Un­fold­ing the liv­ing art of bon­sai

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Front Page - Jo Ann Sablad

BON­SAI artists from the cities of Ca­gayan de Oro and Ili­gan, and Lanao del Norte gath­ered at the fifth floor of SM CDO Down­town Premier last Novem­ber 30 as Bon­sai de Oro hosted the fourth Grand Bon­sai Ex­hi­bi­tion and Com­pe­ti­tion.

The Grand Bon­sai Ex­hi­bi­tion and Com­pe­ti­tion is an an­nual joint show of Bon­sai de Oro, a Ca­gayan de Oro-based bon­sai club, and Ili­gan-Lanao Bon­sai So­ci­ety, show­cas­ing their bon­sais and have them judged by four no­table bon­sai artists from Davao City and Cotabato.

The event com­prised of a 3-day ex­hi­bi­tion, from Novem­ber 30 un­til De­cem­ber 2, and a com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing the first day.

Ac­cord­ing to Al Thris­tan Cañazares, the pres­i­dent of Bon­sia de Oro, the com­pe­ti­tion will be judged based on the cri­te­ria, which in­clude: the size of the branches, trunk and leaves; ram­i­fi­ca­tion and branch distri­bu­tion; har­mony of the branches and trunk of the tree, among oth­ers.

The bon­sai should also have nebari (root­flare) or sur­face root and should be old-look­ing.

“Ang bon­sai may guide­lines. Ang tinit­ing­nan ng judges is the over­all look ng puno,” Cañazares said.

Among the awards given to the win­ners were gold, sil­ver and bronze, with the Best in Show, the high­est award, picked among the gold awardees.

Spe­cial awards were also given such as Best in Small, Best in Literati, Best in Group Plant­ing, Best in Cas­cade, Best in Rock Clasp­ing, Best in Pen­jing, Best in Windswept, Best in Flow­er­ing, Best in Weep­ing, Best in Fruit­ing, and Best in Rock Grown. This year’s Best in Show was given to the Bon­sai de Oro pres­i­dent him­self, Al Thris­tan Cañazares, who also won the gold and bronze awards.

Other gold awardees in­clude: Geco Cal­lao, who also won bronze, Best in Pen­jing and Best in Weep­ing; and Lemwel Kwong, who also re­ceived sil­ver and bronze awards and Best in Rock Clasp­ing. Sil­ver awardees were: the Affin­ity Bon­sai Club, Cather­ine Kwong, Au­gust Saareñas, and Roy Lazo. Bronze awardees were: Cather­ine Kwong, My­ron Gon­zaga, Affin­ity Bon­sai Club, Oly­mar Es­cueta, Rey­naldo Mikin, Patrick Gam­boa, and Au­gust Saareñas. Spe­cial awards were given to Cather­ine Kwong with Best in Small and Best in Literati; Joe­mer Lom­poy, Best in Group Plant­ing; Au­gust Saareñas, Best in Cas­cade; Affin­ity Bon­sai Club, Best in Windswept; Is­rael Halasan, Best in Flow­er­ing; Jojo/Elvie Du­lay, Best in Fruit­ing; and Ezer Hiro­can, Best in Rock Grown. This year’s bon­sai ex­hi­bi­tion and com­pe­ti­tion is an­chored on the theme: “Un­fold­ing the Liv­ing Art of Bon­sai.” “Bon­sai kasi, its not ev­ery­day nakikita ng com­mon peo­ple, usu­ally sa tv, mag­a­zine, in­ter­net. For most peo­ple na puma­pa­sok sa ex­hibit area, 90 per­cent first time nila makakita [ng bon­sai],” Cañazares said.

“Un­fold­ing the Liv­ing Art of Bon­sai, para makita ng gen­eral pub­lic na ‘Ah ito pala ang bon­sai, pwede pala kahit sino pwede mag-bon­sai.’ But may edge kung yung nagbo-bon­sai, yung art inate sa kanya, meron syang artis­tic con­cept. Be­cause bon­sai is 90 per­cent art and 10 per­cent lang ang hor­ti­cul­ture,” he added.

Bon­sai is a Ja­pa­nese art form where plants are grown in pots to cre­ate minia­ture trees. The art form be­gan cen­turies ago and has since gained the in­ter­est of en­thu­si­asts as a means of self-ex­pres­sion.

Ac­cord­ing to Cañazares, only the elite peo­ple in Ja­pan are the ones that prac­tice the art of bon­sai as it has be­come a part or a way of their life.

“So, sa Ja­pan mga elite lang and hindi tin­u­turo ang bon­sai to any­body. Pi­na­pasa lang nila from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tions. Yung mga nagbo-bon­sai mga lolo, anak, apo na,” he added.

How­ever, in the Philip­pines, any­one can be taught how to start do­ing bon­sai, not only the elites.

As such, Bon­sai de Oro, apart from be­ing a bon­sai club in Ca­gayan de Oro City, also of­fers free work­shops and sem­i­nars to those who are in­ter­ested in bon­sai and to the bon­sai en­thu­si­asts.

(ALL PHO­TOS BY JO ANN SABLAD)

The Fourth Grand Bon­sai Ex­hi­bi­tion and Com­pe­ti­tion ran from Novem­ber 30 un­til De­cem­ber 2 at the fifth floor of SM CDO Down­town Premier, Ca­gayan de Oro City. It is hosted by Bon­sai de Oro, a Ca­gayan de Oro-based bon­sai club.

Al Thris­tan Cañazares, the pres­i­dent of Bon­sai de Oro, won the gold award, with his bon­sai picked as theBest in Show.

This par­tic­u­lar bon­sai of Au­gust Saareñas won the Best in Cas­cade award.

Lemwel Kwong's bon­sai won both sil­ver and Best in Rock Clasp­ing awards.

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