Philippine Center New York

Manuel D. Baldemor: Symphony of Flowers


Symphony of Flowers
by Manuel D. Baldemor

FLOWERS are an indispensable part of the Filipino landscape. We grow them in our gardens, hang them in our windows, offer them in religious shrines and festivals, turn them into food or medicine and sometimes, used merely as playthings. We also use them to beautify our homes and occasionally, ourselves.


The giving of flowers can be a serious business in the other parts of the global village. Before you rush off to buy flowers, there may be several rules and superstitions you should be aware of if you don’t want to offend anyone. Unless you’re handling a huge bunch of flowers, you may have to ensure that the total number of items is an odd number. Even numbers are reserved for the dead so if you don’t want to inadvertently send a rather morbid significance to your date, avoid this social gaffe at all costs.

Roses are the most popular flower and it is perfectly acceptable to hand over a single rose. Just make sure to use only red roses for your lover. White flowers represent death and like before, avoid giving such especially in the provinces. Obviously, you should never give an older man or woman any white flowers. Blue flowers, on the other hand, represent wealth and are generally considered impressive although yellow signifies jealousy. Interestingly enough, yellow roses are also the choice for gay and lesbian couples, something to keep in mind depending on your . .. um … preferences.


Orchids, due to their long life span, represent longevity while lilies are good for showing respect.

Flowers are subjects often used in paintings, magazines and poetry. They are used to soften the hearts of men in battle gear, promote peace and mend broken relationships.
In your daily life, you may sometimes be filled with tension. One cannot find peace in one’s own mind. In this case, you tend to lose sight of yourself, lost in an illusion of constant change and pressure. Through looking at nature and seeing yourself as part of it, one can find one’s center or soul and be at peace. A simple flower is a perfect example of this; it is centered and has a certain peace and tranquility you can take into yourself.


Any act of creation comes from within. In art, elements such as brushes, paints, paper and canvas, even the vases and flowers themselves constitute the tools and materials with which the artist works. They revolve around the artist as petals are to a flower. The artist combines these elements, his inner self-shaping these into a greater whole. The end result is the flowering of his work or what we call, the artwork.

Flowers are universal and a symbol of love and peace. They speak directly to our hearts and it has its own secret and unspoken language of diplomacy


Sponsored by Philippine Consulate General New York
May 16-27, 2016

Exhibit Photos