BALIK BUKID SA WANGAN: A GREEN PATCH OF HEAVEN IN DAVAO
An enchanting haven for nature lovers.A healthy gustatory treat from the bountiful organic produce. A great sanctuary for urban dwellers who yearn the idyllic countryside living. The promise of blissful escape from the city noise.
Tucked neatly in the outskirts of Calinan, Davao, Balik Bukid Sa Wangan is a quaint farm owned by the Garcia family and later on, due to an insistent demand from their regular guests ---relatives and friends alike, they expanded it into a bed and breakfast. The name of the place is loosely translated as Return to the Farm in Wangan. “The story of this farm roots back to the passion of our family for natural farming, sustainable living and great food,” aptly stated in the company profile.
The Garcia family’s venture initially went through years of struggle and failed attempts to keep the farm afloat. Eventually, through organic farming, a natural agricultural program, the 3.5-hectare farm did not only survive but also flourished. Green farming remarkably saved their crops and livestock. According to Mother Nature Network website, organic farming is an ecological production management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, biological cycles and soil biological activity.
This natural and more eco-friendly/conscious farming alternative is also imparted to other local farmers within and outside Davao through their in-house seminars, with the vision to spread the benefits of organic farming to their neighbors as part of their advocacy. Visitors are also encouraged to join their natural farm tour: lecture on plotting your own vegetable garden and basic ecological orientation; and an opportunity to feed odor-free pigs, free range chickens, turkeys and ducks.
Upon arrival, expect colorful rows of flowers - which do more than beautify the place but actually acts as a natural pesticide for their crops like corn and cacao - to welcome you during the walking tour. Going natural definitely has a wonderful way of lifting one’s spirits and taking the burdens and stress of the city off one’s shoulders as it immediately evokes a feeling of well-being and the promise of tranquility with every breath.
Due to their efforts at organic farming, the food served at Pamana Café, the farm’s exclusive dining area is absolutely divine. Not only healthy and organic, the ingredients are hand-picked right from their abundant backyard. Having an organic produce also equates to chemical-free harvest which does wonders for the system since it is generally agreed that most diseases these days are caused by toxic chemical additives and preservatives in the food we ingest. Trust me when I tell you that every single meal is not only a gastronomic pleasure but a truly blissful experience for its patrons.
With the constant arrival of guests, and because they only serve farm-fresh food, a reservation is required at least a day before. Although the farm can be reached via airport taxis or public transportation, arrangement for shuttle service is available for a nominal fee.
While the farmhouse is relatively new as it was opened to the public only last year, there are already plans of opening a restaurant and organic shop at Sandawa Plaza, Quimpo Boulevard to further promote organic produce of other farmers and to encourage more ore neighboring farms to practice natural farming methods.
For now, the place has three huts that perfectly resemble indigenous, old-style nipa huts but with a pleasant twist – modern bathrooms are attached seamlessly to the structure- providing the visitor with both the rustic feel of bamboo huts and the amenities of any modern toilet, bearing in mind that most of us city folks would find much difficulty in adjusting to the old methods of potty practice.
Roughly an hour away from the airport, this homey and rustic place definitely offers more than just a getaway from the city, it provides a much-needed holistic battery recharge from the frantic hustle and bustle of city living and a temporary retreat from all the stress of the daily grind. A piece of heaven on earth indeed.