Farm­ers in Barangay Si­rao, Cebu City, blame the high cost of farm­ing and the un­co­op­er­a­tive weather for fewer flow­ers in this year’s All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day cel­e­bra­tions.

Cebu Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - by Jose Santino S. Bu­na­chita

WHAT used to be wide, criss­cross­ing fields of col­or­ful flow­ers are now re­duced to small patches of pro­duce in the moun­tain barangays of Cebu City.

Un­like in the pre­vi­ous years, the flower farms of Barangay Si­rao are pro­duc­ing less blooms to be used as of­fer­ings in graves for this year’s All Saints’ and Souls’ Days.

Me­lyn Labrado, 42, said among the big­gest rea­sons why a lot of flower farm­ers like them de­cided to de­crease their flower fields or not plant al­to­gether was the ex­penses needed to do so.

She said they would need at least P20,000 to fer­til­ize a 100-me­ter field, and many farm­ers could not af­ford the cost. So in­stead of plant­ing up to 200 me­ters of glad­i­o­lus flow­ers and chrysan­the­mums, Labrado said they only planted 60 me­ters of only three va­ri­eties of glad­i­o­lus flow­ers.

She said they started har­vest­ing their glad­i­o­lus flow­ers, which come in red, pink and white, last Oc­to­ber 26, and would har­vest the rest to­mor­row, Oc­to­ber 31.

Right now, a dozen pieces of these flow­ers cost be­tween P150 to P170. These are bought by mid­dle­men who sell them at a markup at Free­dom Park in down­town Cebu City. Last year, these flow­ers only cost from P80 to P120 per bun­dle.

“Dili lang ako. Hasta akong mga silin­gan ug mga paryente nga akong ma es­to­rya moin­gon nga daghan g’yud wala nananom karon og mga buwak ,” Labrado said.

(It’s not just me. A lot of my neigh­bors and my rel­a­tives whom I talk to said that there are a lot of flower farm­ers who didn’t plant this year.)

Labrado noted that even if they earned more dur­ing the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day cel­e­bra­tions, their earn­ings would dra­mat­i­cally drop af­ter Novem­ber 1.

Af­ter this pe­riod, the price of a dozen glad­i­o­lus flow­ers could go as low as P40 to P50. And these have to be per­son­ally brought by them to Free­dom Park, she said.

Flower ven­dor Larry Pureza, 48, af­firmed they would only make an ef­fort to buy flow­ers in bulk from Barangay Si­rao dur­ing this sea­son.

CDN chanced upon him help­ing har­vest some yel­low Tai­wan chrysan­the­mums in the flower fields of the rel­a­tives of his wife in Si­tio Tawa­gan 2, Barangay Si­rao on Sun­day.

They were only har­vest­ing in a small patch yes­ter­day. Last year, this same area had long fields of col­or­ful flow­ers.

“Mail­han g’yud nimo nga ga­may ra karon. Kay sauna, daghan kaayo ni diri (You can re­ally see that there are lesser flow­ers now. Be­fore, this area was filled with a lots of flow­ers),” he said.

He bought the chrysan­the­mums at P40 per dozen and had to load it in a mo­tor­cy­cle from the farm to the open area of the si­tio where a mul­ti­cab was wait­ing to de­liver it to Free­dom Park.

He also af­firmed that flower farm­ing cost was just too high and farm­ers could no longer af­ford to plant as much as they wanted. It also did not help that in­ces­sant rains killed a lot of their flower seedlings, he added.

How­ever, sev­eral flower stalls along the road in Barangays Busay, Malubog and Si­rao could still be spot­ted when CDN passed by these ar­eas on Sun­day.

CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO

CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO

A farmer of Barangay Si­rao har­vests blooms to be sold in time for the All Souls’ Day and All Saints’ Day cel­e­bra­tions.

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