Dubai: “I think I want that one,” A Filipina points at a solitary rose stalk encased in glass, remarking how it looks exactly like the real-life version of the enchanted rose from Beauty and the Beast.
“Do you have it in yellow? I love yellow roses!” she tells the florist with a big smile.
We’re in Petals by Carmille, a Filipino-owned enterprise in Al Ghurair Mall, where preserved roses are as popular with the Filipino crowd as fresh flowers.
A little while later, another Filipina saunters in. She’s looking for a bouquet of fresh blooms for a bridal shower. “Actually my friend is the groom-to-be,” Maria Regina Amiscua, HR administrative assistant, tells Gulf News #Pinoy. The florist suggests that pink roses would be perfect.
Amiscua thinks Filipinos like her are fond of blooms because "a flower is a symbol of love, which I believe represents Filipinos a lot [because] Filipinos are very loving people."
When it comes to picking blooms, it appears Filipinos are the most romantic bunch, and expatriates in the UAE are no exception, says Marycel Molina Roxas, proprietor of Petals by Carmille.
“They’re my biggest clientele,” Roxas says. “Filipinos are super sweet. They are so romantic in a sense that they celebrate even monthsaries,” she reveals, adding that some even celebrate their “boyfriend-girlfriend anniversary dates”.
The most popular flower for Filipinos? Roses, she says, adding that the most requested flowers, however, are tulips.
“When we don’t say it with food, we say it with flowers,” Roxas says with a laugh, adding that Filipinos are “naturally romantic”.
Marycel Molina Roxas of Petals by Carmille.
There is always a bouquet for any occasion. "Valentine’s Day, that's one. Birthdays, Christmas, Mother's Day and anniversaries, graduations… just simply [to] make your loved ones happy, [even with] a single, simple flower,” says Ramon Abeto, an electrical supervisor in Dubai.
Abeto says his wife always gets a bouquet of roses from him. "Actually [every time] she comes back from vacation, I usually buy [her flowers],” he reveals with a shy smile.
“Filipinos are romantic, they even give flowers to their parents to show their appreciation,” Kenneth Lilang, a mechanical engineer, says in Filipino.
Secret language of flowers
But what does our choice of flowers say about us? Roxas says colours have a hidden meaning. She shares her tips on two of the most popular blooms in the UAE:
Red rose means ‘I love you’
Pink rose means appreciation and happiness
White rose means purity or ‘I'm worthy of you’
Purple rose means love at first sight
Yellow rose means joy, friendship or enlightenment
Red tulip means true love
Pink tulip means care and attachment
Yellow tulip means hopeless love
Purple tulip means royalty
White tulip means ‘I’m worthy’