Updated as of September 14, 2018, 2am
Every first Sunday of the month, the Cactus and Succulents Society of the Philippines Inc. hold its monthly meeting with the members and officials. Free lecture/workshop, free food, CnS bazaar, support on care/tips about your plant and new acquaintances are what the cactus enthusiasts can expect from the CSSPI. Last August 2018 meeting, Mr. Lino Rom; CSSPI President and Mr. Boyet Ganigan; owner of Arid ‘n Aroids Nursery announced the venue of September meeting with what to expect on such event; Grabe Agave. It was jaw-dropping wow! See below the raffle prizes. It only seems like simple plants but they are not!
The members and officials of the Cactus and Succulents Society of the Philippines Inc. were exhilarated about the Grabe Agave event. It was hosted by the September group. I had sleepless nights when the event was fast approaching. Can you relate? September 9, 2018, was like an early Christmas for CSSPI. A month long reminder and adverts made the CnS enthusiasts more thrilled. I met a mother and daughter who lives in Tagaytay but it was their first time to visit Arid ‘n Aroids because of what they saw and read on the Facebook page. Who would not want to take home the 6 digit worth of cactus and succulents which you can win on the Grabe Agave event?! To add, the 2 FREE TRIPs to Bangkok, Thailand were open to be raffled among members and non-members. Who else would sponsor such grand prizes other than the man behind Arid ‘n Aroids; Mr. Boyet Ganigan.
Last September 8 (before the big day), the September group prepared with all the effort they can for the grand event. Hand in hand were The Hawo Boys (Tim, Marc, Wilson & Von – in spirit) of The Haworthia Guys, Ms. Jen dela Cruz, and the hosts Mr. Boyet Ganigan with his brother Mr. Mike Ganigan and other staff made sure that it would be a very unforgettable CSSPI meeting of the year.
Grabe Agave Event
This is the day! I am a self-confessed cactus addict. I must say, Arid ‘n Aroids Nursery is my happy place. Grabe Agave attendees were asked to register their names as member or non-members then a loot bag was given with surprise cactus and/or succulent inside. Ours were Astrophytum Asterias babies and a succulent which I do not know the ID (as seen on the image). Registration was necessary for the much anticipated raffle draw at a later time. I arrived at around 9 am with my supportive husband; Third and noticed hundreds of guests/members who were already in. I was #65 as an Official member and my husband was #387 as a non-member. More people kept coming every few minutes interval. Mr. Marlon Valdellon was the first to welcome me and showed the most wanted raffle prizes such as the expensive Agave Pinky, 6 Aloe Hybrids, offset of Gymnocalycium Aurora (mother plant costs 250,000 Baht), 3 Rare Tillandsia, 2 Rare Haworthias, 4 Variegated Sansevierias and he mentioned the 2 Trips to Bangkok, Thailand. I was in awe and had to pause for a bit and stared at each one of them. A minimum purchase of P300 would qualify the attendees whether member or non-member for the raffle draw. It was fair amount to spend knowing the worth of the raffle prizes. You think so?
Mr. Boyet Ganigan; the host of the Grabe Agave event, coordinated with the Baranggay Tartaria officials to avoid any hassle for the safety and convenience of the cactus enthusiasts.
After the registration, I was able to chat with Sir Boyet and Sir Ronald Panelo. Sir Boyet told me personally, “Akala ko alas kwatro ang unang guest na darating, yun pala alas tres. Galing pa sa Bulacan.” He happily imparted. We all found it really impressive. We have “katiniks” na hindi magpapahuli. Hahamakin ang lahat wag ka lang maunahan. I forgot to ask who they were. (Please comment below, so I can mention your names). It was ‘A’ for effort. On another Facebook post, some flew all the way from Cebu just to witness the event. Some checked-in at nearby hotels, a day before the event to arrive early at the location. Whew! Beat that! Kids, young adults, yuppies, adults and those young at heart were seen all over the 1.8 hectares of land full of cactus, succulents and ornamental plants. It has always been a drooling experience in Arid ‘n Aroids.
I spotted some All Stars and took the chance to have pictures with them. I also saw a celebrity couple; Mr. Alwyn Uytingco and his wife Ms. Jennica Garcia-Uytingco. Ms. Jennica is an official member of CSSPI. They were in the Open House of Arid ‘n Aroids with their cute little boy. I also noticed Sir Lino Rom from afar but no chance to take a picture.
I must say, the weather cooperated well. The sun was up all day long. Mainit ang panahon pero okay lang, masaya naman. Third and I were able to walk around and shoot pictures of most part of Arid ‘n Aroids collection. Loud and up beat music, laughters, chat among the guests can be heard even whispers like, “Magkano kaya to?”, “Mahal kaya to?”, “Baka di na ako makauwe.”, “Baka magalit ang asawa ko.”, “Kulang yata ang laman ng wallet ko.” and others can be heard. Can you share some thoughts you had when you were there or if you happened to be there? Posting these photos taken:
Mr. Buchi Romero; ‘Mr. Agave Prince’ was there to lecture the guests about Agave. The topic was, Basic Care and Beautification of Agave. He personally shared with me that Agave is not difficult to grow. It only needs full sun, and fast drying soil. Rain or shine they will continue to grow. He used to be the sole collector of Agave. And he is glad that many people have started to be interested in Agave. He mentioned he has a giant Agave, which he wishes to stay that way because he is running out of space. He has wide collection of Agave. I got inspired and would like to try as well.
The Oath taking of the new members took place before lunch as Official members of CSSPI. They all looked very happy and excited as they posed on their first photo as official members.
The food and drinks were available to everyone such as unlimited snacks from early morning. I spotted Pancit and Banana Q. While, the lunch was served from 11am onwards. Nag-enjoy ka na, nabusog ka pa.
The queue at the payment section was indeed long. Imagine lots of guests were in line waiting for their turn. Onset it was Sir Mike who was in-charge with the help of some CSSPI official members (Ms. Angel, Sir Marlon, Hawo boys, Ms, Jen, etc). I commend Sir Mike because he was very pleasant in entertaining the price inquiries while accommodating the guests in purchasing their chosen CnS. Later that day, Sir Boyet also assisted in the payment area which made it quicker to finish the process. The cactus enthusiasts were patient while on queue. They used their waiting time to exchange ideas about CnS and any plant related topics. I heard some Visayan, Ilocano and other languages that I cannot identify (apologies). If I am not mistaken there were about a thousand or more people who attended the event. Below were the pictures of the queue from morning until around 2:30pm.
The much awaited part of the event finally happened. My bad, I was still on queue to pay my 2nd batch of purchase when the raffle was on-going. I missed the names of the winners and their respective prizes. (Also, not sure they would approve to post their names and pictures here). I remember some new official members bagged one of the Trip to Bangkok (Mr. Darryl) and another one was the Gymnocalycium Aurora offset. Also, I heard Ms. Aireen Bernal, bagged one of the grand raffle prizes if I remember it correctly. I will update this post once I have the list and granted the permission from them. Congratulations to the winners!
Here are the pictures of the lucky winners. Thanks again to sir Marlon for letting me share these unforgettable moment.
The September group may have gotten exhausted yet they pulled it off. Job well done! With your group effort, it made a lot of people happy in ways you do not know. And to Sir Boyet, September will never be the same if not with Grabe Agave!
Over-all the day was filled with smiles, hopes, laughter, and love. I may have missed the chance to bring home any of the raffle prizes (with bitterness😁) but I was able to meet new people, make new friends, give some tips on plant care and lastly, keep the memories which will last a lifetime. #GrabeAgave
Please comment any thoughts you might have. No haters please, positive lang. 😊🌵🌸 Please like my Facebook page if not too much to ask.
(Credit to the owners of the photos. Thanks for the given permission to post them.)
But wait, there’s more! Caption the pictures. Credit to Sir Marlon Valdellon of Succulents and Spikes for these wonderful photos. #RealLife #RealExpressions #HappyLangWagSad