Sunday, December 3, 2017

Helping Sustaining a Healthy Community Through Farm Schools

The area around the town of Bingawan, the edge of the central portion of the province is where it ends and the town of Tapaz, Capiz province begins and is very much another unsung corner of Iloilo with warm, friendly, welcoming people.

Bingawan has some rich farming land and farming is at the heart of its village life. The landscapes are gorgeous here; with gentle pastures, to the high mountains. The area offers some beautiful hikes and bike trails across its lovely rolling meadows, woodland and a few working farms. The town would be less touristic than its neighboring towns but is well worth exploring.

If you are concerned about how organic can contribute to benefit our shared environment, promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved, then a trip to Connie Carillo Diversified Farm is for you.

With the governments’ efforts to improve the knowledge and technical skills of the farmers, the Connie Carillo Diversified Farm in Barangay Cairohan, for example is an extension outreach center of KRYZ Vocational and Technical School, Inc. (KVTS) that envisions as a center of livelihood training programs for the realization of our country’s goal towards economic development. It was established to provide livelihood skills, trends, ideas, opportunities, market and entrepreneurial endeavours, preparing trainees with necessary knowledge, appropriate skills and proper work ethics to become responsible entrepreneurs.

The training farm school being the only service provider in Region Vi accredited by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) has benefited farm associations and Day Care and Primary School in the barangay.

Mrs. Connie Carillo with students

The farm facilitates the development of farmers and youth through the ladderized course approach. Connie Carillo Diversified Farm serve as a mentor that assists them in learning by doing farm processes to prepare them as future farm managers and agripreneurs. The farm is also a success in helping small farmers in the community by imparting them farm technologies and knowledge.

A 3-Day Sustainable and Agriculture and Livelihood Trainings is conducted that include Banana, Pineapple, Ginger, Coconut, Stevia, Cassava, Turmeric, Sweet Potato and Squash Production and Processing, Culinary Herb Processing, Vermi Composting and Processing, Organic Fertilizer Production, Organic Feed Formulation, Refreshing Organic Herbs Processing, Infused Vinegar, Duck Raising and Processing, native Chicken Production and Processing and Hito Fattening for Business.

The courses will give you a chance to experience the joy of working with living, organic soils and crops, as well as understanding the principles and practices behind the method of maintaining them. All course topics will be covered both theoretically and experientially. You will also have an opportunity to meet and interact with local growers and farmers who have dedicated their lives to organic production methods.

Many people associate the topic of tourism with overcrowded, chaotic attractions that result in communities that are overrun with tourists. These images can discourage our farmers and other small entrepreneurs from considering Farmtourism as a method of enhancing agriculture revenues. However, the best way to view Farmtourism is to see it much like ecotourism in that it is often low impact, small scale, and education focused.

The learnings available at the KRYZ Vocational and Technical School, Inc and Connie Carillo Diversified Farm are very broad and can be tailored to fit each individual farm or farmer situation. Because most farms in Iloilo are operated by small landowners, there is great opportunity for customization and uniqueness in Farmtourism attractions.

For more information, please contact Mrs. Connie Carillo at 09089289284 or Mr. Sancho Carillo at 09072365960 or Dennis Lampon at 09777152007.

Saturday, December 2, 2017


Damires Hills Terra Verde, Barangay Damires, Janiuay, Iloilo

The Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office of the Iloilo Provincial Government with the Department of Tourism Regional VI Office, DTI and Robinsons Iloilo will celebrate its first AGRIBYAHE event on December 5-8, 2017 at the event center of Robinsons Jaro. The event with an exhibition programme is supported by BUGANA a showcase of backyard industries in the province of Iloilo.

Mrs. Connie Carillo lecturing farm students in Connie Carillo Diversified Farm, Bingawan, Iloilo

AGRIBYAHE is a unique,-specialized rural tourism exhibition event that is designed to be a meeting platform between agri-entrepreneurs and tour operators, to see this new business concept relationship established resulting to the development of rural tourism products - brands and networks.

farmers and farm students at wok at Connie Carillo Diversified farm in Bingawan, Iloilo

The aim of AGRIBYAHE is to discover the role Farmtourism plays in sustaining tourism and agriculture in the province of Iloilo, and the factors impacting on its further development. The event also aims to provide the much needed exposure of local farmers to domestic buyers. It will also develop and strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit among farmers and most especially, promote Farm Tourism in the province.

Balboa Farm in Barotac Viejo, Iloilo

Tourism in rural Iloilo is growing because economic developers are gradually embracing tourism and cottage industries as viable means for diversifying their investment and increasing wealth of farmers and farm communities.

EPHRATHAH Farms in Barangay Sariri, Badiangan, Iloilo

Rural farms are becoming attractive tourist destinations also because more visitors are interested for "simpler" time.  Visitors want to escape the hustle of city life and connect with natural and cultural heritage and enjoy a richer and authentic leisure experience. They want to learn, connect with genuine people engaged in a rural or agricultural lifestyle.

Connie Carillo Diversified Farm in Bingawan, Iloilo

Many of us have a farm somewhere on our family tree. Maybe our parents were raised on a farm, or we have fond memories of spending summers on our grandparents' farms. Agritourism rekindles the positive emotions from these family visits.

horseback riding at Balboa Farm, Barotac Viejo

People want a new experience - an escape from the stress of early mornings and late afternoon traffic jams and tiring daily routine workload. Still many would be interested to enjoy a drive to rural Iloilo and spend the day visiting farms that can offer wonderful unique experiences, especially in these times.

University of Iloilo - Phinma tourism students at Balboa Farm, Barotac Viejo, Iloilo

Picking your own vegetables or fruits in season in a beautiful field, harvesting eggs, a carabao-driven cart ride probably or feeding the goats and doves are just a few of the fun and fabulous activities waiting for you.

Orchard Valley in Pavia

Farmtourism is not only an educational endeavour; it also generates farm profitability by drawing in tourists from all over. Farmtourism is all about generating farm profitability in innovative ways.

For more information, please contact the Provincial Culture, Arts, History and Tourism Office at (033) 3384910.

Peace and Tranquility of Village Life Proudly Preserved at Damires Hills Terra Verde

Damires Hills Tierra Verde in Barangay Damires, Janiuay, Iloilo has been a popular rural escape for many city folks. It has a good range of quality farm resort accommodation to choose from.  With Farmtourism in this area of the province being particularly popular, it has maintained much of its natural charm, a charm you will find abundant in this welcoming farm resort.

Visitors can get that “remoteness feel” with its neighboring towns, its  distinctive local accent, an abundance of clean, cool air, homely traditional dishes and the overall warmth and friendliness of the people.

Farmtourism is getting popular for the province, with farm holidays spent in Damires Hills Tierra Verde being especially fashionable. It was, and is, farming municipality after all and it became a nice example of how tourism do not eat up traditional industries, given the right environment and the right type of tourist it can fit in fairly seamlessly to what is already there. So despite the tourism boom for the province, the resort seems to get it right, and accordingly standards are very competitive. Quality and comfort in some really authentic, peaceful rural settings.

The stay to its rolling hills approximately measuring 40 hectares where 16 hectares were developed to facilitate tidy little cottages and accommodation units and areas for leisure that are such an antidote to the stresses of the city.

The area has 33 rooms all in all. Its newly-opened Heliconia Hotel houses 20 standard rooms good for double or triple occupancies with free breakfast for two. The view is mainly hilly and green, everything is tidy and clean with well-tended farmlands with patches or pretty little villages. It has eight (8) family-style rooms that can accommodate to a maximum of 8 persons per room and five (5) additional garden standard rooms to a maximum of three occupants per room inclusive of breakfast for two persons.

With open cottages being possibly the most popular choice, you will find that the personnel here have a long and well- deserved reputation for looking after visitors and guests and are unlikely to be disappointed. It has three (3) big open cottages for a maximum of 40 persons, consumable for food and drinks and 15 more for a maximum of 15 persons per cottage, consumable for food and drinks. Thee cottages are positioned on a beautifully serene area of rolling hills and meadowland.

There are many things to do in the area. Visitors will surely enjoy swimming to its adult infinity pool and kiddie pools. For the adventurous in spirit, dare the canopy walk suspended 214 feet above the ground with a length of 218 meters. Or try its two-stationed zip-line with 375 meters on its first station and another 180 meters to its last station.  Ride around the hilly terrain of the resort in ATVs with 10 units available. The area also has a hiking trail on its rolling hills and woodlands.

From Damires Hills Terra Verda, this municipality is steeped in Iloilo’s history. It has many points of interest to the tourist, the ruins of the old St. Julian Parish, Janiuay Catholic Cemetery, Baraslon Cave and to name but a few, but those that stop over and on a countryside drive from the city are missing out on the joy of a drive across few more farm resorts in neighboring municipalities with beautifully peaceful areas of gentle hills and green fields that attracts city dwellers.

Your farmstay in Damires Hills is generally somewhat a bit of upmarket affair, and you can expect excellent service and hotel comforts but at something of a premium. For more information, please call (033) 3968144/ 5316519 or at 09399060689/ 09176325901. For city bookings at the Ground floor of Carmelita Building, Quezon Street with telephone numbers (033) 3369670/ 3373882. You may also email them at or like them at Facebook at

Friday, October 27, 2017

Illuminating Anilao on its 13th Banaag Festival

Anilao, Iloilo will once again usher the most wonderful season of the year with Banaag Festival on October 31, 2017. This signature lights and sound show has beguiled many Ilonggos each year.

Banaag Festival is a celebration of the town’s local culture featuring inspiring performances, and incredible lights showdown. A tradition that started with fire years ago, Banaag is Anilao’s most important celebration, marking and welcoming the coming of Christmas, with the lights celebration being symbolic of illuminating our communities for the coming of Christ, our saviour.

The town streets are transformed into a magical place as more than a million twinkling battery-operated lights start to play with the sounds.  For several minutes these lights will flash and others change color to the beat of the music, bringing everyone’s spirit alive.

The dance-drama competition is the centerpiece of Banaag’s month-long spectacle that aims to bring cheer to everyone. The tribal dance performances enchant every spectator with dancing battery-operated lights in choreographed movements.

The Hiligaynon word “Banaag” or “gleam,” is a celebration of life and spirit for the Anilaonons.  Come and join the people of Anilao for a spectacular evening of dazzling lights, colors, shapes, and themes.

With the theme, “Maragtason nga Kasaysayan Handurawon, Itib-ong Kulturang Anilaonon,” the festivity will open on October 2 (Monday) with the Banaag Exhibit at the 5th Farm Tourism Conference and Festival; October 3 (Tuesday) Dinagyang sang mga Tigulang; October 4 (Wednesday) Banaag Festival River and Coastal Clean Up; October 6 (Friday) Anilao farmers and Fisher Folks day with ATOP Immersion Tour; October 10 (Tuesday)  Send Off Ceremony for the 4th CSDA Meet and Anilao Tanod’s Day :Sirinadya sang mga bantay Barangay.”

October 14 (Saturday) Adlaw sang Pamatan-on (Anilao Youth Day) and Balangaw sa Anilao with Color and Music Festival; October 18 (Wednesday) Anilao: Maalam Ka!; October 21 (Saturday) Anilao ports Clinic with PBA, Banaag Food Festival and Exhibition Game: Anilao vs PBA Legends; October 28 (Saturday) Graduation of all SLP Beneficiaries; October 29 (Sunday) Huganas sa Banas; October 30 (Monday) Street Dance/ Opening Salvo, Opening Program and Banaag sa Langit; October 31 (Tuesday) Dance Drama Competition; November 1 (Wednesday) Thanksgiving Mass.

If you enjoy an evening full of festive lights and amazing sights, bring your family to the Banaag Festival, a rare opportunity to witness this majestic festivity.

Anilao is located 40 kilometers northeast or an hour drive from Iloilo City. Comprised of 21 barangays It is bounded in the north by the town of San Enrique; the highest mountain of the town in the west; in the south by Barotac Nuevo; and the Guimaras Strait in the east. To get to Anilao, one can take a bus at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact Emerson Franco – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09395804484.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Tigkaralag: A Seasoned Halloween Festival in Iloilo

In Pavia, Iloilo, Halloween comes with lots of mystery and ghostly attractions, plus an excellent choice of celebration, the annual Tigkaralag Festival that take place every 30th of October.

The town, headed by its dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Michael Gorriceta invites everyone who fancy about experiencing thrilling and terrifying moments to their annual Tigkaralag Festival. The town has been crazy about festivities and activities related to Halloween and its peculiar customs that fanatics in adrenaline rush and dread would gather around its municipal plaza as witches, ghosts and zombies roam around the area changing the whole scenery.

Tigkaralag Festival is a tiny sample of the excitement and the passion that this charming agricultural town has in store for such an event. Thus, its annual celebration confirms that the town has not stolen its reputation as one of the best Halloween destinations in Iloilo every 30th of October.

Although Pavia does not celebrate Halloween with the lavish fanfare like in other parts of the country, that does not mean this fascinating old town, with its long and tempestuous history, frightening stories, and century-old churches and cemeteries, is not a great place to be for those seasoned Halloween fan.

Pavia certainly knows how to thrill its visitors with an eerie view up-close the parade of its scariest Halloween character. While watching the competition, you may bump into ghosts and zombies or other spooky themed characters present in the much-anticipated dance-drama competition. It can make the whole night just original and unforgivable.

Pavia is actually a wonderful place to spend an unforgivable pre-Halloween’s night with Tigkaralag. A lot of people either locals or tourists visit the town to celebrate this occasion.
And it is quite festive over there and this is why it is highly recommended as one of the best Halloween festivity in Iloilo.

Pavia is an agro-industrial municipality considered to be the smallest in terms of land area in the whole province. It is located 9.6 kilometers or a 25-minute drive north of Iloilo City. It is politically subdivided into 18 barangays bordered by the municipalities of Oton, San Miguel, Sta. Barbara, Leganes and Iloilo City. To get to Pavia, one can take a jeepney in Jaro Plaza, Iloilo City.

Inspiring Dumangas Through Haw-as

Dumangas, Iloilo will celebrate the bounty of its harvest with the annual Haw-as Festival r on October 26 – 31, 2017. Discover and enjoy local arts and crafts, family-friendly activities and much more!

Haw-as Festival is known for its fun-filled daily events that are family-friendly and open to all ages. Just being in the vicinity can fill you with a sense of euphoria so strong that you are bound to keep coming back for more every day.

October 1 (Sunday) Pamukaw; Opening Program with Painting Contest at 1 p.m., Pamukaw at 3 p.m.; October 26 (Thursday) Tourism Photo Shooting Contest at 9 a.m., Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of OTOP Exhibit at 9:30 a.m., Painting Contest Final Exhibit at 10 a.m., Motorcade at 10 a.m., Blessing of Harvest at 12 noontime, Street Dancing at 1 p.m., Sugbahanay sa Plaza at 6 p.m., Awarding of Painting Contest; October 27 (Friday) Gender and Development (GAD) with Haw-as Festival Pre- Pageant Night at 7 p.m.; October 28 (Saturday) Socio Cultural Day with 117 Cry for Freedom and Liberty – Liberation of Dumangas at 8 a.m., Dumangas Composo and Binalaybay, Educator’s Day at 2 p.m.

October 29 (Sunday) Agri-Fisheries Expo with Farmers and Fisher Folks Forum and Product Display at 8 a.m., 2nd Bangus Cooking Contest at 9 a.m., 2nd Sikpanay (Dumangas Actual Haw-as sa Punong) at 3 p.m., Haw-as Festival Queen Pageant Night at 7 p.m.; October 30 (Monday) Jobs Fair at 8 a.m., Dinner for a Cause/ Benefit Show at 7 p.m.; October 31 (Tuesday) Col. Quintin Salas Day and Haw–as Guban Competition with Run for Col. Quintin Salas Marathon at 5 a.m., Commemoration Program for the 147th Col. Quintin Salas Birth Anniversary with Floral Offering at the Veteran’s Monument at 8 a.m., Haw-as Festival Guban Competition at 2 p.m. and Awarding and Closing Program; November 1 (Wednesday) Ligum-Dulom at 7 p.m.

Fishpond harvest is one of the most important economic activities in the lives of the people of Dumangas. Its people take pride on their bangus and its harvest activities and as a proof of that is the annual celebration known by every Ilonggos as Haw-as Festival.

The municipal government of Dumangas headed by its dynamic municipal mayor, Hon. Ronaldo Golez had worked hard in developing this festival and slowly Haw-as is recognized as an established festival in the province.

The coastal area leading to the poblacion of Dumangas gives way to a long stretch of well-paved road with occasional mangroves growing dot the scenery with refreshing spots of green and the island of Guimaras as backdrop.

The roadside features popular seafood restaurants, salt beds, inland resorts and regular grids of fishponds where during fishpond harvest season, motorists are tempted to pull over to view groups of men with bamboo fence-like contraptions directing bangus into the corners of their working pond.

So, if you are planning an enjoyable week before the start of Halloween and want to make the most of those times filled with music and good food, a fun festival should be included in your private, tailor-made travel itinerary.

Journey down to Dumangas and add more color to a vacation with a good, old-fashioned festivity. Witness Haw-as Festival.

The First-Class municipality of Dumangas is located north-east of Iloilo City. In the province, it is located in the eastern portion bordering the towns of Barotac Nuevo in the north;  Pototan in the west;  Zarraga in the south, and;  the islands province of Guimaras and Negros Occidental in the east. It is politically subdivided into 45 barangays.

One can reach the town of Dumanags via Baldoza Terminal along Baldoza Street in Lapaz, Iloilo City and serves vans bound for Dumangas.  For more information, please contact, Mr. Leonardo Quiatchon – Municipal Tourism Officer at telephone number (33) 3612400 or fax number (33) 3612884.

Pagdihon: Heart and Soul of Dingle Culture

Gen. Adriano Hernandez, the town's local hero carrying the Philippine flag

Dingle, Iloilo, in the spirit of getting to know more of the town will host to one of Iloilo’s most inspiring cultural event, Pagdihon Festival on October 25-31, 2017.

With the festival theme, “Pagdihon, Ginakabuhi sang mga Dingleanon,” special events starting its opening day on October 25 (Wednesday) that includes Float Parade at 7:30 a.m. with an Opening Program, Unified Drum and Lyre Corp and Drum and Bugle Corp Exhibition, Agri-Fair, Laro ng Lahi at 1 p.m., Miss Pagdihon and Open Stage Sound System ; October 26 (Thursday) with Senior Citizen’s Day, Teacher’s Night and Open Stage Sound System; October 27 (Friday) Mass Church Wedding, Alcoholic’s Night and Open Stage Sound System; October 28 (Saturday) Cry of Lincud, Raising of Banners, Dingle Tonight, Fireworks Competition and Open Stage Sound System; October 29 (Sunday) Boy and Girl Scouts Day, Farmer’s Coop Day, Zumba, Open Stage Live Band; October 30 (Monday) Street and Dance Drama Competition, Search for Mr. and Miss Teen Pagdihon and Open Stage Sound System; October 31 (Tuesday) Trick or Treat, Horror Night, Awarding and Open Stage Live Band.

Pagdihon offer visitors a glimpse into the heart and soul of its people highlighted by the much-anticipated annual tribal dance-drama competition. Here, all the competing tribes show off their dancing and theatrical skills in order to grab the championship crown. 

The performances features local legends incorporated to local history that rekindles the sense of heroism and a look back on the sacrifices and bravery of their local hero led by Gen. Adriano Dayot Hernandez who staged the first armed uprising in the Province of Iloilo in October 28, 1898.

Adriano Hernandez later became a brigadier general in the Philippine Revolutionary Army during the Philippine American War. As a military strategist, Hernandez was designated Chief of Staff of the revolutionary government in the Visayas in November 1898, and became an aide to another local hero from Santa Barbara, Gen. Martin Teofilo Delgado. He represented the province of Iloilo at the Malolos Congress. He led the guerrilla movement in the province of Iloilo until his surrender. To honour him, the local government erected a statue which stands proudly in Barangay Lincud. Gen. Hernandez died on February 16, 1925.

Pagdihon commemorates the blessings of having a great hero. The week-long celebration of Pagdihon Festival aims to remind the young generation of Dingleanons about their local history and for them to imitate the good deeds that their local hero possessed and the tenets that he lived by, not to mention his bravery and love for his town and people.

Other must-do activities around Dingle: Do not skip a tour through the only National Park in the island of Panay, Bulabog National Park which houses 33 known caves in the area. Take a picture in front of St. John the Baptist Parish. And do not miss the Nautod Wall. For rock climbing enthusiasts, the wall is considered a haven for both hardcore and leisurely climbers because of the variety of grade offerings from 5.8 to 5.12.

Dingle is a Third-Class municipality 37 kilometers away or an hour drive from the city. Its land area measures 7, 750 hectares politically subdivided into 33 barangays. It annually celebrates its religious fiesta every 24th of June in honour of St. John the Baptist. Market day is every Saturday.

To get to Dingle, take a jeepney at Tagbak terminal in Jaro, Iloilo City. For more information, please contact, Dane Dizon – Municipal Tourism Officer at 09477424341.

Helping Sustaining a Healthy Community Through Farm Schools

The area around the town of Bingawan, the edge of the central portion of the province is where it ends and the town of Tapaz, Capiz p...