BAGUIO CITY – Miss Philippines Earth 2020 Roxanne Allison Baeyens leads the launching of the “Baguio Urban Garden Hopping” program spearheaded by City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) at Lindawan National High School, Barangay Lucnab, this city.

“A silver lining of the on-going Covid-19 pandemic is the interest it generated among many of us to engage in urban gardening which has become a trend. Nature is reminding us to go back to the basics of living minimally,” said Igorota Baeyens.

The program was spearheaded by CVAO headed by Dr. Bridgit Piok in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Piok said the project aims to encourage residents and tourists to visit thriving urban organic gardens and fishponds not only for tourism purposes but also to educate and entice them to become urban farmers themselves.

She said Baeyens will be the garden hopping program’s first “tourist” and be its perfect ambassadress.

Baeyens, a tourism graduate of Saint Louis University and a proud Igorota, was accompanied to the launching by her mother Julia, a native of Besao, Mountain Province. Her father is a Belgian national.

She proudly disclosed having her own vegetable container garden that she regularly tends to at her apartment in MandaluyongCcity where she is now currently based.

“I chose urban agriculture or gardening as an advocacy because it helps in achieving food production and gives a sense of security to a person who is able to feed himself and his family especially in these trying times,” Baeyens said.

She said, urban gardening is also good for the environment as it improves air quality and beneficial to our physical and mental health since it is a stress reliever from the challenges we are facing due to the pandemic.

“The Miss Earth Philippines crown gave me the wonderful opportunity of promoting the benefits of urban agriculture to a wide audience. I also fully support the national government’s plant, plant, plant project,” Baeyens stressed.

After the program, she led the group in visiting several selected urban gardens in the area supported by the CVAO, DA and BFAR.

For more information, visit the Baguio City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO).