Back in 2008, I had the chance to spend a day in this beautiful cottage near Tagaytay. This is the home of artist Araceli Valencia. We all call her Tita Baby. She is the mother of fashion designer Rhett Eala. I met her through artist Popo San Pascual.
Her garden was endless. I was inspired by creative people like Tita Baby, Tita Sonya (of Sonya’s Garden), Tonyboy (of Antonio’s Restaurant) and Popo to one day own a part of this world and make a home in it.
Her garden was so lush. And she had this special Medinilla sp. plant found in the jungles of Quezon province. According to my plant and wildlife expert friend Dr Rico Quimbo, “They’re not cheap. They’re all over the phiippines but the best and showy ones are in the Southern Tagalog area. Saw a truly resplendent representative in the Samar Island National Park.” I love our endemic vegetation.
You can keep an eye out or bid on this painting at UNICEF’s Auction for Action here.