This Instagram-worthy Sunflower Garden lets visitors take photos as many as they can for only P10 pesos.
KaLyd’z Sunflower Garden, which also features a patch of various vegetables, has been attracting tourists from all over the Philippines through its picturesque scenery since its opening last year.
Seven-minute drive from Vigan Plaza Salcedo, the 7,000-square meter Sunflower Garden is located behind KaLydz Transient House at Barangay Bulala, which is owned and managed by Lydia Galolo and her family.
“With only P10 pesos as entrance fee, visitors can take photos as many and as long as they can. They can also pose with colorful Chinese umbrellas, which they can rent for additional P10.00. They can also buy and pick a sunflower for only P70 pesos but if they want it to last for 3-4 days, we’ll put a water vial to prolong its life, which only costs P30 pesos,” Galolo said.
As a retired Senior Agrarian Reform Technologist of the Department of Agrarian Reform in Ilocos Sur, Galolo narrated that her 29-year experience as a government employee, especially in the agriculture sector, has helped her a lot in managing and coming up with better ideas to improve the garden.
“I was encouraged when I saw the Sunflower Farm at Tayug, Pangasinan, so I contacted my relative in Baguio City to buy P500-peso worth of Sunflower seeds. During my first try, it wasn’t 100 percent successful because most of the seeds did not grow, so I bought more seeds and planted them,” Galolo said.
After that, a total of 100 sunflower plants bloomed and started to attract tourists when a photographer from the city conducted pictorial at the garden and posted them on social media.
“I was surprised how the public recognized our garden even if they can only see a limited portion of the field with full bloom flowers. I did not expect that they would love it,” she added.
Visitors from farthest north such as the province of Cagayan, Overseas Filipino Workers from Nueva Ecija, families from Abra, and visitors from different towns in Ilocos Sur have experienced taking selfies and groufies in the garden.
To attract more tourists, Galolo said that she bought seeds of different varieties of Sunflower such as the Wine-red “Chianti” sunflowers flecked with gold and the tall, multi-headed Sunflower in Isabela and Canada.
Galolo family only uses organic manure as fertilizer to increase soil pH and other soil nutrients, and use deep well water to sprinkle to the Sunflower plants every morning.
“Kapag malamig ang panahon, umaabot ng 3-4 na lingo ang bloom ng mga bulaklak pero kung medyo mainit ang panahon, isa hanggang dalawang lingo lang ay nalalanta na sila,” she informed.
When asked on their plans for the garden, Galolo said they have inquired for help at the city government and received a suggestion for it to be transformed as an Agri-tourism spot in the city.
“I am working on the requirements as stated by the city government and next year, we plan to widen the Sunflower garden as well as plant more flowering plants and different kinds of vegetables for it to be beneficial to the community as well. Once this happens, I plan to hire Persons with Disability as I believe that they are more industrious and responsible just like our helper at home,” she said.
A garden arch filled with heart-shaped ampalaya (bitter melon) from Thailand is set to be formed between the Sunflower fields. This has been dubbed the Love Bitter Melon because of its shape. And it could be a perfect gift especially during Valentine. This will give opportunity to visitors to pick-and-pay vegetables at the garden.
“My son is also planning to build a greenhouse themed coffee shop as many visitors have asked for food and drinks, especially coffee and delicacies. But for the meantime, visitors can buy biscuits and junk food from our store and also enjoy our creamy Halo-halo,” Galolo added.
Moreover, she asked for the visitors’ understanding and cooperation in maintaining the beauty of the garden to give opportunity for others to see its pleasing scenery.
“This week, we will plant more than 100 Sunflower seedlings and we are inviting you to come back again on April and take photos of our garden as they blossom this summer,” she said.
Tourists can visit KaLydz Sunflower Garden from December to June every year. It is approximately 400 meters away from the famous Vigan Hidden Garden.