Bulacan town earns P30M from garden industry | Inquirer News

Bulacan town earns P30M from garden industry

By: - Correspondent / @inquirerdotnet
/ 04:35 AM January 22, 2024

GREEN THUMB Contestants in the five-minute, on-the-spot dish garden design competition show off their skills at the 26th Halamanan Festival held on Jan. 18 in Guiguinto, Bulacan. —CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE

GREEN THUMB | Contestants in the five-minute, on-the-spot dish garden design competition show off their skills at the 26th Halamanan Festival held on Jan. 18, 2024, in Guiguinto, Bulacan. (Photo CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE / Inquirer Central Luzon)

GUIGUINTO, Bulacan, Philippines — This “garden capital of the Philippines” continues to flourish and blossom as its primary industry generated P30 million for the local government in the last 15 years, the municipal agriculturist said.

On Thursday, the local government opened its 26th annual Halamanan (garden) Festival with various programs and competitions, to run from Jan. 18 to Jan. 21, in support of the town’s main economic earner. About 300 garden shops, nursery owners and propagators, including landscape artists, have been providing earnings to about 3,000 industry workers and residents, giving P20 to P30 million worth of taxes and revenues annually to the municipal government for the past 15 years, according to Municipal agriculture officer Roel dela Cruz.


Dela Cruz said the Halamanan Festival tradition continues to develop and harness the plant and garden innovation of the members of the industry through artistic design competition for ornamental plants, bougainvillea, cactus and succulent growers; the five-minute, on-the-spot dish garden design; landscape design; and topiary and figure plant categories.


Guiguinto has been the ornamental center of Bulacan since the 1960s when garden stalls and nurseries sprouted all over in Barangay Sta. Cruz, Violeta Village, Rosaryville and along the Cloverleaf and at the approach of the North Luzon Expressway in Tabang.

Since then, the industry grew to supply the plant needs of gardens in the rest of the country and evolved into the Halamanan Festival started in 1998 by then mayor and now Bulacan fifth district Rep. Ambrosio Cruz Jr.

Halamanan won the best festival award in 2022 and 2023 during the Singkaban Festival, a cultural festivity held in Bulacan every September. It was also recognized last year by the Aliwan Festival, Metro Manila’s festival of festivals, as among the leading local cultural events in the country.

This year, all of the town’s 14 villages took part in the festival, that will also include an “Indakan sa Kalye” street dance event, participated by students dressed in garden and plant design costumes dancing around floats and “carrozas” (carriages) with similar garden designs.

Hybrid plants

Mayor Agatha Cruz, in a separate interview, said that this year, they invited plant and breeding industry experts to help the industry grow further through more hybrid experimentation.

“We invited experts from UP (University of the Philippines) Los Baños, landscape artists, architects, urban planners, from the agriculture business, entrepreneurs because we could learn from them being in the same plant culture,” Cruz said at the sidelines of the opening of the Halamanan Festival.


Cruz earlier led the inauguration of the iLab Guiguinto garden tissue culture laboratory provided by the Department of Science and Technology during the term of former Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, who hails from adjacent Bulakan town.

“With our laboratory and the help of our experts, our local plant experts can further make experimentation in creating more hybrid plants,” Cruz added.

Henry Alcantara, head of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Bulacan First Engineering District, said the laboratory structure will be completed this year after it was halted because of the pandemic.

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The municipal government will also construct a garden tourism and souvenir shop, to include food and coffee hubs, that is hoped to become one of the tourist attractions in the town, Cruz said.

TAGS: Bulacan garden industry

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