Kidapawan bonsai artists win awards

Dodo Intes of the KBSI won the first prize with his TugassaBato or vitex sarangani, a full cascade-styled rock grown bonsai.

The bonsai material of KBSI president Herden Pedrajas – a semi-cascade-styled Blue Bell desmodium specie taken from the wild in Sarangani coastal area – won second.

Bong Varon’s TugassaBato informal upright styled-bonsai won third.

Nine entries of the KBSI landed on the top 10 Best Bonsai materials. These included Varon’s TugassaBatoi; Jack Alfonso’s TugassaBato semi-cascade style; Loloy Bacus’ TugassaBato informal upright; Elvi Obas’s Tugas-sa-Bato – driftwood style; Pedrajas’ Kamuning Binangonan twin trunk style, and TugassaBato in an informal upright style; and Bebot Calungsod red Balete slanting style.  

The tenth was Salvador Barraca’s Talungon bonsai tree from Davao City. 

Culturing bonsai, according to artist Pedrajas, “is like a father nurturing his children.”

“Bonsai is a good teacher or mentor where one develops patience, perseverance, and being contented with the beauty of life – that life is beautiful, despite the hardships,” said Pedrajas, who is completing his book entitled, “Bonsai in Mindanao.”

The former broadcast journalist stressed that growing bonsai requires discipline.

“This discipline is molded by the knowledge of the art, skills, basic understanding of the growing plants, and wisdom, which can be obtained through time – not instantly.”

Pedrajas said culturing bonsai “does not mean we’re destroying nature.”

“We, bonsai artists, prefer to get materials that are tortured from the torrid climate, lack of nutrients, and those that are already driftwood,” he stressed.

The Fukal Kayo Bonsai Society, Inc. (FuKaBSi) was this year’s sponsor of the show where more than 60 bonsai materials from all over Mindanao were scrutinized by two bonsai masters from the Philippines and Taiwan – David Du, a Chinese-Filipino businessman, and Tsai I-Chin from Taiwan.

Albert Agustin, president of FUKABSI, said the contest was aimed at bridging friendship on all bonsai enthusiasts in Mindanao, promote tourism and the art of Bonsai vis-à-vis nature awareness and conservation.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)