The South Cotabato municipality of Tupi may soon have its own touristy moniker to broadcast to the whole nation. Where its neighbors to the south have product recognition in either Dole pineapples (Polomolok) or tuna (General Santos City itself), Tupi seems to have found a niche of its own that it can capitalize on that goes beyond its mainly agricultural industry. If the Luzon province of Benguet can do it, certainly Tupi can too. At least that’s how their now increasingly famous flower farms appear to be trying to say with how frequently they’ve been popping up in local news these days.
Primarily an agricultural community, Tupi lately has been going viral on national social media thanks to a new sort of attraction, one of a horticultural nature. Local residents and visitors from out of town have been flocking to some very extensive nature parks and flower farms in order to get a photo among the rows of blossoms in full bloom. Aside from the Blooming Petals Inc. Agri-Farm that has been making waves in South Central Mindanao for its beautiful six-week crop of sunflowers, there is also a great deal of attention being lavished now on its older next-door neighbor of sorts, the Eden’s Flowers Farm.
And they’ve got a golden opportunity to go viral themselves, seeing as Blooming Petals will be closing temporarily to guests as their sunflower blooms finally run their course. Eden’s Flowers Farm, while having their own sunflower garden, has got another blossom to show off to any visitors: the chrysanthemum.
Chrysanthemums, alternatively called mums, are a whole genus of flowering plants that are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. Generally they are considered the favorite flower for November, but in Japan, mums are regarded at the same level or even more than their iconic Sakura, or cherry blossoms. This is because the chrysanthemum is the official seal of the Emperor of Japan, to the point that his position is metonymically called the Chrysanthemum Throne (just like how the Philippine President’s office is termed Malancañang after the palace). The sigil of the chrysanthemum has been used as decorations on the bows of World War II battleships, and today on police cars and Japanese passport covers. Needless to say, mums are very highly regarded there.
But let’s go back to the here and now. Eden’s Flowers Farm in Tupi is boasting their own botanical bonanza of precious flowers from all around, and the mums are their central piece. They are beautiful red blossoms with their numerous slim petals, covering a goodly sized flower bed. And other flowers have their own place, whether in wide plots or neat rows going up gentle slopes. Photos of tourists who have already gone to see the wonders of Eden’s Flowers Farm show them having the time of their lives, with some commenting that the complex is almost the same as going to any flower farm around Baguio, Benguet and those parts of Luzon up north.
Just like with the Benguet flower farms, the blossoms from Eden’s Flowers, along with the other farms in Tupi, are regularly harvested and sent to nearby cities such as Koronadal and GenSan where they are a big hit in flower shops. But they’ve also got a good diversity of plants there. Aside from favored blossoms, Eden’s Flowers Farm also raises fields of fruits and vegetables. Notable among their crops in this regard are bright red strawberries and fresh green lettuce, which are then shipped to urban fruit stands and even shopping malls.
Eden’s Flowers Farm has had a relatively quiet business life in the past years. One mention of the place on a local travel blog I’ve read while researching this article was all the way back in 2014. But it is only now, in the wake of the massive attention that Blooming Petals Inc. Agri-Farm has suddenly gotten that this long-running low-key flower farm has decided to enter the spotlight as well. I did mention earlier that Tupi in South Cotabato seems intent on garnering a new nickname for itself; after seeing the flowers in bloom there I wouldn’t be opposed to calling them the Southern Flower Capital of the Philippines, good fortune willing.
Visit their official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/edensflowerstupi/?ref=br_rs, or call them at landline telephone number (083) 826-1985. Eden’s Flowers Farm in Tupi is open from Monday to Saturday at 7 AM to 4 PM.
Photo courtesy of Eden’s Flowers Farm