Local flower shop owners are advising the public to be prepared in case flower prices increase on Valentine's Day. (Photo courtesy of Blooms by Jong)

Local shop owners are advising the public to expect an increase in the prices of roses and other flowers that are in-demand on Valentine’s Day because of the Baguio chill that might persist until February.

Flower shop owner Jong Morato said they are already feeling the effect of the price increase because the supply from Baguio City, the main source of flowers sold in Dangwa, is not enough.

If there is any, she said, the flowers are small and refuse to blossom.

“Ngayon pa lang ramdam mo na, tapos may threat pa sa amin kasi ang mga roses na galing Baguio, ang liliit kasi sobrang lamig doon ngayon so ‘di bumubuka, hindi lumalaki. Actually, ang dumating sa amin ang liliit kasi nagti-testing na ako,” she pointed out.

(Right now, we’re already feeling the effect, and then there’s the threat that the flowers from Baguio are not blossoming because of the chill there. Actually, the supply that arrived to use are small.)

Morato also said the prices of flowers have not gone down since Baguio was hit by typhoon “Ompong” in September.

It recovered in December last year, which was a wedding season, but prices remained high until now and might even increase.

Morato said the temperature in Baguio is still dipping, more recently to 9 degrees Celsius.

She said they are now buying roses per dozen at P450 to P480, a far cry from the P100 per dozen before typhoon “Ompong” and the coldness being experienced in the flower capital Baguio City.

As of now, she said flower shops are selling roses from P30 to 35 per stem and Malaysian mums at P35 per stem.

During Valentine’s Day, the price would normally increase up to P150 per stem, but this might even go up if the chill will be extended until February.

Flower seller Marife Badua Sales, on the other hand, said that if prices in Dangwa will remain high, her option is to order her supply from Cebu where flower prices are cheaper at P100 per dozen.

She expects that Cebu’s prices might also increase, but she said they will still be cheaper than what Dangwa offers.

“Malalaki ang roses ng Cebu at ang presyo mas mura lang siya ng P50 o P100 kesa sa Manila sa Dangwa. Hindi ko lang alam ngayong February kung tataas ang Cebu, siguro tataas pero kaunti lang,” Sales said.

(The roses from Cebu are big and their prices are lower by P50 or P100 than in Manila in Dangwa. I really don’t know this February if they will go up in Cebu, but if they will, I’m sure it will be minimal.)

Despite the price increase, Marilyn Solon, who also operates a flower shop, expects to make income because Valentine’s Day is part of the Filipino tradition, as well as the giving of flowers to loved ones.

“Kasi sa tradisyon ‘yon ng Pinoy kapag Valentine’s. Nagagalit kasi ang asawa kapag walang binigay [na bulaklak],” Solon said, adding giving flowers and gifts on February 14 is a trend among Filipinos.

(It’s a tradition among Filipinos during Valentine’s. Wives get angry if they don’t receive flowers.)

Solon said carnations, sunflowers, and stargazers are the other flowers that are in demand during Valentine’s Day.

They cost P250 during regular days and double their prices when February approaches. Sunflowers cost P250 to P350 per bouquet, but on regular days, the price is P250 per stem.

Morato also said flower arrangements are currently priced at P500 to P1,300 depending on the kind of blooms requested by customers.

She added that due to the love month, prices may increase from P1,500 to P1,800 with chocolates and stuffed toys.

Morato suggested that for people who cannot afford flower bouquets, a good option is to go for the single-stem arrangements which are cheaper.

“Puwede naman mag-single stem arrangement kung di kakayanin ang presyo ng bouquets. Ang mahalaga naman ay ang pagbibigay at hindi pagkalimot sa espesyal na araw (Single-stem arrangements are okay if they cannot afford the bouquets. What’s important is that they remember the importance of the occasion),” she said.