Flowers have always enchanted us, romanticized our senses, and lifted our spirits. People have used flowers over centuries to convey their myriad emotions over the years. But experts have figured that different floral arrangements convey different meanings.

Floriography refers to the encrypting communication of different meanings through different varieties of blossoms and their arrangement. But, we commoners rarely know about the arrangements suitable for different situations. Consider these situations as an example.

Situation 1

When Chan sat on the almost 17 hours flight out of the Philippines to reach the US, he was looking forward to a bright future. He was eager to merge with the community of 4.1 million Filipino Americans. And things were smooth for the initial few months. The upscale life, different entertainment options, great atmosphere, and happening nightlife made Chan forget home for the initial few months.

He would hardly get time for facetime, zoom and skype calls with his family. But soon, he got disillusioned with the fast-paced life. The high rises, activities, and gadgets did not offer any comfort. He just wanted to get back to his family. He longed for his mother’s touch, playing with his kid sister, helping his father in the fields, etc.

After much contemplation, he thought of sending flowers back to his family in the Philippines. Blossoms would convey all the unsaid words and make his presence felt to his family. He soon began searching for a floral shop that would deliver internationally. But, he faced two challenges- no one was willing to deliver internationally, and he did not know the bouquet to choose.

Situation 2

Like Chan, Freddie too had migrated to Australia seeking better career opportunities. He now had a good life and was well-settled in the country’s Fintech industry. The management gave him leaves and tickets to his hometown twice a year.

Everything was going well until he heard about his childhood friend getting married. Freddie and his friend had promised to be together through thick and thin. Therefore, he could not imagine his friend getting married without his presence. Freddie applied for leave, and it was approved.

Freddie was happy, and so was his friend. Everyone was eagerly waiting for the gettogether. But a day before he was to board the flight, his boss canceled the pre-approved leaves. The business was in a crisis, and Freddie’s presence was vital to put things back in place. He tried negotiating, but the manager made him choose between marriage and his job.

Chan was under several obligations and could not afford to risk his job. The only choice left was to skip the wedding. Almost all hopes were lost when his wife suggested sending flowers and a great gift to his friend instead. The idea appealed to Freddie and he began his search for the best florist to rely on for getting this done.

After some research, he came across a top online flower shop who would do the job. But like Chan, Freddie also didn’t know the best wedding flowers.

Situation 3

John came to the Philippines a couple of months back as a tourist, and lost his heart to a beautiful Filipino girl, Pristilla. He knew that Pristilla shared his feelings. But, he did know the best way to communicate his feelings. Then one of his friends suggested to him about gifting flowers.

The idea appealed to John. He loved flowers and knew people use them frequently to convey love. However, one thing was bothering him. John did not know the floral bouquet or arrangement he should choose. He had heard from someone that different kinds of flowers convey different emotions.

And that the emotions conveyed vary between cultures. John did not know about the right option and was afraid of making the wrong first move…

Flowers in Filipino Culture

The three stories above talk about different situations. Chan, Freddie, and John, our characters, were facing different challenges. But, the common thread was ignorance about suitable flower options as a gift in a particular situation. This is a problem we often face when trying to send flowers.

The problem compounds when we are trying to send flowers to someone adhering to different cultural practices. For instance, flowers are perceived differently in western cultures compared to the east. The Filipino culture sees flowers as a sign of seriousness and respect by the intended party and encourages gifting them regularly. The nation’s residents are deep admirers of all-natural elements, including flowers. So, you will see flowers of all types and kinds gracing different occasions in the nation.

The association of the nation and its people with flowers is deeply rooted in its history. The country was a colony of Spain for about 333 years. The colonial masters and the subsequent settlers impacted its culture. Today we can see the traces and impact of this history on the Philippines’ language, cuisine, gifting traditions, and fascination with flowers.

Today, we can trace the flower gifting tradition back to the Flores de Mayo or the Flowers of May celebration in the Philippines. The occasion honors the Virgin Mary, mother of the lord Jesus Christ. The celebration involves the singing of prayers for nine days, followed by the singing of hymns.

There is also a religious procession of beautiful maidens under bamboo branches decorated with flowers. The tradition gives us the impression that flowers are symbols of the Filipinos’ religiosity, thanksgiving, resilience, and abundance. Panagbenga Festival is another prominent festival involving sunflower spray. There is also a grand floral parade, as it celebrates the resilient spirit of the locals.

Flower Gifting Tradition on Different Occasions

Filipinos are great romantics. They fondly express love and grieve heavily at the loss of loved ones. Happiness or sadness, flowers are the means to express emotions. The flowers for different occasions are-

Opening Ceremonies

Inaugural day decorations of a new office or restaurant are incomplete without grand arrangements with vibrant blossoms. Attractive floral bouquets are also sent as gifts to company and restaurant owners by colleagues or friends.


The groom, groomsmen, and the male relatives wear boutonnieres or a single flower during the wedding. In contrast, the bride, bridesmaids, and female relatives wear corsages or floral arrangements around their waist. There aren’t any strict rules regarding who can gift corsages or boutonnieres. Usually, the groom and the bride give these to distinguish family members and honor important peoples in their lives.

Bridal bouquet is vital for its attached symbolism. We can trace its origin to the Victorian era tradition of conveying feelings and messages through flowers. Some of the common blossoms forming part of these bouquets are Peonies, Ranunculus, pink and red Roses, etc.

Anniversaries or Valentine’s Day

According to the Filipino tradition, three roses together convey “I Love You”. The common colors seen during the love season are white, pink, and red. Some of the common variants used in valentine’s day or anniversary bouquets are Asters, Lilies, Daisies, Chrysanthemums, and carnations.

Mother’s Day or Birthdays

Filipinos love their mothers and celebrate mother’s day with great fervor. A combination of yellow, bright orange, and pink Mums and Gerberas form the perfect gift for the celebration.


Filipinos always believed in the afterlife. The Spanish Catholics also added to these beliefs. Together, these have created elaborate burial rituals involving floral caskets to honor the dead. Often, families and friends sponsor these floral caskets.

A procession carries the casket to the cemetery following the mourning period and buries the same along with floral arrangements brought in by family and friends. Usually, white flowers are used for the occasion.

Summing up

Flowers are an integral part of Filipino history and culture. There is a strong tradition of gifting flowers on different occasions amongst Filipinos. The flower gifting tradition is deeply rooted in its history. Different settlers have called the country home over the years and contributed to this legacy. We discussed the appropriate flowers to give on varied occasions in the above pages.

But we have just scratched the surface of a vast ocean. An expert florist having several years of experience knows all the specifics. Connect with a top florist in the Philippines to know more, and send flowers to the Philippines with ease and confidence.