Flowers of Hope

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Saturday, May 3, 2014

WALKING through endless flower beds exploding with the vibrant colors of white and yellow chrysanthemums, pink and purple gerberas, patches of red, pink, yellow roses, gladioli, baby’s breath, and then stumbling into a gushing brook could indeed be food for the soul.

Gazing beyond the sloping green hills to the heavens above, which turn to pale gold with hues of red when the sun sets, makes one realize that in the sanctuary of these mountains could be found the “natural altar.” That for every shape, sound, and color that make up this bucolic place is the Creator’s real shrine.

Sharing this magnificent natural beauty of the valleys of Mt. Babag, Cebu City’s highest and longest mountain ranges, are the small communities of flower farm growers. One of the farms that will draw a visitor’s attention is the Mystical Rose Flower Farm and Gardens situated in the boundary of the brangays of Bonbon and Babag. The moment a visitor enters the gate, only one thing comes to mind: This place is something carved out of a fairy tale book.


The Mystical Rose as well as all the other flower farms in Busay, Bonbon, and Babag supply most of the cut flowers being sold in Carbon Market, flower shops and florists, and all the flower vendors in Cebu. Owned and managed by a mother and daughter tandem, Araceli and Angel Llanos, the Mystical Rose Gardens grows a variety of flowers including orchids all throughout the year, but it specializes in local species of roses mostly the “Black Rose.”

“The flower farm is a dream come true and an expression of our family’s passion for flowers. The farm is a real blessing from God, that’s why we named it Mystical Rose in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” Angel Llanos explained.

“We are constantly inspired by all the magnificence and beauty we have seen in our travels around the world and we feel that growing beautiful flowers is one way we can share to the people. Also, we see our farm as a wonderful place where people and nature work together to nurture and sustain one another by the grace of God through the Virgin Mary.”

The flower farm not only has given two families a means of living, it is supplying clean water to all its neighbors. In the farm is a natural spring with non-stop flowing water. “So, you can see that if we take care of God’s creation, God will really take care of us. He provides our needs,” Angel said.

It’s the month of May, the month of flowers symbolized by the festival called “Flores de Mayo,” the longest running festival in the country in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This is the time when the country is teeming with flowers since all the churches practice “Flores de Mayo,” offering flowers to the Virgin Mary as a way of worshiping and venerating her son, Jesus. Isn’t this why God created flowers—as a way to paint the Earth with His joy and to give hope to His people? For the flower growers are always looking forward to tomorrow, when the sun will shine again, and give light and life to their flowers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 04, 2014.


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