Yamang Bukid Farm rules in Subaraw Float parade

Published: November 12, 2019 01:25pm | PUERTO PRINCESA CITY


PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—-After nearly making it last year, Yamang Bukid Farm finally bagged the grand prize in the floral float parade of this year’s Subaraw Biodiversity Festival. The entry of the farm tourism destination in Barangay Bacungan was adjudged winner of the Grand Float parade that highlighted the anniversary honoring Puerto Princesa Underground River as a world heritage site for biodiversity.

Designed by the Farm’s architects and artists using indigenous materials, the colorful and jaw-dropping eight-meter float virtually represented Palawan as a haven of biodiversity, according to Bro. George Maria, YBFP vice president for community relations. .

“Yamang Bukid is proud of Palawan’s biodiversity. Our float embodies our call to all to help protect and preserve Mother Nature and its rich biodiversity,” Brother Maria said.

Sitting on a Isuzu light truck, the four-by-eleven-meter float is adorned with replicas of Palawan’s natural landmarks as well as endemic and threatened species of plants and animals.

“Our inspiration in making the float is the richness of Palawan,” said Benjie Monasque, YBFP resident architect who conceptualized and designed the contraption.

Forming as centrepiece of the float was a huge tree from which all organisms emanated, from the black ants and honey bees to the balintong or Palawan pangolin (Manis culionensis) and tandikan or the Palawan peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron napoleonis).

“We designed the tree as the very foundation of the float so once it is disturbed or destroyed the entire contraption will fall. Much like what is in real life, when our (forests are ravaged), there will be an imbalance in biodiversity,” said Monasque, adding YBFP’s scientist-consultants provided input on the float’s overall concept and design.

Helping put color on the float are the Farm’s resident artists J-joy Umambong and brothers Julio and Adonis Opiala.
The float also made use of ornamental plants cultivated at the Farm such as sunflowers, amaranths, among others.

It was bedecked with species of dapo fern (Asplenium nidus), manaog ka irog (Dischidia oiantha)—a type of hanging vine—-as well as bonsai balete (Ficus variegata) and magkuno or ironwood (Xanthosthemon verdugonianus).

Among the Palawan landmark replicas on the float are the PPUR with several monkeys and bayawak (water monitors) guarding its mouth, and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park with butanding or whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) and sea turtles basking.

To represent Palawan’s natural wonders as realistically as possible without violating environmental laws, Monasque said farmers who took part in building the float used painted sawdust as sands in the PPUR and Tubbataha replicas.

“For us, winning the competition is only secondary. What is important is really about bringing the message of protecting biodiversity, that taking care of our environment is really a duty of all,” Maria, the YBFP official said.

He said portion of the P500,000-prize will be used for medical outreach missions to indigenous people (IP) communities in Palawan during the Christmas holidays.
Astoria Palawan resort won the second prize while BPO (business process outsourcing) firm Sitel Palawan was awarded third prize.

Yamang Bukid Farm last year was the second prize winner, getting P300,000 cash.
(Juan Lim)

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Hundreds of farmers benefit Yamang Bukid-Tesda agri educ scholarship

  • Yamang Bukid Farm, Palawan’s top farm tourism destinations is spearheading farming education in communities after it has helped realize the dreams of hundreds of scholars who late last December finished agriculture-related short courses.

    In partnership with the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), the farm tourism destination in Puerto Princesa City’s Barangay Bacungan was the venue of over a month of instructions on various agriculture-related short courses.

    (Photo by Yamang Bukid)

    The national certificate level II (NC-II) accredited programs included courses on organic fertilizer making (three batches), hog raising (two batches), field budding and grafting (one batch), propagation activities leading to horticulture (one batch), animal production for poultry-chicken (two batches).

    According to Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm Palawan vice president for community relations, the scholarships were handed to grassroots-based beneficiaries under the auspices of the office of Palawan 3rd district Rep. Gil “Kabarangay” Acosta Jr.

    Scholar-graduates were also awarded Tesda certification on production of various concoctions leading to agriculture crops production (one batch), plants crops leading to agricultural crops production (one batch) and land preparation for agricultural crops production with three batches.

    (Photos by Yamang Bukid)

    The government, through Tesda, has been pushing for farming education particularly in rural communities in a bid to revitalize the stagnating agricultural sector in the country.

    The more than 20-hectare farm destination, which has been popular for its well-manicured sunflower gardens, became the latest addition of learning sites for sustainable and organic way of farming after it was accredited as such by the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) as well as a farm school by Tesda early this year.

    (JL)
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Bamboo bike stars as farmers, soldiers grow trees in Palawan bike for a cause

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Farmers, soldiers and members of the diplomatic corps shoulder to shoulder together planted hundreds of seedlings of an indigenous tree species at a village here on Saturday in a bid to raise awareness about the protecting the environment.

    Also joining the event for Mother Earth were over 400 bikers from all over Palawan as well as Madel Argosino, a 20-year old development communication junior from University of the Philippines in Los Banos, Laguna who recently had taken part in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in France, and Thomas Wiersing, European Union charge d’ affaires to the Philippines.

    International triathlete and Yamang Bukid wellness ambassador Madel Argosino poses with a bamboo-made bicycle against the Yamang Bukid Farm-Palawan market in Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City, Oct. 25. The 20-year old Argosino is among the over 400 bikers who rode for the Padyak para sa Kalikasan (Bike for Nature) event by the Cine Europa, Palawan tourism council and the European Union. |Jennifer Milante

    The participants took part in the event dubbed “Padyak sa Kalikasan 2.0 (Bike for Nature)”—a nearly 30-kilometer ride from SM City Puerto Princesa to Yamang Bukid Farm, Palawan’s emerging farm tourism destinations.

    The tree-planting event was a side activity of the 22nd Cine Europa, where over a dozen great European films were being shown at SM City Puerto Princesa cinemas from Oct. 24-26.

    “We did not only plant trees but we and our partners will be growing them,” said Bro. George Maria, Yamang Bukid Farm vice president for community affairs.

    Maria, a former seminarian, said Yamang Bukid Farm—whose 240 employees are mostly former illegal loggers and slash-and-burn farmers—has tied up with schools and the barangay council of Bacungan village in taking care of and monitoring the growth of nearly 500 balayong (Palawan cherry) tree seedlings planted by the roadside at Sitio (Sub-village) Magarwak in the same village.

    (From left to right, first row) International triathlete and Yamang Bukid wellness ambassador Madel Argosino, European Union charge d' affaires Thomas Wiersing and EU information officer to the Philippines Robert Leon stride on their bikes before the start of Padyak para sa Kalikasan event by the Cine Europa, European Union and Palawan tourism council, a 29-kilometer bike event that ended at Yamang Bukid Farm that seeks to raise environmental awareness.|Dianne Datu

    Hosting the pit stop of the bike for nature, according to Maria showed Yamang Bukid Farm’s commitment to help restore and protect Mother Nature.

    “This is also one of our farmers’ humble way of repaying the environment,” Maria said. Aside from contingents from the Naval Forces Western Command (Navforwest) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, participants included cyclists from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), the Philippine National Police (PNP), Berong Nickel Corp., Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corp., Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco) and dozens of private companies and public entities as well as various schools in the island province. Capping the 29-kilometer biking event was international triathlete Argosino, who pedalled the full distance from the shopping mall to the Yamang Bukid Farm marker on a “bambike”, a fully-operational contraption made of bamboo.

    “It was fulfilling especially that I was riding for a cause in support of the farmers and the environment,” said Argosino, also a brand ambassador of health and wellness beverage maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI). Yamang Bukid Farm is a sister company.

    She said she was ecstatic and surprised the environmentally-friendly bike was able to perform and endure the ride, particularly the steep and curve climbs approaching the Farm.

    European Union charge d' affaires Thomas Wiersing plants his first Palawan cherry (balayong) seedling in the sidelines of the Padyak para sa Kalikasan (Bike for Nature) at Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City. |Bro. George Maria

    Wiersing, the EU official, lauded the event and noted the farm tourism destination’s natural and sustainable agriculture practices as pro-environment.

    “The (EU) supports all sustainable methods of agriculture that help protect the environment,” Wiersing said.

    Maria said the event, which culminated in a festival-like atmosphere at an open clearing on the edges of the 20-hectare farm where Filipino traditional dances and games were performed and played, respectively, was “an inspiration for us in the management as well as the farmer-employees to continue our sustainable and Earth-friendly farming systems as we do business with a heart.”

    Participants and even casual farm guests partook of the six roasted pigs being prepared and shared in a long “boodle fight.”

    Maria also thanked the provincial, city and village officials as well as Palawan Tourism Council led by Deborah Tan, for choosing Yamang Bukid Farm as partner of the three-day film festival and biking for the cause events.

    (Juan Lim)
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Food, Pinoy fun and advocacy for farmers highlight Yamang Bukid’s 5th Agros

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY——Delectable food, festive mood and rich upland Filipino version of fun are in store as Yamang Bukid Farm pays tribute to the farmers and their highest sacrifices for the country in Saturday’s 5th Agros Festival.
    The second of such event this year by Palawan’s emerging farm tourism destination, Saturday’s festivities seeks to highlight the role of farmers in nation-building despite various challenges they are currently facing such as plummeting prices of palay.
    Kicking up the day-long festival is a five-kilometer run for a cause dubbed Takbo Para sa mga Magsasaka.

    Photos by JM ZAP

    The charity run that ends at the marker of Yamang Bukid Farm at Purok Candes III is expected to attract at least 1,000 runners whose registration fees will be used to buy palay at higher prices in the farms of Narra town, the province’s rice granary, where farm gate prices of the staple grain have plunged to less than P15/kilo. Farmer-employees of Yamang Bukid Farm will then go gyrating and shaking their calories away in a zumba exercise following the 4 a.m. fun run. before the festival proper goes underway by 9 a.m.

    Drumming up the festival were mall tours and appearances at the Palawan provincial capitol of the Agorot Hunks, an all-male Cordillera performing group known for their good looks.
    Back at the Farm, guests as well as local and foreign tourists will be enthralled by various dance performances of the Farm’s 200-plus workers, most of whom are former illegal loggers.

    There will also be a long table covered with banana fronds where sumptuous Pinoy dishes will be feasted on in a “boodle fight.”

    In the afternoon, it will be all fun as the Farm is flooded with colors from dozens of elaborately-dressed carabaos that, together with their owners, will do the catwalk, errr, the carabao walk for the title of the most beautiful buffalo on the planet. The fun and games continue with authentic Pinoy games such as palosebo, sack race, tug-of-war as well as endurance jousts like tuba-drinking contest.
    (JL)
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