A trip home is incomplete without a visit to Market Market!, an outdoor marketplace selling fragrant fresh fruit and stunning tropical blooms. In congested Makati, the market is a welcomed transit to a small organic oasis, and even if I’m not looking to make any purchases, I enjoy a short stroll speaking with the merchants, looking to learn more about the tropical flora.
One of my favorite plants is the Bird of Paradise variety. Architecturally they are magnificent. I love how the colorful flower resembles a bird’s head plumage and beak and how vibrant and saturated are the colors. The bright reds, oranges and pinks are, for me, an emblem of home.
As a welcome home salutation, my mom and I made ‘paseo’ around the market to bring back some birds of paradise for an arrangement.
The flowers, some taller than I, aren’t the easiest to arrange because of their thick stems and fairly austere and awkward shape. I decided to embrace their height (we never get these large of blooms in NYC!) so I put them in a large sturdy glass vase filled with water. If you have a beautiful Chinese-motif porcelain vase, the flowers would look absolutely stunning in it as well! I then started putting first those stocks most most heavy and cumbersome, slowly adding smaller and more delicate blooms as I went along. To finish the arrangement, I added a small green leaf to break up the division between the vase and the stems. I remember being taught in Flower School that it truly is an eye sore if you leave negative space on the edge of the vase.
Mom and placed the arrangement outside on her balcony; a gorgeous and festive tropical touch for sunset mocktails (sober January, remember?!) and Filipino pica pica!