Yamang Bukid Farm’s “happiest” tour guide

Published: July 14, 2019 02:40pm | Puerto Prinsesa


His warm personality can be infectious and Isabelito Aspa Jr. has used it to his advantage.

The 20-year old who loves to put a pink cotton ball on his wrist is a tour guide of Yamang Bukid Farm in Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City.

Wearing a pair of rain boots, pants and a blue shirt emblazoned with block letters proclaiming Yamang Bukid Farm as an agri-tourism site, Aspa was now meeting a group of local tourists who were stepping off a van and are lining up to avail of free taste of turmeric 10-in-1 tea at the farm entrance.

“Welcome to Yamang Bukid Farm ma’am, sir. Hope you enjoy here. Free taste,” Aspa, known to friends and colleagues as Sab or Sabie, says as he hands a cup of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products’ turmeric 10-in-1 tea to each of the new visitors who eagerly gulped it down.

“I like it here, you can meet new people everyday,” he says, ringing the pink feathery trinket around his right wrist.

A resident of Puerto Princesa’s Cabayugan village, comes from a fairly large family where tolerance has been the norm as it is love.

His father is a farmer and his mother is an enterprising housewife who hawks everything, from cosmetics to homemade delicacies.

“I used to join my mother sell polvoron (a powdery sweetened confectionary), karioka (a type of Palawan delicacy) and Avon products near the entrance to the (Puerto Princesa) Underground River in Sabang,” the youngest of nine siblings recalls. “She is not a spendthrift. She is frugal.”

During his elementary days, Sabie found his hobby of designing clothes, particularly gowns. He practiced it well, until his classmates noticed his talent and asked him to design their toga during their high school graduation.

After secondary school, Sabie took up a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management in one of the tertiary schools in Palawan where he met and became friends with Professor Melissa Olit, a consultant for Yamang Bukid Farm.

Professor Olit hired him and several other students to help at the farm’s restaurant part-time. Into his third year in college, Sabie was offered by the farm management a scholarship until he got his degree.

As a way of paying it back, Sabie decided to apply for a full-time job at the farm. He says his work entails meeting people and attending to their needs while guiding them in their tour around the sprawling agri-tourism destination. “You should give the guests full service. You attend to them in a cheerful, friendly manner. That’s my mantra in my job here.” Sabie says, adding his crackling laugh is also an additional asset.

“Sometimes guests would also join in my laughter. i hope they won’t get irritated, but that’s just the way how I laugh,” he said. The farm tour guide, who openly admits being gay, says he gets respect and acceptance from fellow workers like that of his family’s.

“They love me even if I’m Sabie,” he says, once again letting loose his infectious guffaws. He first learned liking girl stuff when he was still in kindergarten. But despite being effeminate, Sabie says his family accepted him whole-heartedly. He never heard being mocked upon, much less condemned, in their home. He was allowed to freely express himself.

He says he is grateful Yamang Bukid Farm is not only a place that values its employees by giving them competitive pay and its customers by extending them excellent service. The upland paradise has become a place of tolerance for him and other members of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.

The farm does not discriminate against workers just because of gender or sexual preferences. It supports that diversity, instead. The most striking feature of the farm related to this is its multi-gender washroom or toilet, in which it built four separate toilets for male, female, gay and lesbian guests.

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Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan to be showcased in PH biggest tourism expo

  • Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan has been invited to join one of the country’s biggest tourism travel and trade fair in Pasay City.
    The invitation to the Philippine Travel Mart was extended by Elizabeth Maclang, superintendent of the Puerto Princesa Underground Subterranean River National Park (PPUSRNP), Puerto Princesa City’s world renown landmark.
    It will be held at SMX Convention Center from Aug. 30-Sept. 1.

    Photo by JM Zap

    Maclang said the trade and tourism expo organized by the Philippine Travel Operators Association (PhilTOA) is among the Philippines’ biggest.
    “In line with this, we would like to solicit your support by joining us in the said travel fair and by showcasing your products and conducting free taste and giveaways to increase foot traffic,” Maclang wrote in a letter to Yamang Bukid Farm management.

    The PPSNRP-PAMO will head the delegation of tour operators from Puerto Princesa. The invitation marked another opportunity for Yamang Bukid Farm to showcase to industry leaders and to tourism community its products and amenities as an emerging farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa and Palawan. (JL)
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Yamang Bukid Music Video

  • This beautiful music video production by lead singer Jake Carolino Quicson, speaks of Yamang Bukid as a gift to the community and to nature-loving souls whose footsteps strayed on paths leading to the farm to stay a while.

    Pondering on nature’s blessings –the scenery, the flowers, the trees, the crops, the birds, the insects, and animals that live in harmony with the community –the composer could only speak of the YB farm as a paradise nestled in the hilly landscape of Barangay Bacungan and cupped in nature’s loving embrace.

    Backed up by Miss Milcah, Jake renders the song in the most passionate and original way. The duo are both scholars of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (Video produced by Aris Leoven)
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Yamang Bukid Farm, DA-ATI partner in helping Palawan hog-raisers

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—A farm tourism destination in this city is offering free artificial insemination services as part of its commitment to help backyard piggeries in communities in Palawan.

    One of the swines at Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan wallows inside its pen. The farm tourism destination is partnering with the Department of Agriculture---Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) to provide free artificial insemination services to community in and outside Puerto Princesa City.

    Yamang bukid Farm, a 20-hectare farming attraction in Barangay Bacungan has partnered with the Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI) Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan (Mimaropa) for the Artificial Insemination in the Barangay program in the island-province.

    According to Cristina Gonda-Magnaye, ATI-Mimaropa high valued commercial crops program (HVCCP) focal person, the package is worth P300, 000 consisting of AI laboratory equipment from the department.

    Artificial insemination kit is turned over by DA-ATI Mimaropa personnel Cristina Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo to Yamang Bukid Farm in Quezon City recently. The farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa is partnering with DA-ATI to provide free artificial insemination services to swine raisers in and outside Puerto Princesa.

    “Yamang Bukid (Farm) was chosen after it was able to comply with the necessary requirements,” Magnaye said, adding the Farm will give as counterpart the venue and technical personnel for the free use of the AI equipment by the public.

    The turnover ceremony of the equipment was done in the Quezon City of YBFP’s parent company, health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. recently, with DA-ATI represented by Magnaye and Alma Mae Manalo, livestock program focal person.

    Dr. Glen Calipus, a University of the Philippnes-Los Banos (UPLB)-educated veterinary and molecular biology expert and Yamang Bukid Farm consultant, represented the farm tourism destination.

    Magnaye said the AI facility at Yamang Bukid is one of two such projects for the region this year, with the other one housed in a private-run farm in Mindoro.

    “We want to have more of these facilities in Mimaropa so more hog raisers can avail of these,” Magnaye said.

    Aside from the pieces of equipment, the technology package also included two heads of high quality breed of boars as source of genetic material (ejaculate).

    Known for its well-manicured flower and vegetable gardens and an unending bloom of sunflowers, the farm tourism draw is also into sustainable and organic way of growing plants and vegetables and is among the biodiversity havens in Palawan farm tourism industry.

    (Juan Lim)
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