BOAC, MARINDUQUE. The Department of Tourism (DOT) MIMAROPA underscores farm tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the Philippines, and with this announced the accreditation of three local farms as the first DOT-accredited agri-tourism farm sites in Marinduque and MIMAROPA.
The first and newest DOT-accredited agri-tourism farm sites are (1) AGREA Farm Estate in Brgy. Cawit, (2) DMDC Farm in Brgy. Poras, and (3) Tiyo Ninoy’s Integrated Farm in Brgy. Tanza, Boac, Marinduque.
The announcement was one of the highlights during the induction and oath taking ceremony of officers of the Farm Tourism Association of Island Marinduque (FTAIM) today, 28 August 2018, at the AGREA Farm Estate in Boac, Marinduque.
MIMORAPA Regional Director Ma. Luisa Diploma said, “Rural farms in Marinduque are becoming an attractive tourist destination because they can offer our travelers a richer and unique experience; they get to see unspoiled nature and the fresh environment in our farms, and at the same time get to know the local culture and traditions.”
“The practices of our farms must contribute to conservation of the environment, while at the same time, serve the needs of the community. That is why, primarily, we practice and promote organic farming,” she added.
Marinduque as the Heart of Sustainable Farm Tourism
RD Diploma also stated, “Whenever I recall the province of Marinduque, the words that come to my mind are: green, peaceful, and natural. This place has always been a home for tourists who are seeking the simple life. People from urban areas who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life find peace and simple lifestyle right here in Marinduque.”
Marinduque is a heart-shaped province in the MIMAROPA Region and is dubbed as “The Heart of the Philippines”. Marinduque’s developing and improving tourism destinations, such as the farm tourism sites, benefit the economy and livelihood of the local community.
“The Marinduqueños are themselves an attraction because of their hospitality, and the traditional putong or tubong welcome ceremony justifies this,” said RD Diploma.
RD Diploma also challenged the newly accredited farms “to have more positive impact” by “contributing to sustainable development.”
“This event is an opportunity for us to align our plans in making Marinduque as the Heart of Sustainable Farm Tourism destination in the Philippines. Let us create plans where our farmers, micro to small business entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders can benefit from this eagerness,” she further added.
Establish sustainable agriculture
The DOT Regional Director then enumerated several techniques in order to promote farm tourism in Marinduque:
- Invite tourists in our farms and show them how crops and livestock are raised the organic way;
- Implement programs that will educate and train farmers, tourists, and fisherfolks in organic farming; and
- Support rural livelihood and recreational activities that will showcase your sustainable practices.
Farm Tourism Association of Island Marinduque
FTAIM is a Marinduque-based private organization that convenes tourism sites and destinations with a special focus on sustainable and environmentally-conscious farm tourism.
With a vision of making Marinduque as a sustainable island-province destination in the Philippines, FTAIM aims to create political, economic, social, technological, environmental, and legal missions all for the ultimate benefit of stakeholders in all levels of the local farm tourism industry.
FTAIM also welcomes new farms in Marinduque who would like to be part of the organization.
Design, food, and farm tourism
Also graced the event in Marinduque are Ivy Almario, the 2017 Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) Most Outstanding Professional in Interior Design, and multi-awarded restaurateur Yong Nieva.
“Let us learn from the successful design aesthetics of the best tourism destinations in the world,” said Ivy Almario. “Ours must also be useful and not complicated without veering away from our very own local brand”, she added.
“Food comes as second nature wherever we go,” Yong Nieva said in his inspirational speech. He later added, “It is inspiring when our guests know that the food we offer them are produced sustainably in our local farms”.
The FTAIM Oath Taking Ceremony and awarding of farm tourism site certificates was attended by heads of various Marinduque agencies and government units, such as Vice Governor Romulo Bacorro, Congressman Lord Allan Jay Velasco in the person of former Provincial Board Member Adeline Angeles, Boac Municipal Mayor Roberto Madla, AGREA President and Founding Farmer Cherrie Atilano, TESDA Acting Provincial Director Erwin Buñag, OIC Isagani Placido and Virgilio Laggui of DAR Marinduque, PENRO Imelda Diaz of DENR, Enrico Miguel Sanchez of LMD-PESO, LGU Boac, LGU Buenavista, LGU Torrijos, officers from the Provincial Agriculture Office, officers and tourism department heads from the Marinduque State College, and several municipal agriculturists.