MANILA, Philippines – Do you want to see cherry blossoms and thought of going to Japan to see it?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to go Tokyo or Osaka to have that Instagram-worthy photo. There may not be cherry blossoms parks here in the Philippines, but there are trees here that closely resemble it.
At the De La Salle University Medical Center in Dasmariñas City, Cavite, hospital staff and medical students enjoy the lush view yearly.
The bloom looks like it comes from Trumpet Trees, due to it trumpet-shape flowers and clustered crowns. It closely resembles Tabebuia or Handroanthus.
It may not be exactly like Japan’s famous sakura (Prunus serrulata), because those only grow in temperate climates. But they are like distant cousins – they share the same ancestor which are Eudicots.
Tabebuia or Handroanthus grow in neotropical climates like Latin America, or tropical countries like Southeast Asia.
A breathtaking view of these blossoms can be also found inside Assumption Antipolo in Rizal. Assumption Antipolo is also known for its PACEM Eco-Park.
Puerto Princesa, Palawan
In Palawan, a different tree takes centerstage. Locally known as Balayong (Cassia nodosa), the tree is endemic in Palawan and is also known as “Palawan cherry.”
Balayong is a medium-size tree that produces light pink or white flowers in clusters. For locals, it is a symbol of feminine dominance, female beauty, and love in the language of herbs.
In 2017, the Puerto Princesa City government invested P250 million to build the Balayong Park that are in full bloom every February up to summer.
The city even hosts the must-see Balayong Festival every last week of February up to March, in celebration of the blooms.
What are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to these destinations while the blossoms are there! – Aika Rey/Rappler.com