Flower festival in Holland attracts tourists, Pinoys

by Loui Galicia, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 10 2012 12:55 PM | Updated as of May 10 2012 11:22 PM

HOLLAND - Thousands of tourists, including Filipinos, continued to arrive at the Floriade 2012, the World Horticultural Expo in the Netherlands.

Flowers and plants in varying hues of color and varieties greet visitors upon entry at the expo held this year in Venlo.

The Philippines is among the 39 countries that participated in this once-in-a-decade horticultural expo in Holland.

“Nandito ako kasi it happens once in a lifetime. Accordingly, every 10 years nangyayari dito sa Netherlands, which is far away from The Hague, where we came from. So opportunity ito to come here and see the different flowers from all over the world including our own the Philippines. So for us, lalo na kaming mga expat, bihirang makaranas ng ganitong bagay,” Mel Lasaten said.

About two million bulbs and 5,000 rose bushes were planted on 44 hectares of Dutch land.

Many of the participating countries proudly showcased their own local flowers and plants.

Thailand was a hit with its floral arrangement in the form of an elephant.

Many were in awe of the zen design and unique floral arrangements of Japan, particularly the green and black roses.

“I’m passionate about flowers. The one from Japan, they carefully thought about putting different kinds of placements, different kinds of techniques to grow their plants. I really like the different colors also,” Louron Adrian Paras from Belgium said.

Aside from flowers and plants, several countries seemed to aim to outdo each other with their construction of magnificent pavilions which were also adorned with flowers, ferns, vines and wood, stone and other decorations made from their local materials.

Some Pinoys came to look for inspiration and new designs for landscaping, flower arrangement and horticultural technology.

“Mga design kung paano, flower arrangements, kung paano design ng mga vases, yung mga woodworks, na magamit sa Philippines,” Pinoy tourist Cheno
Tabo said.

Israel proudly showed a high-tech stall highlighting its advances on horticultural farming.

More than two million visitors are expected to visit Floriade which opened last April 5 and will close on October 7.