Friday, April 25, 2014

Friday, April 25, 2014

I’ve been wanting to go to the Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad valley but it was raining for the past couple of days and I’m a little under the weather.  I’m imagining it would be muddy and if we get caught up in the rain, there’d be no shades in the open fields to take shelter, and I’m afraid my temperature would get high, and blah blah.
While getting out of the main gate of the Bell Church along the highway, a jeepney with the “La Trinidad” sign blocked our way.  Impulsively, (maybe it’s a good sign) we jumped on board and asked to be dropped at Strawberry Farm, and so we’re on our way.
We were dropped off along the highway with an arrow sign that says “Strawberry Fields”.  It’s a long walk  from the highway passing along a paved but dusty road dotted with souvenir shops on the left side.  It’s a sunny day and it’s about 10 minutes walk to there.
Upon reaching the place which is just in front of a hotel, we were asked by a guy at the makeshift information shade if we want to pick strawberries. I find the cost outrageously high at P400 per kilo!

They’re selling P120 per kilo at the Baguio market though last month I was here they were just P70 per kilo.
Hrrmmm, I hesitated for a moment, then I said, not really, and I have allergies with strawberries.  You know I’m bluffing, right?
But then I asked if we can just walk around the fields, take pictures, enjoy the scenery, he said yes. 

So after all, you can just walk around, take pictures of the beautiful agricultural estate without having to go about hurting my back bending picking strawberries meticulously (they said there’s a proper procedure so as not to spoil the fruit) or getting woozy from long period of sitting low (a diabetic symptom, I became one just recently, congratulations to me) and finally paying 4X the cost of nicely picked strawberries encased on a sturdy plastic at the market!
I even noticed some tourists who were escorted by picking guides into some lots with less significant amount of strawberries to be harvested, I overheard one commenting that there aren’t enough to harvest, when I found quite a lot of yield where I was standing, a different lot 20 meters far away from them.

Well, like what most people I’ve spoken to says, it’s the experience of plucking those fruits on your own, by your own hands, it’s that feel that you really pay for.   I don’t want to kill someone else's joy, it probably is fun, but (as coined and frequently used by most tourists) it's bordering - if not already - a tourist trap.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the place. Besides, I had more fun the last time I did it somewhere some time last year because the experience and the unlimited fruits were free. 
This one is a commercial place though, so if you fancy the experience, I would recommend going for it, it’s not all the time that you see and have a feel of places like this especially for tourists who come all the way from far metropolitan cities.  It really is a special place for a special harvest.
Aside from strawberries, the place have several vegetables and flowers such as different varieties of lettuce, petchay, sunflowers and everlasting.







Don’t forget to slap some sunscreen onto your arms and face, unless it's raining. Bring a small scissor if you must, to cut those delicate fruits from the stem, it would be nice bringing home those fresh strawberries on twigs, makes it a perfect way to tell your friends that you pluck it yourself direct from La Trinidad farm, and didn’t just buy it from the market.
Strawberry Fields is located in La Trinidad, at the outskirt of Baguio City.  Even if you’re taking public transports, you can always combine Bell Church and Strawberry Fields on full day’s itinerary.  We went out right before noon and covered both. 
Take jeepneys from Magsaysay Ave. bound for La Trinidad and get off exactly at the highway gate of Church Bell, tell the driver.  Then, after admiring the beautiful temple which I almost missed, take the same jeepney in front of the gate to La Trinidad to get to Strawberry Fields, very easy, no sweat at all.

 TIPS
- Bring sunblock if it’s a sunny day, drinking water.
- If you’re commuting, why not visit the Church Bell before heading to Strawberry Fields, it’s along the  same road.
- If you’re picking strawberries, choose plots with a lot of yields, wander around to find out, don’t rely solely on the guide’s lead.
Entry to the farm is free. 

Expenses:
Transports
Jeepney from Bell Church to Strawberry Fields (highway only)
Jeepney from Strawberry Fields (highway) to Magsaysay Ave.       
P 10.00
P 11.00
How to get there:
Take a jeepney that goes to La Trinidad at the La Trinidad Jeepney Terminal beside the Baguio Center Mall along Magsaysay Avenue.  Travel time is about 30 minutes, depends on the traffic.
Just tell the driver to drop you off at Strawberry Farm which is actually the signage along the highway where you’ll have to trudge the dusty but concrete road from the highway to the farm, approximately 10-minute walk, about a kilometer.   
If coming from the Bell Church - which I highly suggest to visit before heading to Strawberry Farm – jeepneys bound for La Trinidad are passing along the highway in front of the highway gate of the church (or temple), right before the La Trinidad municipality welcome sign.
Address: Strawberry Fields, La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines
Google Map Direction : Strawberry Fields, La Trinidad.



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