Japan Gifted Benguet Sakura Trees. Now They're Blooming

The sakura trees were gifts from Kochi Prefecture and the Japanese embassy.

Haight's Place in Atok, Benguet, has been growing sakura trees that started blooming in 2018.

The trees are gifts from the Kochi Prefecture and Japanese embassy to the province of Benguet given in 2016, the year the two provinces celebrated the 40th anniversary of their ties.

More than a hundred sakura trees were first planted in the area in November 2015 but only few survived because they were planted during the dry season, Japanese botanist Kiyuharu Yamamoto told CNN Philippines. The new set of sakura trees that were gifted to Benguet in 2016, however, were planted during the rainy season.

Atok is the ideal place to grow sakura trees in the Philippines because its temperature is akin to spring in Japan.

The park's caretaker, Edward Haights, said in an interview with ABS-CBN News that sakura is a delicate flower that can only grow in cold weather. Although the trees in Atok are still in their infant stage, the blooming flowers are a good sign that they will thrive in time.


"They sparsely bloom, but that's a good sign that the trees have acclimatized here. Our goal is for the cherry blossom trees to grow bigger," said Haights. 

The cherry blossoms in the Atok usually bloom between March to April, and last for only two weeks.

While everyone is still waiting for the park to fully blossom, you can still enjoy its other picture-worthy areas, like their vast field of pink daisies.

You can travel all the way to Atok by taking a three-hour bus/car ride from Baguio.

This story originally appeared on Pep.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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