Discover a bamboo eco-sanctuary in Antipolo

Soaring green poles of the bamboo bent with the breeze, squeaking as they bumped into each other while the leaves swished. The sun rays seeped through the thick cluster of plants, casting slits of light on the plants, and lattice patterns of shadows on the ground.

That memory lingered with Carolina “Kay” Gozon Jimenez that when she and her siblings inherited land from their mother, she decided to put up a bamboo garden.

Landscape consultant Mody Manglicmot recommended to situate her share of five hectares near a creek so that it would irrigate the land and save on watering the plants.

In 2000, Jimenez, then 62, established her namesake Carolina Bamboo Garden, an eco-sanctuary, resource for seedlings and, recently, a learning center for farmers on the cultivation of bamboo.

The focal point, the Bambusetum, is like a maze of 48 varieties of bamboo.

“There is no other place in the national capital region that has the Bambusetum. You can appreciate the mature bamboos and its different products,” Jimenez explains.

“It’s not manicured like a formal garden. The landscape is free-flowing. Along the pathways, there are different bamboos with their scientific names, origins and uses. Bamboos mitigate the heat. The garden is still cool even at noontime.”

An orchard and a mini forest of other plants and trees help to moderate the carbon footprint on the environment by sustaining biodiversity and applying organic methods.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources named CBG as one of the 100 companies that has adapted to climate change.

Garden Carolina Bamboo Garden as one of the 100 companies that adapted to climate change. | Photographs courtesy of Carolina Bamboo

“It’s hard to get water in Antipolo yet we don’t buy. We built four ponds on the rolling terrain which can collect the water and nurture the plants,” she says. “These ponds clean the runoffs, take the soil and return them to the fields.”

Jimenez adds that CBG raises 20,000 seedlings a year and uses vermiculture which improves soil health, both of which are important to addressing climate change.

“The biodiversity is thriving when you see many birds, butterflies, and insects. The place is refreshing. As they say, you can grow your own house,” says Jimenez, referring to bamboo varieties that are used for construction.

She asked architect Angel Lazaro Jr. to design a house she has never been seen before. He then built a two-bedroom bamboo edifice with a roof shaped like Pringle chips or hyperbolic paraboloids. The cantilevered staircase is a series of bamboo treads embedded on the wall, not on the floor, that give the impression of floating.

Visitors can also have a picnic under the bamboo gazebo and pergola or at the butterfly garden.

Through the years, the place has attracted creatives. Jimenez recalls that 20 years ago, a Swedish wrote if he could perform an experiment on the longevity of bamboo when buried underground. After six months, the plant was still fresh. “I can’t say if the bamboo will not rot if it’s buried for many years,” she says.

The pioneer bamboo maker Ronald Hector Villanueva requested bamboos for his graduate thesis on Kawayan Tech Bamboo Bikes business plan in 2009. In exchange for the bamboos, he donated his invention — a bamboo bike for a child and for an adult — to the CBG.

The place also became the resource for architect Christian Salandan who designed the Miguel L Romero Polo Pavilion in Calatagan, Batangas which was one of the venues of the 2019 SEA Games.

Students come to read books and look at bamboo homeware and other products. Recently, the Philippine Textile Research Institute has been working on bamboo materials for fabrics.
“We are helping the country,” says Jimenez.

Before CBG, she knew that bamboo provided the basic necessities — housing, food, and clothing. “The more I got to know its uses, the more I fell in love with the bamboo,” she says.

“Bamboo roots are deep. They are planted in mountains to control the landslide Bamboos emit more oxygen and capture more carbon dioxide than ordinary trees.”

Thorny bamboos have been used as natural fences while the activated charcoal from bamboo is used for deodorants and other grooming products. The shoots can be used for achara. One supplier produces bamboo tea.

Jimenez invites people to chill by forest bathing at the Carolina Bamboo Garden. “Immerse yourself in nature. It’s away from the hustle and bustle of life. The place is so serene. When you come with a scowl, you leave with a smile.”
(For details, contact 8847-0522 to 25, 0917 869 9562, 0922 824 8052 or

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