Writer: Air Borne
The road to Busay is now a smooth path to travel on brought about by the good implementation of infrastructure projects of the government. It is convenient and relaxing. It took us less than an hour to reach the place that has now gained popularity by word of mouth and in the social media--the Sirao Garden also known as the Little Amsterdam or the Mini Holland of Cebu.
But, please do not be misled by the fake Sirao Garden. Just before reaching the real one, a look-alike Sirao garden situates. If you’re still interested to go and see what this one really looks like, by all means you may. However, at your own risk because if you happen to get inside by mistake, thinking that it is the place that they are talking about, no more refund for you only charge it to experience. This is the warning we got from a concerned fellow co-worker.
Sirao is a barangay in Busay, geographically, located 17 kms from the city proper. Starting point is from JY Square, Lahug, Cebu City.
The Little Amsterdam of Cebu is an 8,000-sq-meter piece of uphill land privately owned by Sps. Alfredo and Elena Sy-Chua who grew, for the longest time, celosia flowers which are harvested in time for the All Souls’ Day and Sinulog. Celosia flowers are locally known as burlas and are said to last for eight to 10 weeks.
Sources say that these flowers come in yellow and red colors which are closely associated with the colors of Sto. Nino of Cebu. Elena loves the Sto. Nino so dearly that she and her husband started to plant celosia flowers on their hillside land, through the labor of their garden caretaker.
Curious about the fuzz this garden is making in the social media, our group had a trip to the uphill land of barangay Sirao last September 17, 2016. Excited, some even wore their OOTDs (outfit of the day) just to have a pictorial with a variety of flowers as background.
There, we paid an entrance fee of P30.00 per person. Visiting hours is from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
From the entrance top, concrete footsteps are placed to ensure the safety of every guest in going down the garden owing to its hilly type of land.
The Garden has a variety of plants grown everywhere like dahlia, Mickey Mouse, cockscomb (actually of the same family as celosia), China aster, dahlia, everlasting, yellow bell, Guernsey lily and petunia to accentuate the place with vibrant colors.
While going down, your eyes are easily directed to the heart shape signage saying “We love Sirao.” While the back of the heart says, “Thank you for your visit.”
The flowers are planted in tiers along both sides, left and right. Gaps are provided in between tiers to give guests the space to do their selfies or groufies and, at the same time, to protect the plants from being stepped on.
Benches are provided in some parts of the garden where you can take a rest after a couple or two pictorials.
While there, celosia flowers were not yet in full bloom so that the colors are not as vibrant as they were posted on FBs and Tweets taken by those who came in time for the harvest in October. Nonetheless, we enjoyed taking pictures on each and every added attraction like the bicycle, the windmill, the fountain, and the statuaries.
Sirao Garden is popularly known to be a place to:
If you have decided to see the place, you can use or take any of the transports available:
To get you to JY Square, Lahug from Cebu City, take a public utility jeep plying the route to Lahug or Busay. Or you may take a taxi cab. At JY Square, drivers of single motors or habal-habal are waiting for passengers who are bound for Amsterdam, little though. This time you have to haggle for a fare of P200 to P250 round trip waiting time included because the place is now in demand as one of tourists destination. The law of supply and demand now applies. When the demand is high, the price is high too.
Should you be contemplating on taking a “plea-isure” trip, the road to Busay leading to the Little Amsterdam is worth a try on one cool daybreak.