(Art by Rae Isobel N. Tyapon/The Varsitarian)

Indigenous and endemic plants were the subjects of the pieces in “Punla,” a virtual art exhibit launched on Dec. 6. 

Exhibit organizers aim to raise awareness and appreciation for native flora and boost the country’s environmental and cultural assets.

Just like a seedling, the collaborative efforts of the arts and science in showcasing the importance of our native flora are still in the early stages,” Alyssa Marie Lola, a faculty member from the College of Science and one of the exhibit organizers, told the Varsitarian

Because the Philippines is one of the major biodiversity hotspots of the world, it has a high number of endemic species, many of which remain undiscovered, she noted.

“Punla” showed detailed artworks approximating the measurements of native plants and verified by experts in the field of botany. 

Among the participating artists in the exhibit was Samantha Louise Buen of the College of Fine Arts and Design. 

Buen exhibited a 36 x 46 cm oil painting of a flower of the Malabulak tree, titled “Ang Pagsibol ng Malabulak.”

“If I didn’t join the exhibit, I wouldn’t have known that there are people who are dedicated to cultivating and nurturing the study of botany here in the country,” Buen said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

“I realized that there are communities out there who care about these things,” she added.

The online exhibit was a collaboration between the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society, Inc. (PNPCSI) and the Philippine Botanical Art Society (PhilBas).

The exhibit organizers were led by Allister Omenga and Bing Famoso Tac-an, editorial committee head and president of PhilBas, respectively. L. M. C. Tan


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