Farm Stay and Agri-Tourism at Costales Nature Farms

Sunday, September 17, 2017

My friends know I'm a beach lover, so farm tours never really made it to my bucketlist. I quite honestly didn't know what to expect, and I hate to admit that the only thing that really came into my mind upon hearing about Costales Nature Farms was chickens and pigs. I was completely wrong. 
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green everywhere with Mount Banahaw in the distance
Three weeks ago, fellow Pinoy Travel Blogger, Jherson Jaya, invited me for a Wellness Tour of Costales Nature Farms. It’s a 3 days 2 nights wellness tour, which includes meals, accommodations, guided farm tour, and Liliw/Lucban side trips. No questions, I said yes on the spot. Exploring a new place with fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers was a pretty sweet deal!  
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Hey guys! This is Spearmint, a specie of mint found in health-food products, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and cosmetics. It’s also used with tarragon to make a delicious herbal tea. A pot of this plant only costs 50 pesos in Costales Nature Farms!
A day before our trip though, Tropical Storm Jolina slammed into Northern Luzon, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. Heavy rains were experienced over most parts of Luzon, including Laguna where the farm is located. I’ve already packed my stuff that day, so I was really hoping for the weather to be okay the next day. Thank God it did! 
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Save money and the environment by reducing the amount of resources that goes into your garden. Grow your plants in a water container like this one from Costales :)
The next day, I traveled alone from our home in San Mateo, Rizal to Majayjay, Laguna. I was anxious as hell because it was my first time to travel alone in Majayjay. My home is just a few hours north of Laguna and yet, I never really had time to explore this province. Ironic, isn’t it? May be because of its proximity that I thought it was so near I can always visit it anytime; That’s why I’ve traveled alone in Japan last year but never really traveled on my own to the provinces near my home.
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Hi Mr. Enero and Baby Enero! Check out Mrs. Enero's blog right here.
Anyhow, I successfully reached my destination. I arrived at around 2:00 in the afternoon with no idea of what lay ahead of me. Farm orientation with the travel bloggers was already done and they already started the garden tour. I was welcomed by Jherson (very Mayor ang peg!) and he introduced me to the other bloggers present. It was actually my first time to meet them all, but they never made me feel out of place. Thanks you so much guys! T_T
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I didn’t know bamboo trunks can be used to grow plants 
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Wild lily flowers are very abundant in the mountainside and swamps.
This is the home of organic poultry, and vegetables and herbs growing…. warm and lush
Prior to my trip to the farm, I haven’t heard anything about Costales and its organic produce. During the tour, I learned so much about it and started questioning myself, “Why I didn’t know about this farm at all?” Seriously. I didn’t know Healthy Options, Solaire Resort & Casino, Shangri-La Hotel and Italianni’s source their organic veggies from Costales! I also didn’t know that they are the first agri-tourism destination in the Philippines accredited by the Department of Tourism
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told you, it's zero waste here in Costales. Used water containers can be utilized to plant veggies :)
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Hey there little lettuce monster!
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look at them growing so beautifully <3
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Yellow cosmos flowers are widely planted in the farm. If you are tamad like me, and you would like some flowers in your garden, then cosmos will be perfect for you! They are low maintenance  they easily self-seed from one year to the next. :) 
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Organic eggs were produced through organic means.
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by this time, we were already discussing about the seed and plant spacing rule 
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Look at that! Costales uses rich, fertile soil to grow their plants.
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 Ate was planting seedlings individually so that they don't have to compete for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Teasing the plants apart before planting helps get them off to a healthy start.
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Angel and Leon planting the seeds individually. Great job guys!
Learn the basics of integrated organic farming through gardening and harvesting
Costales Nature Farms was founded in 2005 by the late Ronald Costales and his wife Josephine “Josie” Costales. Both from the IT industry, they decided to retire early and establish a farm specializing in organic farming. Having zero knowledge in farming, they participated in different trainings just to bring their dreams to fruition. Looking back, they not only made their dreams come true, but they also helped the development of farmers and youth through their farm courses. They are now one of the biggest organic produce suppliers in the Philippines, but they still help the small farmers through imparting farm technologies and knowledge. Mr. and Mrs. Costales are truly an inspiration. <3
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We did some harvesting too! That's Angel of #mrsEnerodiaries
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When they don't use the sprinklers, they normally hand-water the plants
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I'm not sure if this was Kale
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Hello there Kuya!
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The spacing of lettuce depends on where you are growing it and how large you want the plant to grow. Generally, romaine lettuce is spaced 6 to 10 inches apart in rows.
More farm-related activities for adults and children
Aside from gardening, harvesting and feeding the animals, Costales Nature Farms also offers other farm-related activities for adults and children. During our stay we were able to try Tupig Making, Fishing, Green Salad Making, Herbal Tea Making, and Kale Juice Making. There’s really all kinds of different activities on the farm to keep the guests engaged. :) You can pick your favorite activities and also choose from day trips and farm stay packages. 
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Tupig making with Kuya Jess :)

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fishing time!

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Tea making with the bloggers :) We used Tarragon and Spearmint to make this delicious herbal tea.
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It was my first time to drink Kale Juice. During my stay in the farm, I learned that Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables in the world. This super green is packed to the max with nutrition that it is considered as the King of all Veggies. No wonder it is expensive in the Philippines!

Relax and experience farm life
Set at the foothills of Mt. Banahaw in Majayjay Laguna, Costales Nature Farms is the premiere agri-tourism destination in the Philippines. The farm offers 5 types of accommodation options of carefully crafted classic native houses (Bahay Kubo) to complete the Farmville adventure. They have the Bahay Kubo and Balai Liwayway, which is good for 2 people. Villa Josefa, on the other hand, could easily fit in 3 people. Villa Marcus and Villa Angela are perfect for big groups (maximum of 10 people). 
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Cosmos flower fields just outside your Nipa Hut? Beat that!
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So lovely, aren't they?
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We can't see Mt. Bahanaw in this photo, but trust me, the view from the Nipa Hut was extremely impressive :)
Pasalubong, anyone?
Staying a day or two in Costales or just doing a day trip will never be complete without buying these pasalubongs from the farm. They also have organic pork, eggs, skincare products, and other organic produce for sale. You should definitely buy their Longaniza, which is made from organic pork. It is a great treat for those who would like to indulge without feeling guilty for health reasons. :)

Trivia: Did you know that Costales Nature Farms is now the major single producer of organic high value vegetables and herbs for major restaurants and hotels in Manila? The farm also produce organic chicken, eggs and pork available at Healthy Options, Shopwise and Rustan's for those who wish to lead a healthier lifestyle. Processed organic pork meat products was also recently launched and will soon be available in major supermarkets and grocery stores nationwide. Yey to healthy diet! 
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Uraro or Arrowroot cookies are one of the most popular pasalubong in the Philippines.
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Meringues (or Merengue with all the vowels pronounced) are also popular in the Philippines, due to the Spanish influence.
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you may buy seeds too if you would like to start gardening in your own home
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I'm a sucker for organic soaps because it cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural oils. 
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How to check the purity of honey? If the honey has been mixed with certain kinds of sugar syrup, it will dissolve in the water. Pure honey, on the other hand, will settle at the bottom of your glass.
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You can also buy organic eggs to take home with you :)
Travel Notes
How to get to Costales Nature Farms: 
By bus: Take a bus from Buendia, Pasay or Cubao to Santa Cruz Laguna. Get off at Waltermart or SM Calamba. Then, take a van bound for Lucban, Quezon at SM Calamba. Tell the driver to drop you off at Costales. 
By van: Take a bus from Buendia, Pasay or Cubao to Festival Mall in Alabang. Then, take a van going to Lucban, Quezon. Tell the driver to drop you off at Costales. 

Sample Day Trip Budget
Cubao to SM Calamba - 80 php 
SM Calamba to Costales Nature Farms - 120 php 
Green Living Tour - 1,275 php 
Costales Nature Farms to SM Calamba - 120 php 
SM Calamba to Cubao - 80 php 
Total: 1,675 php 

Sample 2D1N Budget
Cubao to SM Calamba - 80 php 
SM Calamba to Costales Nature Farms - 120 php 
Life at the Farm Tour - 2,725 php 
Costales Nature Farms to SM Calamba - 120 php 
SM Calamba to Cubao - 80 php 
Total: 3,125 php 

Sample 3D2N Budget
Cubao to SM Calamba - 80 php 
SM Calamba to Costales Nature Farms - 120 php 
Wellness Tour - 4,245 php 
Costales Nature Farms to SM Calamba - 120 php 
SM Calamba to Cubao - 80 php 
Total: 4,645 php 

Whether you need a quick weekend getaway or you're looking to spend a week in absolute relaxation bliss, check out Costales Nature Farms in Majayjay, Laguna. It’s one of the best destinations I’ve been this year because it was a mindfully green retreat with breathtaking sceneries, organic farm, wellness and green living tours, and organic farming programs :) If you're wondering about my experience with Costales Nature Farm’s Wellness Tour, here's my most honest opinion: it was awesome! Agri-tourism was new to me until this tour, and I blame it on the lack of an extensive promotion/support of agri-tourism in the Philippines. Hopefully, more farms will open their doors to this kind of activity. I really believe agri-tourism will bring in additional income to the rural people, while complementing farm production. :)


A big thank you to Jherson Jaya of Lonely Travelogue for asking me to be a part of this tour. A big thank you to my fellow Pinoy Travel Bloggers as well! Lastly, thanks a million to Costales Nature Farm for this great opportunity! To my dear readers, if you are interested in this farm tour, you may visit their official website at  www.costalesnaturefarms.com :)

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