DAVAO

Alcantara: Here come the sunflowers in Tagum

WITERARY

“HERE comes the sun”, we may hum this familiar tune as summer fast approaches. In Tagum City, the Tagumenyos hum to a different tune --‘here come the sunflowers!’

Having gone viral on social media in its first blooming season just before Christmas, the latest tourist attraction was inaugurated in front of the New City Hall of Tagum last November 12, 2018.

The small hill was temporarily a spot for sunflowers and plants before the administration decided in developing the area. Known for being the City of Parks, Tagum now welcomes the Sunflower Garden as its newest addition to instagram-worthy places in the city.

According to city information officer Edwin Lasquite, the small hill measures 700 square meters and was planted with 8,500 seedless variety of yellow corona sunflowers (Sunrich Orange F1) from Japan. Currently, around 8,200 are thriving, with a life expectancy of a full month up to 35 days (from sprouting to full maturity). Its flower diameter is 18 to 21 centimeters.

A few days ago, Ed Lasquite invited us to witness its second season in bloom, and we were armed with cameras and drones for an aerial view of the yellow wonders responding to the sun. At this early morning, they were facing the New City Hall. By late afternoon the heads will be turning around. This is a well-known characteristic of the large flowering heads tracking the sun’s movement, a phenomenon called heliotropism.

During its full bloom, visitors turned up as many as a thousand per day, according to Lasquite. It needs another 55 days to grow in full bloom once more, giving the hill a chance to rest in between. The government is said to be open for bookings on prenuptials, weddings and romantic proposals.

Thank you, Ed and tour quide Isabeyl Rose Abapo of the City Tourism, for accompanying me and colleagues Ian Garcia and Rhonson Ng, with the usual sumptuous lunch at Miko’s Brew before we went back to Davao.


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