The Farmhouse in Aloguinsan Cebu
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Want to know what it takes to run an organic farm? Want a taste of Filipino native delicacies after an informative tour? Looking for a fun experience where you surround yourself with farm animals?
The King of Sinulog is off to The Farmhouse in Aloguinsan, just about a hundred meters away from the local public market. The Farmhouse is basically a showcase of natural farming principles. Read on as I share to you the rest of my experience at this unique agri-tourism destination.
From Mactan Cebu International Airport, hail a white taxi cab to Cebu South Bus Terminal and pay about PHP350 for more than an hour ride. Hop on a yellow Sepo bus plying to Aloguinsan, tell the bus ticketer to drop you off at Aloguinsan Public Market and pay about PHP80 for a 2-hour land travel. From there, you can ask directions from the locals and just walk to The Farmhouse. For less hassle, you can rent out a van that will take you there directly and pay about PHP3,500 for a day.
Taking a souvenir shot of the creative wooden signage and entering the bamboo gates, you’ll immediately see a green winding perspective. Walking along the grass-covered lawn with rectangular concrete blocks and arriving at their open cottage welcome area, we were then greeted by the guides of the Cultural Heritage for Aloguinsan Tourism (CHAT) and were handed ice-cold towels to refresh our haggard faces and a cold Lemongrass Calamansi drink to quench our thirst. The guide in charge of our tour was Mr. Eric Longakit.
Aside from the main building where they stage the green culinary experience, the Farmhouse also has an information area where they entertain tourists, a souvenir shop (with items for sale such as paintings, handicrafts, accessories, natural vinegar and more), rows of organic vegetables such as eggplant, tomatoes, bitter gourd, sweet potato and bougainvillea to attract bees for pollination, vermiculture (compost area using live worms as agents), a tilapia pond and the livestock area.
Unbelievably, the pig pen does not smell. Eric told us that they only use natural feeds like Madre de Agua, a type of plant made up of 21% natural proteins and iron. Feeding time is at 10AM and 2PM and they usually mix them up with malunggay, camote tops, kangkong, pechay, tahop, fish amino acids and plant juice, same concept with lactobacillus as an agent to counter the bad smell and aid with digestion. The bedding is just mud with saw dust to make it as comfortable for the pig as possible. When the bedding is cleaned, it is then transferred to the vermi compost then after a few days used as fertilizers for the vegetables. Circle of life. Laughs. The result is lean pork meat perfect for lechon. Yum!
Entering the farmhouse, you’ll see vernacular-inspired tables and chairs made from local materials. While eating, you actually see the farm outside through the screened windows. What separates the dining area from the kitchen is a brick wall with clay pottery and firewood designed like a dirty kitchen. After a few minutes, our snacks were ready. A mishmash of sweet potatoes, pan bisaya (made with tuba), hot tsokolate (tablea), boiled bananas with ginamos, banana blossom salad and biko (a sweet sticky rice delicacy with latik on top) were laid out on the table. You should try combining the sweet potato and banana blossom salad and you won’t be disappointed.
Banig Weaving, Hanging Rice Making and Green Culinary Experience
Aside from the farm tour and the snacks, they also offer puso-making (hanging rice) and banig weaving demontrations. If you’re planning on visiting over lunch here, you could enjoy a sumptuous green culinary feast that includes native chicken tinola, pork humba or hamonada, grilled fish, banana blossom salad, monggo soup and vegetable lumpia with rice cakes and ripe mangoes for dessert for only PHP350 per head with a minimum of five persons.
Overall, if you’re looking for a unique Cebuano countryside experience then The Farmhouse in Aloguinsan is custom-made for you.
Aloguinsan Municipal Tourism Office – 469 9312