By Eula Dee Lañada
Photos by Aeron P. Bermudez
Ms. Annette Patdu puts her family first before anything or anyone else. Even though she is an engineer by profession, she sacrificed her job to take care of her children. However, wherever she may be, even in her subdivision, she is fond of taking care of plants. Also, her parents share the same love for farming with her as they are also farmers. These were the factors that pushed her to build an empire of crops – Diaspora Farm Resort. Whenever she and her husband would go and would find seeds of any crop, they would sow them in their farm. Their family plays by the words: plant anything.
Getting there was not easy, in 1991, the Mt. Pinatubo erupted succumbing the lands in Bacolor to lahar. Bringing back the fertility of the land was also a challenge, however, as time passed by, they saw an opportunity to build a farm in the area and grabbed it.
Patdu also took up a second course, which is education and is also a LET passer, just in time as Diaspora has a farm school. She may not be designing buildings and teaching engineering students, but she believes that she was made as an instrument to help the farmers in a way that is very fulfilling and worthwhile to her.
Diaspora bears livestock and poultry, fruit trees such as mango and dragon fruits perched in thousands of posts. They even have an apiary. Diaspora also offers a wide array of activities which visitors, even students would enjoy. They have packages for an educational farm tour which ranges from PhplOO.OO to Php650.00 depending on the activities or services included. For individuals, it only costs PhplOO.OO; for package A, it costs Php300.00 per head with snack included; and for package B, it costs Php650.00 per head inclusive of a DIY activity, lunch and pool use. As a farm school, Diaspora also offers a course on Organic Agriculture Practice NCII which includes training and assessment fees for Php10,500.00/head.
As for menu is concerned, its lineup consists of delectable Kapampangan dishes such as fried fish, with buro, menudo, pork sisig, tinolang native chicken and kaldereta or adobong tupa or sheep. They have products too, which visitors could avail, such as vinegar, roselle jam and juice, organic fertilizer, vermicast, and vermicompost.
“Diaspora is a testimony and should serve as an inspiration that you can rise from tragedy,” said Patdu as she relayed the challenges they faced when the Mt. Pinatubo erupted that displaced thousands of people in their area.
This article was first published as Diaspora Farm Resort in Vignette A Travelogue of Central Luzon’s Agritourism Sites from the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center III.