In Barangay Inolingan in the town of Moises Padilla, formerly Magallon, where the picturesque and majestic Kanlaon Volcano is very visible, a family that advocates agro-tourism will soon open a cafe.
Wanderers and travelers can commune with nature and be able to have a selfie or groupie beside apple trees and grapevines there with their friends and family, thus the name AGES Grapes & Apple Cafe.
Moises Padilla resident Nene Grande said that while the cafe can now accommodate individuals and groups with prior arrangements, the cafe will officially open very soon.
Grande’s sons and daughters helped him establish the cafe as a materialization of his dream to also put Brgy. Inolingan in the tourism map and to promote agro-tourism in Negros Occidental.
At the sprawling cafe are growing grapes and apple trees, miracle fruits and other orchard and ornamental plants and flowers, as well as coconut and endemic trees. It is surrounded by rice and sugarcane farms.
Data as well as voice and text connectivity via mobile phones and wifi are available 24/7.
The cafe is just beside the main road of Inolingan, accessible either from the rotunda of Moises Padilla town via Inolingan River overflow, or via Barangay Libas in Isabela town.
Agro-tourism is not new in the country but this one in Inolingan, Moises Padilla is promoting the trend in Negros Occidental which also promotes food production and sufficiency.
Indeed, from a cafe and orchard set up, the Grande family envisions to become a major contributor to agro-tourism which is a multi-pronged approach to develop not only the community and the town, but the province and its people as well.
Recently, provincial agriculture officials visited the cafe and checked its grapes and apple tree plantations, during which the Grandes were urged to continue their efforts and were assured of support.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, agro-tourism refers to people visiting working farms or other agricultural operations for the purpose of enjoyment, education, or other active involvement. Agro-tourism encompasses a wide variety of activities and provides a means for farmers to diversify and supplement their income. Such activities may include wildlife study, horseback riding, fishing, cooking classes, wine tasting, fruit harvest festivals, barn dances, farm stays, guided tours, and petting zoos, if any.
While many visitors will engage in agro-tourism for short periods of time, such as an afternoon of fruit picking, others remain for days and, in some cases, work on the farm.* (Arman P. Toga)