Francesca de Banahaw in Sariaya, Quezon CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
As part of the reboot of the tourism industry in the Calabarzon area, the Department of Tourism (DoT) recently rolled out its Culinary Tours Caravan to showcase its remarkable agritourism sites and unique farm-to-table culinary experiences. .
Also known as the Southern Tagalog Region, it is made up of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon and is among the areas most visited by Metro Manilans due to its proximity and good road network.
According to the regional director responsible for DoT-Calabarzon, Marites Castro, farm visitation tours consist of licensed establishments, which tour operators and travelers can customize to savor the rich culinary and cultural heritage of the five provinces.
She notes that the region currently has 26 licensed agritourism establishments, which combine the charm of the agrarian lifestyle with a touch of modern conveniences and recreational amenities for those offering overnight stays.
Many of them are also recognized by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) of the Ministry of Agriculture as Community Agricultural Schools.
In addition, there are also dozens of farm-themed resorts and restaurants accredited by the government tourism agency.
Last December, the DoT launched the Green Corridor Initiative tours, which have been validated to comply with government health and safety protocols, and these include agritourism sites.
Castro also notes that farms are safe alternatives to crowded tourist spots because of their wide open spaces, fresh air, physical distancing and freshly cooked food.
Some of the exciting agricultural tourism sites in the region recommended by the DoT include Terra Verde Ecofarm, Bounty Harvest Farm, EMV Flower Farm Indang, Luntiang Republika Ecofarms and The Weekend Farmer in Cavite.