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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Yamang Bukid Farm invited to host 100 local, EU cyclists in Palawan bike for nature

  • PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Yamang Bukid Farm, Palawan’s emerging farm tourism destination, is invited to host at least 100 local and foreign bikers for a cycling event here late this month.
    The event, which will be held in partnership with Palawan Tourism Council, the European Union and a big shopping mall chain, is in line with the city’s hosting of the 22nd Cine Europa—the longest and most comprehensive film festival in the Philippines, according to PTC president Deborah Tan.

    Bikers negotiate a climb along a steep route during a biking for the ocean event organized by Yamang Bukid Farm in Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City last June. The emerging farm tourism destination in Palawan's tourism city is once again hosting a cycling event for the environment late this month, with over 100 participants who included dignitaries from the European Union.

    “We would like to explore the opportunities of partnering with you in the hosting of Padyak Para sa Kalikasan (Bike for Nature) 4.0 on Oct. 26,” Tan said in a letter to YBFP officials.
    With the partnership, Tan said the bike for a cause will start at SM City Puerto Princesa and end at Yamang Bukid Farm—a distance of some 28.9 kilometers traversing Puerto Princesa North Road.

    After the biking event, participants will join in sunflower/tree planting with farmer-employees and will be treated to a lunch of local dishes made from naturally-grown ingredients. The bikers are also expected to have a tour around the farm.

    In exchange, Tan said audio-visual presentation about the Farm will be shown in each interval of Cine Europa films to be screened at SM City Puerto Princesa, among others. “Through these, we can build new networks and strengthen our friendship with the EU delegates, help promote our local products, and most especially promote our sustainable farm tourism in Palawan,” said Tan.

    The film festival, according to Tan, aims “to showcase the customs, traditions and rich cinematography of EU member-states” and will be opened to the public for free. The event, she said, “is expected to boost (Palawan’s) sustainable tourism, local products, Palaweno skills and hospitality, investment promotions, and rich biodiversity, as well as its environmental protection and conservation initiatives.”

    “We consider this event as an opportunity to continuously foster cultural ties with EU member-state representatives as well as to display our readiness to host prestigious events such as this, and to express our interest to partner in the future,” added Tan.
    She said the Cine Europa film extravaganza runs from Oct. 23-24, but may be extended up to the 27th.

    (JL)
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Yamang Bukid Farm draws over 254,000 visitors in 2019

  • 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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Palawan farm tourism site prides “toilets for all gender stripes”

  • A farm tourism destination in Palawan is raising the concept of gender sensitivity a stripe higher.
    For nearly two years now, Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City’s Barangay Bacungan has introduced a novel way of giving people the facility where they can answer nature’s call regardless of their sexual orientation.

    Guests pose outside the marked "gender-sensitive toilets" of Yamang Bukid Farm in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. The farm tourism destination at Barangay Bacungan is a place of respect, tolerance and equality.
    (Photo by Daniel Kat)

    Manned and maintained by elderly women, Yamang Bukid Farm’s comfort room has separate spacious cubicles for girls, boys, gays and lesbians.
    The round-shaped building is made of concrete and roofed with indigenous materials. Outside it has two porcelain tubs and faucets for washing hands. Inside each cubicle has a flush toilet and bidet hose for cleaning.

    Outside, one can easily see the markings on the top of each of the four white wooden doors. Emblazoned in white against a black background each of the doors are the words GIRL, BOY, BAKLA and TOMBOY.
    One may argue that bakla and tomboy (Filipino slang for gays and lesbians, respectively) are in fact derogatory but for Bobby Arzaga, a Palawan-based vlogger and receptionist for the Farm, the terms are mainly names that describe their sexual label and nothing else.

    “I’m not offended because that’s how I want people to see me. I don’t know with other gays if they’re offended, though,” Arzaga said, adding he uses the cubicle labelled for the gays more often than that of the boys’.
    A learning site for sustainable and organic-based agriculture, the Farm which is a subsidiary of health and wellness products-maker Yamang Bukid Healthy Products Inc. (YBHPI), is advocating equality for all, embracing and respecting all guests of whatever gender stripes, according to the toilets’ designer Benjie Monegasque.

    “This is a reflection of doing business with a heart. Yamang Bukid welcomes and embraces all gender. The Yamang Bukid brand promotes equality, respect and tolerance,” Monasque said. (Juan Lim)
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