After farm destination buys palay in high prices, grateful Palawan farmers give away free rice

Published: November 28, 2019 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Paying it forward.

Farmers in a rice-producing village in Narra, Palawan have expressed gratitude to a farm tourism destination here for fulfilling their vow to buy palay from them at higher gate price by giving away rice to neighbors.

Photo by JM ZAP

At least 21 farmers from the village of Burirao benefitted the palay buyout scheme by Yamang Bukid Farm which highlighted its campaign to help impoverished farmers in Palawan, which palay bought at double the current buying prices, according to Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan (YBFP) vice president for community relations.

Photo by JM ZAP

“We were able to gather some 21 farmers and each of them brought with them five sacks of palay,” said Brother Maria, adding they coordinated with the local government of Narra and the Department of Agriculture in identifying small-time farmers who may want to sell their harvest.

The buyout scheme, Maria said, was the culmination of the farm attraction’s advocacy to help palay farmers adversely affected following the steep lowering of palay prices since late this year. Last month, YBFP kickstarted its campaign by launching a fun run with the aim of generating awareness and support towards the plight of palay farmers across the country.

That campaign dubbed “Run for the Farmers” generated massive support and a significant amount of money which was used for the palay-buying project.

In buying the palay, Maria said they ensured those who can benefit were really poor, lowly farmers.

“We challenged them to work hard and not view our initiative as a sort of dole-out,” said Maria.

In a simple ceremony, YBFP’s chief farmer, Totong Arceo, gave the farmer-traders inputs on organic farming “which they received overwhelmingly,” according to Maria.

“They even requested if we could come back in another time and share them more knowledge on natural way of growing crops, which we promised to do,”said the YBFP executive.

The Farm bought a total of 105 sacks of palay at P20/kilo, double the current buying price, with the milled rice given back to the farmers.

A mill owner in Narra, Norile Enriquez, agreed to give a 50-centavo/kilo discount to the farmers to have their palay husked and milled, which “helped significantly the farmers,” said Hope Alas, YBFP vice president for tourism affairs.

Upon learning of Yamang Bukid Farm’s generous offer, the farmers were ecstatic that one of them, Felix Gonzales, even gave away portions of the milled rice to his non-farming neighbors, shocking even the Yamang Bukid personnel.

“Mang Felix asked us to accompany him to his house where he repacked his milled rice and give these away to his neighbors, particularly those who do not own a farm,” recounted Maria.

Other farmers also expressed intention to share their harvest to their community, in an apparent case of “paying it forward,” said Maria.

“We are thankful to all who supported us when we started this endeavor months ago, particularly to the hundreds of individuals who ran with us and believed in our advocacy of helping raise awareness about the sorry state of Filipino farmers,” said the YBFP executive. “We are grateful that by doing business with a heart by living a life for others, we are now able to not just bring a message but enlist people who are willing to do the same mission as we’re in now, even if they come from diverse backgrounds,” Maria said.

“Our farmers now are inspired that they have us who are their allies in their effort to improve their lives through agriculture,” added Maria, a former seminarian.

(Juan Lim)

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Farm Products

  • Get a full farming experience at the Yamang Bukid Farm - Palawan! Grab some of our luscious yet locally flavored food and healthy products such as Sumbulo (suman sa buho), ready to drink healthy quenchers, and organically-grown vegetables – harvested and processed right from the tilled lands of our farmers. Wear and proudly showcase our indigenous items that are crafted with our hearts and hands.

    Avail these and you will also help not just our faming community but also to company’s scholars, dialysis and operation patients, families, elders, and so much more as we DO BUSINESS WITH A HEART! Watch our video and see what you can buy that can only be found at the Yamang Bukid Farm.
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Veteran physician endorses Yamang Bukid’s way of “natural health and wellness”

  • A Quezon City-based physician has hailed the natural and organic products of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI) as ideal food supplements even as he urged people to go natural in food and wellness products.

    A tourist shows off her bundle of sumbulo (suman sa buho), a glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo and is a popular delicacy at the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The emerging farm tourism destination has been praised for its organic products and nature-friendly farming activities.
    (Photo by Emee Lapurga)

    In an interview by Puerto Princesa City broadcaster and city councilor Elgin Damasco, Dr. Mario Adraneda noted YBHPI stores are sprouting up in Quezon City and in other areas in the capital, which he said is a good indication that natural and organically-made food supplements are readily available.

    He said Yamang Bukid’s turmeric-based products, particularly the Turmeric 10-in-1 tea is a good supplement for those suffering rheumatism as it is a known vasodilator, or that which helps veins and arteries become wider thus helping blood and nutrients flow smoothly.

    Sales personnel at a Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. outlet inside a shopping mall in Quezon City, with the food supplement maker's array of health and wellness products (YB photo)

    “Yamang Bukid (turmeric 10-in-1 tea) is a combination of turmeric and lemongrass which have been proven good for our body,” said Adraneda, a 43-year veteran gastroenterologist who currently practices at Delos Santos Medical Center. He admits being a user of the health and wellness tea.

    Aside from turmeric and lemongrass, Yamang Bukid’s turmeric 10-in-1 tea has also eight other herbs as ingredients that are recognized by experts for their medicinal properties. These include pandan, sambong, lagundi, banaba, ginger, malunggay, peppermint and Gynura procumbens.

    Adraneda noted people’s unhealthy diet and sedentary lifestyle has caused prevalence of disease that afflicted even to the young. “During our time, most people usually got sick at age 65 or above. But nowadays, we can hear of children and teenagers getting hypertension, cancers or heart diseases,” Adraneda told Damasco.

    He urged people to go natural and maintain healthy non-sedentary lifestyle. “Exercise regularly, eat healthy food that are free from preservatives and take food supplements that help enhance healthy bodily functions like Yamang Bukid products,” the gastro-intestinal specialist said.

    “Let’s try nature’s way of wellness. Let’s support alternative food supplements like Yamang Bukid’s,” Adraneda said.
    During his visit at the Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa’s Barangay Bacungan, Adraneda praised the delicious and organically-prepared food, such as native chicken, that according to him did not contain any genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Present in preservatives and in livestock and poultry that are artificially manipulated in the laboratory, GMOs are known harmful to the body and can cause various diseases. “Let’s advocate going organic,” he said. (JL)
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Life-changing
tales at YB farm community

  • GMA Network host Drew Arellano recently traveled to Puerto Princesa, Palawan to visit the Yamang Bukid Farm in Barangay Bacungan for an episode of his travel show "Biyahe ni Drew."

    Aside from marveling at the property's all-natural farming methods and wide selection of produce, the TV host was given a peek at the life-changing stories of YB's farm workers.

    Yamang Bukid only used to have 20 farmers but eventually tapped around 200 former illegal loggers and helped them mend their ways by introducing them to an alternative, stable, and sustainable source of income through crop and poultry farming, as well as agro-tourism.

    One such farmer was Ronnel Espino, who told Drew how Yamang Bukid not only helped his family financially but also — and more importantly — trained him and his fellow farmers how to do agribusiness with a heart, having a reoriented mindset to protect the environment.

    But Drew's trip to the Yamang Bukid Farm would, of course, not be complete without him trying out the farm's all-natural produce — from healthy pasalubong options to meals made form ingredients freshly picked from the plantation.

    Watch Drew help himself with one of Yamang Bukid's most popular treats, "sumbulo" or suman (rice cake) sa "bulo" or kawayan (bamboo). — YB
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