Sunday, April 21, 2013

Safari in Lagundi Country

The main kubo has the view of flowering banaba trees and dita against Mt. Natib
Small leveled part of the property
Flower detail of lagundi
I got an invite again to join Mam Ime Sarmiento on one of her adventures, this time to her friend Abe's farm. It was on rolling terrain in the outskirts of Bagac in Bataan.  The topography was interesting but a challenge to go into.  In fact we had to leave Mam Ime's vehicle at roadside and alight a weapons carrier to get to and around the farm.

Our ride
Sir Abe is in the pharmacy business. His farm is a previously logged area near the main road.  Since taking over the land he has planted some medicinal plants and it is now overgrown with lagundi or Vitex negundo. Apart from lagundi, the property also has other native plants with medicinal properties like banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa), sambong (Blumea balsamifera) and some more.

Wild sambong
The nutritious and medicinal coconut hovers over carpets of lagundi
Apatot or noni fruit also grows wild in the area
Unknown tree
But besides the farm's original pharma intention, Sir Abe has started planting a few dipterocarps and other native trees, particularly in the sheltered creeks, which still hides some areas  still teeming with vegetatve cover.  The new seedlings now grow side by side with the creek valley's original natives like bayag-usa, marang, antipolo, putat, paguringon, dita, balinawnaw, mambog, etc.

Banaba's pink flowers stand out among a sea of green
Traversing the creek valley
A tall wild dita tree
Sir Abe is protecting the cutting down of the native trees.  He is particularly proud of 3 very large specimens of an unknown tree we could not identify.  He also planted a kalumpang (Sterculia foetida) tree at a prominent part of the farm near the workers' quarters.  It has flowered this year with the famous malodorous blooms.  But even with the prompting fromworkers to cut down the bad smelling kalumpang, he stands firm not to do so.   Hope the workers would grow accustomed to its smell.

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