"Waling-waling" or Queen of the Philippine Island Flowers
A commissioned piece by jahzz.art on Instagram (she is a 19 year old art student based in Hawaii). Jahziel used a pregnancy portrait of me taken by Chelcie S Porter as a reference for this illustration.
I don't think I need to explain much about the significance of the details she illustrated on me, so instead I will share that waling-waling, although not the primary national flower of the Philippines (because sampaguita), I believe, are the more resilient and magical of the two flowers. They're the wilder of the two.
Waling-waling are orchids native to the Philippines that grow at the trunks of trees in certain provinces (Davao, Cotabato and Zamboanga), and only at certain (low) elevations. On the other end of the spectrum, studies have shown that when cultivated at high altitude, the plant bears flowers early. Fun fact: Lena was born two weeks early from her due date of October 1.
My Philippine ancestry comes from further up north (Pangasinan and Laguna), but I have always found the southern region of the country to be more resistant to colonialist mentality, i.e. the farther away/isolated from metro Manila, the farther away from colonized thinking. I started researching the plant a few weeks ago and sent Jahziel my crazy ideas. The rest was HERstory. HERartistry.
Stay tuned. This illustration is about to be used on (and inspire) A LOT of M2M Gifts materials. Go ahead and share but be sure to credit "Waling-waling" by jahzz.art on Instagram.