Tupi Sunflower Farm Draws Tourists

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TUPI, South Cotabato — Local and foreign Tourists, flock in Tupi, a town in South Cotabato popularly known for its vast “Japanese sunflower” fields.

People from all ages, find themselves inside the colorful Mariano’s Blooming Agri-tourism Park, located in Purok A Barangay Poblacion, Tupi South Cotabato.

Visitors not just only enjoy the colorful flowers, but also an array of local delicacies.

Mary Ann Fernandez Siao and her daughters Collette and Forest were among the Thursday guests, March 29, 2018.

Mary Ann Fernandez Siao with her daughters Collete, Breath Forest and friends inside the farm

“Being at the center of the huge sunflowers is a wonderful feeling, moving around the colorful collection of flowers is so relaxing,” said Siao.

The farm has attracted thousands of tourism since it opened May last year. It has become a popular selfie spot and some even travel to the place for their pre-nuptial photos.Siao and her daughter have long planned to visit the farm but time was the constraint, “We found time today, beause of the long weekend,” Siao added.

The sunflower farm is owned by the Mariano family. It is just a five- minute drive from the town proper.

Photo Courtesy: Mariano’s Blooming Agri-Tourism Park

Leslie Militante Eredera, human resource officer of the farm, said planting and growing sunflowers were not part when the Mariano siblings—Arturo, Annaliza, Rafael and Lino started their flower plantation business in 1995.

“The park is centered only on chrysanthemum flowers. Wala pa yung idea na magtanim at magpatubo ng mga sunflower that time,” Eredera said.

Eredera said it was in May last year when the Mariano siblings decided to plant and grow sunflowers as “added attraction” to their three hectares flower park.

The siblings then bought imported seedlings of sunflowers in Jakata, Japan.

“At first, it received a cold response from the public. Siguro dahil that time kasi hindi pa sya masyadong popular,” Eredera stressed.

Photo Courtesy : Mariano’s Blooming Agri-Tourism Farm

But in the second week of September last year, on their second launching, they were shocked about the surge of tourists flocking in their flower farm just to see their unique sunflower fields.

“Just for one day, a total of 13,000 heads visited our sunflower fields. All of them were busy making selfies with sunflowers,” Eredera said.

Since then, Eredera said, the sunflower fields became the highlight of the flower park.

Photo Courtesy: Mariano Blooming Agri-Tourism Facebook

“On weekends, the average heads of visitors flocking the park range from 300 to 400. Most of them are families,” Eredera said.

Out of the 13-hectare area, around three hectares were alloted to the entire flower park, including the sunflower fields and other varieties of flowers and vegetables.

“Aside from making selfies with sunflowers, you can also buy flowers and fresh vegetables inside the park,” Eredera said.

The farm sells rare and fresh vegetables, like assorted lettuce, bell peppers, Japanese cucumber, French beans and red reddish.

The park has also a mini-restaurant, where families can eat together after roaming at the sunflower fields and the colorful chrysanthemums flowers that are well-landscaped and carefully-grown. It offers burgers, chickens and vegetable salad where its ingredients are freshly pick from the park’s vegetable plantation.

Photo Courtesy: Marry Ann Fernandez Siao

Siao said that aside from the unforgettable experience of taking photos of the Sunflower, her family also enjoyed the food. “The food was nice, eating blue organic rice was a wonderful experience.”

With only P50 entrance for a day tour and P100 for a consumable night tour, every tourist enjoys the beautiful flower fields, and of course, be ready to enjoy the heat of the sun. Just remember, it is a sunflower farm. -Ramil H. Bajo/Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph

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