Mindoro is considered one of the biggest islands in the Philippines. It is only a couple of hours away from the Port of Batangas. More than the mystical Mount Halcon, the province gained popularity for its several tourist spots such as Lisap River, Tangisan Falls, Kuta 16th Century Shrine, and Tagpuan sa Garden. The place is also famous for its long stretch of white beaches in Puerto Galera. The real gem of Oriental Mindoro, though, is the enchanting place of Bongabong.
Bongabong is known for its vast farmlands surrounded by mountain ranges and home to 80,000 residents. About 15,000 are Mangyans, the indigenous people of Mindoro Island. They usually depend on fishing as well as on farming as their primary source of income. Bongabong is the only certified biggest organic rice farm in the country.
Bongabong, the center of organic farming
Seeing the potential for organic agriculture in boosting the place’s economic performance, Bongabong Mayor Dr. Elegio Malaluan, O.D. works hand in hand with Gabutero Organic Farm owner Nelson Gabutero to actively promote organic farming to all Bongabongnense.
Mayor Malaluan believes that organic farming remains the best way for higher crops and rice production. It is for this reason he supports Gabutero in his organic farming advocacies. The good mayor believes that such farming techniques will not only benefit the land but will eventually lessen the cost of farmers when tilling their lands. Moreover, Mayor Malaluan is committed to making all the farmlands of Bongabong 100% organic. Bongabong has about 50,000 hectares of farmland. And he is slowly doing this by educating his municipality about the proper ways and benefits of organic farming. As the city pushes for organic farming, Mayor Malaluan sees Bongabong producing natural yield, which is healthier and can bring a positive environmental change.
Bongabong Mayor and the Gabuteros vision
The Gabutero Organic Farm is the only certified and the most prominent organic rice farm in the country. The farm is about 15 hectares, which are 100% natural. The Gabuteros started farming 30 years ago. They are very much willing to share their skills, know-how, and technology in organic farming. They are in one with Mayor Malaluan in seeing their municipality learn and embrace organic farming. More than the healthy produce organic farming gives to their town, both the Gabuteros and Mayor Malaluan dream of supplying organic produce to the whole country.
The dream of these two visionaries seems impossible to date, but they are focused on making it happen. They are almost done with the drawing board of a big project. And they are yet to start with cultivating hectares of land utilizing organic farming techniques.
In a statement, Gabutero shared that they are pushing for organic farming to heal the land from chemicals and pesticides from years of harsh farming techniques. And as the land heals, it will all the more yield beyond healthy produce.
We may not know the Gabuteros and Mayor Malaluan personally, but knowing their cause all the more makes us want to support them. And just like these two visionaries, we believe a healthy food basket for the Philippines is very much possible. Let us see the beauty of organic farming. Let us learn from these two good souls.
Momi Berlin Directory