The rise of Davao's new Ikebana artists

I love anything Japanese. I appreciate the culture’s discipline, the achievement of the beautiful with minimal elements. It’s something I struggle with.


Marie Tionko's Ikebana

Elegance in simplicity. This arrangement by senior member Marie Tionko.


If there’s one show that I look forward to it’s the annual exhibition of the Davao chapter of the Ikebana society. Surprisingly, this year’s show turned out a bit more exciting. The presence of the “blooming” artists made it so.

It’s undeniable that the long time members of the society have the touch, the proficiency for the Japanese art of flower arranging. However, the need to infuse a new breed of artists into their club to continue the legacy that took root in Davao almost fifty years ago is necessary.


Esther de Jesus' Ikebana

Cascading beauty. An arrangement by past president Esther de Jesus


Jing Puentespina, who has been a member of the club for ten years serves her first term as president. She’s planning to a fruitful year ahead with lots of workshops for the members.

There is a process to becoming a member. One has to be invited to the club, she said. There’s a selection committee, which is passed to the board for deliberation.

Ikenobo (the origin of Ikebana) and Sogetsu (freestyle) workshops for the members are scheduled. “It’s done to train the ‘young blood’ so they gain the confidence on their participation in the annual exhibition.”


Diana Lozano's Ikebana

Lotus scape. Another personal favorite by Diana Lozano. Inducted in December 2015, this is her first exhibit.


The exhibit though only happens once a year. But under Puentespina’s two-year term, it’s one of her projects to share and educate the public of what the Ikebana is about. She’s proposing s tie-up with the mall for a monthly display of the members’ creations in a nook or booth, like a small exhibit.

Through these exposures, it may spark the interest of many, and in turn, welcome new members to the club.

As much as they like to hold free public workshops to entice more members, it’s not easy to organize as only certified Ikebana teachers are allowed to conduct it.


Young members of the Ikebana Davao chapter

Newly elected president of Ikebana Davoa Chapter, Jing Puentespina (in blue) with three of the club’s newer members. This is the 3rd exhibition for Carine Bacani, Vanessa Ong & Jen Lim.


New to Ikebana Davao chapter-Carolina Reyes, Clarice Lu & Ana Santos

New recruits- Carolina Reyes, Clarice Lu & Ana Santos. First exhibition for these three ladies.


“We have 36 active members now and 40 to 50 active members is a good number. It’s manageable,” she said.

Another plan of Puentespina, who is in the flower business, is to take the members to a field trip to familiarize them with the different foliage available locally.

“My dream for the club is to grow and have new members from the younger generation, and for the people of Davao to appreciate Ikebana, the Japanese way of arranging flowers.”


Vanessa Ong & her Ikebana

Vanesso Ong by her arrangement. This is her 3rd time to join the exhibition


Jennifer Lim & her Ikebana

Jennifer Lim & her exhibited masterpiece. This is her third exhibition.


Lea Imperial's Ikebana

Third exhibition for Lea Imperial as well.


It looks like the club is on the right track. The young new members have proven themselves to be worthy members of the organization when they presented their arrangements in the recent exhibition.

They have the taste. They have the touch. And their aesthetics, even as younglings in the league, can make their seniors proud.

I am looking forward to more floral opuses of the new blood and to see more of their kind to join the Ikebana soon.


Benjie Yu's Ikebana

Beautiful arrangement by Benjie Yu. Her first exhibition piece.


Clarice Lu's Ikebana

First timer in the exhibition. Clarice Lu showing promise. (artist’s photo)


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Also published in SunStar Davao newspaper.