I am very much an inner city girl having been born and lived all my life in Sta. Mesa, Manila, center point of Metro Manila. Daily, I contend with all kinds of noises, hustle and bustle of 24-hour non-stop activity around, pollution, masses of people passing by my window, floods and others that I welcome every opportunity to get to the suburbs or the province as a big treat.
When the members of Institute of Management Consultants of the Philippines (IMPhil) decided to visit the Villegas Organic & Hobby Farm of Meganomics Specialist International's Pabs Villegas in San Pedro, Malvar, Batangas, I immediately joined them.
Pabs' farm consists of 3 hectares for the whole complex which he has subdivided into nine farm modules, each with a farm land area of 3,000 m2, while Pabs retains 5000m2. Pabs is now selling those farm lots (0917-8211548). Pabs confides that he bought his farm from his retirement pay as vice president of Land Bank of the Philippines in 1991.
Pabs enthuses that each farm module has a provision for potable and irrigation water, road system, parking spaces, techno-managerial and marketing assistance and logistical support, readily available technologists and farm workers, access to a greenhouse, nursery and demonstration farm technologies, pay amenities and natural fencing hedge rows amidst the cool and balmy weather of Lipa-Malvar. "The farm has been topographically-mapped and soil-tested to provide contour information and suitability indicators on a variety of farm enterprises. Farm enterprises could range from mixed lettuce crop and herb production to the breeding and raising of naturally-grown and free ranged colored chickens, ducks and goats as well as fish. This includes organic fertilizer production, vermi-composting, post-harvest handling, food processing, and natural and indigenous food gourmet demonstrations. The naturally fertile and long fallowed farm has huge deposits of humus and earthworm castings. The already developed farmlots have existing fruit bearing mangoes, coconut, santol, jackfruit, bananas, mahogany, narra and gmelina trees which serve as a value added asset for each farm module.
"The farm seeks to establish a community of sustainable and ecological agribusiness and recreational, cottage and homeland (SEARCH) ventures set in the heart of Batangas. The complex is accessible via SLEX and STAR Highways or old Sto. Tomas-Batangas City Laurel Highway. An organic farming community will evolve within this landscape of naturally grown farm products amidst the ambience and rhythm of the clement weather and naturally balanced ecosystems. It offers a wide array of technological and market possibilities for the establishment of naturally-grown crops, herbal, culinary and medicinal plants, livestock and fishery enterprises within the techno-demonstration farms and each micro-farming module.
"Set apart and atypical from the rest of other "leisure" farms, it seeks to set-up prototype sustainable and ecologically friendly farming systems. Each farm will be distinctly characterized by a standard traditional bahay kubo that is landscaped with indigenous food crops, culinary and medicinal herbs, fruit trees and ornamentals. The farm also features nursery sites and a provision for technological demonstrations and training for the development of a viable and profitable smallholder commercial farm.
"With the passion to go on from pesticide-free and natural production process to a full-pledged organic farming venture, the farm adheres to the strict use of biological (natural) crop nutrition and protection system to aid healthier lifestyle. Hedge rows will delineate its borders and flowers and ornamental plants will bloom season to season thereby providing the aesthetic beauty and bounty of a natural land ecosystem blending well with a sustainable and ecological agriculture.
"It will maintain a mini-market (pick and pay) for organic food products and in future a mini-restaurant serving natural and indigenous foods, where timely and much needed innovations for the growing and expanding interest for wellness and healthy lifestyle will be promoted. Through its SAGE Learning Center, it will reach out to children and youth in school as well as health care institutions to pursue the culture of sustainable farming and wellness lifestyle.
"Serving as training ground for farming and healthy lifestyle enthusiasts, smallholders, professionals and agribusiness companies who share the same vision as the farm, it has a greenhouse, for high-value and off-season crops, nursery and techno-demonstration facilities."
Congratulations to Engr. Robert C. Rubina, the newly elected president of National association for Scrabble in the Philippines (NASCAP). To join scrabble tournaments, call Robin (0917-505-1304) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). Other members his new Board are: Chair Nene Lambino, Sec Susan Carag, VP Gener Camiling, Treas Mildred Santos, Willy Padua and Francis Mallari.
(firstname.lastname@example.org; www.learningandinnovation.com; www.paradigmsandparadoxes.ronjie.com)