BAGUIO

Olsim: LT's colorful places

The Eternal Student

LA TRINIDAD is known as the "Valley of Colors," not really because of the colorful houses at StoBoSa in Balili, La Trinidad, Benguet, but because of its colorful places and products -- strawberries, highland vegetables, flowers, coffee arabica, among others (and of course its colorful multicultural people). With the current halt in tourism, locals are now taking the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy for themselves the colors of the valley as 10 agri-eco sites, after compliance to health safety protocols, opened up to help in addressing the community's mental health, while of course promoting the town's places of interest.

The following nature parks and farm sites are open for locals only and with strict compliance to health safety protocols and advance bookings: Mount Costa, Mt. Kalugong, Avong nen Romy, Admirals Farm Park, Lily of the Valley, Cosmic Farm, Living Gifts, Bell Church, Garden nen Ines, and Darjane's Garden.

Since it has been proven that nature walks or forest bathing are effective cure to anxiety, depression, and stress especially in this pandemic, the nature parks in La Trinidad were the first sites to be allowed to open. Locals may plan their tour by first booking to the LGU approved places; to enjoy the majestic gardens and natural ambience of Mount Costa book a schedule with them by contacting 09774097004; to experience authentic cordillera atmosphere (with the rocks and pines) contact them at 09293024287; also visit the enthralling nature trail of Avong nen Romy and Admirals Farm Park. Avong nen Romy may be reached at 09086470249. Bell church, with its asian-themed garden and temple is also open for relaxing walks and meditation (inquiries may be directed to 09331504606).

La Trinidad, with its two presently operating Orchidariums/ plant shops (BSU Orchidarium, and La Trinidad Orchidarium MPC) in Betag, is called a "plantito/plantita' haven for a reason. But to learn more about the sources of those natural treasures, locals may visit the farm sites and sources of the famed La Trinidad plants and flowers. Although the popular rose gardens of Bahong, and 10,000 roses in Alapang are not yet open for visitors, Garden nen Ines, Darjane's Garden, and Living gifts are now ready to cater to the local plant-lovers. Garden nen Ines in Shilan, an anthurium-themed paradise may be contacted through 09087807006; another Shilan pride of place is the popular Darjane's garden, a beautiful poinsettia and sunflower farm in which bookings may be placed at 09998787544. Cactus-lovers may schedule their visit to the most popular cactus farm in the country -- the Living gifts -- by contacting 09284475013.

But La Trinidad is not only about strawberries, and flowers. Although the town has the two major highland Vegetable trading posts, the town is also fortunate to have produced pioneers in organic farming. Learners and local visitors may know more about organic farming by visiting Lily of the Valley in Puguis, and Cosmic Farm in Beckel. Farm visitors may contact 09123777202 prior to their visit to Lily of the Valley, and 09204522721 for Cosmic Farm.

Visitors are reminded to practice basic health safety protocols like wearing face masks, sanitizing often, and keeping distance to other guests (other persons outside your group). Advance booking is also required so that the establishments or sites may manage your visits according to the IATF prescribed guidelines on reduced carrying capacity and physical distancing.


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