Trekking Mt. Kitanglad, Capping the Bukidnon Farm Experience

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment


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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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

Leave a comment

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)


Jertie’s Kitchen and Sugarleaf’s Green Guide to Eating Right Recipes

Leave a comment

SAM_3480SAM_3491We’ve always believed great-tasting nutritious food should be accessible to anyone and everyone. And more than that, we should be able to make it easily without breaking our wallet. Eating a plant-based diet should not be any different.

A lot of people hesitate to commit to a plant-based diet because they believe it to be difficult and expensive to create. We want to debunk that misconception! It can be expensive, especially if you always go for the high-end options, but most of the time, it’s as affordable as it can get. –Jertie’s Kithen

SAM_3486In The Green Guide to Eating Right Workshop Series held last October to February,  they demonstrated how plant-based dishes can be made easily without breaking  the budget, no matter how extensive or limited your experience in the kitchen is. And the other great thing is that you don’t need fancy equipment. You just need a toaster, a rice cooker or a pan with a stove!

October – Eating A Plant-Based Diet On A Budget

“We need to eat more fruits and vegetables, that’s a fact. In this workshop, we’ll teach you five easy-to-make plant-based dishes that’ll help you incorporate more fruit and vegetable dishes to your existing diet.”

SAM_3485November – Noche Buena Vegan Feast

“Eat heartily on Noche Buena without the guilt with these plant-based versions of your favorite Noche Buena dishes!”

January – Lose Holiday Weight with Green Smoothie

“Had a little too much fun during the holidays? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you get back to your old self. Green smoothies will help you slip back into those skinny jeans without having to jump and down to make it fit.”

February – Love, Chocolate

“Chocolates definitely rule this month. Let us teach you new plant-based chocolate dishes to romance your lover (or would-be lover)”.

During the introductory workshop,  the following simple everyday plant-based dishes were demonstrated with just a rice cooker and blender.



  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets, stem trimmed, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps oil (optional)


  • Water sauté onions until they are soft. Season with salt, add garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  • Add broth, milk and broccoli. Cover and let it simmer for 20 minutes or until broccoli is tender.
  • Set aside a few broccoli florets. Transfer the remaining contents to a blender and puree. Return pureed soup to the pot and add the remaining florets. While it’s heating, stir in nutritional yeast until everything is incorporated.
  • Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Serve with crackers or bread on the side.
  • Serves 4.



  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced into wedges
  • 1 medium carrot, cubed
  • 4 pcs baguio beans, sliced 2 inches diagonally
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cubed
  • ¼ cup toasted cashew nuts
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • parsley (as garnish)
  • lemon wedges (as garnish)
  • mushrooms (optional)


  • Turn on rice cooker until it heats up.
  • Saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Add rice and mix in tomato sauce.
  • Add rest of the vegetables to rice cooker.
  • Cover with lid and let it cook until rice cooker goes to warm.
  • Check if everything is cooked. Once it’s cooked, serve with parsley on top and lemon on the side.
  • If using mushroom, sauté with garlic and onion until it’s cooked.
  • Serves 2.



  • 2 cups greens
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 2 cups water
  • 4-5 ice


  • Place all ingredients in a blender, with greens in first, and blend.
  • Makes 1 500ml glass.




  • Almond, soaked for 6 hours, drained and rinsed
  • Dates, soaked


  • Fresh ripe lacatan/saba, sliced
  • Coconut oil
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Coconut Nectar Syrup


  • Process almonds or dates until crushed or sticky using a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, chop the almonds and dates and mix them with your hands. Make sure you chop them into small pieces, not too chunky.
  • Press the crust down on a tart pan or a plastic-lined cupcake tins to form the crust.
  • Place sliced bananas on the crust.
  • Add coconut oil, cocoa powder and coconut nectar syrup in a bowl using a whisk. Whisk until everything is combined well. Add cocoa powder or syrup to taste.
  • Pour chocolate sauce on top of banana and place in ref for at least 1 hour to let it set.
  • Once the chocolate sauce thickens, you can serve the tart.
  • You can also sprinkle chopped almonds as garnish.
  • Makes 2 tarts,

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Jertie’s Kitchen is a specialty home-based business operated by sisters, Jertie and Jaclyn Abergas, who want to introduce an alternative, healthier lifestyle to people who want to take care of their bodies.

We create mouth-watering gluten-free and vegan dishes and pastries to satisfy people’s palates. We also show them how to make these simple plant-based dishes through our cooking workshops.  Should they need more support, we offer health coaching to help people transition to a healthier lifestyle.

Health is a big concern for us. We have a strong family history of different medical conditions, lots of hospital visits and even our own health scares. We believe prevention is the best cure and we want to show how people how to take care of their health. We strive to make our products and services affordable because we believe healthy eating should be accessible to all and not just to a select few.


Jertie’s Kitchen is proud to work with Sugarleaf Organic Market and Café to encourage people to live healthier lives. Their all-out support and belief in our passion and what we do is extremely validating. They believe in the same principles we do, to encourage people to be more conscious of what they’re eating and to provide them with the options they need to do that.

Hidden Cures with Wild Raspberries, Oyster Mushrooms at Bangkong Kahoy Valley

Leave a comment

SAM_9384SAM_9235As the Organic Agriculture Movement moves on, we find ourselves in the heart of Quezon province, between Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Cristobal. Bangkong kahoy Valley is a farm as well as a tourist destination where people can relax, take in the fresh air, read a book, take a stroll, write an article and simply be alone. The place is an ideal camp site where children can learn to preserve and respect nature. The owner, Dion Pullan, who prefers to be called the “caretaker” of the place as God is the one true land owner, made it his advocacy to educate the youth on the preservation, care and appreciation of nature.  As well as provide livelihood for the locals who need an alternative source of income instead of destroying the forest.

SAM_9417Because of the valley’s enviable cold weather, wild raspberries thrive and run wild in the land producing untapped medicinal properties still under review. It has been proven that the leaves of the wild raspberries has anti-inflammatory properties among other discoveries, while the raspberries have shown to have strong anti-oxidants in them. Oyster mushrooms are another source of healthy nutrients when grown the natural way. Recently, kale was discovered to thrive in Quezon’s encouraging weather.

SAM_9256There are still unexplored healing properties in wild plants thriving in Quezon weather so it seems but right to continue its propagation and studies. Funds are what farmer need now to continue their mission to grow healthy vegetables and fruits which may be the key to a certain health condition that don’t have known cures.

SAM_9310Who knows what other treasure of cures are hidden in these wild plants at Bangkong Kahoy Valley? Maybe a cure for lupus, psoriasis, arthritis, or other debilitating disease. Who really knows? So we must motivate and encourage our farmers and landowners to develop rich harvests the natural or organic way. It may be God’s way of sending help to eradicate debilitating diseases. It’s time to listen.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Older Entries