A group of Filipino-Chinese families felt that a good way to break the new routine of their children having to sit in front of a computer for online learning was to get their hands dirty becoming weekend farmers at Yamang Bukid.
The farm located in Barangay Bacungan hosted some ten students for a day of farming, ang got them to try their hands at milking carabaos to learning the principles of agriculture from the farm’s capable staff.
“Since homeschooling ‘yong mga anak namin, we wanted to find a common activity for all of them which is perfect for what is happening now during the pandemic,” Filipino-Chinese mother of four Ann (full name withheld), told Palawan News.
“We find that Yamang Bukid is a perfect venue actually to learn to farm, the basics of planting and also to get the materials, seeds, and seedlings from,” Ann added.
The students’ activities included getting milk from carabao and feeding the rabbits, apart from learning about planting in general.
“It was an eye-opener for the kids, that it is really important ang pagfa-farm at saka ma-expose sila sa nature. It was like going back to basics talaga lalo na sa panahon ngayon na importante na lang talaga ‘yong nakakain natin, iyon talaga ang essential,” she said.
She said that even the parents gained valuable insights from the immersion of their children at the Yamang Bukid farm.
“Syempre when you get to experience things, mas nagro-root siya especially sa bata na they really learned from by doing and by experience. It is like a very nice immersion na makita nila na enjoyable din pala ang farming, enjoyable pala ang pagmi-milk ng cow. Ang hirap din pala para makabuo ng isang litro ng gatas. Para ma-value nila ‘yong trabaho ng mga magsasaka natin,” Ann said.
Like Ann, another Filipino-Chinese couple who shied away from being named, also shared with Palawan News the same sentiment in the entire experience of immersion.
“Especially right now na ang kids ay puro gadgets na lang at least ito na-i-enjoy nila ‘yong environment, yong surrounding at saka nakikita nila kung saan nila nakikita ‘yong kinakain,” the couple said.
They said they are hoping that the experience for their children will help convince them to include vegetables in their dietary preferences.
“Sa tingin ko, if they learn about organic farming lalo ‘yong nakikita at nahahawakan nila, mas lalo nila ma-appreciate at baka mas ma-encourage sila na kainin yong mga gulay,” they said.
Yamang Bukid assistant vice president for external affairs Elaine Marie Durian said that it is their advocacy to train and educate people about food security.
“Maganda rin na advocacy natin to train and educate the people, syempre ang aim naman natin is towards food security lalo din na si Yamang Bukid is one of the agri-tourism sites so marami tayong naki-cater na local tourists who have really shown their interests sa agriculture, sa farming,” she said.
She said that during the students’ exposure, they made sure that they learn more about best practices in farming.
“They wanted to see and hear about Yamang Bukid Farm and its best practices. To think na sila ay coming from families of business owners, kahit ganon ‘yong estado nila sa buhay ay talagang they are down to earth at sobrang warm nilang mga tao and open-minded sila sa agriculture,” she said.
Durian said that the Yamang Bukid Farm is a Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) registered farm school and Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) accredited learning site for agriculture. She said it is open for everyone interested to get the same experience with farming, and pointed to details explained in their Facebook page.