My friend Ronald Achacoso once told me that bonsai may not be for the Filipino culture. Though we have the artistic prowess and talent, we collectively did not have the discipline and patience required for bonsai art. The constant pruning and shaping are taxing for most Pinoy hobbyists, though some may have the knack in spotting, shaping and maintaining these precious trees.
Bonsai keeping in the Philippines is still primarily a business rather than art form. Most people ending up owning the painstaking bonsai specimen may end up having them mishapen or worse, die under their care. One case is the local tree species bantigue or Pemphis acidula, which is a coastal species. Specimens would require regular saltwater application. Bantigue bonsais in the garden often are neglected of this need and left to luck to survive.
The exhibit had more bonsai-d native species than just favorite bantigue. Each tree was very much artfully crafted. I could say that the artists and owners of these exhibited bonsais looked like they are properly providing the utmost care and maintenance needed for these trees to aesthetically live on.