Pushing to Greener Pastures, South Palms Built South Farm

July 29, 2022 Travel

The pandemic has been very tough on the tourism industry, and it is no different with South Palms Resort and North Zen Villas in Panglao, Bohol. It has emptied out their rooms, cleared out their reservation list, and left their dining areas deserted.

But that didn’t crush the indomitable spirit of the people behind these two well-loved tourism establishments. While their resorts were closed, they busied themselves with a new baby – the South Farm. 


Plant propagation started. Animal sheds were built. Paving of pathways commenced. Waterworks were put in place. 


Now they are sowing the seeds of another blossoming destination.


I recently visited South Farm together with other guests of the Department of Tourism Central Visayas’ Bohol Food Trip Series Media Familiarization Tour. It was the last stop of our two-day tour that went around Corella, Alburquerque, Loay, Tagbilaran, Loboc, Baclayon, and Panglao, where South Farm is located.


The South Farm is a 9-hectare organic farm that lets guests experience the farm life and see where some of the things that guests enjoy at South Farm and North Zen are grown or made.


I had the chance to visit South Palms in 2018. It got a kilometer stretch of private white sand beach with 90 rooms and two dining options - Oceanica Seafood Restaurant and Coast Pool Bar. Between that and the 4-star resort North Zen, which is situated amongst the forest of mangroves, and its 21 rooms, are a lot of requirements for farm products. 


So, the needed produce of the resorts, both for staff and guests, including fruits, vegetables and herbs, and other agricultural products like dairies, honey, and coconut, and products like oil and condiments, mostly come from South Farm. Even some of the signages, potteries, and baskets are made on the farm.


All these the guests like us can see and experience during a visit to the South Farm.


The Artisans’ Village lets guests try their hands on basket weaving or pottery making or some woodworks. 


It is good to note that South Farm is committed to sustainability and promotes handmade, handcrafted, and hand-built.


Unused items like oil drums, empty paint cans, old crates and pallets, and even broken construction equipment were gathered from the resort and its sister companies and were reused and repurposed on the farm. 


It is also interesting that during the building, they discovered the talents of South Palms employees in farming, crafts making, and painting.  It is their talents that are showcased at the Artisans' Village, and that includes an impressive mural at a blind man’s house at the Artisans’ Village.


Some of these employees also opted to stay at the South Farm when South Palms and North Zen reopened.


Aside from a showcase on crafts, there is also the coco shed where guests can watch a demonstration of how to make Sukang Pinakurat, a spiced vinegar or virgin coconut oil.


At the Farmers’ Village, guests are allowed to plant, pick herbs, or play with animals. 

During our visit, we spent a lot of time with cute rabbits and guinea pigs and pretended to be in a wonderland. 

Horseback riding is also available and there are other farm animals including chickens, ducks, turkeys, pigs, goats, sheep, and cows that we can help feed or look at but the rabbits are cute, so we stayed there for quite some time.


Aside from these, we attempted fishing. None of us were successful but it was really exciting. We also grilled corn skewers over a huge bonfire.


Our tour at the South Farm ended with a memorable farm-to-table dinner at the gazebos near its lake.


We had bukid rice, uma salad, native chicken halang-halang, deep-fried kingfish, grilled shrimp, mango maja blanca, and fruits for dessert. Of course, we paired our freshly grilled shrimps with sukang pinakurat.

It was a nice, quiet, and filling dinner that capped our Bohol Food tour

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