Balayong is a tree that can be found in Araceli. It has been around for years and mostly visited on it's blooms. The pink colored flowers give unique attractions for photography. As it is seen to be similar to Japan's Cherry Blossoms, many wanted to witness the tree's flower to bloom before it ends.
On the other hand, the Cherry Blossoms are ornamental cherry trees. It symbolizes clouds due to their nature of blooming en masse, besides being an enduring metaphor for the ephemeral nature of life, an aspect of Japanese cultural tradition that is often associated with Buddhist influence, and which is embodied in the concept of mono no aware.
The Balayong Tree (Cassia javanica nodosa/ Cassia nodosa) is also recognized as Java cassia, pink shower, apple blossom tree, rainbow shower tree. It is locally known as Cuyuno. It is a species of family Fabaceae and has been reported to have originated in Southeast Asia. It particularly grows in the tropical area.
During Spanish colonization in the Philippines, the timber of the tree is used for furniture, building houses as it is similar to narra and ipil trees.
The Balayong tree stands out and continually sprouts it's pink flowers in Barangay Poblacion, Araceli, Palawan. The tree was characterized by its small delicate pink flowers and blooms between February until summer season. Balayong in the Philippines are subspecies of Cassia javanica. It can grow from a small to medium-sized tree to a height of 15 meters or taller. The flower is a historical symbol of love in the language of herbs, feminine dominance, and female beauty.
The tree has a cultural importance in the island of Palawan. Infact, the government of Puerto Princesa has honored the tree and named it after the annual feast. The Balayong Festival was celebrated in March every year along with their foundation day. In 2021, it is marked to be the 17th Balayong Festival and 149th Founding Anniversary.
This tree has been known for the huge numbers of the trees in the island but as years passed by, it slowly disappeared. To revive the population of the trees, the First City of Puerto Princesa Mrs. Ellen Hagedon came up with the idea to restore the Balayong tree in 2005.
In celebration of their first Balayong Festival the government's goal was to plant Balayong trees on the Nature Park. After the event, they have successfully planted thousands of trees and made the Balayong tree to be highlighted. Since then, the Balayong tree has been known and endemic in the city.
This tree can grow in tropical climates or urban conditions and within the country similar trees can also be found in Bohol, Antipolo, Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Cebu City aside from Palawan. The species of this tree is continuing to spread. The tree gives shade and beautifies the area.
No need to travel on the way to Japan to experience the beauty of the Cherry Blossoms! The Philippines has its own Balayong cherry tree.