A Sight to Behold: Cherry Blossoms Bloom in Puerto Princesa, Palawan
It’s summertime in the Philippines, but in some of our neighboring countries, March and April marks the beginning of spring. Travelers often visit Japan, Korea, and Taiwan during this season to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom in some of the most famous sight-seeing destinations in the world.
However, what most of us might not know is that the Philippines is also home to its own version of cherry blossoms known as the Balayong.
IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
History of Balayong
During the Hispanic era in the Philippines, the Balayong was used for furniture-making due to the hardwood’s sturdy nature, long-lasting quality, and ease of use. Over time, the Balayong, which is native to Palawan, captured many people’s attention for its beautiful, white to light pink flowers that bloom every March to April.
Now, Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan, celebrates the Balayong Festival every fourth of March, alongside the city’s commemoration of its founding anniversary.
Balayong Festival 2023 / IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
During the 19th Balayong Festival held this year, a mini bazaar was put up inside the Balayong People’s Park. Free rides for ladies were also held in celebration of the women’s month, a fitting event as the Balayong symbolizes femininity and love.
Also Read: Chasing Blooms in Asia: Why Are Cherry Blossoms Significant?
Trike Ride for the Ladies / IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
Balayong People’s Park
In 2017, the government of Palawan started planting more than 1,000 Balayong trees in the hopes of developing the city’s version of the Sakura gardens in Japan. Even while the pandemic was ongoing, the government also holds planting and nurturing activities to make this possible.
One of the Balayong trees planted on July 29, 2017 / IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
Aside from these activities, the city government also held a piano and ukelele music workshop as well as an art exhibit inside the Balayong People’s Park from February 11 to March 11, 2023, in celebration of the National Art’s Month.
Art Exhibit / IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
UNTITLED by Leonard B. Ansiong / IMAGE from Balayong People’s Park’s Facebook page
Now, the 63-hectare Balayong People’s Park, which was launched in 2021, is set to become an ecotourism destination in the country.
Balayong People’s Park may be found at the New City Hall of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. To see the guide map of the park, you may visit Balayong People’s Park – Puerto Princesa City’s Facebook page here.
Sources: Agriculture Magazine, Balayong People’s Park, Palawan News, Puerto Princesa Tourism
Featured images from Balayong People’s Park – Puerto Princesa City’s Facebook page