How to Become A Farm Tourism Site Like Felicidad Orchard

General Santos City is known for its world class tuna. The General Santos Fish Port is a favorite tourist destination, an interesting and educational place to visit in Soccsksargen. But did you know the region boasts highly-productive agriculture due to its fertile soil and good rainfall? During our recent trip in South Cotabato, we visited organic farms that greatly produces coconut, cacao, bananas as well as exotic fruits and vegetables such as lotus fruit.

A quick escape from the busy city, it only takes an hour and thirty minutes by plane to reach Sox from Manila. A thirty minutes drive from General Santos International Airport will bring you to a sustainable, integrated, organic farm and the first agri-tourism site in the region duly accredited by the Department of Tourism, the Felicidad Orchard and Garden Organics.

Felicidad Orchard Organic Farm in General Santos abundantly grows organic vegetables, fruits, cacao, fish and livestock surrounded with beautiful and well-manicured ornamental and flowering trees. Travelers come here to learn about agriculture and technology while enjoying a relaxing stay and healthy detox. Visitors may purchase their products and engage in different farm activities such as planting, harvesting, feeding animals and fishing. Interested in applying or making your farm a tourism site as well? Read on and find out how.

Designed Gizelle Windmill
Aerodynamically Designed Gizelle Windmill by James Reamon

Felicidad Orchard pioneered vermiculture in Mindanao. One afternoon, we listened to sir Bong and his farmers about the steps in vermiculture. Make sure to visit my YT channel and watch demo on how to make vermicast. They also make effective fertilizer, that is the award winning Rex Compost tea Brewer.

Captain James Reamon - The Pilot/Farmer 

Captain James Reamon showed us one of his greatest inventions, the Aerodynamically Designed Gizelle Windmill. It won several prestigious awards here and abroad including the Invention of the Year at the National Inventors' Week, Presidential Gold Medal Award and the World Intellectual Property Organization Gold Medal Award.

Felicidad Orchard Gen San
with Captain James Reamon, yours truly, Mrs. Reamon, and sir Jessie Beldia of
ATI Region XII during the awarding of certificates.

Captain James grew up from a family of farmers. At a young age, he was influenced by his father to do farming. Even if he finished Aeronautical Engineering and become a successful pilot, his passion for farming never ceases. Prior to retirement, with the help of his wife and children, they started Felicidad Orchard and Garden Organics.

Today, Captain James fondly called "Bong" by fellow farmers and friends is one of the successful farmers in the country. In return, his farm is open to people who shares the same interest and passion in agriculture and technology.

How to Become A Farm Tourism Site? Learn from the expert!

Here are some of the requirements and tips on how to become a farm tourism site like Felicidad Orchard and Garden Organics.

ATI Learning Site in GenSan
ATI Learning Site in GenSan

First of all, let us define what a Farm Tourism Site is. According to the Department of Tourism, it should be a working farm producing and/or showcasing raw and/or processed products. They could be a Day Farm like the Sonrisa Farm in Bicol or Penalosa Farm in Bacolod; and/or a Farm Resort like Felicidad Orchard. They should have the following facilities/amenities, or can also be available in the nearest service area not more than a two-hour drive from the farm.

A Reception/Information Counter is a designated place where guests can inquire about the farm’s tour offerings, services or amenities.

At Felicidad Orchard, we have a spacious and comfortable reception and dining area. Even during noon time, I did not feel the scorching heat outside. It feels refreshing to stay at the reception area. In addition, Felicidad Orchard has a strong WiFi connection that allows us to do some online work or share instagrammable shots of the farm. I think reception can accommodate around 80 people.

Accommodation in Felicidad Orchard
Air conditioned room/ccommodation in Felicidad Orchard
At night, we enjoyed the smell of flowers "yesterday, today and tomorrow." We were lucky to even spot a firefly one evening, a positive indicator that there's ecological balance.

Parking area with designated drop-off/loading area shall be provided for buses and other public as well as private vehicles. Felicidad Orchard has an ample of space for tourist van.

To become an ATI Learning Site, the farm should have a comfortable and spacious dining and reception for training and lectures.

Accommodation (for farm resorts only) is another requirement set by the Department of Tourism. At Felicidad Orchard, we occupied four rooms, two are air-conditioned rooms while the two are modern bahay-kubo. Each rooms can accommodate about six people. I would choose to stay in a bahay-kubo for a total farm experience. There are private comfort rooms with continuous water supply. In our previous farm tours, we were able to experience camping/glamping in Alomah's farm.

Organic Food at Felicidad Orchard
Having a Souvenir Shop/Mini-Trading Area, and restaurant (for farm resorts only) or catering service within the farm resort’s premises to cater to the dining needs of visitors / guests are also required to be certified as a farm tourism site.

Last but not the least, to become a farm tourism site the farm should offer tour and/or guide. Watch this video of our farm tour at Felicidad Orchard. Part II where we experienced actual planting of black rice will be posted on my channel, so make sure to subscribe.

The farm grows 16 kinds of bananas and variety of fruits. On this photo is what they call the "praying banana" because bananas are close together like a praying hand. If I'm not mistaken, this is their native banana that has the taste between latundan and saba.

Agricultural Training Institute Learning Site in Mindanao
Farm immersion 
Fig tree
Fig tree at the foot of the windmill. Remember the parable of the barren fig tree?

 Sir Bong shares how they grow healthy lettuce using their innovation called the Rex Compost Tea.
 Flowers play an important role in agriculture. Aside from beautifying the place, flowers work as an attractant and aids in trapping insects.

Meet the hardworking creatures in organic farming working 24-hour a day,
the African Night crawler worm (ANC)

The highlight of our stay in Felicidad Orchard was the farming/planting of black rice. It was an amazing experience. The more that I admire and respect our farmers who are passionate, working hard under the heat of the sun. It's not an easy job.

Of course, we did not go back to Manila not holding a scoop of vermicast with fresh African Nightcrawler.

Farm to table Concept

Food will always be part of any travel. When in organic farm, I always look forward to meal time. I wonder what they are going to serve us but we are always excited. We giggle like kids over hot chocolate and rice cakes. We are curious like kids for every new crops, fruits or vegetable they serve us. How can I forget the bloodless dinuguan in Rapha Valley Farm. At Felicidad Orchard, we enjoyed pato (duck) dish, tasty vegetable dishes, fresh garden salad and filling snack. Oh, by the way did I mention that every farm has their own signature beverage? Thankful that they also share the recipe, I now make my own at home.

Rice cake and Tarragon tea with Blueternate
Rice cake and Tarragon tea with Blueternate

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

Felicidad Orchard and Garden Organics
Purok 9, Brgy. Katangawan, General Santos City, Philippines
Contact Number: +64917 2790823

Follow my journey, I'm on Instagram and Twitter
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There are a lot of things to do when in Soccsksargen (General Santos, Koronadal and South Cotabato) and its nearby cities like the town of the famous boxer Senator Manny Paquiao, Sarangani. We skipped the fishing activity because we visited GenSan fish port. Overall, it was a meaningful and educational farm immersion in Mindanao. I can't wait to explore other farms in the region.


  1. Wow ang gaganda ng mga pananim nila mommy..Lets all support our farmers mommy kung wala sila wala tayong makain na masarap na rice at iba pa...

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