Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Orchid Capital of the Philippines

 Waling-Waling, the Queen of Orchids

Davao City is rightfully called a "City in Bloom" due to the vast plantations and garden resorts that grow rare and exotic orchids and other plants. Among florists, Davao City is specifically known all over the world for its famous Waling-Waling, the Queen of Orchids.

Waling-Waling (vanda sanderana) grows in natural abundance in Davao City particularly at the foot of Mount Apo, the Philippines' Highest Peak. Davao's typhoon-free weather all year round with practically no pronounced wet or dry season, and a uniform distribution of rainfall, temperature, humidity, and air pressure, make it conducive to growing rare exotic orchids and plants. Moreover, the City has more than 1,000 square kilometers of lush tropical forest, or about 47% of its total land area with rich volcanic soil that allows rare plants to thrive and flourish freely. All these qualities contributed to the eventual declaration of Davao City as the official “Orchid Capital of the Philippines”, as declared by then President Corazon Aquino.

Waling-Waling (vanda sanderana) grows in natural abundance in Davao City

Some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids are found in the Philippines

Philippine orchids are usually perched on tree limbs

Waling-Waling is endemic to Mindanao

Philippine orchids come in an amazing variety of shapes, sizes and colors, most of which grow only in old-growth forest, often on branches of huge trees several meters above the forest ground. With some 800 to 1,000 species of orchids, the Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the world. By contrast, Canada and the United States, including Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, have only 325 species among them. Most of the Philippine orchids are perched on tree limbs.

Philippine orchids come in different shapes, sizes and colors

Most Philippine orchids grow in old-growth forest

Most Philippine orchids grow on branches of huge trees
several meters above the forest ground

The Philippines has one of the richest orchid floras in the world

Endemic to Mindanao, Waling-Waling was discovered in 1882. It grows on tree trunks in the rain forests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat, and other parts of Mindanao. It is worshipped as diwata (fairy) by the native Bagobos, an indigenous tribe of Mindanao.

Waling-Waling was discovered in Mindanao in 1882

Widely used in corsages and wedding bouquets

Extensively used by breeders for the production of high quality hybrids

Blooms best in July to October

Blossoms usually last for about six weeks

Waling-Waling is the largest of Philippine orchids; growing to 60 to 120 centimeters, it blooms when it is about 30 centimeters long and bears a few sets of flat, channeled, and re-curved leaves. Flower cluster of 12 to 16 flowers opens in succession, the blossoms usually lasting for about six weeks. Waling-Waling is 7 to 12 centimeters wide, and has a characteristic two-tone look - a pale purple blotched with dark reddish-purple at the tip to the lower sepals that are greenish with a pattern of netted lines and purple-crimson spots. And because of its unique beauty and elegance, the Waling-Waling is widely used in corsages and wedding bouquets, and has been extensively used by orchid growers for the breeding and production of high quality orchid hybrids. Other top-quality orchid species that are found in the country are the 'white orchid' (Phalaenopsis amabilis) which is known for its large full flowers, and the 'flame orchid' (Renanthera storiei) which is widely used in the development of orchid cutflower varieties.

Waling-Waling blooms best in the months of July to October.

White Orchid (Phalaenopsis amabilis)

Flame Orchid (Renanthera storiei)


  1. Replies
    1. As stunning as you are Liezl, mcorke@tellumat.com Michael in Cape Town.

  2. Isn't it great to see that these exotic breed of orchid is found in Davao? Thank you for regularly vising my blog.

  3. hi i'm currently visiting davao. May i pls know where to buy orchids? pls contact me at my email tiubizhu@yahoo.com

    1. Hi Zhang, I have already sent you the email, re: where to buy Orchids in Davao, which I trust you will find useful. May you have a memorable stay in Davao City!

    2. The Waling Waling is among my favorite vandas i am trying to expand my collection of orchids.It is an addiction that is pure JOY!! to my mind and heart.I moved to the Philippines just over 2 yrs ago and moved to Garden city Babak in Toril on Samal island and at this elevation my orchids have never done better!!!.I truly enjoyed! your orchid photo's and look forward to more growing while im still on this beautiful! earth.
      God bless!!
      Mike Sittard

  4. i want to buy orchids ..and want to go to davao so please may i know where to buy orchids with a low price?please contact me to my email address sheilayukira_2010@yahoo.com

    1. Thank you for your inquiry. I have already emailed you the info you requested and wish you will find your visit to Davao City a pleasant one.

    2. i want to buy a waling-waling.. can you tell me where is that place in Davao? send it here in my email gilsano_alex@yahoo.com thanks.!

    3. hi do battad, can you also email me the details. i will be at davao on october 18-20 cpa102616@yahoo.com

    4. I have already sent the info on your email, re: your inquiry on where to buy Waling-waling in Davao City.

  5. When I first came to the Philippines many years ago, I fell in Love with the country and the climate and the people....now there is a new love in my live and the photos above are just one reason I love orchids.

  6. Hallu where is it in Davao?Are they selling only Vandas?

    1. Not only Vandas but a whole lot more, and they are all over Davao.

  7. When is the orchid festival this year?

    1. While there is no particular orchid festival in Davao City, orchids are all around the city and are usually featured during the Kadayawan Festival during the month of August each year.

  8. Please send me an address in davao where to buy cheap beautiful orchids, vandas, cattleya, or dendrobium..When is best time to buy?

    1. Hi gefia, orchids bloom best between July and October, but of course, orchids are all over Davao and are readily available year-round. While there are several shops that sell orchids in Davao, below are the more popular ones which I hope will satisfy the purpose of your query:

      Davao Orchid Market
      Airport View Commercial Complex
      Carlos P. Garcia Highway (Diversion Road), Buhangin, Davao City
      Tel 082 235 1134

      SUL Orchids Farm
      Km 18 Tugbok, Davao City
      Tel 082 293 0036

      Malagos Farm
      Davao City Head Office
      Bolcan Street, Agdao, Davao City
      Tel 082 226 4446 |082 221 8248 |082 224 0172
      Mobile +63917 561 2194
      Business Hours: 7 AM - 11:30 AM | 1 PM - 6 PM
      Monday to Saturday, CLOSED on Sundays

  9. Our company is planning to introduce a new shirt uniform design for its employees, the concept of which is a takeoff from the Department of Tourism's "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign. We intend to feature various destinations in the country specifically those attractions that are unique in localities where our branches are located.

    In this regard, we would like to seek your permission if we could use your Waling-waling photo here?

    Please email me po. darrenagaton@gmail.com

    Thank you.

  10. Can you please tell me some basics how to care for waling waling? Can they be potted, to which medium? Or can I just hang them on a tree branch in the garden?thanks much...

    1. Hi Eva. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/planting-walingwaling-orchids-29598.html is a very good website where you can obtain all information on how to best care for waling-waling. Good luck.

  11. Hi
    Would you please be able to give me telephone numbers of farms in Davao City Area that export orchids.

    You may contact me diana_harvey68@yahoo.com

    Your bloggs are beautiful thank you.

    Kind regards Diana

  12. Thanks for sharing! Must such a treat to be in Davao when these flowers are in full bloom! Instead of replying on email re the address and phones of farms and store, I thing all readers would be interested in these info. A map of their locations would also help visitors know whether they can be reached easily from where they will stay. Im a newbie orchid lover, I'd be interested in visiting Davao orchid farm hopping to learn more about growing them.

    I am also particularly interested in how much orchids cost there and whether they can be brought home to manila on the plane.
    Keep blogging!

  13. what is the scientific name sa " Latigo " orchids na common dinha sa Davao? ' yong mabango

  14. what is the scientific name sa " latigo" orchids na makikita mo in Davao?
    I want to know kung ano ang pangalan ng orchids na yon and where can you order it. yong bulaklak niya ay mabango

  15. hi. Were planning to go to davao this coming dec and planing to buy some orchids.can you give us any suggestion where to buy and also if you can give us the price.thank you. Is it allowed to bring it to airplane? please email me at kiezelyn@gmail.com Thank You

  16. hello! I am trying to grow vanda in full sun. I bought them with little spikes and some of them in bloom. I mounted them on a drift word with a little coconut husk to keep them steady. I water them 3 times a day and so far their leaves are little bit wrinkled. any advice on how to make them.healthy?


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