Flowers make Freedom Park an oasis in Carbon
Freedom Park is an oasis of fresh blooms and quiet in the frenzy of Carbon public market.
As the flower trading center of the metropolis, it offers a wide array of cut flowers, flower arrangement services and bargain prices.
“The prices are not fixed. You can haggle,” said 61-year old Gloria Cabase of Gloria Cabase Flower Shop across the University of San Jose-Recoletos.
Haggling for the best price is the rule.
For special occasions, Cabase offers her flowers and arrangement services for P1,000 to P1,500.
She sells a bouquet of imported Chinese lanterns for P150.
The bright orange husks that look like lanterns covering the fruit are grown in Central Asia and China and are used in floral decor.
Red anthuriums go for P30 a dozen. The glossy, heart-shape petals come in many colors, but red is the most common.
Daisy-like gerberas sell for P50 a dozen.
Gladiolas with their impressive trumpets in many colors sell for P80-100 per dozen.
Freedom Park vendors also sell imported flowers from Holland and Baguio.
Tulips are one of the most sought-after blooms that sell for P2,000 a bouquet.
Florita Perez, 52, said selling flowers helped her raise five children and send them to school, including two who graduated from college.
Florita, however, said she noticed that sales have seen better days.
“Sa una kusog, pero karon di na kaayo,” she said.
“Barato ra man ni dire kay wholesale ang presyo, kumpara sa bukid didto sa Busay, gasto kay layo.”
(The flowers used to sell very well before, not so much today. It’s cheap here because of wholesale prices compared to flowers in barangay Busay, which cost a lot because of the distance.)
Holy Week is a peak season when flowers are in demand and Catholic faithful drop by to buy blooms.
Consumer economic woes and competition from an increasing number of flower shops, which offer a wide variety of local and imported flowers from local, has, however, become a threat to local vendors in Freedom Park.
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