Negros Oriental Baslay Coffee Farm in Dauinm to get tourism accreditation
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - July 20, 2018 - 1:53am

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines —  The Baslay Coffee Farm in Dauin town in Negros Oriental, known for its homegrown Highland Brew Coffee, is now expected to be flocked by local and international tourists as it will be accredited by Department of Tourism (DOT) within this month.

 

DOT-7 Regional Director Shalimar Tamano, during his visit to the farm last week, said that among the priorities of the agency is to find potential farms to promote agriculture and food tourism at the same time, a mandate of DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

Tamano was the guest speaker of the graduation ceremony of the Baslay Farmers Association (BFA), whose members finished their training on how to be effective tour guides. This, he said, is among the enrichment activities the farmers need to undergo as their farm becomes accredited.

Once the coffee farm gets accreditation, it will become part of the “main menu,” or the list of priority tourist spots in tourism expos and events abroad, where the DOT presents the farm to foreign buyers and travel agencies.

“In tourism, it’s not enough that you build a product. You build a product and at the same time, you must campaign abroad. The competition, actually, is not here. It is in events abroad,” Tamano said, adding that during these events, the DOT competes with fellow tourism agencies and ministries from neighboring Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Because of these fierce competitions abroad, Tamano said they are teaching the Baslay farmers to widen their perspectives and think about competing with neighboring countries and not with regions in the Philippines.

Tamano also assured that his agency’s trainings are “world-class,” since these programs are approved by DOT officials who have undergone trainings themselves from international tourism bodies such as the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization.

The trainings have also been carried out in other towns in Negros Oriental such as Zamboanguita, Tayasan, and Bindoy, as well as in Bayawan City, where the DOT is also educating farmers to develop their farms into food tourism destinations.

The Baslay Coffee Farm has been gaining traction within Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental for its Highland Brew Coffee, which is grown and brewed right inside the farm. It has three known variants: the Robusta, Arabica, and Kapeng Barako.

Even if the farm is located in a mountain barangay, going there is still relatively convenient as it is only less than 30 minutes away from the Dauin town proper; the road leading to the farm is also 95 percent paved.

Besides, many of the farmers understand and speak English, a trait that is among the main advantages Baslay has over its competing tourist destinations in Southeast Asia, Tamano said.

“We already have two international airports. We have Mactan and Panglao. The visitors will compare their experiences here and in other countries. Our advantage, we can understand English better,” he added.

BREW COFFEE
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