Volume 25 No. 1 – Dragon Fruit and Palawan Cherry
Nowadays, natural health and alternative medicines are becoming widespread methods of preventing and treatinq illnesses, due to the escalating prices of the prescription drugs and their undesirable chemical side effects Because of this awareness, more and more people are turning to natural health solutions.

One of the fruits that is becoming popular due to the various nutritional value and health benefits that can be derived from it, is the Pitaya, commonly known as dragon fruit. It is also fondly called as “Moonflower” or “Queen of the night” because it blooms only at nighttime as it exudes rich fragrance. Dragon fruit is among the most nutritious and wonderful exotic fruit. In some countries and cultures, it is called a “gift of the nature”, because of its dazzling flowers, intense shape and color, sweet tasting pulp, delicate aroma and most of all, its enormous nutritional value. Owing to its numerous superb qualities, this fruit has also excellent money making possibilities.

The information contained herein can provide valuable guide in the propagation and utilization of this fruit tree. It is also a potential crop for agroforestry which is a component of the reforestation program of the government.

This issue of RISE also features Palawan cherry, a tree which is widespread not only in Palawan but almost all over the Philippines. It is often planted in parks and gardens and also at the edge of the forests. The tree is probably the nearest among local species that has a resemblance to cherry blossoms of Japan. It is fondly called “Balayong” in Palawan. Local folks celebrate a festival named after its season of bloom.