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Waling-waling soon a national flower

MANILA, Philippines - The Senate is one step closer to declaring the “waling-waling” – deemed the Queen of Philippine orchids – as the national flower aside from the sampaguita.

Senators Loren Legarda and Vicente Sotto III have introduced the measure before the plenary, which is now awaiting final approval of the senators. There is a counterpart measure at the House of Representatives.

Waling-waling (Euanthen vanderiana) is considered the most beautiful orchid among species endemic to the island of Mindanao, particularly Davao, Cotabato and Zamboanga del Sur.

“It is said that the orchid blooms only once a year from July to October after the onset of the monsoon season in the country,” Legarda said.

“Given its popularity among orchid enthusiasts, it has become increasingly rare for the waling-waling to be found in its natural habitat,” the Senate resolution read.

According to Legarda, it was not until the 1980s that modern technology finally succeeded in the mass production of the prized flower, “thus highlighting its potential as an export product of the Philippines.”

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Former governor general Frank Murphy declared sampaguita as the national flower of the Philippines under Proclamation No. 652 on Feb. 1, 1934.

The resolution mandates the environment secretary to promulgate rules and regulations that will protect, conserve and propagate the waling-waling and the sampaguita.

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