Latest Stories

Benguet profits from season of love

SAMUEL Ulman, 44, is sometimes referred to as Benguet’s King of Roses.

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—Roses for Valentine’s Day and other flowers for the Baguio Flower Festival come from this province more known for its strawberries and vegetables.

According to the National Economic Research and Business Assistance Center, 11 of Benguet’s 13 towns engage in the cut flower trade.

These towns produce sought-after flowers such as roses, chrysanthemums and gladiola.

Data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics show an increased production of roses, from 1.259 metric tons in 2002 to 1.406 metric tons in 2007.

A WORKER hauls roses to the market in time for Valentine’s Day.

The bulk of these roses are produced by growers like 44-year-old Samuel Ulman, who owns the flower brand “Samwel.” Ulman ships out 153,600 to 240,000 stems of roses per truck to the Dangwa flower market on Dimasalang Street in Manila.

Often referred to as the “Bahong King of Roses” by fellow growers and farmers, Ulman has been tending Holland rose gardens (which produce red, pink, white and orange roses) since 2003.

He started with a hectare of roses in Sitio Alno, which he financed using a P200,000 loan. Today, Ulman pays 30 employees to farm two hectares on a mountainside. His employees earn as much as P7,500 a month.

Andrea Kisse, 50, has worked on her rose gardens for five years at Sitio Central in Barangay Bahong. She says gardening is never a perfect science and the changing temperatures in January and February occa     sionally bring fewer harvests.

JULIAN Cayat, 49, a gardener from Sitio Central, Barangay Bahong, checks out the fresh flowers at La Trinidad, Benguet.

Kisse says a grower could spend as much as P1 million on a hectare of flower gardens because it could produce enough flowers for export to Asian countries. She produces as many as 500 bundles (each bundle has 24 stems) of flowers, which she sells at Dangwa.

Julian Cayat, 49, says her family started producing roses in 1984 and invested in the American rose variety. Last year, she harvested 2,000 bundles (48,000 stems) of roses. This year, however, the cold weather only gave her 1,000 bundles (24,000 stems).

The volume of roses they produce dictates the profit they make.

In 2011, 24 stems of roses sold for P500 to P600. A bigger haul of roses in 2012 allowed farmers to sell 24 stems of roses for P300 to P350. This year, roses could sell for as high as P400 for 24 stems.

Prices could increase because of the Valentine’s Day demand on Thursday, rose growers here say.

The rose business enabled Cayat to send her children to school. Her eldest child is now a pharmacist. Her second child is a nursing graduate, while the youngest child runs a computer shop.  Edgardo Espiritu and Vincent Cabreza, Inquirer Northern Luzon


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benguet , flowers , roses , Valentine’s Day

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • 16 CADPI sugar refinery workers now out of danger after toxic shower in Batangas
  • PNP denies Purisima’s involvement in questionable deal with courier firm
  • Pro-Russian insurgents hold journalist hostage
  • UN heads say Syria aid needs ‘largely unanswered’
  • Captain who left doomed ferry had 40 years at sea
  • Sports

  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • UST posts twin kill in Filoil pre-season cup opening day
  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • Technology

  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Cha cha train to follow Obama visit?
  • No word yet on inking of US-PH defense pact during Obama visit
  • Marketplace