Flowers For Valentine’s…


Sister arrived a few days ago so the house has been abuzz with dinners and meals and there are an abundance of flowers… We went to the flower market at Dimasalang yesterday morning and realized we were there at the height of the pre-Valentine’s madness that had rose prices shooting up some 300% above normal levels. I dislike the ridiculous prices many places charge for meals and flowers and sweets on Valentine’s Day, and have written about this pet peeve before, but if you can’t get away from the silly emphasis on just one particular day, rather than say giving your loved one(s) roses at four or five other times of the year, then here are some suggestions to save you some money…


For Valentine’s, forget roses. In Makati malls and stores these days, three measly roses wrapped in cellophane with a ribbon and card will run you anywhere from PHP400-1,000+, depending on the provenance of the roses, and the location of your purveyor. At S&R, I think the damage would have been in the PHP650 range, and they might add that theirs are imported (rather than imported from Benguet), but the samples I saw looked pretty unimpressive. On a normal day in Dimasalang, you can get 20-24 long-stemmed red roses for roughly PHP100-120 or about PHP5-6 pesos each. Even if you picked the three best ones in the bunch and threw out the rest, the three roses would still only cost PHP120 at most. However, yesterday, the prices were up roughly 4x, so a single rose would run you some PHP20 each, or PHP60 for three. But the hassle, you say, and expense to get there! I understand that argument, but I just wanted to illustrate the extent of the mark-ups…

So here’s what I might suggest. On a non-Valentine’s period, head over to Dimasalang and buy several bundles of roses (they are nicest in January I find) and send generous bouquets to your significant other(s), mother, siblings, etc. all for the price of just 3 roses on Valentine’s day. The recipients will probably be thrilled, and you will smell like roses. :) In the photo above, a large vase with nearly 50 roses…


But don’t think roses are the only flowers you can get. We got this enormous bouquet of the most amazing deep purple hydrangeas yesterday for roughly PHP600 for 7 stems. They would make a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift, and their prices did not budge at all for the holiday… they cost even less than I paid for them last Christmas…


A few days ago we had these unusually colored gladiolas from Waling-Waling, for roughly PHP150 per bunch (that’s a bit more than one bunch in the photo). They looked good, but they only lasted 3 days…


The blooms on these gladioli were small and faded rapidly.


From the Manila Seedling Bank in Quezon City last Monday, on the tail end of a plant show, I found these fantastic ferns that thrive in water. I bought 20 pieces of them (at PHP5 each) and placed them in a bowl half filled with water and they are terrific. An unusual offering, but at just PHP100, a steal. :) And if properly cared for, I suspect they will last several weeks to boot!


Finally, for some recent sit-down dinners we got several ornamental cabbages that look great, but I don’t recommend them as a present, as they let off a cabbage-y gas, that, well, smells like GAS. :)


These are perhaps best left to outdoor seating areas or airy lanais rather than an enclosed indoor space.

Have a great Valentine’s Day, weekend, whatever. :)

For other rose and Valentine’s related posts, click on the following links to previous posts:

Anti-Valentine’s Dinner, 2006
The Run-up to Valentine’s Day, 2007
Marketman’s Valentine’s Poll, 2008
White Roses en Masse, 2005
Dimasalang Flower Market, Sampaloc Manila, 2005
A Gift of Roses, Version 1, 2005
A Gift of Roses, Version 2, 2005
Hundreds of Blooms for an Anniversary, 2007
Le Jardin de Ville, less traditional flower choices, 2007
Rose and Hydrangea Floral Arrangements for PHP186.66 each, 2007
A Special Ruby Dinner, 2007
Red Roses and Two Dinners, 2008
Roses in the Four Seasons/Jeff Leatham Style, 2008
Small “Tight” Floral Arrangements 101, 2009
Roses and Hydrangeas, 2010
Roses, Roses, Roses, 2010

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27 Responses

  1. the deep purple hydrangeas are lovely.

    Here in UAE regular price of a stem of rose is 7dirhams, Im not sure now. Flowers shops are teeming with kabayans, they are the preferred employees because we are known for being creative.

  2. I saw some roses in vases today at Payless Supermarket here on Guam and it would cost you $85.00 dollars for a dozen of roses which come in a vase. I think it is expensive. Used to buy 2 or 3 dozen roses at Quiapo and it wouldn’t cost me that much.

    The ornamental cabbages look good.

  3. MM, gladioli only last three days? I did not realiize that. Irises are similar and also last a short time, even when left on the plant. Love your purple theme. Great idea on the cabbage display too.

  4. Beautiful composition MM! Would you know the name of the fern? These remind me of Spring which is highly anticipated at this time of the year.

    Also, you have interesting looking furniture pieces in the background, may I suggest that you feature these for curious blogreaders like me, especially some of the seemingly beautiful vintage pieces. Thanks!

  5. MM…since you have an artistic flair…one day, when I get the chance to finally go there, I shall give you an on hands lesson ( no mattr how long it takes me till you get it right!), hand moulded white chocolate roses that is soooooo lifelike it looks EXACTLY like your pink single rose up above. I only do this for dear friends and hubby! I like using white chocolate medium for I can color it after in any color I want.

  6. I forgot…best part is your loved ones can have their roses and eat them too after!…..and who doesn’t want chocolates….you are hitting 2 birds with 1 stone as they say…FLOWERS AND CHOCOLATES!

  7. MM, would you please post your menus this Valentine’s day with the corresponding recipes, if possible. Para meron magaya.

    Ms Betty Q, we love your Ginger Sesame dressing as well as the Raspberry Honey vinaigrette. Since my family and I are into fitness and diet and healthy lifestyle, delicious dressings are always welcome. But, still waiting (patiently) for your award-winning chocolate cake:). Maraming salamat sa inyong dalawa.

  8. MM, is that “banig” on your flooring? and the chairs are made of bamboo? It has been my dream to have furnitures done like that. May I ask where you purchase them or have them made? Friends told me to go to Sariaria Quezon.

    Ms. Betty, I used to do decorative home made soap and friends noticed it and were making orders. Valentines day came and I started thinking of different designs.. ending up using a candy mold, one specifically “roses” shape lollipops of not only red but different colors. They were beautiful. Week after, an officemate (who ordered several bunches) informed me that she took one arrangement home for herself and her 2-year old son mistook them for candies, and nibble on it. He was fine…told his mom about it and said sorry for he was not supposed to take things from her bedroom.

  9. orchids too is a beautiful and unusual option to give on valentines, or any special day for that matter….but always better to give the plant rather than just the flowers.
    it leaves a more lasting impression.
    and also, thank goodness for Costco…..their roses (even on valentines day) is very
    reasonably priced.

  10. P.S. your sister must be enjoying the weather there. they have had such a horrendous winter in nyc.

  11. i’d rather get the deep purple hydrangeas than red roses any day! prettier and less common hehe. happy valentines day everyone and good luck with the traffic.

  12. Hi, MM! I saw you yesterday at the Mercato Central. I was too star struck, I didn’t have the guts to come up and say hi. Hehe… my husband was laughing at me! You were to talking to a lady, so I had another excuse for not bothering you.

    By the way, you look trim! Your diet is really working. Either that, or you do not really need to lose a lot of weight to begin with. :)

  13. Mimac, that was Sister, and thanks for your comment, you really know how to burnish one’s image or temporarily inflate one’s ego. My height can make my weight deceptive, hence fat hides better… but it’s there. :)

  14. Funny how nobody complains on “flower” posts that you should just write about food. Political commentary posts, on the other hand… ;)

    Off topic comment aside–gorgeous stuff! One of these days I shall get up the energy to do as you do and see Dimasalang for myself. Thanks for these pretty pictures and informative posts–perhaps you should re-market your blog as one for “quality of life” and not only “food”. ;)

  15. Hi MM,

    Can’t wait for your post on your anti-valentine’s dinner 2011 edition! I’m sure with sister around, this will be an even more extraordinary gastronomic event!

  16. I love blue & white hydrangeas, one of my fave flowers next to peonies. I read somewhere that hydrangeas turn deep blue or purple when the soil is acidic.

  17. oooh i love the purple hydrangeas and the violet gladioli…i havent seen any good flowers lately..even the ones my manager got (she got a hundred dark red, freezer-burned, long-stemmed roses) looked sad

  18. It takes a lot of experience to be able to find good flowers at dimasalang. I had been going there for years now (every time I need to buy flowers for my wife). With the budget I have, I can get a bigger bouquet with a variety of flower as compared to what I can get from the mall. I still think, I am somehow getting rip off. The last couple of times I have been to dimasalang, I was looking for hydrangeas but was unable to find one. MM, Could you tell me where specifically you got your hydrangeas (and can you give me your secret on how to get better bargain?) so I’ll be able to buy some, the next time I go there.

    thanks. happy weekend.

  19. kindly tell me from what specific shop on dangwa did you bought your deep purple hydrangeas…i really need them asap for our event next month ….thank you

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