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Palawan bonsai enthusiasts are working hard to promote their art not only as a hobby and passion but also to educate those interested in it about the importance of practicing sustainable methods of propagation through the use of cutting and seeding techniques.

Jun Frago of the Palawan Bonsai Society (PBS) told Palawan News during an exhibit at the Balai Princesa gardens held over the weekend that they are encouraging bonsai growers to refrain from gathering planters from the wild but instead use common plants that are just found in their surroundings.

“Sa amin kasi ini-encourage namin, especially our members to use yung mga halaman na nakikita sa paligid. Kasi di ba sa DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) sabi nila you should take nothing from the environment. So sa amin, for example may clearing ng for road widening o kaya may bahay na magpapalit ng halaman, kinukuha na lang namin yung mga maaapektuhang halaman,” he said. 

The biggest bonsai group in the Philippines, Philippine Bonsai Society Inc. (PBSI), backs the Palawan Bonsai Society’s efforts as a model for growing bonsai.

“We encourage our members na like sa Palawan, hindi kailangan na kumuha ka sa forest ng halaman for bonsai,” says PBSI board member Elvis Magada.

Magada pointed out that although some members had bonsais of endemic tree species in other provinces, they propagated them by cutting or seeding methods.

“In seeding kasi you start propagating it through seeds. So hindi ka kumuha from the wild. Yung cutting as long as yung source mo ay secondary, it’s more sustainable,” Magada explained.

Magada also underscored that the aesthetic and quality of a bonsai are not defined by the plant used but rather by how the artist interprets the principles of bonsai.

“We can use common plants like kamuning or santan and make them look like really good old trees. So nasa pag aalaga na lang talaga,” Magada said. 

Those interested in learning the basics of bonsai may contact the Palawan Bonsai Society to learn about their workshops being held regularly.

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covers the police beat and other law enforcement agencies in the province. Her interest includes traveling and photography.