After months of preparation, here I am - free to tell you all about my (and my husband's) journeys at last! =) If you've been following my blog, you'll notice that I first fell in love with Zambales during my Anawangin cove trip with Anywhere Philippines and soon after, the TV shoot with PopTalk. I first learned about Crystal Beach Resort in San Narciso and experienced surfing from that episode. J and I have been attempting to stay here longer and it was full during the music festival. Finally, this year, went with his Galleon.ph team for their company outing! It's near enough (~4 hours) from Manila with an optional stopover at Subic. The resort can accommodate hundreds of guests at a time and you can choose from native accommodations to beach camping here. This chill resort can also be a good place for family outings, barkada trips or couple getaways. Check out my post below for tips and reminders if ever you want to make the most of this place =)
One day while browsing through my social media, I came across Paris France Taiwan's video for a crazy shoot. At the time, I already wanted to have an extraordinary experience in relation to our upcoming wedding at least - if I couldn't fly and be off somewhere during the actual day then before that haha. We didn't know them, had a friend initially contact them (coz I wasn't confident with my Mandarin), just paid the downpayment, booked flights and waited for the date. Our trip was well worth it in my opinion, it brought us closer together as a couple and it's something we would gladly do again hehe. Here's what happened. Of course, I can't post all the photos just yet until after the wedding next year but at least you'll get a feel of the logistics and the other places we've been thru my newly found Traveller's Notebook and a little behind-the-scenes. I'm planning 2 more posts after this on the picking of attires, the hotel and food in the Hsinchu area ;)
Citronella Farming and the Maputi Preserve Eco Walk! An Afternoon at the Mt. Kitanglad Agri-Ecological Techno Demo Center in Malaybalay Bukidnon!
In my farm travels, I learned that citronella spray naturally keeps the mosquitoes away. We checked out the MKAETDC farm in Malaybalay, Bukidnon for this highly valuable product and had a lovely hike in a shared 22-hectare property of the Gawad Saka Awardee Benjamin Maputi and the Imbayao Multi-Purpose Cooperative (10 hectares of which is a protected area for eco walks). If I had more time here, I would love to hear about the gatekeepers KGV (Kitanglad Guard Volunteers) on horseback, the lumad community, the council of elders and how they manage this protected area of the Kitanglad mountain range and how they train farmers to do sustainable upland farming. MKAETDC was awarded as the "Most Outstanding Farm Family of the Philippines" in 2006. It's among the "renowned demonstration farms in the country" for its sustainable integrated farming with environmental protection and forest propagation practices.
I'm starting to love the outdoors despite my aversion to the sun. A well-paced early morning eco walk around the Binahon Agroforestry Farm property with the Binahon mini forest did wonders no matter what I was going through that crazy day. I love the trees here most planted in barren land over 20 years ago. Coming here is an opportunity to marvel at how things heal, grow, and give back over time and look at your impact on your physical, social and cultural environment. The Binahons have created a lovely retreat place and a valuable resource center for researchers and forestry students in Mindanao. Our guide and owner Mr. Henry talked about us being stewards of the good resources and understanding the language of the ecosystems and the environment so that you don't go against nature while doing farming.
Binahon Farm Stay in Bukidnon - An Agroforestry Farm, Resource Center and an Agri Tourism Experience in our CDO-Bukidnon Adventure!
I thought I lost something very material on this day and amidst all the chaos, I found myself instead and an unexpected great way to conquer my inner turmoil in Binahon Farm. I cherished our morning forest walk the most so I suggest you try it out. We spent a night there so this post will come in two parts, an intro to the Binahon Agroforestry Farm and the accommodation options then a post on our farm tour the following day so that I can show more pictures. =) Binahon Agroforestry Farm (BAFF) is a farm enterprise that earns with (farm) technology and contributes to the conservation of a protected area.
When I see so many wonderful things over and over, I can't help but think , "What if I was exposed to nature earlier in life, instead of just reading about it in school books?" Or maybe I had just forgotten my childhood days... Now that I think about it - I used to enjoy smelling the champaca in the garden in our old house, sucking on that sweet dew at the center of a small red flower, checking out the calamansi tree regularly beside the mini pond, eating star apples freshly hooked using a pole and waiting for Indian mangoes to bear fruit from our big tree... This place at the heart of Malaybalay in Bukidnon surprisingly brought back these memories when I got to meet a lady more than half my age (younger) named Jayashree Bayag in her secret organic garden in the city, where almost a bit of a lot of things grow =)