Binalonan, Pangasinan – The first nationwide Inter-Club Bonsai Exhibiton and Competition on Nov. 18 reeled off at the Bonsai Park at the Binalonan Municipal Town Plaza.
The cutting of the ribbon was done by the municipal officials headed by Mayor Ramon V. Guico with the Bonsai and Suiseki Club Alliance of the Philippines’ officials.
An opening program followed at the municipal grounds where the President of the Bonsai and Suiseki Club of Pangasinan, Pats Lopez welcomed all guests, participants and bonsai-enthusiasts coming from different Bonsai Ligas all over the country.
Michael Morden, vice-president of the Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines, stated in his remarks that Binalonan was chosen among other places as the site of the competition.
“Binalonan is the most strategic place for the activity. The Bonsai Park complements the centennial old acacia trees in the Rock Garden. Besides, it is not difficult to come over the town because of the TIPLEX which makes Binalonan, the gateway to the north, ” he said.
The significance of the endeavour was made by Pablo Dychitan, president of the Bonsai and Suiseki Alliance of the Philippines in his message. He said that the competition does not stop here. Nationwide activities will be done yearly and that they will contemplate for the 1st International Bonsai and Suiseki Exhibition by 2019.
Mayor Ramon V. Guico III thanked the organizer of the activity, the Bonsai and Suiseki Club of Pangasinan Incorported headed by Mr. Faustino Lopez for choosing Binalonan as the venue of the nationwide competition. The mayor supports the Bonsai Liga and said that it is one way of introducing the Binalonians to love and venture on this artistic activity. It is one of the ways of advocating his creative economy for the municipality.
About 362 entries (the biggest ever in the history of bonsai competitions) were judged and 177 were awarded as winners in the following categories; Non-Bonsai for Bonsai Liga (Gold, Silver, Bronze), Bantigue Bonsai (Gold, Silver, Bronze), Special Bonsai Awards, Innovative Bonsai Category (Gold, Silver, Bronze), and Suiseki Category for Bonsai Liga (Gold, Silver, Bronze).
Judges of the competition were from bonsai advocates Mike Siow, Noryadi Noruddin, Abdul Hakam Bin Mohamed Esivan of Malaysia, Samson Adina from USA, David Du and Noland Sison, Board of Directors of the Bonsai Alliance of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, to give the opportune chance for the Binalonians to participate in the exhibition and to give credence to the core program of the town, Binalonan, ang Galing, the following awards exclusively for Binalonians were presented: Bonsai Category for Binalonan “Ang Galing” (Gold, Silver, Bronze), Special Bonsai Awards for Binalonan “Ang Galing” and the Novice Category, judged by 3 of the outstanding bonsai artists of the Philippines, Bernabe Millares, Erwin Mejiano and Cading Centeno.
Different activities are lined-up for the show until December 3. The schedule includes the following: Bonsai Lecture and Demonstration by the Malaysian Bonsai-experts, November 19; Everyday Lecture and Workshop of Bonsai Institute of the Philippines from November 20-24; Bonscience and Bonsai Best Practices on November 25 by Pangasinan artists; Bonsai Challenge on November 26 by the 5 Outstanding Bonsai Artists of the Philippines; Everyday Lecture and Workshop by the Bonsai Institute of the Philippines on November 27 and All Day Workshop (Bring Your Own Bonsai)) on December 2 and Egress on December 3.