Barangay Bantay finds its niche for fruit farms in Tabuk

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Aligned with the barangay’s vision to be a peaceful and progressive agricultural community and ecotourism haven supported by the mission of the people of Barangay Bantay to promote the propagation of fruit-bearing trees in line with their goal to be the fruit basket of the city, the presence of Pick Your Own (PYO) Leisure Fruit Farms had attracted not just the locals of Tabuk City but other municipalities in the province.

On several occasions, tourists from neighboring provinces like Isabela, Cagayan, and many others, have been drawn to visiting these sites through word-of-mouth and social media posts alone. Some farms have already gained popularity through various forms of advertisement but there are some that are yet to be explored.

If we think of rambutan, lanzones, durian and dragon fruit, the place that we think of is Barangay Bantay where we could buy these sweet juicy fleshy fruits that satisfy our craving. But we didn’t realize that there are more than just these farm produce that have been widely recognized. This, without a doubt, had increased rural recreation among those who live in the urban areas of the city and other provinces and municipalities that even drive them to go to Barangay Bantay to feel this PYO farm experience.

This further influenced the PYO marketing. However, there are some farms that are not yet open to this type of operation but sees the potential of being one in the future.

For those who have not been there yet and want to indulge themselves in walking on a flat terrain or rolling hills carpeted by fruit trees, see first-hand the beauty of fruit farm and have fun while looking for the best produce that farmers have to offer, these are options that you can choose from:

Sal-ao Farm, owned by Mr. Marquez Sal-ao. The land area devoted for fruit farming is 3 hectares but will further expand in the future to cover the rest of the total land area of 15 hectares. His farm is characterized by rolling hills and started farming in 1998. He begun selling his produce in 2001. Farm products include rambutan, lanzones, durian, mangosteen, oranges, dragon fruit, banana, mandarin, pineapple and lychee. He can be reached at this number 0997-857-4222 through his daughter Ms. Ruth Evelyn Sal-ao.

Diaz Farm owned by Mr. Antonio and Mrs. Susana Diaz. Their land area devoted for fruit farming is 2 hectares. Their farmland is flat plain. They started farming in 2001 and opened their farm for visitors in 2018. Their farm covers a total of 35 varieties of fruits that include grafted rambutan (6 varieties), mangoes (4 varieties), durian (2 varieties), longgan (1 var.) lanzones (3 varieties), avocado (2 varieties), avio (1 variety) which is the combination of starapple and chesa, mangosteen (1 var.), varicated Chico (1 var.), hybrid starapple (1 var.) and for the rest of the varieties include several types of oranges, atis, guyabano, pomelo, calamansi, cashew nuts and blackberry. They can be reached at this number 0965-677-3340 and 0906-159-0561.

D’ Colony Farm owned by Mr. Geronimo III and Mrs. Lorenda Sacki. More or less 2 hectares cover their fruit farm that includes rambutan, lanzones, durian, dragon fruit, papaya, guyabano, banana, mango, pineapple, star apple and Bangkok santol. They started farming in 1992 then opened their business in 1995 and their type of operation is PYO in different schedules. Their contact number is 0965-332-2029 and FB page is D’ Colony Fruit Farm.

Fruit farm owner Henrico Sacki has 1.5-hectare fruit farm. He started farming in 2003 and opened his business in 2007. This is not a PYO farm yet but have an outdoor store beside the national road. His produce includes rambutan, lanzones, durian and mangosteen. To contact him, he can be reached at 0921-7407-064.

Farm owner Annie Aya-en has a half hectare of land devoted for fruit faming that includes the following produce: rambutan, lanzones, mango, banana, pomelo, lychee, guyabano and dragon fruit. Only rambutan and lanzones are available for sale. She started farming in 2000 and opened her business in 2010. Her farm is open for visitors and she can be contacted through this mobile number 0961-1387-877.

Marietta S. Atiwag has half hectare fruit farm that produces rambutan, dragon fruit, lanzones, oranges, durian, banana, mangosteen, lemon, sweet papaya and pomelo. Only rambutan, banana and papaya are available for sale. She started farming in 1980 and opened her business in 2018. She can be reached through this mobile number 0909-1812-326.

Mr. Chrysler Sacki and Mrs. Joan Sacki has half hectare that produces lanzones, rambutan, dragon fruit, mangosteen, durian, oranges. They started farming in 2005 and opened their business in 2018. Only rambutan and lanzones are currently available for sale. Their contact number is 0926-180-5437.

Mr. Leoncio Padcayan and Mrs. Veronica Padcayan have 1.5 hectare fruit farm with their produce rambutan, lanzones, durian, oranges, guyabano, dragon fruit. But only rambutan is currently available for sale. They started cultivating their farm in 2010 and opened their business on 2016. Their phone number is 0939-5699-732.

Mr. Jose Mari Talata and Mrs. Brizelda Talata have an estimate 1.70 hectares of fruit farm that produces rambutan, lanzones, mango, banana, oranges, coconut, cotton fruit (santol) and guyabano. They started farming in 1979 and begun selling in 1990. Only rambutan and lanzones are currently available. Their number is 0928-2237-220.

Predominantly, it is a peak season for rambutan and lanzones for the month of August to November. Some fruit trees can produce all-year round. Hence, September is a month for the people of Bantay to celebrate their 3rd Prutas Festival considering that Rambutan, which is their major produce reaches its peak in the whole month of September.

In a personal interview with some of the farm owners, they can say that this fruit farming has sustained their source of livelihood and encourages other farmers to devote portion of their farm to fruit trees because we have vast lands and rich natural resources and it is our opportunity to maximize these resources to fruit farming. They also want to remind the visitors to observe minimum health protocols and practice proper harvesting because according to them, some twigs/branches of fruit trees have been broken due to improper way of fruit picking. By Eisenhower Bucalen