SAYING IT WITH FLOWERS.
DOHA DESIGN, creativity or performing arts, Filipinos in Qatar are in the thick of it all.
Among the Filipino expatriates here, there are architects, while in the field of photography Filipino hobbyists have formed two major groups visible at most important functions of the country.
Also, given their leanings towards the performing arts, Filipinos in Qatar have earned the distinction of being among the favourite performers, be it solo acts or as a group such as bands.
Recently, a fresh batch of creative Filipinos came together with the aim of s h o w c a s i n g another art - flower arrangement.
The Filipino Florists Association in Qatar, with its 80 founding members, is the latest addition to the over 100 existing Filipino groups and associations in the country. They represent Filipino professional florists employed across Doha and as far as Al Khor and Al Wakra.
"There are about 300 professional florists employed in over 100 flower shops and businesses across Qatar.
Filipino florists are known to be creative. We usually set the trend when it comes to the design or style of arrangement.
Our aim is to showcase this expertise to the different communities in Qatar.
"Being a professional for 27 years, I realised the need to form a group to serve as a platform of showcasing such expertise of Pinoys.
Originally, I just wanted to contribute to the Philippine Independence Day event by showing off some of my flower arrangements but then I realised why not gather the other Filipino florists in Qatar and officially form a group," said Dawud Turla.
Turla used to work as a designer for the Mandarin Hotel in Manila. He came from a family of florists from Samar (located in the Eastern Visayas Region of the Philippines). His father has arranged flowers for important events in the country, including at the burial of Benigno 'Ninoy' Aquino Jr, former Filipino senator and father of current Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, and at the celebrated wedding of Irene Marcos, one of the daughters of former Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos.
Turla has worked in Kuwait and Abu Dhabi. In Qatar, he has been in the flower business for eight years.
At the recently held Philippine Independence day celebration held at the Sheraton Doha Hotel, the lovely flower arrangements of Turla and the rest of the talented Pinoy florists were a welcome addition to the grand annual event.
More importantly, the occasion served as the group's first step towards reaching out to the rest of the Doha community. "Our ultimate dream as a group is to build a tableau for the Qatar National Day. We want to do this for the country as well as to extend the creativity of Pinoys in this field. We also hope to reach out to the Qatari authorities to give us an opportunity to organise a flower show in the country," Turla said.
The group is also keen on sharing its knowledge by conducting seminars on basic flower arrangements.
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