History and Culture
In Davao City, COVID-19 Lessons Learned from Blooming Bougainvilleas
Choose Philippines | Apr 17, 2020
Story by Berchan Louie Angchay
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that is greatly affected various localities, signs of hope still bloom constantly reminding us that there are still reasons to smile. All along MacArthur Highway at Matina, Davao City, colorful and vibrant Bougainvilleas can be seen, bright pennants of hope that wave to all those passing through.
Milton Medina, Assistant Vice President for Natural Science and Innovation at the University of Mindanao relates that these stunning flowers underwent ‘drought stress’ resulting from the good weather condition experienced in the past weeks and month. It seems that the excessive heat of the sun triggered the development hormones responsible for gorgeous leaves of the plant. “Kanang ginatawag nato na Anthocyanin is a hormone nga mo pa-stimulate siya og coloring, usually red, orange, yellow mga leaf na siya nga part sa plant, kanang makit-an nimo nga colorful kayo sa bougainvillea dili na siya flower, but its leaf, (Anthocyanin is a hormone that stimulates the vibrant coloring, usually red, orange, yellow, in the plants' leaves. The colorful parts of the bougainvillea is actually not its flower but its leaf),” says Medina.
He explains that the real flower of the plant is the tiny white bud found in the middle. “Ang mo-flower nga part sa bougainvillea is kanang mga bag-ong tubo nga part. Katong mga old stems niya dili nato siya mamulak (The newly-sprouted part of Bougainvillea is the one will grow and bloom more. The older stems and parts are expected not to grow again).”
In many ways, these flowering beauties hold nuggets of wisdom that we can learn from during this unprecedented global pandemic. Like Bougainvilleas, our small hope for better days grows daily with the heat of love brought by the excessive efforts of our frontliners who sacrifice themselves for the present and future generations' abundance. We could contribute to the ‘drought stress’ by cooperating with the government protocols to be followed for control measures in fighting this deadly virus. The old stem (selfishness and greed) and misconception of the plant’s anatomy (crab mentality, personal comfort, and survival) need to be set aside in order that we (the Filipino people) pollinate harmoniously and see the beauty that tomorrow laid for us after today's tragedy.