Farm tourism is gaining momentum in the Philippines. In 2019, more than 200 agri-tourism farms all over the country have been accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT).
During the pandemic, farming became a therapy to deal with the effects of the lockdown, bringing out the plantitos and plantitas in all of us. In the new normal, farm tourism has been a go-to tourism site as government agencies issued relaxed restrictions on open-air, nature-based, rural destinations.
Gintong Butil Agri-farm, a farm managed and operated by Puerto Princesa’s City Agriculture Office, positions itself to be more than the usual farm tourism destination. For them, farming is not just a fad. It is a necessity for survival.
The 40-hectare Gintong Butil Agri-Farm, 27 kilometers south of the city proper, serves as a demo farm where local agriculturists develop farming techniques to help farmers and ensure food security.
“Alam natin ngayon na mahilig tayo sa picture, dito sa gintong butil ay hindi lang magandang tanawin kundi may matutunanan ka pa. Nagsisilbi itong demo farm ng PPC, kung ako ang aming itinuturo ay yon din ang aming ginagawa. Ang Natural farming ay hindi madali Dito itinuturo natin na tayo ang mag adjust sa nature dahil mas nauna sila,” said agriculturist John Ray Manalo.
Complete with almost every vegetable from the song “Bahay Kubo”, Gintong Butil gives you a practical crash course in vegetable farming through their Vegetable Garden demo and the Herbs and Spice Garden.
Gintong Butil also produces its own farm inputs through its Fertilizer & Biopesticide Production Area. Their farm animals consume certain types of plants specifically cultivated in the Farm Animals and Forage Crop areas.
High-value and in-demand crops such as mango, cashew, coconut, citrus, calamansi, and cacao are grown in separate areas of the farm.
Gintong Butil also ventures into bamboo farming. 42 species of bamboo are currently cultivated on the farm.
Ornamental plants are everywhere, artistically curated, making every photo Instagram-worthy.
The farm also features a hanging bridge, hugot park, a garden of hope, and a reflexology walkway.
Are you planning to bring a piece of Gintong Butil with you? Their Containerized Garden will teach you how to create a farm in your own space, even in an urban setting.
A trip to the farm wouldn’t be complete without having a taste of freshly picked produce. Their tilapia paired with blue rice, maruya (banana fritter) as a dessert, and calamansi juice is a sumptuous feast on its own.
The Gintong Butil Agri-Farm is open on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last batch of visitors will be accommodated until 4 p.m.
According to farm administrator Miguelito Cervancia, they have limited their visiting schedule to focus on other farm operations.
“Actually kaya hindi tayo makapag-operate ng araw-araw for tourism purpose kasi yung farm tourism aspect ay isang malaking bahagi lamang ng ating mga target sa project na ito, kaya maliban doon sa farm tourism aspect kailangan nating magproduce ng halimbawa 150,000 seedlings ng fruit trees at plantation crops, 500 kilograms na vegetable seeds at mga seedling rin ng mga bamboo at may iba-iba pa tulad ng maintenance sa parks natin, expansion na ginagawa tapos may mga trainings kaya medyo ganoon ang set up natin ngayon,” he said.
The City Agriculture Office hopes to inspire a new generation of farmers through the Gintong Butil Agri Farm. A generation that will find the importance of putting quality food on the table of every Filipino through the noble profession of being a farmer.
“Kami ay nago-offer ng training na naka based sa application. Kung ano man ang findings namin sa field ay we can share that sa mga students pati sa mga agriculture students. Plus,ang mga graduate ng agriculture ay ini-encourage talaga namin na kung may mga farms sila ay i-practice nila sa kanilang mga farms. Kasi kailangan talaga natin ng pagpapatuloy ng agriculture para maensure ang food security at efficiency,” Cervancia added.
Check the tiled gallery below for more photos of Gintong Butil Agri-farm.