For the Metro Manila area and its surroundings, as well as for the depressed and lowly regions in the country that are suffering from environmental pollution, the Makati Garden Club provides education and support that seeks to reduce these problems and develop an awareness of the benefits of plants, greenery and clean air.
Unlike other garden clubs in the area, Makati Garden Club is the pioneer and leader in plant care and gardening, and the first Garden Club to be established in the Philippines to focus on education and the environment. For fifty years, MGC has maintained a plant garden and nursery in the heart of Manila, organized plant and gardening classes for the community, and raised millions of pesos to sustain the livelihood of Filipino farmers in the neediest areas in the Philippines.
To create an awareness of the importance of preserving the environment by promoting interest in plants and their benefits.
The purpose of the Makati Garden Club is to help create thru high quality and exceptional programs a community in which people maintain and preserve our environment through the love of plants and gardens.
To be the lead disseminator in the greening of Makati by 2020.
- To educate members and other interested parties on the knowledge of plants.
- To support deserving students in horticulture and farming.
- To support worthwhile environmental projects.
- Raise funds through various fundraising activities as in Festival of Trees.
- Maintain our flower garden and nursery and increase production and propagation of plants so we can be the center of plant distribution in the area.
- Improve our gardens so it can be an oasis in a concrete jungle for the public to enjoy.
- Institute plant and gardening classes to cater to the households in the community.
History of Makati Garden Club
Makati Garden Club (MGC) was started in 1957 by a small group of plant lovers. It started off as the Forbes Park Garden Club. . Among the pioneers were Dr. Mona Lisa Steiner (who catalogued Philippine ornamental plants and authored a book with the same title), Hedda Pick-up, Lucille Forster, Conching Sunico (pioneer of culture and the arts), Susie Winternitz (author of a number of Philippine plant books) and Gertrude Stewart (noted author and publisher of numerous cookbooks).
When Maria Luisa Perez-Rubio was elected president in 1970, the group decided to change its name to Makati Garden Club, to attract more members. MGC’s first headquarters was the Tea House in Maria Luisa Perez-Rubio’s home in Forbes Park. Membership rapidly grew. Monthly meetings were held every last Thursday of the month. These meetings kept everyone abreast with latest trends in gardening, flower arranging, research and other services to the community.
In 1974, Don Enrique Zobel, then head of Ayala Corporation, asked MGC for help to develop a 3,705 square meter area in Ayala Avenue’s main corner. The members more than welcomed this invitation and what followed was a frenzy of fund-raising activities, penny pinching, garden sales, Christmas bazaars and solicitations from companies. Ayala Corporation generously donated P50,000 (at P7:$1 plus inflation is about P1.8M today) to build the MGC headquarters. Thus after years of no permanent place, MGC finally moved to its new home. It was unique because it had its own headquarters, landscaped gardens, nurseries, a library, flower and garden center, and a large room with which to hold numerous gardening, art, cooking and craft classes, plus their monthly meetings. Among the prominent lecturers were Dr. Henry Culpepper (a noted gardening expert), Zac Sarian (noted columnist in gardening), Serapion Metilla (foremost expert in bonsai). It participated in many exhibits and won many citations and awards. By 1990 more than 200 professionals had lectured or conducted workshops in the Club in a myriad of subjects. MGC sustains itself through annual membership dues, running training courses, bazaars, plants and flower sales, a flower and gift shop, donations and other fund-raising activities. To date, the Ayalas, as well as the City Government of Makati continue their support of the Club, and all the members are grateful for this gesture.
In 1995, Festival of Trees was launched. It was jointly organized by MGC and PBSP (Philippine Business for Social Progress – the top NGO in the Philippines headed by Manuel Pangilinan), and has become an annual fund-raising event that aims to alleviate poverty by developing environmental programs for the lowly Filipino farmer in remote regions of the Philippines. As the years progressed, the thrust of fund raising benefited calamity victims. The gala event, held in November, officially kicked off the Christmas Season in Manila. It began as an auction of Christmas trees decorated by top florists and designers in Manila, to include Ging delos Reyes of Flower Farm, Rustan Flower Shop, Toni Parsons, Lanelle Abueva, Tensie Bello, Sylvia Yuzon, Rachy Cuna, Monette Guevarra, Vicky Zubiri, Patis Tesoro, Carmen Yulo, Impy Pilapil, Bobby Mañosa, Yuyung La’O and Serapion Metilla, to name but a few. The live auction of these artistically created trees was a hit. As the years passed, the auction evolved to include art pieces donated by prominent Filipino artists and painters – Anita Magsaysay-Ho, Manuel Baldemor, Romulo Galicano, Carlos Rocha, Ben Cabrera, Elmer Borlongan, Joven Ignacio, Ram Mallari, Napoleon Abueva, Edgar Doctor.
Over the years, Festival of Trees has rehabilitated the endangered shores across the country – Ragay Gulf in Quezon, Maqueda Bay in Samar, Cuyo Island in Palawan, Olango Island in Cebu, and Samal Island in Davao. It established six marine preserves, many barangay nurseries, reforested 100 hectares of mangrove areas, reforested and maintained 400 hectares of upland areas, and converted 430 hectares of land into agro-forestry farms.
MGC has supported deserving students at UP Los Baños and the Family Farms in Horticulture and Agri business. We have similarly established a fund to support Makati students seeking to pursue studies in environmental science, as well as horticulture. MGC has landscaped the pocket garden in the Children’s ward at PGH. It has lent it’s landscaping and gardening expertise in various community gardens and parks in the Metro-Manila area, has supported Arroceros Forest Park in Manila and helped reforest 2,000 hectares of denuded land at Marikina Watershed, near the Marikina dam. . It has also supported impoverished schools in Basilan and Maguindanao by donating desks, chairs, computers, and schoolbooks (with the help of US AID).
MGC grounds are open to the public. We have school children from various public schools visit our grounds. We give them demonstrations on planting, and they much enjoy viewing our numerous herb and vegetable gardens, running through the gardens and touching the various plants.
Board of Directors
Members of the Makati Garden Club enjoying an outing.
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