I have always eyed visiting this farm located in the rural town of Majayjay in Laguna. And I was glad that I finally got the chance to do so with my friends. We spent three days here and I must say it was one of highlights in my current traveling year. I have now ticked another Laguna destination off my bucket list. Costales Nature Farms is not the usual bed & breakfast. What makes it a standout is its practice of organic farming, thereafter promoting a better and fitter lifestyle. And more importantly, their advocacy of supporting the success of local farmers.
Costales Nature Farms is the first Department of Tourism accredited farm tourism destination in the Philippines. It is farm destination that conducts ecological and balance farming techniques, which aims to promote sustainable agriculture, healthly lifestyle, and environmental diversity through organic farming.*Organic is defined as made or grown without the use of any forms of artificial chemicals or synthetic materials. The farm has successfully developed sustainability. Almost all the ingredients of the dishes served to us were harvested right on location. Sustainable farming is one of the best ways of describing it. The farm showcased to us the processes involved in maintaining a place like this.
Our first day was spent meeting with the Costales family. The family-run farm is located in the cool and hilly town of Majayjay in Laguna. We met Mrs. Josephine ‘Josie’ Costales, chairman of Costales Nature Farms, her daughter, Angelica Costales, President and CEO of Costales Foods Phils, Inc. and Red Costales, President and CEO of Costales Nature Farms. We were well taken care of for three days by the courteous and well-versed staff of Costales Nature Farms.
After being given a very warm reception, we were herded into a dining kubo (hut) and were served lunch. Over lunch, Mrs. Costales shared to us how she and her late husband, Mr. Ronald Costales, started with modest dreams and ended up with big achievements.
The couple grew up in simple communities, with memories of humble life in the province and in the city, thereby nurturing the love for a simple life in their childhood years. They met and fell in love while in the university and each discovered the great attributes of each which led to a lasting and wonderful love story.
Mrs. Costales shared the joy of seeing her two children being greatly involved in the business she has started with her husband. And the contentment she has in heart is reflected on how she is being treated by her staff, her family and guests alike.
Guided Farm Tour
In our tour around the farm, we were guided by the knowledgeable and hospitable personnel of Costales Nature Farms. Our farm tour was not the usual where they just showed us the different amenities and facilities. It is admirable on our part that these ladies and gentlemen actually know what they are talking about and could answer almost any questions we asked. They explained deeply, demonstrated well and highly encouraged us to participate in the different activities they prepared for us.
The farm accommodated us for a 3D/2N Wellness Tour wherein we were able to experience a varied set of farm activities. I volunteered in the Tupig-making activity (which I enjoyed very much) and tea-making under culinary activities. I bonded with the farm animals when we visited the rabbitry, hog and poultry farm and had a grand time feeding the buffalo trio at Farm B. Soon the farm will raise their own goats for their in-house cheese production. I’d say I can’t wait to hear the goats or cattle screaming around!
We also experienced vegetable harvesting, seed sowing and transplanting. After eating that much, it was time to return the favor of feeding the earth.
Baby lettuces at the nursery. They will stay here for a few weeks before being transplanted.
Greenhouses, tilapia ponds and strawberry pods
Mrs. Josie Costales narrated that her late husband was an Ilocano and that his favorite merienda is Tupig. Since he would always request the staff the prepare one for him, they thought of just including Tupig-making in their farm activities.
Tupig is a native Ilocano delicacy (from Pangasinan) made from ground glutinous rice and coconuts strips wrapped in banana leaves cooked over charcoal. After one of the farm tour guides demonstrated the process, I volunteered to try it and I instantly became an expert in Tupig-making. It was very quick and easy. Watch me in the video below. I was very delighted with my accomplishment. 🙂
Aside from non-stop eating and food-tasting, I truly enjoyed the different farm activities specially the meet and greet with the farm animals. I am an animal lover and if I could just take them all home I would!
The farm raises different types of chicken. The chicken produces varied sizes of organic eggs which are being used for the kitchen. The ones being sold are the larger ones at 15 pesos each.
It is very commendable that the farm is able to grow and harvest their own products. Over time, the farm has begun supplying fresh organic produce to supermarkets and restaurants. From vermiculture to animal raising to waste recycling, the farm has consciously been promoting environment preservation and conservation, sustainable farming and supporting local enterprises.
Sample Dishes Served
Tilapia with Aragula and Tomato
How To Get Here
If coming from Calamba, you can ride a van at SM Calamba terminal to Lukban. Fare costs at P 120 with a travel time of two hours. There is also a Lukban-bound van from Festival Mall Alabang, fare at P 150.
From Sta. Cruz, ride a Lukban jeepney. From San Pablo City, hop in a jeep for Liliw, proceed to Majayjay then transfer again to a jeepney going to Lukban. Vans from Lukban going to Alabang will also pass by the farm.
Don’t forget to mention to the driver to drop you off at Costales Nature Farms.
Costales Nature Farms