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Albayana pageant candidate calls for clean environment

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

AS the use of plastic is increasing globally due to the coronavirus pandemic, Engr. Aubrey Asuncion, 28, an Albayana beauty queen vying in the Miss Earth pageant, urged the public to be responsible in segregating the use of plastic and facemasks so as not contaminate the environment.

Asuncion, a licensed mechanical engineer who graduated in the Bicol University, is the sole representative of the Bicol region in the Miss Earth beauty pageant next month. She visited the El Miro De Shie, an agri-tourism farm that uses solar power to provide water across the facility.

She lauded the initiative made by the owners of El Miro De Shie as they promote clean energy.

Engr. Aubrey Asuncion (Photo by Rhaydz B. Barcia)

“We’re happy that we have an eco-tourism destination in Bicol promoting a green program in the countryside that is harmless and not contributing to carbon footprints,” she said.

She also urged the public, specifically the youth, to help in the segregation of plastic and facemasks so as not pollute and contaminate the environment, specifically the waterways.

Asuncion said that El Miro is the best example of a tourism destination in the country as it is promoting a healthy environment with proper waste segregation.

The El Miro De Shie in Salugan village Camalig town was established during the lockdown when the pandemic started a year ago.

The seven-hectare farm was established by couple Shiela, a village chieftain in Salugan and Edmiro Dino, a contractor to help the workers in their construction business survive the economic hardship brought about by the pandemic.

The Dino couple started to develop the farm planted with coconuts into a “Gulayan sa Barangay,” so their employees will have alternative jobs growing organic vegetables as the construction sector was hit badly by pandemic.

The Dino couple transformed the seven-hectare farm into a private farm and named it El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm in 2020.

Currently, the El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm produces various vegetables, including lettuce, cucumber, eggplants, pechay, kangkong, tomatoes, bitter gourd, string beans, peppers, okra, peanuts, sweet corn, dragon fruit, among others.

The farm also propagates ornamental plants like cock’s comb or Celosia sunflowers, Marigolds, and different kinds of orchids aside from vegetables.

With the innovations the Dino couple introduced in their farm, the Agriculture Training Institute (ATI) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) in Bicol and Rep. Joey Sarte Saleda, established a farm school in partnership with the farm owners following the successful establishment of the Gulayan sa Barangay.

Currently, the farm school in the El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm is producing hundreds of NC 11 organic agriculture graduates under the training program of Tesda.

Fe Buela, Officer-in-Charge of the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol, also lauded the El Miro De Shie Integrated Farm as the new farm tourism destination in Albay.

Buela describes the farm as stunning scenery of assorted flowering plants with the backdrop of Mayon Volcano, perfect for people in search of a relaxing place in the countryside.

“What makes it unique is that they’re (Dino couple) so innovative. The owners of this farm were able to introduce a new tourism product in Camalig. They transformed the pandemic lockdown into a productive one that provides employment even during the pandemic,” she said.

Buela said the DOT promotes local travel to perk up the economy in the countryside under the MGCQ. “Since there are so many restrictions on travel, especially those coming from other regions, we are more into promoting local travel. That’s why we’re glad that we have something new to offer,” Buela said.


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