Terrazas de Flores is a new flower garden in Busay, Cebu.
The Busay area in Cebu City does not have a dearth of offerings when it comes to tourist attractions. There are old favorites like Tops Lookout and Mountain View Nature Park, and then there are relatively new spots like Temple of Leah and Sirao Garden. Now, there’s another charming garden that’s set to capture the hearts of those who love flowers and romantic settings.
Terrazas de Flores Botanical Garden is a flower garden shaped in the form of terraces following the natural contours of the mountains. Located in Brgy. Malubog, Busay, it was opened last October 2016 and is the first botanical garden of its kind in Cebu and in the Philippines.
A ‘secret’ garden
A trellis with climbing plants lend an old-world charm to the garden [L]; and Wooden markers with quotes [R]
If Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Secret Garden ever came to life in Cebu, it would be in Terrazas de Flores. The garden is home to 127 species of flowers, the names of which were identified through markers set up by University of San Carlos students. Some flowers are planted on the ground or form part of the hedges of the terrace, while some snake up and down trellises or cover the roof of the canopied footpath.
A bee hovers near a cluster of angel wing begonia flowers.
Scattered all over the garden are markers etched with various quotes and poems which were personally selected by the owner. Butterflies and bees flutter about from one flower
petal to another. Up ahead, one can see the mountains of Busay, some of which have terraces as well for farming.
The garden was designed using an ancient technique used in creating the Banaue Rice Terraces
, which the farmers of Busay are familiar with. Using this technique, flowers used as ground cover are protected by a one-meter thick riprap of interlocking stones. This allows water to flow freely without eroding the topsoil, avoiding the chances of a landslide when heavy rains occur.
Father’s expression of love
The terraces of the garden were formed using an ancient farming technique.
If The Secret Garden revolves around the theme of rekindling family ties, the reason for existence of the garden is rooted as well in a father’s expression of love for his children. Yuri Barrameda, businessman and owner of Terrazas de Flores, says that he created the garden to be able to spend time with his three children.
Ten years ago, Yuri bought the two-hectare property which he made into a rose farm open only to friends and family. But having observed the lack of green spaces in Cebu, he decided to add more flowers and convert it to a public garden.
“Our country needs flower gardens. People flock to the malls, unlike in other countries where they go to gardens and parks and only go to the mall to run errands. That posed a challenge for me then,” shared Yuri.
A nature lover’s treat
The café features a painting of the owner’s children.
With the colorful flowers and cool mountain breeze, Terrazas de Flores is a great place to spend time with your special someone. Visitors can watch the world go by in one of three cabanas or at the viewing deck, or sit beside the flowers in the outdoor benches of the garden. They can hear popular love songs play softly from the speakers in the café, while the lull of the waters flowing down the small man-made lake add to the serene, relaxing ambience of the place.
For food, visitors can go to the Terrazas de Flores Café, which sits in the middle of the property. They offer pastries and sandwiches
, hot and cold coffee, and other beverages. They also serve rice meals which cost PhP100 and comes with beef, fish, pork, and chicken.
For now, only one hectare out of the two-hectare property has been turned into a garden. However, there are plans to expand the development to include a topiary and an art gallery.
One of three cabanas at Terrazas de Flores
To get to Terrazas de Flores, you can take a cab from any part of metro Cebu and tell the driver to head to La Tegola, an Italian restaurant in Busay which is 900 meters away from the garden. Another landmark is Malubog Elementary School.
When you go there, wear comfortable shoes. Exploring the garden requires a lot of walking, so it’s best to leave the high heels and black shoes
at home. Also bear in mind that the temperature at the garden is usually three degrees lower than mainland Cebu. Thus, it would be advisable to bring a cardigan or light jacket in case the wind gets too chilly.
The month of February is usually associated with romance. But with places like Terrazas de Flores, Cebuanos can celebrate their love for flowers all year round.