February augurs love, and not just because of Valentine’s.
In Casa Gorordo Museum, the bridal bouquet (Poranopsis paniculata) crowning the house’s azotea provides an ethereal feel, perfect for the month of love.
The museum’s bridal bouquet is probably as old as the house itself, according to Mrs. Josefa “Pepit” Gorordo-Revilles, one of the original owners, heir of the house.
Peculiarly, bridal bouquets bloom once every year and, in the case of those at the Casa Gorordo, every February.
Even more strange, the flowers open for only a week then fall to wither. This year, the museum’s bridal bouquet is set to bloom from February 5 to 9, says Rocky Arsenal, who has been the gardener of the museum since 2004.
For the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) President and Chief Operating Officer, Dominica B. Chua, who has worked for the RAFI for more than 40 years, “you’ll know the bridal bouquet’s in full bloom when there are lots of bees buzzing around.”
“The bees are attracted to the flowers whose open petals reveal the yellow style,” Chua shared. Bees collect nectar found in the flower in order to make honey.
The bridal bouquet is not a common sight in Cebu. Its closest local variety is the sampaguita and cadena de amor.
In 2012, the original vine of Casa Gorordo’s bridal bouquet, with its very thick coils and already brittle with age, was attacked by termites, says Arsenal and confirmed by Chua. The vine today is not as thick as it used to be, especially so because of the many strong typhoons it has weathered through the years.
Nevertheless, Casa Gorordo Museum’s bridal bouquet, with expert care using organic fertilizer and consistent watering if its leaves, has drawn the admiration of many visitors.
It has also continued to catch the fancy of visitors’ imagination with its dainty white flowers, all the more made delicate with its rare and fleeting flowering.
Come and visit Casa Gorordo Museum in Parian to see its exquisite bridal bouquet this week for this once in a year wonder!
A former educator and now working as a freelance writer. Simply living her own version of life’s passion – music, mobile photography, story telling, road trips and food trailing! 🙂