Orchid hybrid named after Philippine leader Ferdinand Marcos Jr and wife

SINGAPORE – Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr and his wife, Mrs Louise Araneta-Marcos, had a new orchid hybrid named in their honour on Wednesday.

Named Dendrobium Ferdinand Louise Marcos, the robust and free-flowering orchid hybrid produces flower sprays of about 50cm to 70cm in length.

Its flowers have sepals – modified leaves that protect the flower as a bud – adorned with lavender striations against a white background, and petals of white flushed with bluish mauve, with a violet lip, said National Parks Board (NParks).

It was unveiled at a ceremony at the Botanic Gardens during Mr Marcos’ two-day state visit to Singapore that started on Tuesday.

The Philippine leader and his wife were accompanied by Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and his wife, Mrs Joy Balakrishnan, at the National Orchid Garden, where the ceremony took place.

Singapore traditionally names orchids after visiting foreign dignitaries as a gesture of goodwill and friendship.

This is Mr Marcos’ first trip to Singapore as president since taking office in June. He is expected to call on President Halimah Yacob at the Istana later on Wednesday.

He will also meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and witness the exchange of several agreements to strengthen cooperation in the areas of counter-terrorism and data privacy, among others.

On Tuesday, Mr Marcos had attended an event at the National University of Singapore where he thanked about 2,000 supporters who had turned up for a chance to see him in the flesh.

Mr Marcos arrived in Singapore after he met Indonesian President Joko Widodo earlier this week. They had discussed Asean’s role in the region amid a volatile geopolitical environment, among other things.