Bright red and yellow blooms. A sea of pinks. A windmill. Mountains in the distance. Long before I stepped into Sirao Flower Garden, which the owners call the Little Amsterdam of Cebu, I have already been seeing it in photos in social media.
It just rained and the sky was gray when my friends and I went to Sirao, our first stop in our Cebu trip. The pathways were wet with rain, so we had to be careful getting close to the flowers. Nevertheless, Sirao’s blooms were still happily bright and bursting with color amid the gloomy weather. And, we didn’t have to wear hats or open our umbrellas, as it can get hot in flower fields when trees for shade are usually absent or few.
Picture-perfect – or as many would say, Instagram-worthy – spots abound in Sirao Garden. The best shots, are of course, with flowers. The windmill is iconic too.
Ate Bing in a picture-perfect spot in Sirao, with mountains in the background.
Sirao Garden, though, is best known for its celosias, which look like bright flames, usually in red and yellow. Its name in Greek actually means “burning.” Long before other flower gardens opened and touted celosias as attractions, Sirao Garden already had these fiery blooms and became famous for them.
My friends amid small, not yet fully grown celosias.
Sirao Garden’s owner, a former flight attendant, actually sold cut celosias for occasions. Since the garden of celosias drew attention from tourists, though, she decided to keep a garden and open it to the public.
The owner, Elena Sy Chua, amid the fiery celosia blooms. (All photos with dates as watermarks are courtesy of Sirao Garden)
Our time at Sirao was short since we had to travel to catch the last ferry to Bantayan Island up north in Cebu. Still, it was a colorful and happy visit in this flower garden known as the Little Amsterdam of Cebu. I haven’t been to Amsterdam yet, but Sirao was undoubtedly a memorable and novel experience.
Many spots great for picture taking have been added since our visit. The flower garden in the area has also expanded to 1.2 hectares. Sirao Garden was kind enough to share recent photos with me as I prepared an article on flower gardens in the Philippines. Here are some of them:
The Volkswagen provides a great photo opportunity!
A humongous palm! Another spot tourists are happy to take photos with.
Below are some information and tips to help you plan for your own Sirao Flower Garden visit. Enjoy your trip!
P100 regular, P80 for seniors and PWDs. You can stay however long you like for this entrance fee.
Travel tip and contact details:
The best times to visit are October and November, when the celosias are in are full bloom. However, there are usually bright blooms at any time in Sirao Garden (we went December), but it is best to check ahead of your trip so you can time it to when parts of, if not the whole garden, are in full bloom. Just message their Facebook page.
How to get there:
From Cebu’s Mactan airport, take the airport bus to SM. From SM, ride the 04L jeep to JY Square Lahug. Look for the palengke (wet market) there and ride a habal–habal (motorbike) to Sirao. That would be around P400-600 round trip for two persons with multiple destinations, so it would be nice to include other places in your itinerary, like Temple of Leah. Just negotiate with the driver. The ride to Sirao Flower Garden will take 30-45 minutes.
Alternatively, from SM, you can get off at Ayala Cebu and take a van for hire to Sirao for P50 per person. Tell the driver you are getting off at Sirao Garden. From there, ride a habal-habal to Sirao.
Total estimated budget per person is P300 – P100 for the entrance fee, P200 for your share in the habal-habal ride.