Sunday, December 20, 2009


The other day, I decided to make a visit to the area where I noticed homes sprouting up like mushrooms in just the last 14 months. I was shocked to find that this subdivision towards the Southeast area of my farm is bulldozing a new road and phase of development that would like the tiny, barrio road to their huge new residential project. Not only is there like 400 hectares being developed, two new schools, one Montessori, and an entire University, high school, grade school is going up around my organic farm.

I drove into the subvidion and reaching the point where I could see my farm clearly in the hill next to the housing project, I notice that if I wanted privacy and the shelter of the last forest in the area, I would have to buy my neighbors empty lots that are overgrown, thank goodness with bamboo thickets, wild grasses, some large trees, and dozens of coconut palms.

The total cost of buying at least 4 hectares would be about $1Million. This would guarantee that from the creek that borders my land and the subdivision, there would be a natural barrier where I can swiftly plant hardwood, and fruit trees including coconuts. The animal habitat in this area depends on a thick forested area for nesting sites for birds especially threatened by the enroaching subdivisions. The only fresh water source is the Biluso creek and that empties into a river which traverses downwards towards the estuaries near Manila Bay. Subdivisons will surely dump sewage into this creek that cannot take tons of debris or it will overflow an insidious snarl of garbage, chemicals, silt and other pollutants into the river.

This is a very startling reality, and I have no funds. If anyone wants to help, or donate even $1.00 then I will just have to trust God. Please send comments, and suggestions to and for any donations, I will send an official receipt, and keep donors posted on this endeavor.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I am a believer in the trend to make every dwelling area into a place for permaculture.

The term permaculture is a contraction of the words
"agriculture,” and “culture.” Although the original focus of permaculture was sustainable food production, the philosophy of permaculture has expanded over time to encompass economic and social systems.

It is a dynamic movement that is still evolving.  On my farm, I have developed a pond with live fish and water plants, an open field for a wide open space, a mini "tropical forest" , and am developing an orchard area, vegetable area, herbal patch, flower gardens, horse paddock, grazing area for goats, and have enough beneficial insects and natural predators to keep pests down.

I encourage birds to flock to my place by planting their favorite trees like kakauati that bloom in summer and attract nectar feeder birds. I have a flower bed that brings in lovely butterflies feeding on the blooms. I also integrate  areas for meditation, and reflection, prayer to enhance the human spirit and personal growth. Everything  works  in harmony and this is  the framework of permaculture.

I designed my garden& farm like a natural system. This saves a lot of work, energy and eliminates waste.

In a forest, you will find that certain animals dig the soil, and through the ingestion of seeds, pods, fruits and parts of plants, animals will actually plant seeds and feed on wild weeds. Natural predators will eat bugs in a forest. There is no need for bug sprays in the wilderness. There can be imbalances brought on when humans interfere in nature. One single tree cut down will imbalance a forest. The forest grows and feeds its inhabitants and attracts just the right balance of plants and animals that need one another to propogate their species within an area that can sustain them.

I run my farm with just 1 farm hand, and a gardener I trained for 15 years. We go with the flow in climate changes, and we have to learn from nature. Nature has already developed a precise solution to every problem that we encounter in a garden.

Nature is also equiped to recyle organic matter into soil and clean up after itself. Everything goes around a wheel of life and I never feel alone. There is no such thing as being wasteful. We as humans are allowed to dominate, but even the ants know that once we lose control, they view us as "waste" that becomes vulnerable to attack. Everything is a resource for food. A fallen log becomes a habitat and a meal opportunity for plants and animals.

We humans can make use of space to plant and harvest our food. We have an abundance of organic matter to use as fertilizers. There are creatures that help us get the job done quickly. And when we put the right combination of plants together, they even work well together.

Nature is a system that works together with all the inhabitants of an ecosystem. Humans are the only beings that will eventually upset the system.

Design is the keyword. It's all about how you place the design elements together. You need soil, plants, animals, sunlight, water and then discipline the areas you need for planting your vegetables and raising your animals. You need to "tame" nature but eventually you can use your energy by working on how everything works together.

Just recently, my goat died after a storm hit my area. This goat was responsible for keeping the weeds down. The goat helped me, and it could eat all the plants in a particular area when left there to graze. Ever since my goat died, weeds are cropping up again and have become unmanageable. My horses only want to eat grass and some soft edible plants, but they won't eat or even graze in a weed infested area. Goats also protect against snakes because their hoofs are very sharp and once snakes notice a goat , they steer clear of that area.

I need to restablish the system by replacing the goat, however one large female goat eats a lot more weeds than a small goat kid does. I am now looking to rescue 3 small goats and bring these to my farm and employ them as my "weed wackers."

Friday, October 30, 2009


I was away for a month visiting my daughter and newly born grandson in California. Upon returning to my farm, I walked around and discovered model homes built on the new subdivision across my backyard pine grove area. I was away only a month. I can't think of anything more alarming to an organic gardener  than to see how fast urban sprawl can creep up the upland areas of Silang. I moved out of the city, and  have lived in the countryside,  working hard, and developing my farm with compost and planting trees over 15 years.  I  enjoyed the view of rolling hills full of fruit trees across the Biluso river, and had been confident that I was in an agricultural zone. Then suddenly, after just one month,   I see an entire field of coconut trees cut almost overnight, and in their place, there  3 houses just a few yards beyond my backyard fence! I was told that the area where my farm is located has been re-zoned to include residential and light industrial plants within an agricultural area. Down the road from my farm, are organic farms that rely on the pristine environment to guarantee clean air, and absence of garbage and trash sites that would contaminate water tables.  Our area of  Silang is the watershed that collects rain in the underground aquifers, and farmers draw this water to irrigate our vegetables. Once the water tables are contaminated by human sewage, golf course herbicide residue, and chemicals, organic farmers can no longer be assured of the clean water we need for watering our vegetables, herbs and fruit trees.

The government has no sense of priority in zoning residential areas away from agricultural areas. Industrial plants cannot be placed side by side with agriculure either. The whole point in organic agriculture is to make sure the plants are not contaminated.

I feel like throwing in the towel...and giving up....for what is the use of all this progress if eventually people will have to buy clean water in plastic disposable bottles which will end up as trash in land fields. Doesn't anyone listen to reason ?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


The photo is of oncidiums flowers that are in bloom during the monsoon season in the Philippines. These are called, "Dancing Ladies".

A week before I wrote this blog entry, these "Dancing Ladies" started showing buds. A week later, I saw the oncidiums starting to unravel their colorful petals, that look like debutantes in a cotillion swishing their yellow ballgowns to dance with the wind.

These "Dancing Ladies" are like most of the orchids on my farm. I have adapted these to be grown organically at my farm. Organically grown orchids don't need a lot of care, and are able to adjust to the climate in our area. These plants are resistant to disease, and adapt readily to weather in this upland area on the southern part of Luzon.

The weather in June and July were alternating between consistent monsoon rains that last all week long, to breaks of very hot temperatures at random times of the day. The abundant moisture in the air, with the lower temperatures at night are encouraging the orchids to bloom naturally.

The next photos the medium sized lavander catleyas that were featured in my blog a few weeks back. These catleyas bloom without any artificial stimulus. Several of the other catleyas, I have on my farm, are now showing signs of flower buds, and I expect their blooms in the next week or so.

The fertilizers that I use on my orchids come from bird droppings and organic matter that fall naturally into the growing medium these orchids are attached to. Orchids actually will thrive without being pumped with chemicals, or doused in toxic sprays. I take care of my orchids as little as possible because they want to survive with the least attention. Unlike greenhouse orchids that are overly pampered plants, my orchids will exhibit characteristics that are nearest to the wilder varieties found in rainforests.

Greenhouse orchids, on the other hand, are spoiled, spoon fed and will ultimately die without professional care and chemicals.

I used to get plants from reputable stores and orchid shows. I once bought a blue vanda like the one in the photo, and nurtured it with extreme care. But eventually, it died and I was advised by the suppliers I used to get my orchids from, to buy and use a whole array of chemicals to keep them healthy and looking perfect.

I thought of giving up growing and caring for orchids when I met a horticulturalist who told me that organic orchids are a lot tougher than greenhouse raised orchids. Though there are hundreds of hybrids developed for their dramatic beauty, I decided to acquire those varieties that are common in this region.

I brought these types of "Sangumay" that are endemic orchids growing wild in forest areas. These are totally acclimated to this area in the Philippines. Immediately, these Sangumay orchids thrived on my farm. I bought a few wild orchids, and some that were from professional breeders. I had to slowly wean these plants off any dependence on chemicals. A lot of the plants I bought even at the roadside plant stalls withered away without the daily or weekly regime of inducing blooming with hormones, or chemicals. The orchids stopped looking perfect without the chemical sprays and fertilizers. After experiencing several mortalities of various diseases that affect the orchids I bought from commercial growers, I was almost ready to quit.

I did observe that these commercial orchids died, because they had lost their natural ability to ward off diseases and survive climate conditions that occur in the wild.

I was tempted to attend an orchid show to buy a few more hybrids. However, I decided I would either buy a few organically grown mother plants, or get local species that can adapt to the kind of weather in Silang. Now I have developed techniques to maintain several varieties from oncidiums, catleyas, semi -terrets, and the lovely vandas without any chemicals. All my orchids have happily adapted to less care, and have the attributes of wild orchids. These are what I have on my farm, plants that are allowed to evolve and adapt just like wild orchids. My current collection of orchids are those descendants of those original mother plants.

My organic orchids have become resilient to changes in temperature. During summer, I do water them in the dry season, and move the orchid plants into the cool shade.

Once the rains begin to fall, I pot the more sensitive species, and keep their roots moist never soaking wet. I observe the temperatures they grow best in, and will move the pots around to get just the right kind of sun exposure they prefer. Orchids also require fresh, cool air in the summers, and sometime in direct heat during the rainy months. During the typhoon season, I remove sensitive orchids that prefer in the shade in summer, but desire more sun exposure during wet season to be able to keep their leaves dry and prevent rot. I often shift materials for potting orchids. I use everything from moss, to dry charcoal made from burned coconuts, or the husks of our own buko.

Orchids are some of the most resilient of tropical plants. I don't need a large volume of orchids blooms. A few will bloom at least twice a year. Some will only flower when the temperature is just right. The leaves, stems and roots of orchids store nutrients and water and should always feel full and smooth. Wild orchids will be dormant several months during the year, and will often thrive without a single bloom to conserve water. During the rainy months, I often see some leaves rotting away from too much water. The fronds become tender and soggy, and their leaves are dotted with black fungus spots, and insect bites...but this happens naturally in any forest or habitat where orchids come from.

An orchid also must be allowed to "die" and then will be "born again" when little sprouts with threadlike roots emerge from the rotted matter in the pot or medium they are attached to. These little "baby orchids" will take at least 2 years to become adults, and become fertilized by pollinators.

Orchids thrive even in hot climates, provided there is moisture in the air. Very dry climates will require orchids to be moved to a semi shady location, and its best to water them using a mystifier, or fine spray of water during the hottest times of the day.

The results of leaving the orchids alone to enjoy their natural life??? Well, a lot of these "wild" orchids will emit a fragrance to attract pollinators. Greenhouse orchids are a product of artificial means of fertilization, and so saturated with chemicals, they lose their ability to give off a strong scent.

I definately feel so delighted when my orchids give me some of my happiest memories when I see them flourishing, and I can identify some of those organic orchids that I brought all the way from Hawaii by their very strong perfume! Like my other plants , orchids give me a sign they are happy. My plants display their silent laughter and gratitude for allowing them to live normally by expressing their appreciation by their dazzling colorful blooms!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Today my main event at my farm was planting the Mabolo tree as the
typhoon season comes to an end. The rain continues, but the Philippines will be going into the "cool season". The "ber" months of Septemeber, October, November and December usher in our brief springtime weather ranging from a high of 85F in October, to a cool 69F in late December. The ground is moist, and the soil is easy to till. This is an ideal condition for planting a new bed of lettuce, carrots, celery, cabbages, and starting plots of tomatos before the summer heat sets. The air becomes drier, and the temperatures soar to about 80-100F after Chinese New Year in late January or early February.

This is a photo of me doing what I normally do at my farm...get down and work with my plants. Betty Samson, her friend Fely and I act as the "godmothers" of this baby mabolo tree. Spot, the Dalmatian ,( lying comfortably on the grass beside Fely), and I ( wearing the hat). The Photo is being taken by Betty my friend ( not in this photo). Betty had donated the mabolo tree. I always have a "tree planting" ceremony, to record our contribution to reforestation of the hardwood and fruit trees in our area. The Cavite watershed forests in the uplands are fading fast. I have observed almost 15,000 hectares of forests have been cut down to make room for industrial sites, subdivisions, and golf clubs. The deforestation of the Philippine countryside is alarming!

There are few mabolos left in the forest. This mabolo tree is one of the rare rainforest tropical hardwood tree with edible fruit. Mabolo is locally called "kamagong", or "ebony" in Africa;and it is a rare , native  Philippine teakwood. Furniture made with Kamagong wood is prized by those who collect antiques. In most parts of the country, the older trees of this variety have almost become extinct. I think this is why the name of this tree was changed to "mabolo" for few connect this fruit tree with the hardwood tree that was cut down and sold by the millions of board feet to Chinese merchants in the ancient times to the present. These ancient trees  were brought  back to Taiwan, and to mainland China and make into cabinets, tables, and chairs.

The tree if left to grow wild, may be hard to manage in the future. Proper trimming and care can keep this tree from reaching maximum heights of about 130 feet, with a width of close to 12 feet at the base.  The pony stables at the southwest side of my farm is very hot during summers. The mabolo tree will provide a nice shade.  Betty took her turn at shoveling some soil to plant the mabolo tree, and  as one of the godmothers of this baby tree, we plan to take care to watch and protect the tree, and every year we will take photos of the tree each year to record its growth.

This area we selected, is beside the pony-stables, and goat pen. The manure from the grazing animals will provide constant source of fertilizer  and yearly  pruning will prevent it from becomming a real problem later on.  This tree will take about 7 years to reach maturity and bear fruits that look like velvet skinned apples, but have a thicker skin and very soft, white pulp with tiny seeds. I have never eaten one, but those who have can only compare the taste of the  fruit to that of persimmons.

The yellow ribbons decorated the Mabolo tree  in honor of President Cory Aquino who was associated with the color yellow during her campaign during the famous EDSA peaceful revolution in 1986. This mabolo tree is one of the few that people will see in Metro Manila.

Visitors to the seedling bank on EDSA  can see it near the area near the back where marcot and grafted trees are sold.

The photo of the tree was taken on the same day Betty and I made a visit to the house of former Philippine President Cory Aquino who died on August 1, 2009.

The mabolo fruit tree we saw was mature and had fruit. The fruit  has a round, velvety outer cover which contains the seed in a whitish, cotton-like pulp. The fruit will transition from a light brown color and eventually, turn brown, then to magenta as this fruit berry ages and ripens.

My first impression after seeing the fruit was it  looked like a Christmas ornament. Betty told me that few people like this fruit. The fruit is  sweet however,  when opened , it  has the scent of smelly cheese. The  mobolo fruit is an acquired taste that takes awhile to get used to.  Some say that  peeling the outside cover, and storing it in the refrigerator for several hours, will dissipate the smell . 

One of the signs that a kamagong tree is growing in a forested area, are the presence of very healthy looking monkeys in the forest where the mabolo tree is often sighted.  Monkeys and apes love the fruit of  the rare mabolo tree, and the fruit is  an ideal source of calcium, vitamin B, iron, and even protein needed by growing  baby monkeys. I am hapy to have the mabolo tree as an addition to my  collection  of tropical Philippine fruits on my little farm in Silang.  I suppose us humans  can eat this fruit for those special enzymes that would keep us healthy too!  

Let us all become "godmothers" to a hardwood and or local fruit tree by planting, or joining others in reforesting our countryside. The trees we nuture will reward us with blessings of oxygen, health and peace of mind! 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In Search Of The Pitcher Plant...

I read recently of news of a rare species of giant pitcher plant ( Nepenthes attenbouroughii)discovered only in the last year by Christian missionaries in the highlands of Palawan in the Philippines. The new species was named for the famous British naturalist, Sir David Attenbourough. The scientists found species of pink ferns and blue mushrooms never been seen before. These pitcher plants habitat is about 1,600 meters living in the damp mists of the mountains of Palawan near Queen Victoria peak. These plants have evolved, and actually have developed carnivorous tendencies. These pitcher plants even trap and digest rats! Stewart McPherson, a botanist hurried to the Philippines to get samples and document this rare plant that was large enough to entice a mouse or rat into its pitcher,and the animal drowns and is slowly digested by the plant.

Sunday, August 16, 2009. I asked Betty Samson to come with me to the Manila Seedling Bank to get a more common pitcher plant, and to photograph some of the interesting shops at this large plant "supermarket" located in Quezon City the capital of the Philippines.

This photo of the common Philippine pitcher plant is found in bogs, swamps, and wetland areas.

The pitcher plant thrives during the typhoon season because it has a structure in its leaves that forms a pitcher which fills up with water. Insects get trapped inside the pitcher plant receptacle. Small reptiles that climb in to eat the insects also get trapped in its pouch. The plant then slowly digests the rotting carcass.

Creepy but very intriguing plant.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Santol Harvest In Full Swing! 25 July 2009

A HARVEST OF WOOD APPLES..or better known in the Philippines as SANTOL FRUIT!

In my past blogs, I have uploaded photos of our anticipation of the ripening of the santol. I took photos of the santol fruit tree at different stages, showing the progress from bloom to the time when the fruit was green, and now it is finally ready to be harvested. Well, today IS THE DAY Betty came to help pick and pickle some of the fruit!

Betty, my good friend joined me once again at my farm. She came to teach me how to make santol preserves.

Harvest day was in full swing. A natural bamboo ladder is tied to the tree and our garden attendants climb up to pick ripened fruits. Betty took the camera and enjoyed doing what I normally do...walk around and enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of my organic farm.
I took this photo of my friend Betty while she paused to sip some tarragon herbal tea while waiting for me to ready the ingredients for our project of making her spicy santol preserves.

A Bamboo ladder leads up the Santol tree and we are busy harvesting hundreds of this southeast asian fruit that is definately ready for picking. The santol starts to ripen during the typhoon season. I wondered why some local fruits prefer to ripen during the typhoon season. I then realized that these plants ripened fruits will be tossed great distances by strong winds from hurricanes. In this manner, the seeds of the dispersed fruit will fall on soft ground, during a time where water is abundant. The young tree needs to grow deep roots and anchor itself once summer arrives, and the dry, hard soil stiffens up.

The santol and other such fruits would eventually dominate an entire area. This is a way for the tree to expand its domain far and wide within the rain forests and pretty soon there are santols growing everywhere!

The "Bangkok Santol" is a variety of the same kind of fruit, but are much larger and sweeter than our local Philippine santol. Fruit imported from Thailand are almost 3 times bigger than local fruits, and easily identified as a variety of santol fruit that vendors will brand as imported " Bangkok Santol."I planted a single tree when I bought the land, from a marcot of a variety of santol known as the "Bangkok Santol." In about five years, I noticed many smaller saplings are descendents from the original mother tree, and are growing all over the farm.

Santol trees can be fertilized using organic material, and these plants prefer to be pruned to encourage more blooms the following year. Never spray your orchards or fruit trees...pollinators are sensitive to chemicals. I really only prune my tree and fertilize them with horse manure.

Upon learning that I would be swamped with santol, Betty came over and taught me to make "Spicy Santol Preserves." Her main ingredients were: about 10 santol fruit, 12 Thai Chili Peppers; enough water to cover the fruit; 1/2 brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. The simple procedure was to boil the santol fruit, and cool down. The cooked santol is left for several hours to infuse the chili peppers and salt helps preserve the fruit. The preserves are delicious, and have variety of flavors, ranging from sweet, sour, and spicy. Sounds really easy to do?

Well the procedure sounds easy enough, but actually it took two trials to get it to taste right. The preserves should have a good combination of the spicy heat of the chillies, blending at the same time, with the sweet & sour flavor of the santol fruit.

And the outcome was a very interesting product.Gee...a lot more chillies perhaps the next time we make this would give more of a "POW" to the taste buds, but I liked it anyhow!

Well, Betty and I had fun but it was time for lunch.

The dark clouds were approaching from the southwest. Betty wandered around the farm. She was confident the light would be fine, as the sun was still shining. She took the chance to meet some of the wildlife that frequent my farm and take photos of anything interesting while I was busy making our lunch.

There is a plant in my garden which is a favorite perch for "dragons"...not the one with fire coming from its mouth and claws on its feet.....but a flying dragon all children are all familiar with!

Betty caught some interesting visitors to the farm. Her first photo was this little tiny flower on a vine, called the "Dragon's Slipper," it is flaming red, and it usually will emerge with the rain. Well, here is the flying dragon captured in the next photo....

Here is a photo of a little neon tinted "dragonfly" .

A cane toad is hiding in the corner perfectly camouflaged around dried leaves. Cane toads are a menance since they will eat anything, including fish and other amphibians like smooth skinned frogs. Frogs are becomming rare even in the tropics due to the use of herbicides and pesticides.

Cane toads do have a good purpose though, as these ugly amphibians will eat anything, like toxic bugs, and the large roaches that emerge at night, and other creepy things like spiders! The skin of a cane excretes a poison that is very toxic to dogs and other predators.

A little green lizard crawls over the wall and seems to be in pursuit of a bug for its lunch. Can you notice that there are two green chameleons in the picture? One is larger and the photo caught the chameleon shooting out its tongue to catch the bugs.

This milkweed bug are toxic and birds avoid them. They do make a good meal for some ants.

Ants drag away a small milkweed bug into a burrow in the rocks.

Almost obscure with its neutral colors, this lace winged, mocca colored butterfly almost escaped attention! Butterflies are more friendly during the rainy season. They are tame enough to sit quietly as Betty takes its photo.

While Betty was getting acquainted with the flora and fauna of our farm, I prepared my "Green Chicken Curry" for our lunch. All the ingredients are available on my farm, or at any local market.

The main ingredients are found in my herbal patch. This dish is spicy, and has a savory blend of exotic herbs such as lemon grass, coconut milk, coriander, basil, chillies, pepper, lime leaves, tumeric, curry, ginger, and our own organic chicken.

Betty and I plan to return to the town of Amadeo, we will post our photos of our trip, next posting. We hope it will not rain hard next week. We are really full from eating santol.

I also harvested basil herbs that are beginning to flower and produce seeds for next summer season. One cup of basil leaves lightly packed, mashed in a food processor with extra virgin olive oil, pine nuts, salt, garlic and pepper makes 1 batch of fresh pesto. Later on, after a full day at the farm, Betty and I discussed our plans to find Busay Falls on our next road trip....we dined on hot pasta and used the pesto I made for a light dinner.

Our day ended with a light dinner of pasta with farm fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts, garlic and parmesean cheese.

Till next time, we will be enjoying the spicy santol way beyond this very interesting day.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Pardon my chicken, a rainy day in Silang...July 17, 2009

A hurricane skirts northern luzon, pouring down rain upon the southern Tagalog region of Silang, Cavite. Mists descend over the landscape, and the temperatures drop about 4 degrees to a pleasant 26 Celsius.

Bright yellow oncidiums are about to bloom.

A single pink dahlia braves the storm. Tied up with abaca, a kakauati branch serves as support to these tall plants.

Pardon my chicken.... on this rainy day in Silang, a few have been selected to roam in the garden pen during breaks in the rain. Rain washes bugs from plants to the ground where they become easy pickings for my chickens. Chickens will run about and forage for insects, grubs, worms, or eat flowers and vegetation that come out after a downpour.

These pardoned chickens can live out their entire life laying eggs, or as they age, become my "bug" police.

Chickens are quite beneficial to an organic farm as they will keep your garden free of ants, termites, grasshoppers, spiders, even eat small lizards.

A tiny circle above the ear of the females will indicate what color of egg they will lay. A white circle indicates white eggs, and a red spot will indicate that the hen will lay brown eggs. Rooster chicks and pullets have a red comb, whereas female hens have a pale one. Female's combs will gradually redden when its time for them to lay eggs. Roosters have a spur on the back of their ankle, whereas hens don't have this fighting cock spur.

These 2 month old pullets are Bancrest and will grow to about 3 kilos when adult.

The santol tree is heavy laden with fruit. This kind of fruit has a thick pulp under the dense outer skin, and several luscious seeds that are delicious. Some like to eat it peeled with salt...others like the bottled in a variety of preperations. My friend Betty gave me a recipe I have yet to try for making santol preserves with chillies.

We finally have reached this day of the santol harvest.

Santol has a lot of antitoxidants and also helps prevent diseases relating to immunity. Eating santol restores balance. Care to have one?

This fruit has very thick skin, fiberous pulp and large seeds. This is where the sweet flavor comes from. It is like a workout to eat this fruit, but its well worth it. One has to take the fruit, cut it open, and what I do is, scoop the seeds into the mouth, carefully manipulating with the tongue to extract the sweetness from the seed which is wrapped in a soft, cotton-like covering.

These santol fruit has the same type of sweetness similar to that of a ripe apple.

Once the rain stops, everthing becomes very quiet.

The back area of my farm house is facing in the direction of the China Sea. Looking out from the terrace, my view takes in fields of coconut plantations waving their fronds in the sky on rolling hills of green.

I often sit on my terrace just watching the rain bathe and cleanse the landscape. The air is always fresh after a rain.

Its time to sit back, enjoy the cooler temperatures, catch up on my reading, and have a cup of organic coffee from upland Cavite region.

See again next week!