New ‘gumamela’ hybrids named after Pia Cayetano, Patricia Licuanan
MANILA, Philippines — University of the Philippines recently honored Senator Pia Cayetano and Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan by naming two new hibiscus hybrids after them in recognition of their accomplishments and advocacies in the public service and education sectors.
The new hybrids of the flower, Hibiscus rosa-senensis ‘Pia S. Cayetano’ and Hibiscus rosa-senensis ‘Patricia B. Licuanan,’ were created by the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB-IPB) and were presented to the honorees in a ceremony Thursday.
Hibiscus is locally known as “gumamela.”
The head of the IBP hibiscus breeding program, Professor Pablito M. Magdalita, described Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Pia S. Cayetano’ as having “fuchsia-purple petals with dark purple eye” while Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘Patricia B. Licuanan’ has “red-purple petals with ruby red eye surrounded by gray halo.”
According to the UP administration, Cayetano was honored due to her “strong leadership skills” and her advocacies on protecting the rights of women and children, environment, and health of Filipinos. On the other hand, Licuanan was chosen because of her accomplishments as an educator, women’s rights activist, and CHEd chairperson.
Cayetano and Licuanan are both members of the UP Board of Regents, the highest policy-making body of the university.
UP President Alfredo E. Pascual said that “[Their] achievements will now be immortalized with every blossoming of gumamela varieties that bear their names…. We hope for public appreciation and widespread cultivation of these new varieties whose beauty and attributes are symbolic of their honorees.”
UPLB has been developing gumamela hybrids since 1994.
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