Feeling the heat and uncomfy mugginess of the Metro lately? You’ve probably thought it’s officially summer, right? Or it could be as alarming as global warming effect? Well, the rising temperature, as we all know, is just one of compelling evidences of the rapid climate change. But how do we combat it? The answer is simple! Take a refuge in a chilly place and eat summery superfood like strawberries.
Speaking of cool place and strawberries, all I can think of is Baguio (PH’s Summer Capital) or La Presa, a fictional community known for its strawberry farm which became a hit for tourists after it was popularized by a television series. Well good news! You don’t have to fly to Manila and travel 5-8 hours by bus all the way to Baguio (or La Presa for that matter) to experience the chilly climate and set foot in a strawberry farm to enjoy organic produce right from its field. Thanks to Sergio’s Farm.
Sergio’s Farm brings strawberries closer to Cebuanos, making it the newest attraction in Cebu. Nestled in the fertile upland and pine-clad town of Dalaguete, Cebu’s very own “Little Baguio”, is an organic farm wherein variety of vegetables and fruits are produced. Sergio’s farm was built as a tribute to children’s love to their father, with a goal to promote the cultivation among local farmers and consumption by Cebuanos of naturally-grown vegetables and fruits without the synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. Free of harmful chemicals emission into the atmosphere, Sergio’s Farm also minimizes its negative impact to the environment. And for that, I admired Sergio’s Farm’s implementation of resilient agricultural practices that increase quality production of safe fruits and vegetables. What a compelling advocacy, to say the least.
As of writing, ripe strawberries are now available in the plantation, thus drawing more influx of tourists.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Upon arrival in the area, you’ll be greeted by two sign boards ~ the first one emphasizes the new visiting schedule of “Farm Visit: Pick N’ Pay” which is Saturdays and Sundays only, from 8:00AM to 5:00PM with an entrance fee of Php 50/head while another signboard highlights the endorsement of Cebu Farmers’ Market wherein Sergio’s Farm’s fresh and local products are regularly displayed. Also, the management reminded visitors to follow the rules (e.g., no littering, proper picking of fruits) to ensure that plants will be free from untoward damages brought about by irresponsible visitors. Now that’s an upfront #ResponsibleTourism advise!
The large-scale organic farm is abounded by rice terraces that is so scenic you’ll be lured to take a selfie. Follow the footpath down to the valley where you can see the picturesque backdrop ~ the majestic monolith called Kandongaw Peak.
There’s a wooden waiting shed right before you could enter the farm for visitors to wait while the farm has not yet opened. From there, you can already marvel at the strawberry and vegetable tunnels of the farm that are beautifully lined up. They’re actually several rows of greenhouses. Greenhouse coverings are mainly net for low tunnels while transparent plastic films cover the regular greenhouse. To ensure sustainable fresh food production system, the greenhouses are installed for the purpose of shading the crops, reducing heat burdens, controlling the development of the plants and the maturing of fruit, and preventing the infiltration of insects.
Right in the middle of the farm is a small cottage wherein you can ask assistance from the vendor-attendant in the activities that you’d wish to do in the area.
WHAT TO DO
1.) Strawberry & Vegetable Picking
You get to pick your own strawberries or buy them freshly picked in the very field where they are cultivated. Nothing beats the aroma of freshly picked strawberries and it’s no wonder they smell so divine. You should add this to your bucketlist!
Note however, that only assigned farm staff are allowed to pick for you. This is due to many cases of visitors not following rules inside the strawberry tunnels by picking & eating strawberries without weighing them first.
Visitors may also pick n’ pay for vegetables & herbs.
The cost of strawberry is based on weight (Php 800/kilo). I paid Php 128.00 for less than 1/4 kg. It’s so affordable right? However, due to limited production, it depends upon availability and on a first come, first harvest basis.
Aside from the farm visits in Maloray, you can alternatively buy their harvests every Saturdays in Vibo Place at 8am-1pm as they join other organic growers at the Cebu Farmers’ Market. I encourage everyone to support local entrepreneurs by buying affordable and fresh products in this economical hub. See contact details at the end of this post should you have queries regarding the availability of the week’s produce.
2.) Picture Taking and Farm Tour
You can have a farm tour for FREE so better be equipped and bring your camera all the time. I lost my GoPro Hero 4 Silver last month but I’m very thankful I have my Huawei GR5 2017, just in time for this photoshoot. All photos are taken by this Dual Camera smartphone. Thanks to Brian (@bri.sikat) for accompanying me in this trip.
Strut your OOTD inside one of its greenhouse tunnels and show the world that farming can be this awesome! Please note however that there are certain areas intended for picture taking purposes wherein you can take unlimited photos but NEVER pick strawberry fruits.
3. Farm Picnic and Healthy Snack Munching
At the middle of the farm, there are few tables and chairs that can accommodate guests interested to have a picnic. They can order the Farm’s fresh produce as well. Try their Maloray Salad, a mixture of handpicked strawberries, blue ternate flowers, sweet carrots, wild arugula, lollorosa, romaine & iceberg lettuces and spearmint. Just comply to the “Clean As You Go” Policy as the farm management does not tolerate littering.
Strawberry jams are available too. Just inform the vendor-attendant that you’d like to order one should you arrive there with no stocks available as of yet. Strawberries are juicy, summery and healthy superfood (e.g., rich in vitamins C, fiber, folic acid and potassium). Plus, strawberries from Sergio’s Farm, for emphasis, are naturally grown with no harmful chemicals.
Should you have queries on Sergio’s Farms activities and harvests, you may reach them via any of the following contact info:
- Facebook – Sergio’s Farm
- Contact # – 0906-6100-632 or 273-7834
HOW TO GET THERE
From South Bus Terminal in Cebu City, hop into a bus bound for Bato-Oslob (fare Php 100). Alight in the main highway of Dalaguete Town proper, notable for a 7/11 store. Lots of habal-habal are parked in the corner. Just tell the habal-habal driver that you’re going to Sergio’s Farm in Maloray (fare Php 150).
For 20-30 minutes, you’ll pass by Mantalongon Public Market and the scenic mountain ranges of Dalaguete, the famous of which is Osmena Peak, the highest point in Cebu. You’ll know if you’re already in the area when you see the signboard and the rice terraces with a concrete footpath and the mighty Kandungaw Peak just above you. Don’t forget to bring jacket or sweater ‘coz it’s really cold out there!
Now let me feast on these fresh-picked organic red strawberries. Want some?