Every nation / race perhaps has their own version of the creation myth. For us Filipinos, it is said that the 1st man and woman came from a Bamboo culm. Yes, you read it right. It is entitled ” Malakas at Maganda” (Strength and Beauty). From the first half a man emerged and from the other half a woman. Just like the concept of Adam and Eve it is from them that the population of the world begun, but what makes it quite intriguing — bamboo.
Bamboo is best known as the fastest growing plant. Aside from its botanical and landscaping aspects, it has its cultural significance, it is very versatile, and very eco-friendly.
As a landscape medium, it is very beautiful. It can be used for shading, wind breaks, noise buffer, and of course as ornamental. It has this Asian and tropical feel.
For the Chinese, bamboo is deeply rooted in their culture, it is their role model of having perseverance and being upright. For the Japanese it serves as a buffer for Shinto shrines veering away bad spirits.
In terms of versatility almost every parts has its use. From food, chopstick, musical instruments, furniture,medicine , to building construction, bamboo never fails the humanity in terms of its usage, as nothing goes to waste.
Since bamboo is a fast grower, and has short life cycle it is then considered renewable without damaging the ecosystem. Bamboo’s life span is said to be 5- 8 years, and can be harvested in the 3rd and 8th years. Aside from its fast growing capacity, it generates more and balances Oxygen in our atmosphere.
With over 10,000 species around the globe, from the Iron bamboo of Columbia, to the Long Pipe Bamboo of Papau New Guinea, and the indigenous Bayog Bamboo of the Philippines, bamboo nonetheless is really a diverse plant. Definitely it is far beyond what the myth tells us, it is from where the humanity begun, but apart from that literary context, it only says one thing, Bamboo symbolizes life.
The tall and flexible grass-Bamboo
Bamboo shoots that can be eaten!!!
The lush bamboo garden up in the mountains of Rizal
Striations in the culms of Yellow Bamboo, exotic in the Tropical Asia
The white lines of Iron Bamboo- the most durable bamboo, that can be used for structural purposes.
The aerial nodes of Machicku Bamboo which is from China.
The curvatures of Wamin / Dwarf Belly Bamboo, also from China.
Bayog Bamboo’s aerial roots. Bayog is indigenous to the Philippines.
Yellow bamboo’s distinctive golden yellow culms. This plant is ideal for landscaping in urban parks.
Detail of Long Pipe Bamboo’s Leaves
Giant Bamboo’s giant sized culms
*** These shots were taken at the CAROLINA’S BAMBOO GARDEN (c/o Ms. Cita Lacdan) in San Jose, Antipolo City.
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