Saturday, June 30, 2007

Note: Ethnobotanical Garden at Butuan Museum

I posted a picture of a biasong tree at the Museum garden a couple of days ago. It occurs to me that the museum's arboretum is in severe need. I should write about this in depth, but don't have time. I saw biasong in the markets yesterday, among only three citrus---calamansi, biasong, and a large pumelo.

Informative signs at the museum's garden describe the historical interest and cultural interest of the trees; however these signs have deteriorated to the point of being unreadable. At least two notable trees have died.

Here is a fantastic idea, just begging for someone to jump in with fuel (energy and money) and go with it. One of the biggest problems facing this excellent museum is money. The employees are grossly underpaid. This is a 3rd world facility. Technicians or maintainance/custodial staff were observed at lunch time in 2004 shooting fish in the fish pond with air rifles equipped with clever spears, barbed at the tip, with a retrieval line attached. Because that's how they can eat.

So it's deplorable that the museum garden would degenerate to that point; but understandable. Who would support this kind of a facility? It needs energetic young scholars of ethnology, botany, and horticulture, and to these, what an opportunity!

What can we do even to begin to document these issues in an 8 day period? We have checked out and are mobile.

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