JARO, Leyte- An upland village of this town is fast turning into a tourist site and a learning center for compact farming at the same time.
Villa Conzoilo, located seven kilometers away from the town proper of Jaro, has been designated as a learning site by the Agriculture Training Institute and as school for practical agriculture.
Compact farming has been introduced on this village (population: 360 based on the 2015 population survey) which nestles near the Alto Peak or Mr. Amandewing, considered the highest peak in Leyte.
Farmers are planting vegetables like lettuce, cabbage, radish, eggplants, tomatoes, carrots and cauliflower which they supply to nearby towns and shopping malls in Tacloban City.
Lately, they started cultivating grapes, asparagus, strawberry and onions, a first in the region.
The farmers, which formed a cooperative, now enjoys higher income. From their P1,000 capital, they now have an asset of nearly P23 million with almost P4 million cash in the bank.
Barangay chairman Alex Aborita hopes that they will succeed in the cultivation especially on strawberry to attract more people to visit at their village as they prepare their area for farm tourism.
The Department of Tourism trained the farmers of Villa Conzoilo on tourist guiding.
Tourists could enjoy three of the village glorious waterfalls, namely, Silawat Falls, Duka Falls and Kabagtan Falls.
For P100 as an entrance fee, tourists could visit and enjoy any of these nature’s wonders .
The lush mountains of the village are also inhabited with wildlife like Philippine Eagle, Philippine lemur, tarsiers and Philippine deer.
Aborito said that tourism has become a source of income among the residents.
According to him, they started to welcome tourists to their village May of this year.
Since then, around 500 tourists visited Villa Conzoilo to enjoy its beauty, generating an income of P26,000 from entrance fee and purchase of local products.
“We can now send our children to school,” Aborito said, citing a better income among village residents as a result of their tourism industry and at the same time, farm produce.