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Gulayan sa Barangay: Albay’s emerging farm tourism spot

CAMALIG, Albay --- The seven hectares “Gulayan sa Barangay” organic vegetable basket in Barangay Salugan here with Mount Mayon as a backdrop is now the fast emerging farm tourism spot in the Bicol region.

The “Gulayan sa Barangay” was established by Salugan village chief Shiela “Kap Shie” Dino to provide her constituents assorted vegetables during the of Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

The former seven hectare coconut plantation with Mayon Volcano in the background is now a vegetable basket here where village residents can avail of a variety of vegetables for free during the lockdown.

The farm is owned by the family of Kap Shie who came up with the “Gulayan sa Barangay” initiative so that her constituents can continue to have a healthy and nutritious diet during the quarantine period.

The farm is planted with lettuce, eggplants, pechay, kangkong, tomatoes, ampalaya, string beans, chilli, okra, peanuts, sweet corn, and dragon fruit, among others.

Aside from vegetables, the farm is also home to ornamentals where the Celosia plumosa with scientific name Cocks comb or locally called palong manok, sunflowers, Celosias, Marigolds and different kinds of orchids such as Palinopsis are blooming side by side with the assorted vegetables plants.

The farm is also suited for camping and nature tripping where visitors can enjoy the rustic scenery.

The village where the farm is located is known for abaca, coconut, pineapple, and other natural resources, as well as for “pinangat”, the mouthwatering Bicolano coconut meat and shrimp dish wrapped in taro leaves. It was also twice visited by Miss Earth International candidates in 2018 and 2019 from 30 countries for their pro-environment activities.

The place was transformed into a bustling and fast emerging farm tourism site in Albay province after the implementation of Luzon-wide ECQ on March 17 this year.

Following the success of the “Gulayan sa Barangay” project of the Dino’s family, Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda is working with Kap Shie to accredit the facility as TESDA Albay Farm School and learning site.

Kap Shie said that Engr. Gilda G. Ranido, TESDA Bicol supervising specialist already visited the farm as the agency is eyeing it as an agricultural learning site for Bicolano farmers.

The “Gulayan sa Barangay” of Dino’s family is adjacent to Farmers Bounty Village established by Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara.

On the first week of the implementation of modified general community quarantine in Albay, several individuals visited the farm as sunflowers and other ornamentals plants are blooming side by side with the organic vegetables.

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