Issue of March 26, 2017
     
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Visit Teraoka Family Farms

Planning a summer escapade? Best to devise an itinerary to one of the agri-tourism farms in Benguet or Pangasinan and savor a unique experience; as Anabella Dacones would put it, “alone with nature” encounter.

Anabella is the daughter of former honorary consul general of Japan in Baguio, Carlos Teraoka, mother to millennial “trial and error” farmer Raphael or Raffy and beloved wife of Rey, and the first organizer of the “Matsuri Japanese Festival of 2004.”

The Teraoka Family Farms is located in Barangay Cabaluyan 2, at the boundary of Mangatarem and San Clemente in Pangasinan, and is about 4.5 km from the highway. This 200 hectare farm abounds in organic produce and is an orchard to about 3,000 mango trees. It is approximately three hours from Baguio passing through TPLEX, Paniqui-CamilingTarlac highway to the towns of Mangatarem-San Clemente.

Teraoka means “temple on the hill” whichliterally describes the farm, as you have to gradually ascend to the farm and have a breathtaking view of its coverage.

Started in 1992 by Consul Teraoka, this agri-tourism destination will have a “soft opening” this April.

“I wish to encourage youth awareness on the health benefits of organic farming,” says trial and error young farmer Raffy. He has worked alongside his farmer buddies and fellow adventurers. “I also want to contribute to my country.” Raffy waived his plans to work abroad and opted to serve his country.

Invited recently by President Duterte to Malacanang, Raffy, now the operations manager of the farm and vice president, started his organic farming experiments three years ago. He has now reaped its benefits supplying various shops such as Real Foods in Alabang, Alpha Land-Up Market in Malugay Street, Butchery in Scout Tobias and does some household deliveries.

Much of his prowess was inherited from lolo Carlos who initially planted 5,200 mango trees, even built an airstrip, planted other fruit bearing trees like pomegranate, duhat, siniguelas, avocados, atis, guyabano, star apple and valuable species of mahogany hardwood and tanguile trees.

Annabella gave us a sample tour of their agri-tourism farm which included a training facility on agri entrepreneurship, nurseries, greenhouses, demonstration farms, meditation hubs, poultry, composting areas, carbonizing, storage area and output/produce area for your “pick and pay” products. Available for “pick and pay” are carrots, beans, kale, camote, papaya, eggplant, ampalaya, romaine, and other local vegetables. Soon accommodation and camping facilities will be available.

So if you are planning for an educational, unique and happy experience, visit the Teraoka Family Farm in Mangatarem. Tours are packaged to include meals. You may Google or find them in Facebook or the Web.We will take you on a visit to Rosa Farms in Zambales next. And maybe Mt. Costa in Longlong and the Sunflower Maze in Tayug next. Happy and blessed Sunday!

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