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A Tale Of Two Orchids: Cattleyas Cory And Gloria (Updated)

August 4, 2009


Late former President Cory Aquino now belongs to history in the pantheon of great leaders while President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, set to end her term in office next year is hoping that history will deliver a kind assessment of her rule.

Having stepped down from office in 1991, Tita Cory was quite content at becoming an ordinary citizen once again but remained active in social work, and in wielding her undiminished moral authority whenever the democratic institutions she helped restore came under threat.

In retirement, in fact, President took up painting, with flowers as her chosen still life subjects, finding the task a form relaxation and a way of relieving stress.

So it was quite a pleasant surprise the other that I chanced upon former Justice Secretary Hernando Perez being interviewed on ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda about his own special memories of President Cory.

As it turned out Mr. Perez is now an internationally known orchid grower, a horticulturist, who’s been expertly developing cross-pollinated  Cattleyas.

And guess what, his two prized creations are orchids named Cory and Gloria!

Here’s how Cebu’s leading daily, Sunstar, reported a 2006 horticultural face-off between Cory and Gloria:

‘Cory’ beats ‘Gloria’ in flower show
DESPITE the care of former justice secretary Hernando “Nani” Perez, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo bowed before Corazon Aquino.

This did not take place during a coup in Philippine politics but at the Flora Filipina Expo at the WOW Philippines in Intramuros, Manila. The garden show was organized by the Philippine Orchid Society and the Philippine Horticultural Society.

“GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) President ” is a Cattleya hybrid, which was entered in the orchid competition’s Pink Category, but it lost. The orchid has lilac outer petals with yellow inner petals.

Visitors continuously ask why “GMA” has wilted while “Cory” still looked fresh and regal. “Natakot yata sa coup,” organizers say in jest.

Apparently, “GMA” and “Cory” were exhibited side by side during the first days of the Flora expo until the judging began.

The two orchids are part of the Malvarosa Orchids, a farm owned by the family of former Batangas representative Hernando Perez, Arroyo’s former justice secretary.

Malvarosa Orchids won several prizes, including Best Orchid Exhibit and Best Philippine Hybrid.

The exhibit started last February 23, the eve of President Arroyo’s – the real one – declaration of the country under emergency rule. It will end on March 6, when the state of emergency would have been hopefully lifted.


Mrs. Arroyo did list the state of emergency.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. baycas permalink
    August 4, 2009 8:05 pm

    gloria facing Tita Cory’s remains, a good photo-op:

    The epitome of INTEGRITY is lying in state

    While the opposite is INTEGRALLY in a state of lying!

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