Honoring corals

EVERY year, Pantone, a color matching system, announces the “color of the year.” Recently, it unveiled the 2019 color of the year. Welcome, Living Coral.

Pantone LLC, which holds office in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA, described Living Coral as “animated, life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a soft edge.”

“Soft edge, what?” I asked my fashionista niece Krystalle.

“Simply said, it’s a saturated peach color. It can range from hot pinkish orange, to orange red, apricot and salmon.”

“I think I get it. It’s the range of fiery colors you see in sunrise and sunset,” I said.

Uncle Gustave sat down with us with his cup of ginger brew. “I have a question for Pannon: Are corals plants?”

“They’re plants because they have branches,” my young nephew said.

“They have no backbone but not at all lazy. Their skeleton covers their whole body. Interesting plants,” my neighbor, Illustracio, noted as he sat down to partake of our breakfast.

My uncle laughed. “According to my combined knowledge based on and, they’re invertebrate or sessile animals. It means these creatures attach themselves to the sea bed.”

“But they look like trees,” Pannon insisted.

“That’s true. But they are really animals. Unlike plants, animals don’t produce their own food. Corals get nourishment from their tentacle-like arms to catch food.”

“Lolo, corals have many colors such as green, red, pink and even white,” Pannon said.

“Not white. That color is the effect of rising warm temperatures in the ocean. It’s called bleaching for obvious reason.”

Ellen, my other niece, said, “I like Living Coral color. I thank Pantone for honoring corals.”

My Aunt Tita Blitte winked at me. “I’m sure Ober will come up with a coral-based menu.”

She was right. I want to honor corals with my own coral color wheel. I must note that real coral is blood-red to deep red orange in color. Based on research, here is my list.

Salmon, pink tuna, beets, cherries, carrots, papayas, watermelon, ripe and semi-ripe tomatoes, pink pomelo or grapefruit, red onions, strawberries, red chili peppers and fresh peach.

Peetong, my cousin Dona’s husband said, “According to, climate change, over-fishing and careless tourism pose threat to coral reefs.” Uncle Gustave looked sad.

“So bleaching is the death knell for corals. You know, it has become a trend to wear white during funerals. It’s better to wear living coral while we have time.”


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