Yamang Bukid Farm draws over 254,000 visitors in 2019

Published: January 24, 2020 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


Yamang Bukid Farm is among the most visited tourism destinations in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, drawing over a quarter of a million guests last year, government data released recently revealed.

At least 254, 449 local and foreign tourists visited the 20-hectare farm tourism destination in Barangay Bacungan in 2019, according to a report Friday by online Palawan News.

Citing data released by the city government, the report said Yamang Bukid Farm placed fourth in the list of the most popular destinations for tourists in tourism-magnet Puerto Princesa.

Topping the list is Baker’s Hill, a privately-run hilltop destination in Sta. Monica village where popular Palawan delicacies and other pasalubong (souvenir) are sold. It attracted some 630, 455 visitors last year.

The UNESCO-heritage site Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP) came in second with 331, 356 visitors. Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center was third, logging in 272, 881 guests.

Rounding up the top five is Luli Island resort off Honday Bay, drawing at least 144,965 tourists.
Yamang Bukid, a two-year old sprawling farm has been popular among tourists for its well-manicured flower gardens and delicacies such as sumbulo—a saccharine glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo and flavored with health and wellness herbs—among others.

The Farm has some 300 employees, more than 90 percent of whom are former illegal loggers and tree poachers.

It is also an advocate of sustainable and organic agriculture. Last year, Yamang Bukid Farm, has embarked in a partnership with Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in teaching modern farming methods and technology to the grassroots in Bacungan and nearby communities.
(JL)

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YB partners with DA for
'farm entrepreneurship'

  • Yamang Bukid Farm (YBF) has partnered with the Department of Agriculture (FA) to elevate farming and agro-tourism in the country by teaching farmers a better, science-based, alternative approach and perspective in growing crops, and by encouraging the younger generation to get more involved in agriculture.

    Agriculturist Flor Ilao of the DA's Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) said the agency decided to award YB with an accreditation because of the company's desire to help the government turn farmers from regular crop growers to "farmer entrepreneurs."

    DA's senior agriculturist Norberto C. Maur said the ATI and YB aim to introduce programs about new modalities in agricultural extension in which regular farmers are molded to become farm entrepreneurs and businessmen promoting not only farming but also farm tourism.

    Through the YB's Training Center, farmers are also trained to shift from monoculture to diversified or integrated farming.

    Hezir Rabaya, YB farm production manager, expressed delight over the accreditation that Yamang Bukid received from the ATI, saying it would allow them to train farmers throughout Palawan, and not only in the provincial capital's Barangay Bacungan where the 1.2-hectare farm is located.

    Farmer-trainees get to be under the tutelage of YB Training Center's trainers and consultants who are experts in the fields of forestry, agronomy, and veterinary medicine, among others.

    With a desire to spread alternative and more efficient farming techniques, YB, which started its farm with only 20 farm workers, is now home to more than 200 farmers and agriculturists. Talking about the new partnership, farmer Sonny Tesado said: "Gusto kong matuto ng ibang paraan ng pagtatanim."

    However, there is a handful of farming families who do not share Tesado's enthusiasm in this fresh farming approach and DA's Maur said this is one of the challenges that YB's Training Center is hoping to address.

    "It's heart-breaking to know that our farmers are starting to age. Their children who have witnessed how hard it was to farm during their time no longer want to go into farming because they have realized there is no money in farming.">

    The YB Training Center aims to break that notion and lure people back into farming.

    YB agriculturist Fernan Hubo said Yamang Bukid aims to instil among their farm workers a "sense of joy" in their work, and emphasize to the next generation — who have otherwise grown skeptic about farming — that plenty of opportunities in agriculture abound.



    "There is money, plenty of money in farming... There is dignity and money," Hubo said.

    "Since we now have an accredited learning site, we will be able to encourage more people to take agriculture and become farmers that follow scientific practices," he added. — YB
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Eco-friendly resort partners with Yamang Bukid Farm to help COVID-affected families in Palawan

  • By Brittny Lourde Trinidad

    Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, an internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning resort of Sabang, Palawan, which promotes eco-conscious business practices, partners with Yamang Bukid Farm in feeding heavily affected families of COVID-19 crisis.

    The only tourist stay in the Philippines that has garnered a Level 4 Anahaw certification, an award recognized by the Department of Tourism as the first national green certification in the Philippines, Daluyon Resort, through YB, has sponsored 200 bottles of Buffalo milk to the seafaring communities in Sabang. This community consists of over 300 families with 1000 individuals. They were denied access to DOLE’s 5k assistance program, according to Teresita Austria, the BOD Chairperson of the Sabang Sea Ferry Service Multipurpose Cooperative.

    Daluyon wanted to do their part to provide relief for these localities. So, Sir Bruce Tan, CEO of Daluyon, and his people convened with Br. George Maria, VP of Public Affairs at YB Farm-Palawan, on how to further help Sabang gain food security by reaching out to those communities affected by the tourism industry’s decline.

    This establishment is a world-renowned resort part of the European Union’s project for more sustainable tourism in the Philippines. They offer various ways of clean-and-green methods, like those as simple as using refillable bottles instead of disposable sachets for their guest rooms, to state-of-the-art technology and interior design. They are situated a 15-minute boat ride away from the UNESCO world-heritage tourist destination, Puerto Princesa Underground River.

    Daluyon also conducted a meeting with Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan’s Chief Agriculturist, Sir Totong Arceo, along with their three young agriculturists, on how to develop a sustainable organic farm right within their premises by the beautiful Sabang Beach. In adapting to this pandemic and keeping their people sustained, Daluyon also hopes to help support the surrounding communities of Sabang Village, Puerto Princesa to rise from this pandemic together.

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

  • 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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