4 places in the Philippines you can visit for a sakura-esque experience

Sakura season is almost upon us!

The place to be is usually Japan, but if you can’t make a trip, good news — you can still experience that magic right here in the Philippines.

According to experts, cherry blossom trees can grow in cold areas of the Philippines, but chances are low that flowers would actually bloom.

There are, however, similar flowers that grow natively that are just as beautiful.

1. Haight’s Farm in Benguet

The one place where actual cherry blossoms have been known to bloom is Atok, Benguet.

Haight’s Farm is just one of the breathtaking flower farms in the area, but what makes it distinct is its Sakura Park, the first of its kind in the country.

It was first reported in 2016 that over 30 cherry blossom-producing trees were planted in Atok to celebrate the 40th anniversary of ties between the Kochi prefecture and Benguet province.

And bloom they did!

2. De La Salle Medical Arts Center in Cavite

A few years ago, photos of cherry blossoms-like trees in Cavite caught people’s attention.

Located at the De La Salle Medical Arts Center, the Balayong trees’ pink flowers enamored students, staffers, and visitors alike.

Netizens loved the vibe too, with the posts garnering hundreds and hundreds of likes.

The Balayong is not quite sakura, however —while cherry blossoms are under the rose family, Balayong is under the beans family.

They share the same pink petals, but the Balayong has a longer pistil that’s color yellow.

3. Balayong People’s Park in Palawan

The Balayong is actually native to Palawan, with a park dedicated to the tree in Puerto Princesa.

According to botanist Walter Suarez, the Balayong thrives in the heat and is in full bloom during the summer.

“Maganda ‘yung tubo nila sa Palawan, kasi mahaba ‘yung dry season sa Palawan,” he said in a report on “Dapat Alam Mo.”

The Puerto Princesa community helped plant the trees themselves as the park was originally a project of its local Urban Forestry Program.

4. Masungi Georeserve in Rizal

Another flower tree that’s similar to the cherry blossom tree is the Salinggogon.

The Salinggogon tree can grow up to 140 feet, and its pretty pink flowers are in full bloom from March to April.

Native to the Philippines, the Salinggogon trees can be found in the forests of Masungi Georeserve in Rizal.

They definitely make quite a sight among all the greenery! —JCB, GMA Integrated News

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