Bamboo, it comes in different species, from the lanky bikal to the giant kiling; it comes in many fancy types too, like those in these photos. Dr Anselmo S Cabigan and the author long time friends and co-workers in government and academe respectively, examine two rare species of bamboo in their continuing pursuit of knowledge even after retirement.
1. Bamboo, it is the only perennial species in its family – Poaceae – formerly Graminae or Graminaceae, to which the rice, wheat, corn, the world’s staple food belong,
2. Bamboo, it lives season after season, aestivating in the summer months, living on measly resources, then resuming luxuriant growth in monsoon.
4. Bamboo, it is the source of inspiration in the arts: songs like Lawiswis Kawayan, paintings (Fernando Amorsolo’s rural scenes), native architecture (Bahay Kubo).
5. Bamboo, it is the home of the spirits, good and bad, of ancestral beliefs and superstition, the birthplace of Malakas at Maganda in Philippine folklore.
6. Bamboo, the material of the finest basket, cradle, fan; vessel for water and wine; thrift bank of children and vault for precious possession.
flagpoles in the countryside, fences of settlements.
9. Bamboo, it adds quaintness and merriment to festivals: palo sebo and pabitin in fiestas, stilts in parades and races, in arches of welcome and goodbye.
10. Bamboo makes the finest kites friendly to the wind, steady in the sky, instills awe with their beautiful and colorful design in both young and old, the loafer and passerby.
11. Bamboo makes many playthings for children: blowgun for kids’ war, bat for ball games, fishing pole for fish and frog, bird trap – taay or singgapong.
13. Bamboo, its shoot (labong) is food of the common man – the rich as well – in various preparations, atsara, lumpia, bulanglang, ginisa, ginatan, etc.
14. Bamboo, the material used in building a church organ, historically famous, and the only kind in the world, a UNESCO heritage which draws tourists to its home, Las Piñas, Rizal.
15. Bamboo, it is the abode of wildlife, birds that herald the day, hoot at night; reptiles calling their mates; rodents rearing their young, bats hanging in the branches; fowls perched for the night.
16. Bamboo, it spawns mushrooms (kabuting kawayan, u-ong bunton Ilk.) beneath its thorny base and surrounding anthills (punso), creating a sense of wonder about the playful dwarves (dwende).
17. Bamboo, the specimen in the field and laboratory for studies in plant physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, pharmacology, owing to its many medicinal properties.
18. Bamboo, the ultimate source of water in the jungle when everything is dry, for it stores the purest and most refreshing water that readily quenches thirst.
19. Bamboo, it is the fastest growing plant, its shoot virtually visible to the eye in its ascent to the sky, often outpacing a potential shoot gatherer.
20. Bamboo, the prophet of doom: when it flowers, the Pandas starve, the forest readily catches fire, crops in the field dry up, indicating El Niño phenomenon in its worst episode.
Bamboo, it is the answer to the riddle of life, when in the final phase, man walks on three legs walking down the lane to meet his Creator.