Did you know? Waling-waling is so enchanting that people thought it was a diwata.
After mapping the 13 species of rafflesia flower and designing lipstick tubes for MAC Cosmetics, Filipino graphic artist and illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz spotlights the beauty of the Waling-waling flower through her latest limited-edition collection.
Released on Sept. 25, 2021, Raxenne presents her newest line of wearables featuring her Waling-waling artworks. The capsule collection, in partnership with fashion designer Esme Palaganas and retail store Basic Movement, offers hand-painted pieces decked with the tri-colored flower known as the Queen of all Orchids, even Queen of Philippine Flowers. Through an Instagram post, the artist shares that the project took almost a year before it fully bloomed.
“The mythology surrounding Waling-waling makes it one of my favorite flowers to draw. The story goes that the Bagobo tribe found the flower so beautiful, they thought it was a diwata (fairy). This is an ode to the beauty of this Philippine endemic,” she says. “The Waling-waling’s vivid, almost painted beauty stands out in the mountain forests of Mindanao where it was discovered. So tempting are the rare orchid’s looks that it has been crossed with other species in its genus.”
Expect to see hand-painted gold-plated enamel accessories. A variety of cotton tops with different hand-drawn designs also plays with the floral motif, one of which has an added element of Papilio chikae, a butterfly commonly called the Luzon Peacock Swallowtail. Her Waling-waling illustrations are also featured on a satin scarf and genderless polo—all are truly enchanting.
To recognize its beauty and role in Filipino culture, a motion was filed in 2004 to declare Waling-waling as the national flower of the country alongside the Sampaguita, which was vetoed in 2013. According to a story by GMA News in 2014, the flower faced a great threat when it comes to survival due to the rise of demand and other natural phenomena such as typhoons and erosion.
To help the propagation of the endemic Filipino flora, a portion of the collection’s sales will go to the Philippine Native Plants Conservation Society Inc., a non-profit for the protection of indigenous plants and their habitats.
See more of Raxenne’s Waling-waling capsule collection at basicmovement.ph/shop.