THE intriguing title “Queen of the Night” was given to this rare, intoxicatingly fragrant, mysterious cactus flower: The night-blooming Cereus!
Found almost exclusively in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts of Southern Arizona, East to Western Texas and South to Northern Mexico, the Cereus, a run-of-the-mill dead bush most of the year, transforms—for one midsummer’s night each year—into the elusive Queen of the Night. This white cactus flower produces the inspired Desert Queen fragrance.
The Cereus stays vibrantly alive only once a year, at night, and closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun. Notwithstanding the rarity of this flower, it can be propagated in rock gardens in a semi-dark atmosphere. They begin to bloom between the months of July to October from 9 to 10 p.m.
Few have ever seen this flower but one of the luckier ones is good friend, California-based Cebuana, Maribel Kratz, who is a collector. Some of these photos are from there.
Cebu has certainly metamorphosed into Orchestra City!
Commencing with the very first Cebu Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) started by doctor Ingrid Sala-Santamaria in 1990, the Classic Youth Orchestra (CYO) was born and founded by one of the CYSO graduates, professor Reynaldo Abellana in 2016.
With 50 members, the CYO dishes out 30 percent classical and the rest, pop varieties and famous themes from movies. Since its inauguration, the CYO has performed in more than 80 concerts nationwide.
Doctor Jose “Dodong” Gullas, in 2014, approached Prof. Rey in his desire to promote and preserve Cebuano musical heritage. With valued assistance from Prof. Rey, as musical trainer and conductor, the JRG Visayanian Halad Orchestra came to fruition. This magnanimous endeavor by Dr. Dodong enabled musical students to avail of scholarships! More power indeed to the award-winning JRG Visayas Chorale!
Still another group joined the Prof. Rey bandwagon, this advocacy was shared by the Adventist Academy Cebu Orchestra (AACO), the dream of doctor Lemuel Banday, former principal of Adventist Academy Cebu (AAC). This finally was realized in 2019 with its founding by professor Eleanore Peñaflorida.
Prof. Rey and wife, Geraldine with fellow teacher Jerome Rezaba, have proudly contributed to the esteemed performances of the 40 members of the AACO, who are also AAC students.
What’s next, Prof. Rey? He humbly replies, “a CYO concert with Italian conductor, maestro Emanuele Pasqualin.”