May 19, 2024

Nonnette C. Bennett
If there was something amazing about Baguio City worth seeing during the Panagbenga, it would be the amazing landscapes at the Melvin Jones football grounds. The beautiful designs make every square foot a visual feast.
It is difficult to say which one was the most attractive because each 100 square meters of landscape had a focus.
In landscape 10,one is drawn to the black and white striped balls on a stand amidst the colorful flowers and leaves. The white rocks that mark the walk and the square tiles are neat ground cover surrounded by a mantle of shrubs and tiny flowers. A trellis accentuated with a branch mounted with colorful red leaves breaks the geometric lines with an arch. The artwork with stones used a butterfly as the main image and a flower with a background of white stones were striking.
This reminded me of my trip to Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija where stones of all colors and shapes were gathered from riverbeds and were sold along the highway. This must have been where the stones on the ground came from. It also reminds me of Luna, La Union where smooth ovaldark stones of all sizes are the source of the design on the Burnham Park fences.
Landscape 12 had a pink art house that reminded me of the “tank house”. This was full of paintings inside but had no door. The impression of the landscape is of layers in threes, the ground, the pots, and the plants. Here the flower shaped tiles spared the grass from being trampled. A pleasant gentle feeling overcomes you when you look at the green and peeping colors of orange, pink, and red.
Landscape 2 must have been the neatest one of all. This is so much like the landscape at the City Hall grounds. In this design the butterfly shaped mount of the different colorful leaves immediately catches attention. This was not executed with colorful flowers but more of plants with colorful leaves. The walk is made up of grass with tiles to mark the steps and a neat arrangement of stones on the side to mark the flower boxes. Some bushes were shaped into rounded tops to blend with the mounted butterfly.
Landcape 4 had a succulent shade or trellis, if you might call it. This reminded me of trips along Halsema highway where the succulents are left on ledges to droop down. It was delightful to see the array in different tints of pink and green as roof and different kinds of hanging plants on the sides. There is an air plant added to the view that gives an impression of a rough and rocky arrangement. The bonsais make this look like a place on a cliff.
Landscape 9 has a meandering walk on white pebbles which is of Japanese influence and likewise the three visible heights. This has a vertical impression because the plants are long and slender and not too many hugging the ground. Elegant in its feel, the gazebos seem to invite one to make a stopover.
Landscape 8 has sculptures of natives in local garb welcoming one to the native hut looking wall. The grass lawn is trimmed, and the plants are arranged in their natural heights in the garden. The attention is taken by the palmeras and old wood stumps.
Landscape 6 has a nipa hut as its focus. This seems to be inspired by the colors of the native fabric with red stripes. The different shades of red in the plants were evident. The idea of tree trunk tiles for the walkway is unique. There are stones arranged like a dap-ay or place to sit and talk found as an element. There is a butterfly impression in the center using the red and green leaves.
Although I found great joy in looking at all the plants and flowers, I realized that I know very little about plants. I am affected by the combination of colors and textures and memories that they bring to me.
Recalling other places with similar attractions, I realized that humans are attracted to plants and their colors. I wonder if Burnham Park, and the garden that it is, could make different parts into separate colorful gardens, or like Mount Costa, engineer some areas to become artworks in themselves. It would become more marvelous.
Thanks to our local plant providers who have given us the best ideas for landscapes through the years of the Panagbenga.