How are Flower Gardens Doing During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Lory Joyce Andagan | May 08, 2020
The month of May is when flowers bloom the most. Since it is associated with Flores de Mayo, kids appreciate the beauty of flowers during this month as they offer these to the blessed Virgin Mary. It is also during this period that dozens of flower farms across the country welcome tourists who visit their carefully cultivated landscapes for a sightseeing escape. However, since the COVID-19 pandemic necessitated an extended enhanced community quarantine for the whole country, these beautiful spots remain empty, devoid of the usual visitors who flock to enjoy their picturesque sceneries, impacting these businesses negatively.
In Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo, a flower farm just along the national highway attracts commuters and everyone passing the area with its picturesque and Instagram- worthy features inspired by Taiwan’s Zhongshe Flower Garden. The Kalan–an sa Garden started a few years ago featuring sunflowers as their main attraction. Apart from the many varieties of flowers seen on the farm grounds, they also have a variety of other attractions that visitors can delight in, especially the photo booths and other props made available for guests who wish to take Instagrammable photos of themselves.
The onset of the global pandemi hit the farm badly. “Gina – timing man namon ang amon pagtanum [sang bulak] para mag fully- bloom sila mag summer. Makita ang manami nga landscape designs sang amon farm during summer kung sa diin madamo ang naga- lagaw. (We usually timing the planting of flowers to fully bloom during summer. You can see the beautiful landscape designs of our farm during summer when most people are on a vacation.),” says Elvis John Lonzaga, owner of the farm. It was a big loss to them but he says that they must follow the order for the safety of everyone.
The first batch of their planted flowers started to wither without being appreciated by many. Because of that, they opted to make use of the land by planting vegetables for their consumption and to sell. “Bulig naman lang namon sa amon mga farmers kay wala gid sila income kag pakaon sa ila pamilya .(It will help our farmers since they don’t have an income to feed their families.),” says Lonzaga. They plan on making the farm come alive again after this pandemic end. Their farmers are hopeful that the place will be filled with blooming flowers again which attracts visitors to come to their place.
“May ara na kami target plants kag bulan kung san – o kami ma bukas liwat sa public kag sa amo na nga tion, we will rise again. (We already have target plants and a target month for when will we reopen to the public and by that time, we will rise again),” says Lonzaga.
Friends, when this crisis ends, let’s appreciate the beauty of nature and support our tourist spots by visiting these kinds of places. There is truly more to discover in the Philippines if we choose to!