Text and Photos by Julio P. Yap, Jr.
YAMANG BUKID FARM, an emerging agro-tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan is being shortlisted for a major award on farm tourism.
No less than the MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) regional office of the Department of Tourism (DOT) nominated Yamang Bukid Farm to represent the region in this year’s edition of the prestigious “Lakbay Bukid Awards.”
DOT-MIMAROPA Regional Director Danilo Intong, in a letter, gave credit to the sincere efforts of the management and staff of Yamang Bukid Farmin promoting community-based farm tourism.
“As this regional office sees the efforts and practices of your organization in involving the communities and pushing for a more sustainable and inclusive growth community through farm tourism, we are pleased to inform you that the (DOT-MIMAROPA) is nominating (the Farm) for the 2019 Lakbay Bukid Awards,” Intong said in his letter addressed to Hope Alas, the Yamang Bukid tourism campaign manager.
The competition highlights the 6th Philippine Farm Tourism Conference which is being initiated by the International School of Sustainable Tourism that will be held in Cebu City on November 6-8, 2019.
An integral part of the event is the Lakbay-Bukid Award, which gives recognition to the resiliency, ingenuity, and strength of the hardworking farmers, fisherfolk, and stakeholders for the promotion of farm tourism in the country.
For her part, Alas expressed her appreciation for the DOT-MIMAROPA’s nomination where she underscored the role and diligence of the farmers in transforming Yamang Bukid Farm into an emerging and farm tourism site.
The nomination came after a more than 20-hectare hilly and forested area at Sitio Candes III in Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, has been transformed to what it is now – a virtual paradise, with well-maintained flower and vegetable gardens.
Yamang Bukid Farm also features “Instagrammable” sites, a farm-themed restaurant which serves locally-prepared salads and dishes that are cooked using naturally and organically-grown vegetables.
Yamang Bukid, which also has its own poultry and livestock farm, is manned by more than 200 local farmers, who were former illegal loggers, commonly known as “kaingeros” in the locality.
Following their transformation as illegal loggers-turned-environmentalists, the local farmers are now happy and contended with their new job as farmworkers at the Yamang Bukid Farm.
According to Alas, the DOT’s nomination will not be possible without the support of the hardworking and dedicated farmers of Yamang Bukid, where each one of them has a story to tell which can touch the hearts of the people.
“This nomination will once again bring pride to the happy farming community of Yamang Bukid Farm. We will continue living a life for others by doing business with a heart,” Alas pointed out.