July 21, 2009
Most people in Miri and Brunei have heard of Panaga Club (Shell) which is the social and cultural centre for Shell Senior Employees. The International school there is also called Panaga International School.
Brunei Darulsalam our neighouring country has five beautiful golf courses and one of them is named Panaga Golf Club.
So for sometime I have been wondering if these names come from the humble tree called Panaga Laut also known as Alexandra Laurel or Sea Laurel. Very recently Penang government planted more than 200 of this tree to help bring about a greener Georgetown which was once known as Tanjung Penaga!!
Panaga is the name of a very humble coastal tree which does not necessarily grow very tall. Growing too near the sea the tree may even be washed away by storm waves before it is fully grown. If growing a little inland it may grow to its fullest height of more than 20 feet.
It has a lovely white flower and a fairly big seed. Its leaves are shiny and often sparkles in the midday sun.
My photos were taken in Bungai Beach near Miri where lots of Panaga can be found. You get get a few little saplings and grow them at home if you like. The friendly Kedayans there will tell you which plants are Panaga if you care to ask.
So if you wish to have a closer look at Panaga trees and flowers go for a half day trip to Bungai Beach (Bekenu) or have a slow drive from Kuala Belait to Bandar Brunei.