Farm fun in Cebu

A gift that keeps on giving, Cebu, with all its attractions, is also home to a host of garden and farm-themed resorts, attracting visitors looking to learn more about farming and organic food.

Located in the upland barangays are Sirao Flower Farm, Jaime Chua's Orchid Farm, Adlawon Vacation Farm, MSDEA Ornamental Garden, Terrazas de Flores, Serenity Farm and Resort, and Lava Mountain River Farm, which have been continuously drawing tourists from all over the country.

North of the city are Valentin Farm and Resort in Consolacion and Alhibe Farm in Carmen, which further strengthen Cebu's status as an emerging farm tourism haven in the south.

To promote and unveil this growing sector, Cebu on Nov. 6-8 will host the 6th Farm Tourism Conference. The event is expected to gather the country's leading practitioners and stakeholders in this "sunshine industry."

Themed "Farm Tourism: Building Community Relationship for Sustainable Development," the event is hosted by the City Government of Cebu, and co-organized by the International School of Sustainable Tourism and the Cebu Alliance of Tour Operations Specialist, Inc.

According to ISST president Mina Gabor, the conference will focus on the unique fusion of farming and tourism which helps empower local communities, provide diversified income for farmers, and encourage sustainable practices for food security.

"Farm Tourism attracts visitors and travelers to farm areas, generally for educational and recreational purposes that encourage economic activity to provide farm and community income. It is one of the country's sunshine industries which can be developed because of the agricultural nature of the economy," said Gabor.

Former President and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar, and Senator Cynthia Villar, author of the Farm Tourism Development Act of 2016, will deliver keynote messages.

Resource persons include ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity executive director Theresa Mundita Lim, Board of Landscape Architecture chairman Paolo Alcazaren, Arslan SRS Philippines chief executive officer Augustus Caesar Esmeralda, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture director Glenn Gregorio, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources director Eduardo Gongona.

The three-day event will also have an exhibition area for fresh and organically grown agricultural produce, and a host of healthy food items from local entrepreneurs. There will also be site visits on leading farm tourism spots in Cebu's upland barangays.

For details, contact (02) 832-0996, 834-2994, or 0917-1868766, email , or follow ISST Philippines on Facebook.