All my life, I have known this water plant as “Water Lily” because that’s what we usually called them and even if you would not believe, I will always tell my friends and write on every slam book I that water lily is my favorite flower. I always wanted to be unique and different from those girls who love rose or orchids. I always believe that water lily has a unique beauty. It may be soaked in the dirtiest part of our river but it always stand proud and graceful and that’s what I always wanted to achieve, a grace even in the deepest time of my life.
But then, water lily is actually called Water Hyacint, an aquatic plant that was a native of South America. It grows so fast that sometime it causes massive problems and eventually clogged our rivers. But this beauty has many uses, just recently a study was being made to use it as a bio-fuel to solve the problem of the Rio Grande de Mindanao River flooding up because of the large buildup of Water Hyacinth. (manila bulletin)
It has a nitrogen content that can be used as a substrate for biogas production and the sludge obtained from the biogas and was also observed to enhance nitrification in waste water treatment cells of living technology. (wiki)
And the most wonderful part of this plant is the idea of taking it’s stems and let it dry to take the fibers and made them into a string. These strings were made into a beautiful products like bags, wallets, ornaments, frames and even slippers and shoes. I first heard of this project in Las Pinas City and they even held a festival and parade their beauties wearing woven water hyacinth.
Here in Bicol, Water Lily or Water Hyacinth was no longer a nuisance of the Naga River because of the city’s aim to remove them and the water lilies that was harvested was used by small entrepreneur who ventured to make beautiful products out of this plant.
and this beautiful bags and boxes
A real beauty isn’t it? The flower is truly a beauty and it is more beautiful when it was made into native products that can be bought for a very minimal amount, affordable on your budget and a great help to small entrepreneur and local moms.