Waling-Waling is considered so rare today that it is presumed to be nearing its extinction. Waling-Waling is described as the ‘Queen of Philippine Orchids,’ and is one of the largest orchid species in the world.
Waling-waling was discovered by German taxonomist Heinrich Gustav Reicheinback in Mindanao in 1882. The discovery of Waling-Waling has prompted the cultivation of colorful and attractive vandaceous hybrids that are now part of the world’s multibillion-dollar orchid and cutflower industry.
Waling-Waling grows on tree trunks in the rainforests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat and other parts of Mindanao. It blooms only once a year, between July and October and wanton plunder of this prized specimen has brought it to near extinction.
The massive deforestation in Mindanao also threatens the region’s wildlife, including Waling-Waling which used to abound in the tropical forest of Mount Apo. Today, it is believed that Waling-Waling has more species cultivated abroad, particularly in Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong and Hawaii.
Mabuhay ang Waling Waling!