History and Culture
Missing Flores de Mayo? Here are 10 Beautiful Buds Blooming in the PH!
Gari Sy Rivera | May 18, 2020
Waling-waling (Vanda Sanderiana)
Santan (Jungle Flame)
Sampaguita (Philippine Jasmine)
Pukingan (Blue Ternate)
Anually celebrated in May, Flores de Mayo (Flowers of May) is month-long flower festival honoring the Virgin Mary. Though a lot at home may miss out on its usual festivities, that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce or learn more about the beautiful buds that bloom in the country!
Also known as Hibiscus, Gumamela is a tropical flower with blooms of mostly white, red, pink or yellow hues. It has many known uses, such as for tea, shampoos, even bubbles that every Filipino child find joy in making through the flower’s properties when crushed. Truly, it’s one of the most refreshing flowers to love.
Bogambilya flowers grow out of thorny vines, bushes, and trees and are one of the most favorite ornamental flowers in the Philippines. It varies in color, even having tiny little stems of flowers at the center of its larger petals surrounding them. Bogambilyas, also called Bougainvillea plants, are also used for its medicinal properties.
Also known as Vanda Sanderiana and Sander’s Vanda, Waling-waling are flowers honored as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids.” These pink and white blooms are worshiped as diwatas (fairies) and deity by the indigenous Bagobo tribe in Mindanao. Though Waling-waling orchids were motioned and halted to be the country’s national flower alongside Sampaguita for a period of time, Filipinos continue to recognize the beauty of this flower, such as Catriona Gray, strutting in the Waling-waling inspired gown by designer Mak Tumang at the Binibining Pilipinas 2019 coronation night.
Chrysanthemum flowers are one of the most abundant flower crops in the Philippines, traded in domestic and international markets. Sensitive to weather, they are mostly grown in lower temperature areas in the country, such as Baguio and Benguet, where bountiful, beautiful blooming buds of the Philippines can be found. Though it thrives in cold climates, its colors bloom in the warmest tones such as red, orange, pink, yellow, and sometimes violet.
Santan, or Jungle Flame flowers, are those bushes of red tiny flowers in various areas, even in our own gardens at home. Many have fond memories of these natively Pinoy flowers, such as plucking the thin strip from their stems and sipping its sweet nectar, and making bracelets and necklaces as you connect the ends and center of each bud together.
Philippine Jasmine, the beloved Sampaguita is known as the national flower of the country, representing love, devotion, purity, and divine hope. Its name is derived from two Filipino words, sumpa and kita, meaning I promise you in English when used together. Its classic, pure and simple likeness along with its sweet fragrance makes it one of a kind. It is also one of the most common flowers used for ornamental purposes, offerings, and adornment.
Rosal flowers, also known as Gardenias, are smooth and silky shrubs that are mostly large and profusely fragrant. These shrubs grow in tropical and subtropical regions, easily propagated through cuttings. The flowers are very pretty and its double-flowered variety can only be found in the Philippines.
Mirasols (Sunflowers) might just be the most energy and aura uplifting flowers there are. Introduced to the Philippines during Spanish colonization, it’s abundant and found in many farms in the country today. Commonly purposed for its seeds and its warm aesthetic, they are said to follow the movement of the sun, growing and facing its direction towards where the source of its light is.
Introduced by Hawaii into the country, Lantana flowers, Kantutay in the Philippines today grows in dense areas of trees and shrubs and is pantropic. These sun-dry buds are mostly tiny grouped flowers of pink, orange, yellow, white, lilac and are abundant throughout the year.
Commonly referred to as Blue Ternate flowers in Mindanao, Pukingan and its names were derived from its likeness to the female external genitalia. Known for its distinct blue blooms, these flowers are found throughout the Philippines, in thickets and low to medium altitude areas, and are distributed to tropical regions.