In one of the learning program and study tours sponsored by the Tourism Promotions Board (#TPBgovPH) about #SustainableTourism practices in the Philippines, I was able to visit the Milea Bee Farm for the second time.
And because of that, I became more interested about the role of bees in our biodiversity and sustainable lifestyle.
Overall, bees, together with other pollinators can help increase our yields, not only the tourism industry through farm and ecotourism products but the way we address the food supply challenges in the Philippines too.
And yes, there are still a lot to learn about the local bees but I hope this post sparks your interest to discover why BEEs matter.
BEE ENGAGED! The 2020 theme explores the role of beekeeping in supporting rural communities and improving food and nutrition security in this challenging situation.
My childhood memories will never be complete without my bittersweet experiences with native bees. There used to be a beehive in my grandparents house and I always end up getting sting, almost every day!
But today bees, among other pollinators like my favorite butterflies, and many other insects are declining in abundance. I rarely see bees nowadays. I even had to visit bee farms to see them.
This day provides an opportunity for all of us – whether we work for governments, organizations or civil society or are concerned citizens – to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators and their habitats, improve their abundance and diversity, and support the sustainable development of beekeeping.
#Beekeeping can be considered as an #Act4SDGs. The way it is being responsibly operated is an example on how we can put #SDG12 Responsible Consumption and Production into concrete action at our respective communities.
WORKING WITH NATURE
Milea Bee Farm is an organic farm, DOT accredited farm tourism site and a DA-ATI Learning Site that manages different species of bees. They are located in San Jose, Batangas and one of the stakeholders that promotes the best practices in beekeeping.
Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in action
BEE a sustainable advocate, nurture the bees!
Bees, the ambassadors of pollinators
No pollinators, no SDGs! The diversity of pollinators have a direct and positive impact on crop yields. Bees and other pollinating insects are, in fact, improving the food production of 2 billion small farmers worldwide, helping to ensure food security for the world's population.
I hope that as we formulate strategies and recovery plan for the Philippine Tourism industry, we take the lessons learned from the study tour and nurture all our local hardworking bees.
I firmly believe that by being more aware about beekeeping and the importance of bees in our lives, we can now actively choose to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Let's accelerate sustainable development goals and best practices while putting organic Farm Tourism as a key pillar to our post-pandemic recovery and sustainable growth. Sabi nga eh, BEE healthy, stay happy!
And speaking of local, once this lockdown is over, I will definitely visit the local bee farms in my region, EXCITING BICOL.
KIWOT, a native stingless bee, has become an attraction at Balay Buhay sa Uma Bee (BBU) Farm, techno-demo farm for kiwot beekeeping located at brgy. San Roque in Bulusan, Sorsogon.
For now, I will enjoy the locally sourced honey I bought in my previous trips and BEE thankful for this natural golden sweets left in the kitchen.
Even in times of pandemic, we all have something to share and to give. For private stakeholders, it is not always business as usual but giving and sharing, as always. ♥
In a coastal town some 30 minutes to an hour’s ride from Naga City, life has become even more difficult for daily wage earners forced to stay home under the enhanced community quarantine imposed to prevent the transmission of the corona virus disease (COVID-19).
Shell augments relief efforts in CamSur coastal town
Pasacao, a third-class town in Camarines Sur in the Bicol region, is home to some 50,000 residents whose main source of income is farming and fishery, and employment at the port and some private firms.
“Even if not everyone fully understands COVID-19, all of them have to comply with the lockdown so of course, they are worried about where they are going to get their next meal,” says Pasacao CamSur Mayor Nino A. Tayco.
Those delivering farm and fishery products are also finding it difficult to reach markets outside the town, so they are forced to sell these products at a lower cost, he adds.
There is not much activity at the national port in Pasacao, which is the main point of entry by sea in Camarines Sur and where cargo ships unload their goods. Travel is at a standstill so there are no tourists or even locals to ferry from the Pasacao municipal port to Daruanak island or to the town of San Pascual in Masbate, which hosts numerous white sand island beaches.
What makes it difficult, Tayco says, is that their supplies and resources are limited and help takes a long time coming because of their distance from the national and provincial governments.
“Relief assistance is not enough,” says Christopher Imperial, one of 3,800 residents of Barangay Sta. Rosa del Sur in Pasacao. His family has received only five kilos of rice since the declaration of the lockdown.
Thus, he is thankful for companies like Shell that are augmenting the town’s relief assistance by providing enough rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, and other goods for at least 1,000 indigent families in their barangay.
“Even before the lockdown, our community receives support from Shell through their various programs,”
said Barangay Sta. Rosa del Sur Chairman Boncodin. These include farm and fishery training, livelihood assistance, educational support for elementary schools, health and nutrition program, road safety training and disaster response.
In behalf of my fellow Bicolanos especially those 1,000 indigent families who receive Shell's augmented relief during the difficult time of
Enhanced Community Quarantine,
Bayanihan spirit of Filipinos lives on!
For the first time in my adult life, I was able to experience Visita Iglesia, the catholic tradition of visiting 7 churches during Holy Week. I persuaded my Filipino-Chinese friend and travel buddy Doreen of GETS Travel to join me in this soul searching journey while I'm in Naga City,Bicol.
Visita Iglesia 2016 : Pilgrim City of Naga
Our first stop was Carmelite Monastery which was in the outskirt of city center. This place is also very meaningful to me because of a little miracle that happened last January 2016 which led to a series of events in my life.
I introduced Doreen to Ate Lydia, the caretaker whom I met during my first visit in the Carmelite Monastery. She's the one who explained to me the significance of the devotion to the Scapular and how it is related to safety and protection. Since then, whenever I meet a Catholic when I'm travelling, I give them my spare scapular.
I first heard of this place called "Partido Riviera" during a sharing by DOT 5 Director Nini Ravanilla a few years ago. Our Department of Tourism officials said that it can even rival that beauty of "French Riviera" so I was really intrigued by it but it was only last February 2014 when I passedby this area coz it's really an off beaten path especially if you're coming from Naga City on your way to Legazpi City.
Whenever my dad is home and on vacation, he always take us to a road trip and the video below captured one of the most scenic view he really raved about; to the point that whenever I have friends visiting us, he always volunteer to drive from CamSur to Albay as long we take this road. And so it has also become one of my favorite "road less travelled" in Bicol.
If I'm not mistaken, my parents first discovered it a few years back when my sister had her immersion in one of the communities in Partido and they drove to this area to pick her as well as brought some goods to the foster family where my sister stayed. Since then, they had countless road trips in Partido because my dad really liked the view.
Google Map may help you find your way to this scenic road. From ANAYAN CROSSING, you have to go to turn left going to Partido area and once you reach TIGAON town turn right to Sagnay Road. Check the Google Map below for routes and full instructions.
Watch this video uploaded by Kim Honrado and shared by Naga City Deck
together with some snaps that will surely make you wanna take this road
next time you think of taking a joy ride!
These photos by Kim Honrado were shared by Bicol Deck on Facebook.
I was told that these aerial shots were taken by a drone.
Ohh how I wish I also have a drone! I'll definitely put that in my wishlist for 2016!
I also suggest you visit JOROAN Church in Tiwi and say a little prayer.
... especially if you're out for great adventure!
If you're looking for adrenaline rush this Wednesday, you should watch my #SSSelfieAdventures in 3 key places in the Philippines. Play the video below and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube Channel.
Havaianaticos in Bicol, this is your chance to personalize your favorite flip flops for a limited time only!
I've attended several MYOH events in Manila before and I really had a great time assembling my own Havaianas that's why I was thrilled when I got the news that there'll be a similar activity in Naga City. It's nice that my fellow Bicolano Havaianaticos can now have their MYOH experience too!
Now on it's 10 anniversary, Make Your Own Havaianas
or famously referred to as MYOH finally find its way to
ALL FLIP FLOPS Store in SM City Naga!
Confused? Clueless what to do?
Here's a short MYOH GUIDE for you.
Review your choices and once you're okay with it, pay for it at the cashier before you proceed to the assembling area.
These friendly and service-oriented Havaianas staff will make your day. They'll be happy to answer your questions and patiently wait until you finalize your order. :-)
Share the fun and fashion with your family and friends!
Compagnie de Catalina, the exclusive sub-distributor of the world famous flip flops brand Havaianas in South Luzon, is inviting all Havaianaticos to experience luau party at their ALL FLIP FLOPS store in SM City Naga.
Remember that #MYOH2015Naga is only until October 18 (Sunday) so make sure to visit the store this weekend and #SayAlohaBicol!
MAHALO Havaianas and Compagnie De Catalina team for my very special MYOH2015 pair!
Join me in supporting my fellow Bicolano entreprenuers! Today will be the opening of the annual regional trade fair called Orgullo Kan Bicol. This highlights the best of products and source of pride of region 5.
The opening ceremony will be at 10:30 in the morning, October 8, 2015 at the Megatrade Hall 2, 5th Level, Bldg. B of SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. Fair is open during mall hours from October 8-11, 2015.
Throwback: To give you an overview what you can see at OKB, check this video on my YouTube Channel.
On its 19th year, Orgullo kan Bikol (okB)-Gayon Bicol positions our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global trade. OKB-Gayon Bicol Regional Trade Fair has evolved from a purely marketing event into an annual socio-cultural affair. It has become the venue for budding MSMEs to find new markets and graduate to better capacities; an opportunity for them to develop new product designs attuned to and compliant with market demands.
DTI-Bicol Regional Director Jocelyn L.B. Blanco said, “the OKB-Gayon Bicol, through the years, has provided opportunities for our homegrown entrepreneurs to develop, find new markets and become more competitive. This annual marketing event offers wearables and homestyle products, processed foods, ceramics, furniture, fine jewelry, and other products that will surely delight the buyers. It displays Bicol’s best products made from finest handcrafted materials to prime food delicacies, bringing the Bicolano entrepreneurs distinctive skills in weaving, innovating, and producing new products and designs for discerning markets; domestic and foreign”.
One hundred eleven exhibitors (111) from all over the region are joining this year’s fair. Thirty-three (33) comes from Albay, twelve (12) from Camarines Norte, twenty (21) from Camarines Sur, 11 from Catanduanes, 9 from Masbate and 25 from Sorsogon. It features thirty-eight (38) new entrepreneurs, who are given full marketing assistance by the DTI via this trade fair. It also features one hundred sixty (162) new products resulting from DTI’s product development activities prior to the event. As in the past, this marketing event is a convergence activity. DTI partners with the Department of Tourism (DOT), OKB Association, Inc., and the Local Government Units (LGUs).
By way of this trade fair, DTI enjoins domestic and foreign buyers to take a closer look and become more aware of what these micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) produce. As DTI commits to provide its clients – the MSMEs – better avenues to promote their fine products, they are also encouraged to explore the global market.
Let’s support the Bicolano entrepreneurs. See you at SM Megamall!
CAFE PLAZUELA offers all day dining with an A la Carte and Buffet dish selection of varied culinary twists and flavors for your discriminating pallet. At night, you can indulge in sumptuous dinner while you listen to heart-warming live piano entertainment.
While I will miss my old time favorites like the Pili and Herbs Crusted Norwegian Salmon and chocolate layered ice cream cake Excellente, I am definitely looking forward for the official launch of the newest culinary creations by Avenue Plaza Hotel's Executive Chef Rudy Velasco and Pastry Chef Paul Oraa this coming Tuesday, September 8, 2015.
CAFE PLAZUELA is located at the ground floor of Avenue Plaza Hotel,
Hmmm, thinking now WHAT TO ORDER?
Here are some of the items on their new menu which I personally recommend for a 5 course meal especially when you want to reward yourself or indulge your loved ones. ;-)
Gambas ala Venetian for Entree
For Hot Entree, order the GAMBAS ALA VENETIAN. The generous serving of the prawns marinated in garlic olive oil and sauteed in light spicy tomato concasse with basil will surely warm your tummy.
I think one order of this entree can be shared by 2-3 persons.
In terms of salad, I always go for the CLASSIC CEASAR SALAD and I was pleasantly surprised when I also tasted a hint of anchovy fillet on it aside from the usual crispy bacon.
The quail egg got me by surprise! For someone like me who doesn't know how to cook properly, I was amused by the CHICKEN ESSENCE SOUP with coriander quenelles and quail eggs. I scooped two half cook quail eggs and I really wonder how chef managed to make sure that the yokes are still intact...Oh it must be his perfect timing and culinary skills, 2 things I don't have! haha :-p
Now, for the main course, I highly suggest you check what's on their GRILLED MEAT and order your steak! Cafe Plazuela is known to serve the best steak in the city! Rare, Medium Rare, to Well Done, they'll serve it the way you want it!
I ordered medium rare AUSTRALIAN TENDERLOIN STEAK with potato mousseline, fresh vegetables and creamy mushroom sauce. You can always savour the steak with your own choice starch and sauce.
Ohh that crispy bacon wrap was an added delight to my appetite!
For dessert, I ordered EXOTIC FRUIT GRATIN. The fresh fruits in season on bed of crepe gratinated with grand marnier sabayon topped with strawberry ice cream was a delicious way to cap my culinary journey that night! I had my dose of fruits at the same time indulge into little sweet
Celebrate the Good Life at Avenue Plaza Hotel
in Naga City and venture into a new world of culinary creations! Visit Cafe Plazuela especially if you'll be in
Bicol for the Penafrancia Fiesta.
Read more about Avenue Plaza Hotel on my blog series this month of September to discover the many reasons why I love this place and the team behind it under the leadership of Sir Allan S.Cu, President and General Manager.
I ♥ AVENUE!
SUPER EXCITED! I'm going home to Bicol tonight to prepare for the start of Penafrancia Fiesta and work on the upcoming #BiGFEST2015 event by BicolBloggers. I'll make sure to dropby again at Cafe Plazuela to try these menu on my "must try food list" :
LAING LASAGNA and BAGNET AVENUE STYLE
SEE YOU IN NAGA CITY THIS SEPTEMBER!!!