plants; the aroids-patterned path walk, an atrium for plant seminars and events, and the miniature falls bearing the rarest Araceae, Philodendron Spiritus Sancti or the PSS, and the Monstera Obliqua.
As of this writing, AA Living Gallery is now on its 2nd phase; the plants were gathered from South America, Africa, and in Sarawak, Malaysia. Mr. Ganagin noted that after the lockdown was lifted, a lot of botanical people came to the Philippines to check out the Living Gallery collection.
Bringing the plants to the people. Since this is forecast to be a haven for plant shoppers, the hub is set to put up a plant supermarket, and is PWD-friendly. Soon the living gallery will launch a bed and breakfast, a spa, a themed restaurant and an event place. The green park will serve as a go-to information as it’ll serve its purpose for educational tours, and as a tissue culture laboratory.
Indeed, Arid and Aroids Living Gallery is a first of its kind as a premier plant market, hopefully they get to inspire more people and in return the effects of it not only covers livelihood assistance and socio-economic development. Moreover, the MOVE everyone should make to catch up with global environmental issues.
This June, Arid and Aroids is coming up with a guided workshop for the community in Baguio. Also, catch BG Live Sessions on Arid & Aroids facebook page where they give tips and tricks about planting.
How to get there?
520 Hoya Road,
Tartaria, Silang, Cavite
Thank you to Mr. Rence Chan for inviting us to the Vloggers’ Day farm tour.
Another update for the plant tour photos.
Watch out for another blog about the plant tour and YouTube plant tour. We will include the most sought after Philodendron and variegated varieties and the AA exclusive, the variegated sansevieria, and a whole lot more. Happy planting!
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