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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 through 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 2030.


  1. To educate members and other interested parties on the knowledge of plants.
  2. To support deserving students in horticulture and farming.
  3. To support worthwhile environmental projects.
  4. Raise funds through various fund raising activities as in Festival of Trees.
  5. Maintain our flower garden and nursery and increase production and propagation of plants
  6. to be the center of plant distribution in the area
  7. Improve our gardens so it can be an oasis in a concrete jungle for the public to enjoy.
  8. Institute plant and gardening classes to cater to the households in the community


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 P57:1 plus inflation is about P3M 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, the Cafe for members, 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 became an annual fund-raising event that aimed 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.

In keeping with our goal of being the “lead disseminator in the greening of Makati by 2030” MGC has also teamed up with Ayala Land and Macea to develop three greening projects around the Makati area. Makati City Hall has been most helpful and gracious in supporting Makati Garden Club, because they believe MGC is an establishment – that has benefited the community as cultural pioneers and leaders in educational and scientific gardening, horticulture and environmental preservation for over 50 years.


Mindy Perez-Rubio – Chairman

Mindy graduated from St. Scholastica’s College Manila with a degree in Music and Choral Conducting.  She became a member of Makati Garden Club in 1979, joining her mother-in-law as a close supporter of the club.  In 1994, she became MGC’s president for 2 terms (4 years).  At that time, she introduced Festival of Trees, a joint fund-raising event with Philippine Business for Social Projects (PBSP) of which Maria Luisa was a Founding member.  Through Festival of Trees, Mindy introduced the Live and Silent Auction to the Philippines.  Numerous trees beautifully decorated for Christmas by top florists and designers, as well as paintings by Anita Magsaysay-Ho and other noted artists  were auctioned.  This event, held every November, ran for 19 years, and raised tens of millions of pesos to benefit PBSP.  During her extended time in California, Mindy served 3 times as president of the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation in Atherton, was president of Wall Street Women (an investment group), Commissioner of the Atherton Arts Council, President of Peninsula Volunteers, and is currently a member of the San Francisco Symphony League.  She is President and CEO of Repertory Philippines, Inc., and Chairman of Grounds at the Manila Polo Club as well as at Ponderosa Leisure Farms in Silang.  Mindy is married to Carlos Perez-Rubio and together they have five children and eleven grand-children.

Regina Roces Paterno – President

Regina or Ninit, as she is fondly called, has been a member of the Makati Garden Club for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working closely with Maria Luisa Perez-Rubio, Ching Caluag, Baby Paterno, and Ging Delos Reyes in organizing the clubs various activities and priorities. At present she is chairman of the board of Winner Foundation, the developer and maintainer of Arroceros Forest Park from 1990 to present. She is the founding member and a former officer of the Oriental Ceramic Society, (a study group of excavated Chinese tradeware found in the Philippines and other Asian countries.) She has served in the Catholic Women’s Club as board secretary for many years and is now a lifetime member. In the business world, she co-owns and operates the family’s Orchid Garden Suites, a boutique hotel, located in Malate, Manila. She owned seven stores in various shopping malls before her retirement – Regina, Traditions Country Store, Romance, Celebrations etc., plus a travel agency and a bakery!

Justice Rogelio V. Quevedo – Corporate Secretary

Justice Rogelio V. Quevedo was until recently the Government Corporate Counsel.

Prior to his stint with OGCC, Justice Quevedo has been with the faculty of the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Law since 1986, having served as Director of the Bar Review Institute and the Division of Continuing Legal Education now known as the Training and Convention Division. He has been teaching Civil Law and Commercial Law subjects, particularly Obligations and Contracts Negotiable Instruments and Corporation Law, where he remains Chair of the Commercial Law Cluster. After graduation, Professor Quevedo was with the Presidential Management Staff, Office of the President, and later as Chief of the Intelligence Division of the Commission on Immigration until February, 1986. A graduate of the UP College of Law, he is a product of the UP Preparatory School and the UP School of Economics. He obtained his Master of Laws from Louisiana State University and Doctor of the Science of Jurisprudence (JSD) from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a bar topnotcher in the 1981 Bar Exam. Justice Quevedo has been an IT law practitioner since 1983, and was Executive Head of the MANCOM of PLDT SMART and Senior Vice President of the International Business Division. Prior to retirement, he was President of the PLDT Smart Foundation. He is the former President of the Philippine Information and Communications Technology Organization (PICTO) and currently the Treasurer of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations, a private think tank group of retired diplomats, national security experts, and business leaders.

Professor Quevedo was called from retirement to become the Government Corporate Counsel, the statutory legal counsel of all government-owned and controlled corporations, their subsidiaries, affiliates, and instrumentalities. As GCC, he has control and supervision over all the legal departments of almost a thousand corporations, like GSIS, SSS, LBP, DBP, PAGCOR, PCSO, MIAA, Cebu Airport, CAAP, MWSS, and LWUA, even water districts in all municipalities all over the country.

Moleen del Rosario – Vice President and Chairman of Gardens

Moleen officially joined the Makati Garden Club in 2018 even if she had been dining at the Maria Luisa’s Garden Room Café since it opened in 2013, with MGC members. She is passionate about plants, flowers and gardens ever since she was a little girl. Moleen is a member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines and the Red Audubon Society of Las Vegas. She loves travel, and is also a food and wine enthusiast. As an advocate for children and education she has supported Home Of Love Orphanage for the last 15 years and scholarship grant projects of ERDA Tech Foundation Inc. She has supported various projects of Soroptimist International Inc. and Zonta International Inc. A University of Santo Tomas, College Of Pharmacy, BS Medical Technology, and St. Luke’s College Of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine alumnus, she is the Founder of Dermastrasse. Moleen is also a member of the Fashion Institute of the Philippines and an alumnus of the Fashion Institute of Singapore focusing on Fashion and Visual Merchandising. She is a member of the Singapore Retailers Association as well as the Founder of Fisher Department Store. She is the mother of a teenage boy.

Armita V. Rufino – Chairman of Membership

Armita B. Rufino is a renowned leader in the society and in various fields of discipline. Mita, as she is fondly called, is known as a goal-oriented lady with total professionalism – authoritarian in her style of management, her priority is her care and concern for her people. Her visions are majestic and full of idealism. One may wonder whether her plans are achievable. No matter what it takes, because of her passion, enthusiasm, dedication and commitment, results are realized. She has been actively involved with numerous affiliations to her name. From corporations, organizations, foundations, Mita, has all the energies to deliver simultaneous projects with varying requirements. In 2003, she created the Filipino Heritage Festival, Inc., a private and non-generating revenue institution promoting the nation’s historical cultural heritage and resources. Proclamation no. 439 declaring the month of May of every year as the National Heritage Month was made possible through her efforts. FHFI has now expanded to new heights which encourage the youth to vigorously engage themselves in the promotion and preservation of the tradition, culture and heritage. Now on its 14th year, FHFI has grown into a grand celebration and festivity nationwide.

Mita has received several awards such as the People Asia-People of the Year in 2010 – Patron of Philippine Culture and Arts, Outstanding Mother of Makati Awardee in 2010, Rotary International Zone Institute Award in 2009, Zonta Area 5 Awardee in 2010, Zonta District 17 Awardee in 2006, Zonta Club of Makati and Environs Foundation, Inc. awardee in 2006, Zonta Service Award in 2011 and Zonta Ruby Award in 2011. Mita Rufino was Vice-President for Finance and Administration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines from 1983 – 1986 and later in 1991 – 2001 she became the President of the CCP. She was president of GenFilms Production, Sayaw Foundation, Philippine Ballet Theater, Zonta Club, Museum Foundation of the Phil, Inc. as well as a commissioner for the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Mita is current president of Fleur Essence, Inc., Empire Agro Industrial Development Corporation, BAPA Holdings and Management Corporation, Filipino Heritage Foundation, Society for Cultural Enrichment, Micro Lending Program Para sa Kababaihan, and Pre-School of Zonta Club of Makati and Environs Fdn., Inc.

The job for Mita is non-stop from the corporate, social, civic, charitable and artistic endeavors that bear the fruits of her labor and her significant dynamism. She has also served in Boards of Berbacs Chemicals, Inc., John Boardman Ltd., Cultural Center of the Philippines, NAMCYA, Rotary International District 3830, Philippine Philharmonic Society, Inc., Friends of Manansala and San Antonio Parish Council.

Sandra J. Fernández – Treasurer

Sandra joined The Makati Garden Club in 2009. As a food and wine enthusiast, she was responsible in opening the Maria Luisa’s Garden Room Cafe in 2013 with Chef Robert Lilja. She managed the Café as a member of MGC for 6 years. Sandra is also an education advocate. She has been supporting The Sunshine Club for the last 12 years with their daily feeding programs for the underprivileged grade school students and providing assistance for the continuing education of the Club’s deserving Alumni. She is a member of La Cámara (Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines), and is a mother of two girls, both who now study in Spain.

Marjorie Madrid-Balatbat – Assistant Treasurer

Marjorie, or Joy as she is fondly called, graduated from Maryknoll College with a degree in Business Administration. She then took her MBA at Ateneo de Manila. She worked for SGV, and then at Citibank in the Economics Department. She was a member of Museum Volunteers of the Philippines, and served as president of the Ayala Alabang Villager’s Garden Association.
She is an esteemed member of the Ikebana International Chapter 108, and serves as Ikenobo professor.

Joy is the first and only Filipino to be invited to the Autumn Tanabata Festival, the biggest Ikebana festival in the world in 2011-14 held in Kyoto Japan, as exhibitor. She trained in Ikenobo Ikebana in six fall seasons from 2009-14 at the Ikenobo Headquarters in Kyoto, Japan. She held commercial exhibits sponsored by Lalique at Rustan’s Department Store, and was featured by the Philippine Star, in 2017, as well as the Philippine Daily Inquirer in 2012, and again in 2024.

Joy wrote and published KYOTO MORNINGS IN AUTUMN, a coffee table book in 2022. It relates her kado, or journey with flowers and how the path led her to become the first and only Filipino exhibitor in the biggest Ikebana festival in the world “The Tanabata Autumn Exhibition” held in Kyoto, Japan. The book is a compilation of the author’s best creations and portfolio in Ikenobo Ikebana arrangements from 2009-2014. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of the book was donated to a charitable fund managed by Tahanan ng Panginoon that educates poor street children.

Conchita Caluag – Member of Event Planning

Ching has been a long running member of Makati Garden Club, joining it since 1982. She has witnessed its growth and impact in Makati and has served as its President for a good many years. A graduate of St. Scholastica’s College, her religious principles guided her to the Mother Butler Missions, being a staunch supporter since 1960. Ching is also an accomplished painter in water-color. She is a member of Friends of Manansala since 2005, with several of her artwork auctioned at Festival of Trees. From 2004-2007 she served as Kagawad for Barangay Bel-Air. And from 2007-2017, she remained as a Kagawad of Bel-Air chairing the Committee on Ecology. She adores plants, and has landscaped many public areas, including the park in Bel Air.

Martina Cunanan-Plumley – Member of Garden Committee

Marty became a member of Makati Garden Club in 2019 at the invitation of Chef Robert Lilja. She lived in 5 countries in the last 24 years. While abroad, she was a successful real estate broker in Dubai, as well as Corporate Secretary of Philippine Business Council of Dubai and Northern Emirates, and a proponent in the formation De La Salle University Alumni Association in Hong Kong. and Dubai. Marty was Chairman of the Philippine Association of HK . In 2018, Marty and her husband moved back to the Philippines Today, she is Corporate Secretary of Brentville International Village, where they reside. She is an advocate in preventive wellness and of course happily married with 2 kids and 4 grandkids.

Gloria Alcuaz – Chairman of Concessions

Gloria has been a long-time member of Makati Garden Club. She is an avid advocate of plants and gardening, and has participated actively in many Makati Garden Club events over the last 30 years, to include Festival of Trees, and the numerous Christmas Bazaars. Another passion of Gloria’s is cooking, which seems to be a second passion in just about all MGC members! After a brief hiatus from involvement at the Club, Gloria is now back and most enthusiastic to lend her expertise in plant and gardens, cooking and organization and leadership skills.