Trekking Mt. Kitanglad, Capping the Bukidnon Farm Experience

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SAM_2292Before I wrap up our Bukidnon Farm Tour with the final activity in our Bukidnon itinerary, let me recap my first 3-day Mindanao farm experience.
After landing in Laguindinang airport of Cagayan de Oro, we went straight to t13235513_10153755580477956_7505641769590644436_o (1)he Cervantes farm and enjoyed an organic feast of homegrown harvests while learning new insights and ideas from the enthusiastic farmer Honorio Cervantes. We proceeded to Alomah farm to spend the night in a cool, rural-type accomodation amidst the fresh chilly night air . . . forget airconditioning.

Our group had a chance to view the Delmonte plantation an13268055_10153758103052956_5578190313695357916_od take some souvenir photos on our 3-hour long trip to Jaya Secret Garden. Another feast of healthy lunch awaited us there which included home-made herbal beverages and home-harvested vegetable,fish and duck dishes. After filling our tummies, our mind was filled with information and new farm method discoveries.


Rebuilding Forests at Binahon Farm

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SAM_2176With the destruction of our forests caused by excessive logging and resulting in calamities like flooding, drought, and low food supply, it’s time to find a solution fast.  Who you gonna call?

SAM_2219You can call Binahon Agro Forestry Farm or BAFF for their expertise on Forest development. BAFF owners Henry Binahon and his wife have been long in the business to know the most efficient way to rebuild a forest. A mix of studies, experience, and common sense, these couple would be our country’s version of forest whisperers.

SAM_2232After spending lunch and an afternoon at Jaya Secret Garden, the group proceeded to Binahon Farm which was a bit of an uphill climb.  Our vans could only take us to a certain point before we had to trek a kilometer to our destination.  After we settled in with our luggage at our designated rooms, we SAM_2262proceeded to the meeting room for a briefing and a taste of their specialty carrot juice and carrot bread for snack.  We were welcomed by BAFF owners Henry and Perla Binahon who shared their love story and their dedication to agriculture development. More

A Secret to an Organic Lanscaped Garden Revealed

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Moving on to the third farm, we come across a smaller but beautifully landscaped 2,100 sq. meter farm where every space is maximized. The sloping land area was transformed into a beautiful garden of organic vegetables.SAM_1963

As we entered Jaya Secret Garden, we were welcomed by the owners Junah Bayag and his family with lunch: a meal of blue rice, fish, veggies, cucumber cooler, lemongrass juice, orange with chilli refresher—freshly harvested from the garden. Blue rice was made with a  flower called blue ternate, which has anti-ageing, energy-enhancing, fertility increasing properties.

During his daughter Jaya’s tour and his lecture, Farmer Junah constantly acknowledged his family’s contribution and support in developing this visually appealing, photogenic landscaped garden. Landscaping is their main income source, followed by catering, and the sale of their organic produce such as cabbages, lettuce, herbs, chilli, fish, and duck among others. Diversified backyard gardening he explains is a key element to his thriving place. More

Welcome to the Land of Salad and Rodeo at Alomah’s Place

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Farm Tourism is on the rise. How could it not be? Who wouldn’t want to take a break from traffic, work stress, junk food, air and noise pollution and try  living in a farm? Refresh the body, mind and soul for a few days with fresh air, organic dishes, peace and quiet surroundings. Be far away from the stress of daily living and be one with nature. One such place is the cool mountain hide-away of Alomah’s Place.

SAM_1812The second organic farm we visited gave us a feel of the farm life as we spent a welcome chilly night at Alomah’s Place.
After lunch and tour at Cervantes Farm, we took 3 hour trip, give and take, to this rodeo-like farm at the end of the Delmonte plantation road. Almost the only 2 vans on the road on our way to the farm, our convoy of media bloggers crossed 3 vehicles at most as we neared our destination. It felt like an isolated road on a rainy afternoon but we took the opportunity to take a quick nap before arriSAM_1918ving to our second farm.
We were welcomed by the owners Ben John and Grace Mahistrado, who served us a healthy snack of fresh tea leaves and salad as they briefed us on the history of the place. Spearmint, stevia, and tarragon leaves steeped in hot water , no sugar or tea bags, was how we took our tea.  How fresh and natural was that. We had to forgo the tour until the next morning because of the rains. More

Cervantes Brings Organic Farming to City Dwellers

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SAM_1784As we travel to our fifth organic farm tour series, this time around in Bukidnon, with the tireless support of the Agricultural Technological Institure or ATI Northern Mindanao team, we once again share with you the learnings and developments from the organic farming sector as part of ATI’s advocacy for a healthier tomorrow.
SAM_1788Our first visit upon landing at Cagayan De Oro airport was a two-hour trip destination to Cervantes Farm in Bukidnon. We were greeted with a rural-type of feast for lunch inside a typical nipa hut farm structure owned by Honorio Cervantes. Fish, pork, vegetables, piled on rice surrounded by mangoes and bananas in a heap on top of the table covered by banana leaves. Buko with blended coconut meat for beverage was rich and filling For plates, we used sturdy banana trunk layers with plastic utensils, which we skipped and instead used our reliable and efficient hands. It was a refreshing sight to behold which made us smile because of the practicality and convenience of such a set up. Everything was biodegradable and could simply be returned to the soil as enrichment, minus the burden of dish washing and cleaning. (see video)


Start the Year With Green In Mind

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Native Sapling by Gregg Yan & WWFPress Update:

Start the year right with these green New Year resolutions! Follow these simple tips shared by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Philippines) to give Planet Earth the gift of healing.

According to the Philippine solid waste management group, humanity generates over 10,000 million tons of solid waste each year – and only 12% of this is reused and recycled. Though a season of joy, the holidays also contribute to the planetary problem of solid
waste. So it’s time to clean up and green up this 2016.

Go for an organic lifestyle. Going green starts in the kitchen Organic food may be more expensive but these are free of fertilizers and pesticides which degrade groundwater and carry potential health risks. By purchasing organic produce, you are not only he
lping Mother Nature but also supporting our local farmers.

Use old shoe boxes. Reuse your old shoe boxes. Turn them into works of art. Boost your creativity by decorating boring old boxes and using these store items and organize your home

Start a green family tradition. Make your family participate in eco-conscious activities. You can easily think of simple activities like camping and tree planting where you and your family can work together to raise environmental awareness.

Sort your wardrobe. As the saying goes, what you don’t use is not really yours. Evaluate what is in your closets and set aside some pieces to share with others. This will not just spread a smile of happiness to others but also reduce waste generation.Bicycles by Gregg Yan

Walk or bike, it’s more fun. This New Year, try walking or taking your bike to go places. You’ll be saving money and reducing your carbon footprint while getting an excellent workout. What better way to start the New Year than by staying fit?

You can spread the holiday cheer and help support WWF-Philippines’ programs on biodiversity conservation, environmental sustainability and climate change solutions. Visit to find more ways to help!


Cucumber Coolness


sharing  from Miguel Romero. . .

Cucumbers are very easy to grow and make for a delicious treat. But did you know they can prevent hangovers, or clean the kitchen sink? Below is a list of tips and tricks you can do with cucumbers.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance. 4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the photochemical in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!