So, we boarded the flight from Manila to Bacolod. I missed the first organic farm tour which was held in July in Benguet, so I am excited to finally be part of the group - besides, I needed this break from the crazy work that I do. I packed my luggage and went straight to the NAIA 2 Terminal airport.
The less than an hour flight was smooth and quick (I am no longer used to quick flights! Haha). When they say that Bacolod is the City of Smiles, I agree. Everyone seems to be nice and cheerful when we arrived. We went straight to May's Organic Garden, and it was like stepping into a relative's house.
Lunch was already served, but before indulging into the first taste of organic food, I feasted my eyes first on the beautiful house. The staircase leading to the veranda that houses the guest room serves as a focal point. There are nice wooden pieces and designs all over the house - and you cannot miss the talkative bird that greeted us every morning with his "witwiw" whistle and "wow!" remarks to whoever is going down in shorts and showing their legs.
Up to the second floor we found our room! We were like ANTM's models when we saw the room - screaming like mad girls which prompted the guys to rush to our place. We were given such a lovely room! Beautiful beddings, with nice print that advocates being green in a spacious room with two bathroom! Wow! we felt special.
Click Read More to learn more about May's Organic Garden & Restaurant..
We have two bathrooms inside the room - this trip once again taught me consideration, discipline and time management. You see, I never experienced staying in a dorm back in College; at home, I own the bathroom and can stay there for how long I wanted - but during trips like this, you have to consider your roommates.
The bed is just awesome, and the details are well considered. I love the messages printed in the pillow cases, and comforter. The color may be a little playful, but there is a deeper meaning to the message.
It was time to have lunch and this was my first taste of hard-core organic food! What's in the buffet table?
Colorful organic veggies with Mango Mustard Mayo Dressing
Ensaladang Langka & Paksiw-Dried Dilis
Red Rice and Bakareta (Kalderatang Baka)
Biko served with Ripe Mangoes
It was surprising that I felt full with just a cup of rice. That is so unlikely of me. My friends can attest how much carbo I can take and my body can digest. If that was the start of transformation, I am very much excited.
We got a few hours off to hang around and do our thing. I love how the organizers make this trip light and less stressful (I kind of get stressed with very tight itinerary, that you don't have time to relax and really enjoy the experience).
We were then gathered to the "great hall" and we were welcomed by Sir Ramon Uy, and Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute.
Sir Ramon Uy is an advocate of zero-management who married Ms. May Uy who is lover of plants/gardening and home decorating - they truly made a perfect couple. May's Organic Garden is a perfect venue for weddings, birthdays and gatherings; but also a good starting point for learning more about organic food and agriculture.
Zero-waste management interests me so much, as this was the same project I handled during my global leadership training in Indonesia - where I was assigned for a consulting project to help a hospital be the most environmentally-friendly hospital in the region.
During the briefing, Sir Ramon stressed very important points -
- engaging farmers and collaborating and partnering with them.
- creating an organic farm to help save and to generate jobs which will be helpful for more farmers and locals.
- their team engages and partners with farmers to maintain dignity.
- during the harvests, they realized that farmers give more than the harvests than the declared value and amount that is because (1) they treat you fairly and (2) Filipinos are honest.
It all boils down to Trust and Personal Responsibility (hey, that's my company's values!). I wish that Filipinos would have the same vision about farming and agri-business. Philippines is such a rich country, it is just sad that we do not know how to cultivate them and use the resources for everyone's advantage - not just for the common few.
Sir Ramon answered bloggers questions and we then headed to a quick tour of the May's Organic Garden.
The garden is not just a paradise of beautiful flowers, but they also have vermiculture production, organic livestock, organic vegetables garden, and herbs and spices.
The worms act as agent to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast. I first learned about this during our visit to the Villar Foundation.
Poultry Section of May's Organic Garden
The Mechanical Hydro-Pump supplies water to the place
which helps conserve water and energy.
This is where the party happens!
These Negros-Made Shredding Machines can do wonders and
break down solid wastes to make it something more useful.
Shredded plants prepared for composting
Paper are shredded for recycling
Bottles - yes, bottles of beer, or whatever drink you have
can be grinded and used as wall finishing.
This mechanical machine is sooo awesome! The grinded and soaked paper are molded in this machine, and once dried - taaadaaah - papercoal!
Papercoal is used like typical coal -
but you cannot cook directly with it (e.g. Chicken Inasal?).
In here, you can see how it can be used in a typical stove.
On the other side of the organic garden, we learned how they produce LemonGrass Oil and Virgin Coconut Oil.
This machine is used in separating and producing
the Virgin Coconut Oil
This was just our first day in the Organic Agriculture Tour, there were so much I learned during my 4-day stay in Bacolod. One important thing I learned is that changing one's lifestyle will not happen overnight, it takes baby steps. And I am glad that Sir Ramon Uy, and Ms. May helped us understanding more about the organic lifestyle.
May's Organic Garden is actually one of the most suggested places in Bacolod. It is a good place to start this whole new lifestyle discovery. Other services offered by the May's Organic Garden:
- Organic Garden tour
- Wedding, birthday and events hosting
- Accommodation - cabana, room, cottages
During my little chat with Sir Ramon, I found out that the place is not open publicly and they only accommodate guests who are referrals of friends. They want to maintain the serenity and security of the place and they are doing great in doing so.
If you are visiting Negros Occidental (hopefully in time for Masskara Festival), do check out the May's Organic Garden. It is a must-visit place in Bacolod - and yes, the owners do embody the "City of Smiles" attitude of the city.
May’s Organic Garden & Restaurant
Sitio Aning, Brgy. Pahanocoy,
Bacolod City, Negros Occidental
(+6334) 444-1751 and (+6334) 444-1337
***Thank you once again to May's Organic Garden and Department of Agriculture - Agricultural Training Institute, Ms. Niet, and Ruth Floresca, for the amazing 4-day organic agriculture tour.
Please stay tuned for more stories about this trip!
If you are reading this post somewhere, it is originally written by Ruth and published in www.ruthilicious.blogspot.com.