Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Flowers at Canossa

One of the biggest differences between Metro Manila, where I live, and Tagaytay City, where my retreat was over the weekend, is the temperature. Tagaytay is on a ridge and is always about five degrees cooler than Manila. That's according to the thermometer. But factor in Manila's sun-reflecting concrete and wind-blocking buildings, and Tagaytay's woods, hilltop location and low structures, and the temperature difference as you really feel it is very, very pronounced.

In Manila right now, I can't bear to leave my air-conditioned office at noon. As soon as I step out of the building, my skin feels like it's crinkling up and shrinking. In Tagaytay, I was walking around with my shawl on.

Because of this five degree difference in temperature and the fresher air, Tagaytay's flowers are so much more beautiful and colorful than any you'd see in Manila. (I guess it doesn't help that Manila's plants are always covered in soot too.) Half an hour after our arrival at the Canossa House of Spirituality, I was in the garden with my camera. I knew that it would be the only time I'd have to take pictures, because I wouldn't be able to once our sessions started. Here are photos of the three flowers which I liked best.

I'm not really crazy about roses, especially the perfect, unblemished hybrids sold in flower shops. But the color of this rose, located at the lowest level of the garden, caught my eye while I was standing at the top: a bright salmon pink fading to yellow at the center. Gorgeous.
salmon pink rose
Now this is the kind of rose that I don't mind, though I have no idea what it's called. The petals are actually messy and kind of fluffy. And I love its baby pink color! I had such a hard time taking this shot. The bloom was so light, the wind was whipping it constantly and the plant had so many thorns, I couldn't hold on to it. I think I spent about ten minutes sitting beside it trying to get a decent picture. And it's still fuzzy.
light pink rose
Not much to explain here. I love lilies. All kinds and all colors. What can I say? I love their wild extravagance.
white lily

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