August 2017
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
...life offers endless first times. Life itself does the work for you in connecting the dots of beautiful memories arising from every first-time-experience you did.

✈ After six years, history extended its strings to connect the dots of the past and of the future.

✈ Writing this story had nostalgia firing some neurons in my memory center. If I didn't write this story, I wouldn't be reminded of the day I encountered dragon fruit for the first time.


[Burgos, Ilocos Norte Province, Ilocos Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
▼ COVER PHOTO▼ YOUTUBE▼ FACEBOOK▼ TWITTER
REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT PLANTATION, BURGOS, ILOCOS NORTE








Our life as mortal beings is endowed with endless first times. We often experience them without asking for it. The space we live in offers limitless options, oftentimes, the natural order of things connects the dots for us—yielding fruits of beautiful and lasting memories we didn't plan and foresee.
► Meeting New Friends
In the town of Burgos in the province of Ilocos Norte, I visited the Refmad Farms and Resort—a brainchild of a successful Ilocana entrepreneur Editha Dacuycuy. 

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 1 | [BURGOS] ► REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT PLANTATION IS THE FIRST IN ILOCOS REGION.
I was invited by CITEM (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally-competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

Tired and sleepless the previous day, the CITEM officers woke me up with a big hello while my cheeks comfortably rested on my bent elbows. It's our first time to meet in person after several exchanges of messages via e-mail. They knew I was the Edmar they were expecting to meet because I told them I'm wearing red clothes.

It was good to see them although I felt a little bit awkward to talk with them with my fake smile and pretentious presence of mind just to conceal the fact that I just woke up from a deep sleep. It was obvious I know. I woke up like this (that) anyway.
► From First Time to First Time
Fast forward, after about five (5) hours of touring, learning the history of the farm, and meeting Editha Dacuycuy, we faced the angry sun to harvest dragon fruits.

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 2 | [BURGOS] ► THESE DRAGON CACTI BEAR FRUIT AND FLOWERS UNDER THE CLEAR BLUE SKY.
It's my first time to try dragon fruit picking and I never thought I would experience it here. I was thrilled when I learned that Mrs Dacuycuy would allow us to do it.

At first, I thought harvesting dragon fruits was complicated. I was thinking of strict rules and appropriate practices to ensure the quality of the fruits after picking. My fear was to injure the fruits and the cactus itself (yeah, dragon fruits are cactus yields).

I remember in September 2011, it was my first time to encounter and eat dragon fruit. I was able to document it. I also published that story on this same blog. After about six (6) years, I'm doing another first time—to experience picking a dragon fruit I first encountered six years ago.

DRAGON FRUIT SHAKE
| 3 | [VIGAN] ► SEPTEMBER 2011: I FIRST ENCOUNTERED DRAGON FRUIT SIX YEARS AGO.
REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 4 | [BURGOS] ► AUGUST 2017: I PICKED DRAGON FRUITS FOR THE FIRST TIME; SIX YEARS AFTER MY FIRST DRAGON FRUIT ENCOUNTER.
Indeed, life offers endless first times. Life itself does the work for you in connecting the dots of beautiful memories arising from every first-time-experience you did.
► Dragon Fruit Picking at Refmad Ilocos Norte
Refmad Farm, as of this posting, is the largest dragon fruit plantation in the Philippines. I was surprised when I learned that Mrs Dacuycuy doesn't charge anything from tourists for experiencing this. I mentioned the latter because, in the ▼ STRAWBERRY FARM

[La Trinidad] ► 5 Interdependent Worlds In Strawberry Farm

I know they need something that's why they need to do something. You see great hope in their eyes.

of the province of ▼ BENGUET
, you need to pay for five hundred (500) pesos just to harvest strawberries (you pay for the experience).

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 5 | [BURGOS] ► MRS EDITHA DACUYCUY IS THE OWNER OF REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM.
▼ #LATRINIDAD
's Strawberry Farm was also the reason why I had that fear of harvesting dragon fruits because harvesting strawberries is associated with strict rules and practices to prevent damaging the berries and the plants.

I thought the same precaution applies to dragon fruits but Mrs Dacuycuy explained to us, even before I experienced harvesting for my self, that dragon cacti are generally maintenance-free. Just plant it and wait for the fruits to appear.

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 6 | [BURGOS] ► MRS EDITHA DACUYCUY IS THE OWNER OF REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM.
Although dragon cacti are generally maintenance-free, Mrs Dacuycuy's farm is a commercial farm so they still need to maintain it with the blessings of agricultural technologies to ensure the highest quality of the yields. 

I, myself, could attest to the fact that dragon fruit cacti are maintenance-free because we have one at the back of our house in ▼ #VIGAN
. The delicate care strawberries require is non-existent in growing dragon cactus. 

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 7 | [BURGOS] ► BOUNTIFUL HARVEST AWAITS THOSE WHO INVESTED IN GOOD STEMS OR SEEDS.
With three representatives from CITEM, me, Mrs Dacuycuy and a family of tourists, we took our baskets, cutters, and put our wide-brim hat.

Mrs Dacuycuy taught us how to properly pick the dragon fruits using our cutters. If you have watched my YouTube vlog above, you probably have seen how it was done.
► Ending Words
Writing this story had nostalgia firing some neurons in my memory center. If I didn't write this story, I wouldn't be reminded of the day I encountered dragon fruit for the first time.

I first encountered a dragon fruit in my hometown Vigan when I met a balikbayan old friend of mine from Canada. We went to Plaza Maestro in Vigan where I saw the fruit for the first time. I was so amazed that time. It looked so unreal with its pink color. Read my 2011 story. ▼ CLICK HERE

[Vigan] ► Dragon Fruit: Looks Artificial But That's Normal

I am aware of the existense of dragon fruit. It is not new to me but it was my first time to encounter a dragon fruit in person that I became so ignorant. It was a total embarrassment or shall I say ignorance in a severe degree.

.

After six years, history extended its strings to connect the dots of the past and of the future. I don't know. This may sound stupid but I'm super fascinated and amazed with things like this. One of the reasons why I blog is to save memories my brain couldn't accommodate.

Now that I once again found a connection to the past, I'm the happiest person this minute. The feeling is high. You may not understand me but I find joy in some stupid nostalgia and experiences like this.

If you find these ending words disturbing, please bear with me. I intended to write it because I want to save what I am feeling now—this moment—although it might only be me who could understand this feeling. Sorry.

REFMAD DRAGON FRUIT FARM
| 8 | [BURGOS] ► NAIMBAG NGA ALDAW! ILOCANO GREETINGS FROM REFMAD FARM!.
Lastly, thank you to Luz, Inah, and Timothy for inviting me. Of course, my biggest gratitude also goes to Mrs Editha Dacuycuy for the warm welcome. Thank you for the dragon fruits you gave! | end |


Map Showing the Location of #Burgos

MAP OF BURGOS, ILOCOS NORTE
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Farms." See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #BURGOS

MORE STORIES COVERING ILOCOS NORTE PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »

LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES »

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Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
Ilocandia may be a relatively challenging environment to dwell but historical gems remain in the heartland to remind the people that still, Ilocos is an ideal place to live.

✈ I watched how the purple sky turned into deep blue. The bright and shiny facade became even more prominent.

✈ Old structures like the Laoag Cathedral remind us of the beautiful culture born of harsh environment.


[Laoag, Ilocos Norte Province, Ilocos Region, Luzon Island, Philippines]
▼ COVER PHOTO▼ FACEBOOK▼ TWITTER▼ INSTAGRAM
LAOAH CATHEDRAL






A post shared by #TownExplorer (@edmaration) on


The day has spoken the words it wanted to tell. Sun level, low; location, west. Fiery lights came from the direction of the rugged west coast that cushions the strong waves from taking away the narrow piece of land that's left for Ilocanos, northwest of the island of Luzon. With towering mountains in the east, the traditional land of the Ilocano people has limited plains for them to grow crops. Threatened by big waves, strong winds, land slides, monsoon rains and series of typhoons every year, Ilocanos live in a harsh environment, hence, the "thrifty" qualities of Ilocanos and the culture of "spending wisely" are stereotypes—for survival in time of needs.
► The Laoag Cathedral
The sun rays coming from the west highlighted the facade of the Saint William's Cathedral or Laoag Cathedral. I was sitting on a bench at the back of a popular fastfood restaurant waiting for the opening of the Laoag Night Market. I watched how the purple sky turned into deep blue. The bright and shiny facade became even more prominent. The waiting time unleashed the thoughts in me while seeing the Laoag Cathedral standing with might in front of me.

LAOAG CATHEDRAL
| 1 | [LAOAG] ► THE LAOAG CATHEDRAL RECEIVES SUNLIGHT FROM THE WEST.
Ilocandia may be a relatively challenging environment to dwell but historical gems remain in the heartland to remind the people that still, Ilocos is an ideal place to live. Old structures like the Laoag Cathedral remind us of the beautiful culture born of harsh environment.

I've seen the Laoag Cathedral countless times and I've seen its changes. I wasn't able to capture its every change but in my memory, the visual changes my senses have recognized were saved in my soul's database.

▼ 2▼ 3▼ 4▼ 5
| 2 | [LAOAG] ► The Laoag Cathedral is here to stay.

LAOAG NIGHT MARKET
| 3 | [LAOAG] ► The Laoag Cathedral sparkles at dusk.

LAOAG CATHEDRAL
| 4 | [LAOAG] ► Silver accents made the cathedral even more imposing.

LAOAG CATHEDRAL
| 5 | [LAOAG] ► People come and go but the cathedral remains.

LAOAG CATHEDRAL

I've seen the day the cathedral was painted with dull hues, the day it was undergoing renovation, the day it was threatened by typhoons standing firm and strong, and even during those times I still didn't recognize its value. The best time I saw it was the day I started to love and appreciate my Ilocano heritage and culture.

This mid-2017, the Laoag Cathedral delivered a new message to me. With newly painted facade sparkling with silver linings and accents, Laoag Cathedral must have been saying, "I will survive." | end |



Map Showing the Location of #Laoag

MAP OF LAOAG
► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Thoughts." See more posts related to this below.

✈ The maps I used on this post are from maps.google.com.ph.

✈ All photos are mine.

✈ The insights, condition and name of places or properties I mentioned here are based on the facts and situation on the day of my visit. Take note that you may have a different experience when you try or see the properties or places mentioned here. Names of places and properties may also change by time so it's not my responsibility to update all the information on this blog because once published, I already consider it an archive and I won't update my narratives because I want them to become my references of what have happened in the past. I'm very particular of the dates because I want my amazing readers to understand that I am writing stories based on my perspective and insights on the day of my visit. You can see dates almost everywhere on this blog. Exempted from this rule are my travel guide posts that need to be updated.

LATEST STORIES COVERING #LAOAG

MORE STORIES COVERING ILOCOS NORTE PROVINCE | SEE OLDER STORIES »

LATEST STORIES COVERING THESE CATEGORIES | SEE OLDER STORIES »

MORE TOWNS YOU MIGHT LIKE TO EXPLORE:
VPBP P KLSVD SFN
NAGUSTUAM DIAY NABASAM/NAKITAM? MABALIN MO MET I-LIKE.
Photos, videos and stories of town explorations.
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▼ COVER PHOTO
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[DISCLAIMER: This contest is run by M&M's brand. I do not have an influence on the result of the contest. Any issue that may arise upon joining the contest should be directed to M&Ms brand. This post serves as press release.

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► FOOTNOTES, DISCLAIMERS, ACKNOWLEDGMENT, ETC

✈ This post was filed under the category "Sponsors and Featured Brands." See more posts related to this below.

✈ This contest is run by M&M's brand. I do not have an influence on the result of the contest. Any issue that may arise upon joining the contest should be directed to M&Ms brand. This post serves as press release.

LATEST STORIES FROM SPONSORS AND FEATURED BRANDS

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