Sunday, January 06, 2013

Going to the Farm

Some friends are asking to see the farm, it's on the western part of Barangay Laguit Padilla, Bugallon, Pangasinan. Here are some maps and directions.

From Manila, take NLEX, to Tarlac (via public road or SCTEX), to Camiling, Mangatarem, Aguilar, Bugallon.

From the highway in Bugallon, it's probably about 6.5 kilometers: 4 kms paved/cemented, 1 km unpaved/dirt road, less than half kilometer by foot as the barangay road is often destroyed by another creek which shifted course and moved to the road itself.

Another route is via Mt. Zion, uphill and winding, dirt road, nice view at the top, then go downhill to the farm. Problem is that the road downhill needs to be cleared of tall grasses.

The farm is generally upland, the trees there are always raided and cut by some locals for charcoal, firewood and lumber. We do not have resources and manpower to watch the areas upland, so we give up there. We maintain the midland, that's where the big mahogany trees are, my treehouse, the creek, the mango trees, some bananas and vegetable plots.

The uplands are up for sale by the Millora family, the owner of the farm. Some 70 hectares. See photos in articles below of the grassland.

Relaxing in the Creek

Among my short activities when I visit the farm in Pangasinan is to frolic in the creek near my treehouse, about 10 minutes bath. I took these photos last September 23, 2012. Since it was a regular rainy season then, water flow in the creek was rather good. The flash flood that occurs every time there are heavy rains remove whatever algae or slippery materials in the pebbles and river bed.

Another view of the creek, upstream side. The deepest part here was just about two feet. We did not make it deep enough, just enjoying the clear running water. There are no houses or animal farm upstream, so the water is relatively clean, and cold even during noontime.

The temporary water impounding stones and pebbles we made to raise the water level, below. These stones on the river or creek bed are not sharp, generally rounded, oblong, other shapes.

Behind the water impounding, the water drains to another pool, less than two feet deep. The stones act as water purifier, so the water below remains clean. A group of 20 people can comfortably frolic in these two pools.

If resources would allow, I would like to see the farm to be developed as an ecotourism resort. Silent, spacious lots of big trees, a two-storey treehouse, a creek, fresh vegetables to eat, fresh buko (young coconut). Exclusive use for the family or a group outing, they just bring their own food, or the locals can cook the food for them.

Security is no problem. There are no rebels or extortionists there. In the evening though, sometimes there are locals passing by, to hunt wild fish, bull frog in the creek, birds and other wild animals. Barangay Tanod or village security can be requested for additional peace of mind of guests, just give them a modest tip for an overnight watch work.

In late 2005, we (with our farm workers) also made this pool on the same spot, below. We used lots of river rocks, stones, pebbles and sand  to impound the water. The deepest part was more than five feet. It was really cool to swim here then.

Of course it was a temporary pool. When the rainy season returned, many of the stones were washed away and dragged down by the flash flood.

See also:
Creek, canal and irrigation, September 05, 2011

My swimming pool in the farm, 2005, June 10, 2011