Fast becoming a famous landmark in the municipality of Kapalong, Davao del Norte is the Pag-asa Farms, an experience of nature conveniently located amidst lush banana plantations just 10 minutes ride away from Kapalong proper.The ranch features a five-hectare orchid garden of varied species, different trees and shrubs, a mini-zoo boasting of exotic birds and animals.The Cabana function hall, an open building which allows the cool breeze to carry the sweet fragrance of the flowers to everyone could accomodate at least 100 people and is ideal for seminars and conferences.
Pag-asa farms has three classy rooms good for three persons each available for overnight accomodations. A very affordable price of P750 per room includes a free breakfast of their specialties like lechon de leche, spare ribs and other mouth-watering cuisine depending on the client's choices.If you're lucky, you might even be fortunate to be served ostrich meat and eggs.
Ms. Evelyn Mercado, the sister of Toy Mercado who owns and manages Pag-asa Farms said they are targetting the Cabana to be fully operational by November this year in time to accomodate the holiday visitors.Pag-asa Farms is also home to the largest of all the bird species in the world, the ostrich. There are about 48 ostriches here and an ostritch egg incubator.Alfonso Bi¤an Jr., a staff of Pag-asa Farms said that an ostrich can lay as many as 30 eggs in a year and these hatches within 42 days in an incubator. Survival rate however is only around 50 percent of the eggs.
The price of ostrich meat hovers from P900 to P1,000 per kilo while an ostrich egg would fetch a market price from P600 to P800 each."You can cook ostrich meat to several recipes like steak, salpicao with mushrooms, adobo, and other ways of cooking it and it is fat-free, definitely no cholesterol," Ms. Evelyn said.An ostrict egg, which is equivalent to 10 or 11 chicken eggs weighs about 1.5 kgs. Hardboiling an ostrich egg though will take more than three hours as the shell is very hard. An ostrich egg omelette would be enough to feed 8 men or 10 women, Ms. Evelyn said.
Pag-asa Farms is worth a visit. It is a place ideal for agro-forestry educational tours, fieldtrips and visits. In fact, a trip to Kapalong won't be complete without dropping by.To get there, one has board an hour's trip in a jeep from Tagum City to Kapalong. From there, get in touch with the Kapalong tourism office at tel. nos. (084) 371-0703 and (084) 371-0661 and contact Ms. Edna Bernardino-Parcon.*