It’s Farm Tourism Week in Cebu
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2019 - 12:00am

In the year 2010, one of the most popular movies that came out of the screens was “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts. Call me a hopeless romantic even in my senior years, however what attracted me to that movie was that it was shot on location in Bali, Indonesia and one of the scenes that struck me was an infinity pool that wasn’t facing the sea or the beach, rather it was facing a rice field. Yes, it was facing a rice field, complete with farmers in their carabaos. This was actually the first time that I saw a tourism resort that was based on a farm. Thus when former Tourism Secretary Mina Gabor introduced me to Farm Tourism, I was hooked into it.

Again I would like to remind our readers that this Wednesday, that’s tomorrow Nov. 6 and 7 we will be holding a Farm Tourism Summit at the Marco Polo Plaza Hotel in Nivel Hills, Cebu City. Hosting a Farm Summit in Cebu City is huge for the people who live in the Visayas and Mindanao. We are only a short boat ride from Bohol, Leyte or Samar and Negros Island where many farms can truly become potentials for farm tourism. Mind you, you don’t need huge hectares of land to become a farm tourism prospect. All you need is a small area where your produce can benefit people who visit your place.

With beachfront lands already costing an arm and a leg because of our tourism growth, Farm Tourism is the next best thing simply because farm land isn’t as expensive as a beachfront land. In fact you do not even need to build a resort in your farm, which saves a lot of money. All you need is to ensure that you’ve got the right products to sell to tourists. For instance a Bee Farm would go a long way for tourists to come and visit or a flower garden or plantation which gives a brilliant color to your farm. Above all, make sure you have a brochure of your farm, especially where it is located and if there are entrance fees or restaurants to eat.

Also this Thursday, the International School of Sustainable Tourism (ISST) will give out the third Lakbay Bukid Awards during the 6th Farm Tourism Conference. The Farm Tourism Awards was started in 2016 to recognize the country’s foremost farm tourism pioneers, practitioners, developers, and advocates from both the private and government sectors. This prestigious award is accorded to individuals, institutions and groups who have made significant contributions to the development of the farm tourism industry. It also showcases the resiliency, ingenuity, and the strength of our hardworking farmers, fisher folks, and practitioners.

Just up a few kilometers in Busay, up in the Mountains of Cebu City we already have colorful flower farms that serve the needs of Cebu City like what they got last All Saints and All Souls Day. I’m sure that the 6th Farm Tourism Conference would go a long way in helping entrepreneurs who bought small farms for their families to help our poor farmers develop into more than just simply or ordinary farming. They are into farming that tourists would like to see and enjoy!

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Boy! After the two important Church holidays Monday comes and what do we get? We got a flurry of fake news! Of course this began last week during the last earthquake that struck when Pastor Quiboloy allegedly stopped the earthquake only to see it recur a week later. Then came that obvious yellowtard who sent through her social media network that we should only support those affected by the earthquake in Mindanao who did not support Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

That means she is only supporting the 10 percent who did not vote for Duterte. Then came the news in Cebu that former Senator and Toledo City Mayor John “Sonny” Osmeña recently died, forcing him to call a presscon to tell the world that at age of 83 years he is still very much alive! What’s wrong with today’s news reports… mostly taken from the social media network. I’ll have you know that many Cebuanos responded positively to the call to help earthquake stricken Mindanao sending foodstuff and medical supplies through the Coast Guard and a C-130. This report was all over the news, but definitely it wasn’t a fake news!

This reminds me of what Malacañang last Saturday branded as “bogus,” a screenshot of a supposed report about the Thai King’s alleged order to President Rodrigo Duterte to behave at the ASEAN summit in Bangkok, saying the “malicious” release of the image was meant to humiliate the Philippine leader. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo accused Duterte’s ”unthinking critics” of peddling a fake “news story” supposedly published by the Bangkok Post entitled: “King orders PH Duterte, behave during ASEAN summit.” No doubt that those idiots who peddled that story do not realize that the Thai King doesn’t make a habit of humiliating world leaders.

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com

CEBU TOURISM WEEK
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