If Japan has cherry blossoms, Iloilo City has rosy trumpet trees which is now in full bloom, making it the newest attraction in the metropolis.
Ilonggos and tourists who passed by Diversion Road enjoy the beautiful view of the flowering trumpet trees or Tabebuia Rosea planted along the city’s bike lane.
“Its blooming season is during summer. During rainy season, the plant is robust, full of leaves. At first I was pissed off with that plant because its branches are so erratic, it doesn’t have a form, only to find out its beautiful when it blooms,” City Agriculturist Romulo Pangantihon said in an interview Wednesday.
The plants, he said, were embedded in the development plan prepared by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the Diversion Road, where there are bike and walk lanes and service road components situated at the right portion of the road when travelling from General Luna, City Proper.
He added that he was not privy as to how the flowers were identified because the role of the city government was to have them maintained under its Beautification Program.
However, he was informed that the flowering trees happen to be the national flower of El Salvador.
“They are similar to bougainvillea and fire tree; they bloom when their leaves start to fall,” he said.
Since the area is beginning to become popular, he is contemplating on propagating the same in the city’s major thoroughfares, such as along General Luna and Ledesma streets, City Proper and Buhang, Jaro, upon the approval of the current administration.
“They are easy to grow. The seedlings sprout right there beside the mother tree,” he said.
He added that his office was encouraged to adopt the flowering trees due to the positive feedback he had received.
Meanwhile, City Tourism and Development Officer Junel Ann Divinagracia said that the flowering trees have “captured the attention of the national audience”.
“They saw how beautiful our city is. It is a must see for our tourists and visitors,” she said.
She added that two years ago, she proposed to Pangantihon to make the city green and have it beautified using flowering and indigenous plants.
“We want to green and beautify the city because it is doable,” she said. (By Perla Lena, PNA)