Supply of Benguet flowers enough for Valentine’s, fest
BAGUIO CITY, Benguet, Philippines — Flowers grown in Benguet province are sufficient for Valentine’s Day and the festival season in the summer capital now that the booming travel industry has helped revive the economy, an official of the Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday.
Cut flower gardeners produced close to 150 million dozens of flowers in 2022, Cameron Odsey, DA Cordillera director, told the Inquirer.
The cut flowers from Benguet are not just sold locally but also shipped to major markets in Metro Manila.
In Baguio, genuine flowers are also required for some of the costumes and parade floats of festivals like Panagbenga, the city’s flower festival, which is again staging its colorful parades this month for the first time since travel restrictions and quarantines were imposed after the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March 2020.
Last year, almost 10 million dozens of various flowers were harvested in November and December alone in time for the Christmas holiday and several notable occasions, including 227,624 dozens of roses, based on a 2022 DA Cordillera production report.
No data was provided for January and February this year, but the February 2022 production was 99,993,833 dozens of flowers for last year’s Valentine’s celebration. The same report said 267,054 dozen were roses.
Odsey said the 2022 production was a 32-percent rebound from the low output at the start of the quarantines.
In 2020, cut flower producers harvested 18.3 million dozens of flowers, which was a drop from the 50 million dozen grown in 2019.
But production rose again to 58 million dozens of flowers by 2021 when some businesses were allowed to reopen, and 148 million last year, or a total of 275.665 million dozens of flowers for the last three years, Odsey said.
The 2022 blossoms were grown in 6,765 hectares of gardens, many of which are greenhouses at Barangay Bahong in Benguet’s capital town of La Trinidad, which is considered the region’s cut flower capital.
Benguet is known for producing gladiola, colored and white calla lilies, shasta daisies, chrysanthemums, anthuriums, statice, baby’s breath, and carnations.
The province also grows asters, alstroemeria, lisianthus, gerbera, agapanthus, snapdragons, and milflores.