Stalking the most beautiful places in the Philippines

Welcome, welcome 'o weary traveler... from where do you cometh? Are you seeking new lands to conquer, perhaps planning a visit to the Philippines? Or are you simply feeling home-sick and hungry for photographs of home? Whatever, feel free to look or share. An adventure awaits.

I try to post new images weekly from my travels across this beautiful land. If you like what you see, please leave a comment or two. Or write me a note, I'd love to hear from where you cometh. Enjoy. Bobby ( Join this group to receive new postcards weekly or become a fan of my Facebook page.

Monday, October 12, 2009

#36 A Pretty Poison

On Digisit beach in Aurora, shortly after sunrise, the color has all but disappeared from the sky. But with the sun's warm sweet rays side-lighting everything else around us, that's where we decided to point our cameras.

That's when I noticed this beautiful flower on the ground, having fallen from the tree above. The locals called them Butun (our Ivatan safari leader called it Vutun.) Thanks to Google, the scientific name is Butonica rumphina, or more commonly known as the poison tree.

Poison what? Yup, poison tree. The locals grind and mix the leaves and flowers to form a liquid that they use to temporarily stun river fish. Organic cyanide fishing of sorts, I guess.

Pretty yet poisonous, just like many other ironies in life. Enjoy.

(photograph has been cropped slightly to improve composition.)


  1. What a beautiful and unusual photo. I love it.

  2. A note from our resident mangrove expert... (special thanks Jurgenne P., good luck with your upcoming book.)

    "The correct scientific name of the Pretty Poison is Barringtonia asiatica, local names are bulubitoon (Hiligaynon) or simply bito-on (Hil., Cebuano) -- sounds close enough to "butun" of the Ivatans. B. asiatica is a dominant species of beach (or coastal) forests in the Philippines and other SE Asian countries. Its huge fruits, flowers and leaves have many medicinal and other traditional uses, aside from stunning fish. A favorite of local folk for its beautiful crown (with large, shiny leaves) and refreshing shade, it is planted in gardens and along roads. Bitoon takes pride of place as the centerpiece of the La Salle University campus along Taft Ave. in Manila."

  3. I have seen this flower on our neighbor, nice photo


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