Bamboo Value Advocate – Yalla Match

“Recipes for Life, Delicious Meals for a Happy Life by KJ Jimenez,” launched in March 2022, with stories compiled by her youngest daughter Carmen Jimenez Ong, celebrates the entrepreneur and environmental activist and offers life lessons. Contribute image

BAMBOO occupies a prominent place in traditional Filipino culture. Over the centuries, Filipinos have found many uses for tall, tree-like herbs – from houses and furniture to edible shoots called labong to Las Piñas’ famous bamboo flutes and poles used in the folk dance.

However, it has been relatively overlooked in the modern landscape, a position Carolina “Kay” Joseon Jimenez wants to change with a passion project that seeks to bring bamboo back to the fore, not only by reviving traditional uses, but also by introducing new customs. .

Roots to shoots

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I brought back a happy childhood memory to Carolina Bamboo Garden (CBG) in Sitio Tanza II, Barangay San Jose, Antipolo City. She vividly remembers the long green bamboo stalks bending with the breeze and squeaking as they collide as their leaves drop. Meanwhile, sunlight penetrating the cluster cast slits of light on the plants and reticulated shadow patterns on the ground.

This photo stayed with her and when Jimenez and her siblings inherited the land from their mother, she decided to create a bamboo garden in 2000 at the age of 62. Landscape consultant Moody Manglismut recommended that she place her 5-acre lot near a stream. Until the latter extinguishes the earth.


Carolina Kay Jimenez (sixth from left) with her amigas at the Bamboo Sanctuary.

Now a tourist destination and research site, it is a humble tribute to a beautiful and versatile tropical treasure. The ecological reserve is a source for seedlings and has recently become an educational center for bamboo cultivation.

“What I like to do is something that other people don’t usually do, like when I started my group and I wanted others to benefit from bamboo research and development… Bamboo was not a ‘star’ before ‘ project [but] I didn’t care. I continued my journey because [have] I’ve loved it since childhood.”

With increased awareness about sustainability and climate change, what was once seen as “poor man’s wood” is now considered a “savior” because it is renewable and sustainable. “[I]It can save lives by… solving soil erosion, preventing floods, purifying air pollution, and [answering] “The urgent need for shelter and clothing,” Jimenez said.

“The more I learn about its uses, the more I will fall in love with bamboo,” she added. “The roots of bamboo are deep, and they are planted in the mountains to control it [landslides]. Bamboo gives off more oxygen and captures more carbon dioxide than ordinary trees.”

One of the advantages of bamboo is that it is easy to propagate and grow. Bamboo takes four years to mature, compared to 10 to 20 years for the average tree. “After you cut down a tree, it’s no longer useful,” Jimenez said. The bamboo will continue to grow even if the poles are cut. Bamboos can replace wood from trees because wood is rare and expensive.”

Bamboo propaganda is produced in the garden. “Our customers are mining companies, those who want to create a forest,” she said. In our seminars – you will be surprised – we have people from the end of the north and the end of the south.” At one point, an engineer bought 10 trucks of a variety called kawayan tinik for fractional use in Pangasinan.

They also work with researchers, scientists and hobbyists to find new uses for bamboo. “Bamboos are good for clothing,” Jimenez said. The bamboo fiber towels are really soft.” Labong is also served to guests, and they have also started selling bamboo tea made from bamboo leaves.

Visitors and interns at Carolina Bamboo Garden also learn about bamboo's value in fighting climate change and providing livelihoods.  Contribute photos

Visitors and interns at Carolina Bamboo Garden also learn about bamboo’s value in fighting climate change and providing livelihoods. Contribute photos

Ronald Hector Villanueva, the late pioneer bamboo bike maker, requested bamboo in 2009 for his dissertation on Kawayan Tech Bamboo Bikes’ business plan. In return, he donated bamboo bicycles for a child and an adult to CBG. CBG was also a resource for architect Christian Salandan, who designed the Miguel Romero Polo Pavilion in Calatagan, Batangas, which was one of the venues for the 2019 SEA Games.

Students come to read books and look at bamboo household items and other products. Recently, the Philippine Textile Research Institute is working on bamboo material for fabric. Other guests visit the property for a much-needed interaction with nature. Bathing in the forest is a popular activity as it helps clear the mind of the stresses of city life.

Climate change ready

Bamboo Sanctuary is a study in sustainability. An orchard and a small forest of other plants and trees help reduce the project’s carbon footprint by conserving biodiversity and applying organic methods.

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources named CBG as one of the 100 companies that have adapted to climate change. “It’s hard to get water in Antipolo, but we don’t buy it,” Jimenez said. We built four dams on rugged terrain that can collect water and feed plants.” Dams clean the runoff, and the collected soil is returned to the fields.

Kay asked the late architect Angel Lazaro Jr to design a house he had never seen before.  The result is a two-bedroom bamboo building with a carved paraboloid ceiling.

Kay asked the late architect Angel Lazaro Jr to design a house he had never seen before. The result is a two-bedroom bamboo building with a carved paraboloid ceiling.

Bambusetum is located in the CBG, the focal point of the property, which contains 48 species of bamboo. There is no other place like it in the NCR, Jiménez said proudly. As guests wander the aisles, they learn about the scientific names, origins and uses of the different varieties. What is cooler about this area is that bamboo cools the heat. The garden stays cool even during the afternoon.

CBG plants 20,000 seedlings annually and uses tubers, which improve soil health. “Biodiversity thrives when you see lots of birds, butterflies and insects,” Jimenez said. The place is refreshing.”

“As they say, you can [also] Grow your own house,” she added, building a house she did. Jimenez named the late architect Angel Lazaro Jr. Design a home like never before. The result was a two-bedroom bamboo building with a hyperbolic parabolic ceiling, more commonly thought of as a potato chip shape, and its cantilevered staircase is a series of bamboo steps embedded in the wall that give the impression of swinging.

“We are helping the country,” said Kay. “Especially now that climate change is in our midst and the solution – bamboo – has been there all along.”

She is so happy that she achieved what she set out to do. “This is my childhood dream come true. wherever you go [to] My garden, I feel fresh and I feel younger. I am really happy [with] what should i do It makes me feel alive.”

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