The barter pages in Palawan recently change a little from pre-loved items and food and now into bartering plants making Plant Titos and Titas of Palawan now a hip.
Kalayaan Municipal Employee Rex Carlos is the one to pioneer this Facebook page, solely concentrating in bartering or selling, or just information dissemination on different variety of plants. Plant Titos and Titas of Palawan according to Carlos is a family initiative. They created it last June 12 in time for the Philippines Independence Day celebration.
“Yung mother ko kasi nag-ayos ng mga plants nya, yung mga kumare nya kasi nag-start na uli ‘yong hobby sa mga plants, bawal sila lumabas kasi mga senior citizen na. Tapos yung wife ko nag-start na rin mag-alaga ng mga halaman. Ang may idea nito ‘yong kapatid kung isa na why not create sa Facebook kasi marami siyang mga kaibigan na into flowers din. So, ‘yon di namin ini-expect na dadami ang mga members,” Carlos said.
Another proud Plant Tito is law student Ranil Guarino that created a group only for plant selling. He said his passion in taking care of plants dated from his parents that started as farmers, and gardening is a way of life for him since it gives fulfilment once he sees the plants grow.
“Sobrang dami ng benefits ng pag-garden. You get to eat fresh, healthy vegetables na organic. You have ample supply ng oxygen at ‘yong mga indoor plants na available sa PlantTito are not just aesthetically appealing, they are also natural air filters and fighters of pollutants, which we all need in this modern time. Ang pag-aalaga ng halaman ay parang pag-aalaga ng pet. Excited ka sa development nila. Check mo kung may bagong dahon ganun. Sabi nila pag gardener ka raw, you are most likely good natured e kasi nga you have a sanctuary to de-distress yourself at the end of a very busy day,” Guarino said.
For photographer and events specialist Claudette Ensomo Sendaydiego, being a Plant Tita is something this pandemic taught us to appreciate the beauty of nature through plants. For her, it is easy to learn how to grow plants and if your neighbors have some plants, you can ask from them for free.
“Once nag-post ako ng plant for barter, hindi dahil gusto ko i-dispose ang halaman ko kundi para malaman ko more or less ang percentage ng Puerto Princesan’s na mahilig sa halaman. At para lalo akong ma-inspire magtanim lalo’t madami ang likes, at para na rin i-enjoy ng ka barter ko yung halaman,” Sendaydiego explain.
Stylists Blessing Marinas of Isla Marikit Home Decorations and Danica Harder of Dear Dominic Events and Style are also hooked in planting. They do it with style and art decorations to make them more attractive especially inside the house. They said that being Plant Titas all happen during the quarantine period.
“I started around five plants. One in my office, two in my room and outside three or two din. Ngayon inside the house around 200 na,” Marina said during the Story Café Live broadcast at Palawan Daily.
“For me, it’s a big impact especially on mental health since ngayon ay pandemic. Not everyone is an introvert some of them want to go out and use to speaking to people. Ako naman kasi okay lang sa akin ‘yong nandito sa bahay kahit one-year pa. So it’s important na mag-beautify tayo ng place natin, oxygenated with plants and taking care of our mental health,” Harded said.
Other local personalities that are also Plant Titos and Titas are Ceasar Sammy Magbanua of Provincial Capitol of Palawan and the First Daughter of the City Judith Raine Bayron, and many others who find peace and happiness in collecting plants and taking care of them, even way before this pandemic started.