Sampaguita blooms


May your days be as glittery as a diamond, may your friends be as good as gold, may your heart stay as green as an emerald, and may your soul remain as pure as a pearl.


“What else can we do?” has over the past few months been the mantra of seniors. aside from moaning about the body pains and tending plants, cooking, and baking. 

Well, be creative, start a business, finish all the HBO, Netflix, and what-have-you titles! But not for some creative people. 

Havenshelfcom is a website ace photo-journalist Mandy Navasero, her son, book designer Kertesz Navasero, and editor Clenia Dimanche created to occupy their time during lockdowns and social distancing. They now offer services to convert books into e-books and they host launches in their website for marketing them.

Remy Boquiren with her painting The Sampaguita Vendors (Mandy Navasero)

Sampaguita, Beloved Flower of My Race is our second e-book and everything you want to know about the sampaguita is in this pretty book,” says Mandy. 

The book is edited by Manila Bulletin’s Jullie Yap Daza. It is alluring, beautifully illustrated by famous Sampaguita Filioiba painter Remy Boquiren. It contains 78 pages of information—mythical, legendary, factual.  Dulce Festin Baybay did all the research. She herself is an author. Photography by Mandy Navasero and other photo enthusiasts. Having gathered enough information in 2011, they started putting everything together. Now, they have finally come up with a pretty book designed by Lynett Villariba, foreword by Charo Santos. Mandy and the group are so happy they can finally share with the public these 78pages of our national flower.

The tiny white, star-shaped sampaguita with the heavenly scent was formally proclaimed national flower of the Philippines by the American Governor Murphy in 1937. Since then, the flower has become a lasting symbol of the Filipino people as well as their aspirations. The purity and simplicity of the bud and blossom stand for virtue, strength, and dedication, inspiring musicians, painters, writers, and filmmakers to elevate sampaguita to the level of romance, myth, and icon-hood.  

Visit, where you may download any of the three e-book products to help ease you through in this pandemic. “Thanks for the support of Joy Mendoza, Margie Juico, Lilia de Lima, Marivic Vasquez, and Tak Lam and family, who made it possible for us to produce this book,” says Mandy. The group is also looking for a publisher.