Djilba 2019

Exploring Philippines Permaculture

-By Kimberley Burton

Its strange to begin a story with a regret but things did not align for me to visit the stunning office of the Philippines Permaculture Association located in Marikina within the greater city of Manila. The Marikina Ecohouse is a beautiful natural building featuring a sustainable approach to living and set in native and food gardens.

Its at the top of my list to visit when I am lucky enough to visit the Philippines again and I urge anyone interested in permaculture to book a tour. I was lucky enough to catch up with the Bert and the team from PPA along my journey but more on that later,

My first leg of my permaculture journey saw me take the bus trip to Ilagan in the province of Isabela in northern Luzon. Its up to 10 hours on a bus and I would suggest to anyone following in my footsteps to break the journey along the way for a night.

Ilagan itself is a pretty sprawling town with surrounding farm land and its worth taking a tri-cycle to have a look around.

The drawcard for me and it did not disappoint was the Isabela Permaculture Development Center. Created on land provided by the government and featuring a stunning natural building on four levels this is beautiful place of learning and research.

Accommodation is available in simple dorm rooms and volunteers are welcome for short of long term stays. You will love the energy of the local team and they equally love to learn and interact with visitors from across the world.

The site is at the bottom of a valley and acts as a central drainage point so amazing work is being done in natural water filtering systems. An international team has built a traditional style house within the gardens and adopted it to best practise for sustainable living.

The gardens are also full of surprises with what felt to be like a secret spot where they had a separate kitchen area and a number of energy efficient ovens had been built as part of the ongoing learning and development.

My time there was way to short, the food delicious and I want to go back to discover more about their local co-op producing amazing products and really immerse myself in the garden and spend time with this dedicated team.


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