Your Feedback: The Farm’s Signpost
The road to successful advocacy work is not easy to navigate. You may be sure you are on the right track and have clear plans on where you want to go and how to get there but you can never be sure which way to turn when the track you are taking starts to diverge nor how far or near you are to your destination. You need a map and signposts to help you make sure you are taking the right turns and headed to your planned destination and heading there on time.
Feedbacks or comments from people who have gone through the Layog Country Farm encounter serve as the farm’s map and signposts. It is how the people behind the farm’s operations would have an idea if indeed its advocacy for a sustainable and ecologically conscious farm system is sinking into the thinking of those who have entered and exited the farm’s gates and whether it has influenced them to be more critical and be more ecologically conscious of their lifestyle
To be more specific on how the feedbacks are helpful to the farm, here are three ways how:
- It helps to put the farm on track – the only possible way the people running the farm would know if they are running the farm in a way they expect those who would experience the farm not only to enjoy but learn from the experience would be to hear what those who went through the experience themselves have to say. It is through their feedbacks that the farm management would know whether they are doing the things they do fine or are amiss. The feedbacks are important tools to help keep them manage and keep the farm in sync with what
- It is motivational – Nothing inspires people to do better in their work than to hear others tell them they are doing a fantastic job. The people running the farm are no different.
- It provides an opportunity for learning – there is much wisdom to gain from people’s comments and feedback. It provides seeds of ideas on how to do things better. The farm encounters are a learning experience for everyone, the farm management included.
So feedbacks are not just feedbacks. They serve important purposes. So the people behind the Layog Country Farm would like to say “Thank you for all your comments and feedbacks. Keep it coming.”
Layog Country Farm is the perfect farm to get your hands dirty and your sweat glands busy while learning about the indigenous way of sustainable farming. Be ready to climb up and down to the different parts of the farm — up to pull out weeds from the coffee plants, down to the cottages for lunch, up to gather/harvest vegetables, then down to do the vermicomposting. But you’ll work at your own pace, no pressure at all. I was actually looking forward to helping with the clean-up of the mudslides caused by the typhoon when I was there but it was probably for the best that we left that job to the experts. 🙂
I’m filled with gratitude and humility when I look back at the time I spent at LCF. Call it fate or just luck but it couldn’t have been more destined that I would find myself up in the highlands of Mountain Province at that time. I was able to meet Auntie Flordelina. She has the warmest heart. Her kindness to the people around her and her dedication to her indigenous roots are inspirational. The resident farmers were kind to share their time and farming knowledge. This experience made me very appreciative of the hard work they do. They are heroes! Noel (our guide whose patience knows no bounds), Auntie Marylene (our adoptive mother at the farm), Auntie Manuela (the organic fertilizer master), the other farmers — Minda, Editha, Kuya Lucio…I wish that I was able to work with them longer and get the chance to know more about their life stories.
Seeing firsthand how noble yet undervalued the farmer’s work is, I now have this desire to really make a difference in the lives of our farmer brothers and sisters.
I plan to go back to the farm next year.
Layog Country Farm (LCF) was one of our itineraries during our three-day vacation in the province. For nature lovers, this is a great place to visit. They promote organic farming and employ the locals as farm assistants. Their produce are also freshly served to visitors dropping by. They have infused ornamental and edible plants to the natural backdrop of the farm making it a perfect place to unwind for both adults and kids. On the educational aspect, there is no doubt LCF is very rich of experiences and learnings to share. There are already guest houses and Auntie Lina says one of the upcoming projects is to come up with a play area using the available resources in the area.
Here are some of our photos but I am not good at taking pictures so it is best to go check it yourself.
Beautiful sunsets right outside our cottage, I will surely miss it. It’s just sad to leave the farm for a very short notice for we had no choice left. I will definitely miss the people who were all so nice and helpful to us, especially to Ate Minda and Manuela. I am also lucky to have met other volunteers whom we had a good time with, YIKO, REMO, JEREMY and to the ever kwela IZA who taught me how to cook! And most importantly I would like to thank Auntie Flordelina for giving Robin and I an opportunity to work in the farm. It was indeed an experience I will never forget. Till next time.
Our stay at LCF (Layog Country Farm) was I think the most enjoyable of all my past farm visits/tenures throughout Hawaii and Canada because I truly believed we were part of a “real family.” We felt blessed to have been accepted and so welcomed there at the farm.
Sharing and learning new things seemed so pleasurable and making mistakes were seen as just lessons to be learned. We met and worked with the indigenous “Igorot” farmers learning about the local culture and of course, making new friends. We learned so much from the native farmers but in return I hope they also learned from the knowledge we shared to them like cooking recipes, making use of the fresh produce from the farm. I think sustainable living is so easy and if the greater public only knew more about it many of the problems of the world would be rectified…
We will continue to visit other farms in the Philippines promoting real living practices and promoting the value of farmers to the greater public until next Summer.
We miss LCF already but we will be back for a visit in the new year 2016!!,:)
Thank you to Auntie Lina and everyone at Layog Country Farm…our second home in the Philippines!!!!!!
On the farm, she has two lovely cottages for the volunteers to stay in. The activities were organized for us by our host Noel and Marylene. They were both easy going hosts. Sometimes the tasks were a little physically demanding especially due to the change in altitude, but they were always very understanding and we took as much rest as we needed. Usually, we worked about 6 hours a day with a lunch break and siesta in between. They would bring us eggs, bread fish, pork and whatever cooking supplies we needed. We would gather the vegetables straight from the garden around us and we cook for ourselves in our cottage and sometimes with Noel. It was a great cultural exchange experience to learn how to live just like the “Igorots” do at the mountain. One of my favourite parts was the water system. The water came straight from the fresh mountain spring into the house! Oh Yes, and I can’t believe I almost forgot, the sea of clouds! Every changing cloud scenery all around us, with a mountainous backdrop. We could have stared at the landscape forever. Overall, a very lovely, romantic mountain stay with the kindest people you could meet.
We had two days off during the weekend and Layog Country Farm is perfectly located in one of the top places to visit in the Philippines, the gorgeous Banaue Rice Terraces. For a day trip, we went into Kayan East, to a special mud spa and healing spring. The owner of the spa is really a nice guy we had lunch with and a great chat. Also in the nearby town of Cervantes, we found some great restaurants, high- speed internet, and a massage therapist that was heavenly! The locals there are very happy to pick up hitchhikers, so we had an easy time getting to the local towns. We only drove to the other local town Tadian but that looked very interesting also. And for overnight trips, we recommend Sagada, Bontoc, and Banaue and ride on top of the jeepneys. You get some amazing views from there. The jeepney was always our first choice of transportation.
Even though it was a rainy season when we went there, it would only rain in the afternoon, so we had a great time. Oh yes, and mosquito spray was very helpful. Feel free to email us if you would like any more information, send an e-mail to: Worldwide.firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to chat with you more about our stay.
Thanks again Flordelina! We can’t wait to see you again and hear how everything is progressing 🙂
Mark & Amaris