Are you still sad about the permanent closing of the sunflower maze in Pangasinan? Don’t fret! There are other local destinations where you can get your floral fix. Here are seven you should consider visiting.
Panagbenga Flower Festival, BaguioIt’s our own version of the Rose Parade, except that we showcase the Filipino culture and pay tribute to flowers that bloom around the Cordillera region. The Panagbenga, which means “season of blooming,” is celebrated for the entire month of February every year in Baguio. There are different activities every day, but what draws the biggest crowd is the grand parade, where you’ll see colorful floral floats, street dancing, fireworks, and other cultural performances.
Tips: Vehicle and foot traffic can get crazy—even worse than Baguio on Christmas and New Year! Book your accommodations early, ask the locals for the best spots to get a decent view of the parade, and get updates on Baguio’s rerouting and traffic schemes during that month.
Sirao Garden, CebuDubbed as the Little Amsterdam or Mini Holland of Cebu, Sirao Garden (or Celosia Flower Farm) is an 8,000-square-meter piece of uphill land. You’ll see different types of flowers there, but the star is the celosia, also known as wool flowers or cockscombs, which fully bloom in October. There are also bicycles, a windmill, fountains, and picket fences to resemble the fields of Amsterdam. Entrance fee is P30 per person, plus a separate P25 entrance fee for the Sirao pictorial garden and camping site.
Tips: February is a busy month for Sirao Garden because of their Valentine’s Day gimmicks, like a proposal corner and heart-themed photo area. If you want to catch the celosias in full bloom, October is the best time to go.
The Flower Farm, TagaytayMost of the flowers you see in Dangwa and other floral shops in Manila come from this 7.2-hectare flower nursery in Tagaytay. When you arrange a visit to Flower Farm Corporation in Tagaytay, they’ll give you a grand tour of their nursery to see how they grow, maintain, and harvest their flowers. They also have two flower shops in Manila where you can purchase arrangements. The Tagaytay farm is open from Mondays to Saturdays at 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tour fee is P180 per head, minimum of 10 people per group.
Tips: No walk-ins allowed. Call their offices first to set up a reservation.
Marian Orchard, BatangasThis Catholic church is built within a five-hectare park located in Leviste Highway, Balete, Batangas. The Marian Orchard is filled with lush flowers, plants, and trees. Visitors may explore the park’s prayer garden, sacred heart tower, fountain area, garden of saints, shrines, and other smaller chapels. When you climb to the top of the tower, you’ll see a picturesque view of Taal Volcano, Taal Lake, and its neighboring towns. Entrance fee is P25 for Lipa or Balete residents and P50 for outsiders. Parking fee is P20.
Tips: If you’re looking for peace and serenity, avoid coming here during religious holidays, like Christmas, New Year, and Holy Week. It’s okay to selfie all you want and take a zillion photographs, as long as it’s not inside the chapels during mass.
Bahong Flower Farm, BenguetDon’t be turned off by the name. Also known as Bahong Rose Garden, the Bahong Flower Farm is found in La Trinidad, Benguet. It’s one of the biggest suppliers of flowers in Manila and Baguio. Because of the growing interest in their flower farms, the Barangay Bahong Tourism Office now requires an environmental fee of P20 per head (P50 for foreigners) and a tour guide fee of P200 (for locals, maximum of 10 people) or P300 (for foreigners, maximum of 10 people).
Tips: The place isn’t a fully developed tourism spot yet, so be patient when commuting there. They also don’t have a proper website or Facebook page yet.
RAVE Flower Park, PasigPasig City’s RAVE (Rainforest Adventure Experience) is a public park with a mini zoo, camping area, picnic grove, fitness center, waterpark pools, and other family-friendly facilities. One of their newest attractions is a flower park, where you can Instagram to your heart’s content. They even have seasonal blooms such as sunflowers and Vietnam roses. There’s an entrance fee per facility. For the flower park, it’s only P10 per person. Check out the neighboring botanical garden while you’re there.
Tips: Subscribe to their Facebook page or call before going to make sure there aren’t any field trips or private functions that day.
Blooming Petals Agri-Tourism Park, South CotabatoSouth Cotabato’s first agri-tourism park opened in Tupi just this 2017. The highlight of the place is the sunflower farm, but there are other Instagram-worthy blooms such as chrysanthemums, anthuriums, and roses, as well as vegetable patches where you can pick and pay for your own veggies to bring home. Entrance fee is P30 for adults, and P20 for children. Open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tips: Sunflowers are seasonal, so if you’d like to see them in full bloom, book a trip in May, September, and December. Better yet, subscribe to Blooming Petals on Facebook for updates on their harvests.