The Philippines may have a couple of its own flower species which look close enough to the famed Cherry Blossoms of colder climates, but we do also have our very own Sakura park. Located in Atok, Benguet the park is filled with blossom bearing trees which were gifted to celebrate ties between the Kochi prefecture and Benguet province.
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Photo courtesy of Albert Manangan
Having been planted in 2016 this is the first year the trees will truly begin to bloom, though they are still in their infant stage. More than 30 Sakura trees were given in 2016 along with a number of other tree species. While around 100 Sakura trees were previously planted in 2015, many of them failed to grow as they were planted at an inopportune time.
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Edward Haights, caretaker of the Sakura park, confirms that these newly planted ones are all healthy and show great promise. He explains that the cool weather of Atok makes it the perfect place for these cherry blossoms, with the temperature even comparable to that of Japan’s in Spring.
Pakonti-konti lang siya pero it is a good symbol na talagang hiyang siya dito na namumulaklak siya. Ang goal sana namin lumaki ‘yung cherry blossom. In 10 years time, ine-expect namin na malalaki na yung tree.
[The trees may still be small but it’s a good sign that they are starting to bloom. Our goal is for the cherry blossoms to grow even more. We expect for the trees to grow large in about 10 years time.]
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Cherry blossoms tend to bloom around April and for quite a short time. You only have about 2 weeks to see these flowers in bloom. Atok is a 3-hour ride from Baguio and you can arrive there by car or bus.
Know any other locations we can spot rare flowers? Let us know in the comments!