Meet the Passionate and Humble Farmer at Gernil's Farm

"I vow for organic farming." these are the inspiring words from a highly-spirited farmer in Barangay Topland, Koronadal City. Mr. Gerardo "Boy" Cordero, owner of Gernil's farm welcomed us with their signature healthy beverage called "katangsi", made from kamote tops, tanglad (lemongrass) and calamansi extract during our visit in his farm in Koronadal City, South Cotabato.

Mr. Gerardo "Boy" Cordero is a Gawad Saka awardee and a Candidate for Organic Farming. There was never a dull moment with sir Boy Gerardo. I bet his students in the School for Practical Agriculture would easily pickup agri lessons as he incorporates humor in farm activities.

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It was in August 2014 when Gernil's Farm became an ATI Learning Site. A month later, the farm received its certification for School For Practical Agriculture (SOP). Not too long, Gernils farm became Farm Tourism site.

Gernil Farm ATI Learning Site

Gernil Farm ATI Learning Site

Gernil's Farm: School For Practical Agriculture

He walked us to his farm while discussing how to become a certified ATI Learning Site and how it could be of great help to other farmers. Gernil Farm serves as “training center in the field” to complement the ATI in the delivery of training and extension services to the farmers. Its farm activities cover production to successful marketing.

Aside from the basic demo farm/processing facilities, School For Practical Agriculture such as Gernil's Farm have functional facilities needed to perform live-in training and extension activities. Aside from training, the SPAs have information support, provides technical guidance, and implements complementary projects in preparation to becoming a Farm Tourism Site for accreditation of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

The farm is divided into three parts or farming sites - for cropping system, 10x10 nyog, 10x10 mangosteen and 10x10 lansones. Second is for diversified farming - hayupan, isdaan, kambingan. One-fourth hectare fishpond, with thirty (30) coconut, twenty-six (26) assorted fruit trees with pineapple. Half hectare is planted with 90 coconuts surrounded with duck and goat. The presence of a fishpond proves that the farm do not use pesticide or chemicals that would be dangerous for the fish.

The Healing Benefits of Mangosteen

His testimony of the many health benefits of mangosteen brought hope to people who believe in herbal medicine and suffer from various illnesses and diseases.

Mr. Cordero suffered from urinary tract infection and had kidney stones. He treated his ailment with mangosteen, a fruit abundant in the farm. Later on, one of his farmers confided that his wife needs to be transported to the hospital due to urinary tract infection. He gave the farmer mangosteen fruits for his wife to take until she got better.

The herbal benefits of mangosteen lead him to start producing organic mangosteen powder supplement. Fortunately, they have mangosteen capsule when we visited so I bought packs and just started taking the herbal medicine.

Mangosteen Capsule at Gernil's Farm

Here's a long list of Mangosteen healing properties. I got thrilled the moment I saw this poster at the reception/lecture area. I got the first impression that sir Boy advocates herbal medicine.

Mangosteen healing properties

Farm tour at Gernil's Organic Farm

Sir Boy's three-storey houses for livestock project already started. It's something other farmers or agricultural enthusiast should think about especially with small space for farming.

Three-storey house for goats and duck.
A home for various crops including cacao, mangosteen, jackfruit and guyabano. But the main produced/crop is coconut. Coconut trees beautifully and strategically planted. 

Growing pineapple at Gernil's Farm
Growing pineapple at Gernil's Farm
"Mayrung pera sa farming." There is money in farming. Kailangan yun farmer may alam na teknolohiya (technology). 
Gernil's Farm cacao hot chocolate
Another round of hot chocolate and it was one of the best I've ever had!
The farmers at Gernil farm becomes an entrepreneur as well. Applying the values they learn as a certified ATI Learning Site. For example, they find other uses of coconut aside from making coco syrup. The coconut husks are used as charcoal substitute for cooking coco sugar. Other use of coconut is making coco husk chips, coco pit, coir fiber, and coco crush. There's no waste in this farm, everything has a purpose.

Coconut Farming
Coco Syrup Production
Gernil's farm advocates mixed-cropping, producing more than one crop at a time to yield more production and income. They work hard to be known not only only as a usual farm but one that is a pala-isdaan, pala-hayupan and gulayan.

Before we left, the farm treated us to a sumptuous mala-fiesta lunch comprises of lechon organic pork, pato tim (short for braised duck), ubod vegetable dish with native chicken (Ilonggo recipe), suman or rice cake and hot chocolate (one of the best hot chocolate I've ever had) which is a perfect combo!

Organic pork roast, Pato Tim, Ubod dish with native chicken and red rice

Farm Tour and organic food at Gernil's Farm

Mount Matutum South Cotabato
Mount Matutum on my back

Easy to Prepare Organic Fertilizer by Gernil Farm

Mr. Gerardo shares techniques on how to make organic fertilizer. In making tea goat fertilizer, simply mix one liter of goat manure with water and use it the next day. A mixture of 1 tablespoon of yeast in 1 gallon of water can make fertilizer. Hugas bigas or rice water is another safe and effective fertilizer.

OABloggers in South Cotabato
with OABloggers Jonel, Azrael and Melody

To read more stories or learn more about organic farming and farm tourism, click here. I just wish we had ample of time to stay at Gernil's Farm, I still have lots of questions to ask from sir Boy especially on the healing benefits of mangosteen. I hope to be back but I'm grateful bringing home delicious cacao tablea so I can make hot chocolate at home.

Agricultural Training Institute Central Office
ATI Building, Elliptical Road, Diliman
Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Trunkline: (63-2) 9298541 to 49
Fax no. (63-2) 9209792

Kudos to Agricultural Training Institute for leading the campaign in promoting organic farming and farm tourism in the country. Gone are the days when we think that there's no opportunity in farming. 


  1. Wow ang dami kong natutunan mommy ang mangosteen talaga angdaming bemefits at kamote tops with lemon grass parang gusto ko gawin ah madami rin pala yun nagagamot..Thank you for sharing mommy

    1. I'm happy that you learned a lot from my health-wellness related posts. :)


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