SAN FABIAN, Pangasinan — Buying calamansi (Philippine lemon) has been made more exciting at a farm in Barangay Lekep-Butao here as it officially opened to tourists who want to experience farm life at an affordable price.
Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia, in an interview on Tuesday night, said the two-hectare calamansi plantation, dubbed as Calamansian ed Lekep-Butao, offers a one-of-a-kind experience where tourists have the chance to pick fresh calamansi directly from the tree.
“Marami talagang madi-discover kung maghahanap talaga ng mga mapupuntahan sa fourth district. I encourage all out kababayans na bago pa kayo lumabas sa ibang lugar ay tuklasin muna kung ano ang nandito sa atin (There is a lot to discover if we go around places in the fourth district. I encourage all our kababayans, before they venture into other places, they should first discover what we have here),” he said.
De Venecia said his urge to support and promote agri-tourism in his district began when he had the chance to see the list of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the Department of Trade Industry wherein a manufacturer of calamansi concentrate is from Mangaldan town, Pangasinan.
“Pinuntahan natin yung Up Local at tinanong kung saan galing ang mga calamansi na mina-manufacture nila at nalaman natin na sa San Fabian (We went to Up Local and asked where they source their calamansi and we learned that they were from San Fabian town),” he said.
With the farm tourism in the area, resident farmers will be able to earn extra income alongside the tourism activities in their village, which is expected to receive a boost, aside from selling calamansi in the market.
He said it is perfect for those who want a taste of the rural farm life, away from the city, or simply want an agricultural experience, especially now that many people have turned to planting and backyard farming to adapt to the lifestyle shift due to the pandemic.
In a separate interview, village chief Fernando Estayo said the entrance fee is at P80 per person, with a 20 percent discount for senior citizens and children less than seven years old.
For a complete calamansi-picking experience, the package is worth P350, which includes the entrance fee, handcrafted basket, and calamansi crinkles.
However, the price of the calamansi they pick is excluded from the package. The price per kilogram may vary depending upon the seasonality of calamansi.
“Sana maging maganda ang agri-tourism sa aming barangay (We hope the agri-tourism in our barangay would be patronized),” Estayo said.