Chapter 3: From the Office to the Farm – Garin Farm Expedition 2015

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Welcome to another Featured Post from your favorite SEO team!

You’re probably looking forward to our next adventure – so here it is! For our Summer escapade(a short weekend trip), we all agreed to visit Garin Farm in San Joaquin; a local municipality about 54.4 kilometers away from Iloilo City. Without traffic, that should be about an hour and 5 minutes following the main highway. However, as the jeepney we took made a couple of stops along the route, it took us an extra 30 minutes before we finally reached our destination.

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As much as we would LOVE to visit the beach because it’s awfully hot nowadays, we settled for a farm visit because we heard wonderful things about the location. From zip-lines to kayaking, pedal boating and dove feeding – Garin Farm in San Joaquin has something for everyone. The groups of families waiting to get in when we went there was proof of that. If you love the outdoors BUT don’t want to be hassled into going somewhere off grid, better pay this place a visit.

Here’s our short list of activities to give you a good idea.

Tunnels and Breakfast

There’s nothing better to start a farm tour than to be greeted by hanging vegetables. The Green Vegetable Tunnel is the first thing you will see upon entering the gate. It’s a long tunnel that features local vegetables, grown using the latest practical and innovative agricultural methods. The plants have labels, so visitors will be familiar with their English and native names. It was fun figuring out which varieties we could cultivate in our own homes!

A farm wouldn’t be complete without animals – and Garin Farm ensures that they have enough to keep guests entertained. As we walked along the tunnel, we saw coop after coop of native chickens (which were bred for their delicious eggs and meat); a couple of carabaos and goats (used for milk); as well as – believe it or not – monkeys! We didn’t stick around long enough to pet them though. Remember: monkeys can be highly aggressive! So take extra precaution when you encounter them.

As we left pretty early in the morning, there was hardly enough time for any of us to eat breakfast. Good thing the place has its restaurant that serves local cuisine (such as mongo burgers). Most of us contented ourselves with sandwiches, because we were looking forward to sumptuous feast come lunchtime!

A Journey of Reflection

It’s not easy being SEO strategists. In the fast-paced industry of digital marketing, it’s important to make time for everything else like family and faith. One reason why we were so excited about this trip was that it allowed us a break from grueling office tasks. You know what they say: ‘work hard, play hard’. Although we were often tempted to work longer hours, we all know that a little break can make one more productive and creative.

So to complement fun activities, the team also decided to partake in the humble Pilgrimage. It’s a journey of reflection and quiet musings; accompanied by life-size statues from the Creation (Adam and Eve) until the Ascension (at the peak of the 456 steps). The premise of the attraction is to let guests immerse themselves in the glory of the Almighty. If you’re of a different faith, you can simply reflect in each station, according to your own beliefs.

 

Once we reached the top, we were amazed by the panoramic view of the entire Garin farm estate. The cool wind blew away our exhaustion, and we delighted ourselves in the picturesque sight before us. Just at the horizon is the deep blue sea; reminding us of the vastness of the world – and that our work is never done. But for the moment, we had each other.

Food Beckons

What trip would be complete without sustenance? If you like trying new things, then you won’t be disappointed in Garin Farm’s offerings. For lunch, we had tasty seafood, fresh vegetables and fish, plus steaming hot rice. After 400 steps coupled with the heat, we were all famished! The afternoon feast hardly lasted 30 minutes before the staff called the guests out for Dove Feeding.

A bell called them all into the edge of the restaurant, ready to be fed by eager kids and adults alike. White doves flew in droves around us! At first we were overwhelmed by their presence that we simply stood and took pictures. But the Dove Keeper handed us some bird seeds and we beckoned the cute creatures to eat from our hands. It was truly exciting and calming at the same time. If you love birds and want to see a whole flock of them surround you, then this experience is definitely worth a try.

What Comes Next?

The trip is not yet over!

We still have the afternoon to look forward to. Can you guess which activities we got our hands on? Will we go on the zip-line, pedal across the pond, or go horseback riding? Keep an eye out for the next post to find out how your favorite SEO team spent the afternoon at Garin Farm.

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