CEBU

Neri: The lady farmers

Eve

Gigi Uy of God’s Grace Farm “stumbled” into farming when her health-conscious husband Samuel asked her to add more leafy greens to their diet. She started off planting veggies in pots and was so fascinated seeing her plants flourish that she then put up a greenhouse in their garden. Her harvest was more than enough for the family, so she shared it with relatives and friends.

In time, Gigi got suggestions for her to expand her vegetable garden and go commercial. That was when she made up her mind to develop the family properties in Talisay City and in the town of Barili. And she went a step further. She had her farm certified as an organic farm in accordance with Republic Act 10068. She proudly declares that it is the only one in Cebu officially certified so far. Her products are healthily organic and this is the reason why a lot of cancer patients and health buffs are regulars at her stores.

Because of the big demand for organic vegetables, she decided to expand to Victorias, Negros Occidental, in partnership with the mayor. The project involves 30 hectares of land and 40 farmers. She also has a satellite farm in Benguet for highland crops.

When asked how she came up with the name God’s Grace, Gigi said that it’s through God’s grace that the plants in her farm continue to grow and flourish. She is known as GG but she believes that GG is best spelled out as God’s Grace.

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As the lady behind Sun Travel and Tours, Araceli Llanos has been traveling a lot, going to all kinds of tourist sights. What she found most captivating were her visits to beautiful gardens and flower farms. They so delighted her that she promised herself to make her own version of flower fields someday.

As luck would have it, the opportunity came soon enough when a property in a scenic valley right in the midst of the flower farms of Babag hills was up for sale. Cely and husband Jun acquired it and lost no time in developing their own garden. They began with different varieties of roses. They called their place Mystical Rose Flower Garden to honor Mother Mary (one of her titles is Mystical Rose), whose grotto they erected at the entrance of the garden.

The roses bloomed beautifully and Cely gave away her flowers to friends and to churches for altar decorations. Before long, she expanded her garden to include orchids and other lovely plants. She now sells her flowers and plant cuttings.

A trip to California opened her eyes to the possibility of cultivating lemon trees and that’s how her lemon orchard came to be. The fertile valley between the hills of Bonbon and Babag is home to Cely’s lemon trees and the name “Mystical Rose Flower Garden” has an added “Lemon Orchard.”


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