Believe it or not, roses bloom during the summer. And must be forced or coaxed to bloom in early February (except in parts of the Southern hemisphere where it is warm at that time) for all those crazed folks who have bought into the commercial notion that you MUST give roses, often red roses, to your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day. Ridiculous I say. And I am notorious for my Anti-Valentine’s Valentine’s sentiment. Valentine’s is the one holiday where restaurants, florists, candy makers, etc. can price-gouge the doe-eyed consumers, and the latter play along willingly. :)
So in case you were starting to stress about flowers for the lady, girlfriend, significant other(s), spouse, wife or lover(s), here’s a bit of a reality check. In the Philippines, roses are aplenty in the summer months like June, July and even August. They are grown in greenhouses or controlled conditions in the cool temperatures in
the Mountain Province Benguet, Tagaytay, and other cool elevated areas, for the most part.
Wholesale, at the Dimasalang market, roses such as the ones in these photos, purchased last July, were just PHP80 for a bunch of two dozen blooms, or just PHP3.33 per stem/flower. Yes, repeat, PHP3.33 per stem/flower. This massive bouquet, some ten bundles or twenty dozen roses, cost just PHP800 or so. Plus your gas to get to the flower market at 5-6am or so on a Thursday or Friday (when the selection is best).
A couple of weeks ago, I was at the same market and they were asking PHP160 per bundle of smaller and less appealing red roses (the cold weather actually affects the blooms negatively below a certain level of chill), already double summer prices. By this week, the figure will rise to PHP200+ and in the week before Valentine’s you will be paying quadruple the normal prices, for roses that are a mere shadow of their ebullient brethren during the summer months.
And retail in a snazzy city florist? Think PHP1,500 per dozen at least or PHP125 per stem. And imported ones, from Chile or Peru or elsewhere can run up to PHP300+ per piece! So think twice about splurging unnecessarily just because some greeting card company has made rose giving on Feb 14 so darned universal… Surprise your special someone with a massive bouquet in the summer, and take a rain-check at Valentine’s. But then again, Valentine’s is a HUGE day for florists, so if you can’t be bothered to plan ahead, help keep those cash registers ringing! And I must say, florists prices probably reflect huge increases in wholesale prices, so they are just passing on the pain. As for the snazzy restaurants, I guess it is a demand and supply thing, so they charge 20-100% more for meals that pretty much cost them the same… two thumbs down on that practice.