Waling-Waling, also considered “Queen of Philippine Orchids,” is endemic to the island of Mindanao, notably in Davao, Cotabato, and Zamboanga del Sur provinces.
The flower, known for its beauty, became endangered and was almost extinct due to destruction of its natural habitat. It was not until 1985 that Charita Puentespina, an amateur orchidist, pioneered mass production of the flower through embryo culture.
“Orchid lovers all over the world consider the Waling-waling as one of the most unique and beautiful native orchids in the world and that while some adore it, most Filipinos have forgotten its natural beauty,” Senator Edgardo Angara, sponsor of House bill 5655 said in a statement.
Senator Loren Legarda, a co-sponsor of the bill, also said in the statement that “the approval of the measure will place the Waling-waling under protection, as it will mandate the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources to promulgate rules and regulations that will protect, conserve, and propagate the Waling-waling orchid together with Sampaguita.”
According to the bill, the Waling-waling’s wide popularity among orchid enthusiasts worldwide makes it a possible source of mass export and could therefore contribute to the economic growth of Filipinos. Zoe Rodriguez