Be a farmer for a day (or more): 11 basic things in growing crops

Are you done with all your TikTok vids and looking for other things to do? Why not try to be a farmer during this quarantine period or even after? Some of you are planning to grow plants and others have already started their mini farm. If you are a newbie farmer, here are some points to remember:

1. Have a get-to-know phase

Choosing a crop you want to plant is easy. Seeds are available in the supermarket and also from the veggies you bought yesterday. However, you need to do a little research on the crop you want to cultivate – from seed to harvest.


2. Do not directly plant every seed

Small-seeded crops like lettuce, pechay and bokchoy may require you to pregerminate their seeds and here’s an easy and effective way on How to pregerminate small seeds? (YT vid:


Some plants have little to no seeds because they are cultivated in other form – in cassava for example, stem cuttings are used as planting material.

3. Let there be light!

Photosynthesis is a thing we were taught since grade school. Basically, plants need sunlight to grow. So plant where there is light.


But, be mindful about your crop. Some crops love extreme sunlight while others are happy with a little ray of light.

4. Do some catching up (visit and talk)

After a successful germination, do not leave them like what your ex did to you. LOLjk. I wasn’t kidding when I said that do not leave them for good. Visit them from time to time and check their condition, and (this may sound weird)talk to them…some say plants grow well when you do this.


5. Feed them

Fertile soil is good for your plant but when you observe yellowing on the leaves (with no insects or diseases), they may be suffering from lack of nutrient (like nitrogen). When this happens, you can put a little fertiliser like (14-14-14) or urea (46-0-0).


If you observed low soil fertility prior your planting and you did some composting, add those to your soil (make sure they are fully decomposed) before planting.

6.  They get thirsty

Plants are approximately 95% water so they get thirsty. High temperature these days will easily dry out your soil and will eventually dehydrate your plant leading to death. Quench their thirst by watering your plants early in the morning and late in the afternoon.


7.  You want to breathe? And so they are!

Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by so many things and we want to breathe for while and I am telling you…your plants want to breathe too. Have you watched the K-dram ‘She Was Pretty’? There was a scene there wherein they grew an onion with smiley face in water…I tried doing it…but sadly the onion died. And this was probably because of hypoxia or lack of oxygen in the root.amigurumi_onion_from_korean_drama_she_was_pretty_1446773149_d02930d0

My point here is to give your plant air. Dig the soil around your plant (make sure not to damage the roots) to release some compaction of soil and allow air to flow.

8. Protect them (from pests)

Pests are those damaging your plants to the point that you are left with little to no harvest. Control the pests. If they are still manageable, you can just pick them with your hands.


You can also plant some insect repellant plants like marigold. Or concoct your own natural insecticide (available in the internet). If you observed disease in your plants, remove and burn them. During your next cropping season, plant clean materials or try crops that are not the same family as your previous one.

9. Be gentle…they have feelings too

As you progress in your farming activities, these plants will grow in no time. You will apply good cultural practices you found during your search like pruning, weeding or bagging. When you do, be gentle, some plants are sensitive and brittle. Your days of growing them will be put into waste if you are careless.


10. Understand their maturity

Different plants may have varying maturity. As I mentioned earlier, it is imperative to know your crop before planting. It is also important to know when they will mature. There are crops with dual purpose like sweet potato – you can harvest camote tops as early as 30 days from planting while the roots are harvestable after around 90 days.


Some crops develop bitter taste when you prolong their harvest time or when the timing of harvesting is not appropriate.

11. Diversify

Plant several crops. There was a study that even a small area can house up to 9 different crops. This technique will give you variety of vegetables with different nutrient components. And since they are different from one another, you can program a daily harvesting of different veggies. Diversified garden may also lower incidence of pests and diseases.


Farming will be your daily source of sun, healthy food, and exercise. If you do not have land with soil in your place…you can try doing hydroponics…I did a vid on how to do easy DIY hydroponics (below) – it’s kinda crappy but the basics are there.


A-Z places worth a visit in the Philippines

Did you cross out most of your travel destinations last 2019? Or are you planning your #2020TravelGoals? I listed some places worth visiting in the Philippines from A-Z and you might want to consider them on your next trip!

A – Argao, Cebu

The Archdiocesan Shrine and Parish of Saint Michael the Archangel or Argao Church located in the municipality of Argao was established in 1703. Aside from the coral stone church, there is also other stuff to enjoy around like the watchtowers, plaza, gates and walls, L-shaped building (formerly known as Palacio), and mortuary chapel.


Simala Church and Dalaguete Beach are just 20-km (30-min ride) away from Argao church. I assure you, no time will be wasted visiting these nearby tourist spots.

B – Banaue, Ifugao

Did you know that the scene where Thanos (Avengers: Infinity War) exiled himself to work as farmer and reflect on his loss was shot in the Philippines’ famous Banaue Rice Terraces? Are you burnt out from work? Pack your bag now and go to Banaue! Get ready to calm your mind, body and soul because even the most scary and troubled villain found peace in this place.

IMG_1881Plus, be amazed by the fact that indigenous people from the province built this terraced rice paddies that look like giant stairways on the slopes of a mountain using minimal equipment.

C – Callao Cave, Tuguegarao

The cave does not only promise the best limestone walls, the top view will leave you in awe. Get the best angle of the Pinacanauan River from above and below (try a wooden boat ride).


The trek inside the cave is easy and titas/titos of *insert city/town* will enjoy more while sweating a little .

D – Dingalan, Aurora

If your pocket doesn’t allow you yet to travel Batanes, then you might consider this alternative one. Dubbed as Batanes of the East, Dingalan is a place for those adventurous folks who want to relax and stay away from city lights.


Prepare yourself for a trek and a breathtaking taking view. No words could describe how I felt when I reached the top. Too good to handle.

E – Esperanza, Agusan del Sur

Patpatangan Cold Spring, Calahian Lake, San Vicente Falls and Manlangits Lake are the top destinations in Esperanza TripAdvisor will suggest. But more than the tourist spots, the large scenic agricultural land will give you a break from the large buildings in the urbs.


Do not forget to try some of their local delicacies! Tired of your common camotecue? Look for the sweetest purple sweet potato some carenderias in the area offer.

F – Fort Santiago, Manila

Stop for a while your fast paced lifestyle and travel back in time. This citadel was built in 1593 by navigator and governor Miguel López de Legazpi in Intramuros, the walled city of Manila. More than the ig-worthy backdrop, the fort is one of the most important historical sites in Manila.


Also, you may add the National Museum to your itinerary. The museum is just a few minutes walk/ride and free of entrance fee.

G – Gumaca, Quezon

This first class municipality is nestling at the foot of the Sierra Madre range and is widely known as a heritage town due to ancestral houses and old structures that abound the area. Include to your list the picturesque San Diego de Alcala Fortress (Kutang San Diego), a recognised national treasure by the National Historical Commission since 1981.


Going to Gumaca, you’ll traverse a long road showcasing the vast ocean. Unleash your inner Dyesebel or Aquaman and say hi to the mermaid sitting on the rock at Atimonan, Quezon. Also, there are nice beaches with black sand nearby.

H – Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur

The Philippines has a lot to offer in terms of hashtag-travel-goals destination, so why bother going to the same location every year? Hinatuan river could give you a clear as its water answer. True to its name, the river is so enchanting you can’t resist from coming back. Prepare your heart from skipping a beat upon seeing this magnificent river.


Quick advice: if you’re planning to visit Tinuy-an falls and Hinatuan River on the same day, start with the former. Both destinations are good but Hinatuan river is just sooo good you might end up not enjoying Tinuy-an falls.

I – Isla de Gigantes, Iloilo

Located off the coast of Carles and Estancia towns in northeastern Iloilo, Isla de Gigantes or the islands of giants has the beautiful seascapes and island lifestyle perfect for the summer vacation you are looking forward since last year. I promise you, that “extra mile” (as it takes at least 5 hours to get there from Iloilo City) will be worthy.


Seafood lovers will surely love the place. Get scallops for PhP 1.00 per piece.

J –  Jordan, Guimaras

Jordan is the commercial center of the island and has a wharf closest to Iloilo City. There are a lot to explore in Guimaras Island such as beaches and light houses, islets and caves. Also, add the Trappist Monastery and San Lorenzo Wind Farm on your list.


Never leave the place without tasting their mangoes which is said to be the sweetest not just in the Philippines but also in the world.

K – Kabacan, Cotabato

Its name came from the word ka-abacan which means the source of abundance since people from far barangays used to go here to brought back home commodities from their livelihood. Despite all the not so good news from the area, treasures can still be found like the campus of University of Southern Mindanao and Pisan Cave.


Did you know that Kabacan is known as an Ilocano-speaking area because more than half of its population are Ilocano?

L – Love Beach, Occidental Mindoro

Sorry to disappoint you, but Love Beach does not offer love life. LOL. But, if you have enough white beaches and night life on your itinerary, then you might consider this one. Calm your mind with black sand, salt water, and sunset of this beach. At night, meditate with the waves and wind and allow them to carry all your worries.


After a day or two and you found yourself looking for more adventure, you might consider going to Sablayan to have an island-to-island zipline, and scuba diving at Apo Reef and Pandan Island.

M – Maniwaya, Marinduque

Knock! Knock! Who’s there? Maniwaya. Maniwaya who? “Maniwaya ka sanang minamahal kita…woooh”. LOL. The island’s beauty is no joke. Witness different hues of blue and watch fishes just a few meters from the shore!


Palad Sandbar,  Ungab Rock Formation and Mongpong Island are potential addition to your itinerary (if you still have time) as these places are not far away from Maniwaya Island.

N – Nasuli Spring, Bukidnon

Not your typical destination if you’re a beach baby but this resort is worth a shot. Plunge into the cold water and rejuvenate your dying soul caused by the killing heat of commuting everyday to work. LOL. Kidding aside, the spring offers the ultimate nature vibe with swimming and diving area.


You can opt to just take a side trip to this spring and explore the beauty of Malaybalay first. If you are prepared to sweat, consider trekking at Musuan Peak or Mt. Capistrano and have a view of Bukidnon at a higher level.

O – Olongapo, Zambales

“Ulo ng Apo” (head of chieftain) is where the name Olongapo came from – it is a reminder of the good leadership of their model and beloved chieftain who was killed by his abductors. The kinda scary story of the origin of the name of the city is opposite to what you will see in the area – forest trails, inflatable islands, and beaches and resorts to name a few.


Anawangin Cove is located near the city and it is the perfect destination for those people looking for swimming, hiking and setting up a bonfire on the beach.

P – Pinto Art Museum, Rizal

Pinto (means door in Filipino) Art Museum is a contemporary museum  in Antipolo, Rizal. The place exhibits rotation of foundation’s collection and promotes contemporary Filipino artists. Appreciate local flora and fauna from the two hectare botanical garden (known as Silangan Gardens) where the museum is located.


Visit the magnificent Antipolo Church and munch on some tasty cashew nuts downtown before going home.

Q – Quirino, Isabela

This is not one of the most visited places for summer vacation but tourism is starting to bloom in the area. Still, there are a lot to see from this destination such as the Nagbukel Municipal Tree Park and Nature Resort, Pusuac Spring Park, Manuela Falls, Susong Dalaga and Liwayway cave. There are also different festivals that showcase the unique culture and colourful history of the province – so mark your calendar.


Brace yourself with its relatively hot climate and a breathtaking view of large corn fields on each side of the road.

R – Roxas City, Capiz

Hey you seafood lover! Roxas City got you! This is a heaven on earth for you. Do you have enough fast foods for lunch? Now is the time to explore the seafood capital of the Philippines! Not a fan of seafood? The province still got you, babe! Local food culture include many unique delicacies such as inubaran nga manok, chicken binakol, nilagpang and many more. Sweet tooth folks can enjoy bitso-bitso, ibos, bayi-bayi and inday-inday.


The province does not only boast the abundant marine produce, they also offer relaxing activities like river cruise tours and shoreline strolls with relaxing view of Sibuyan Sea.

S – Sipalay, Negros Occidental

My first solo travel was here and I’m so sure that it is a very safe and worth an extra mile place for those people enjoying some solo backpacking adventures. A day tour may not be enough to see everything the city can offer but there are so many beaches to quench the wanderlust in you – Sugar Beach, Punta Ballo Beach and Poblacion Beach are just some you can put on your list.


The best for the gram photos I had during my trip were the hanging bridge in Tinagong Dagat, overlooking view of Sipalay and the cute islets I saw while in an infinity pool at Perth Paradise. I just had all these experiences in a day!

T – Tayug, Pangasinan

Heard of the sunflower maze? This is the place! If you were a bee during your past life this will be your paradise. The gate usually opens daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm starting on February until June. The farm features not just the sunflower maze but also other landscape of bougainvillea, blue ternetea, roses and different in-season vegetables.


A perfect stopover for those going to or coming from Baguio. Along the road, you can buy dried fish and salty relish made of fish or shrimp (or simply bagoong).

U – University of Sto. Tomas, Manila

The oldest university in the Philippines founded way back 1611 had the Victorian-style exterior with shabby stone facade designed with sculptures on top you can admire. The things you can do here include feeling the love along the lover’s lane, taking pictures at the stone archway and soul searching in the middle of a serene garden with fountains and thick treetops.


The areas around the university are known for flood and food. LOL. Prepare your stomach for a budget-friendly food crawl experience.

V – Vigan City, Ilocos Sur

A unique town in the Philippines as it is the country’s only surviving historic city from the 16th century Spanish colonial period. Vigan used to be an important coastal trading post in pre-colonial times. Time travel for a day along the cobbled stones of Calle Crisologo – visit the past through the ancestral houses and Catholic churches.


Complete the history feel by riding a Calesa. Did the tour make you hungry? Try out some yummy empanadas and bagnet!

W – Western Bicutan, Taguig

Plenty of things can be done in Taguig. Enjoy the pleasure of a little history by visiting the Fort Bonifacio Tunnel which was built in 1936 and was used as route for military supplies throughout World War 2. You can also stop by at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroe’s Cemetery) and pay homage to former Philippine presidents, national artists, scientists and other patriots.


Other things you can try are skating around BGC, riding a gondola at Venice hall, and visiting The Mind Museum and Miracle Art Museum.

X – Region X (NOMIARC)

Are you exhausted from the city life and daily traffic congestion perfectly combined with scorching heat? Do you have too many beaches in your bucketlist? This research station in Region X has a cold weather and the best probinsya life you are looking for. Make sure to coordinate first with the research station head before dropping by.


If you were not able to coordinate with the research office, alternative destinations include Kaamulan Park, Lapanday Pineapple Farm and Monastery of Transfiguration.

Y – Yambo Lake, Laguna

Getting to the lake is a bit challenging but a rewarding journey. The pristine waters reflecting lush green that surrounds it will be your reward at the the end. If you’re a kind of traveler that enjoys the value of serenity and being in harmony with nature this one is surely for you.


Pack and start early to be able to visit the other six majestic lakes of San Pablo, Laguna – Pandin Lake (twin lake of Yambo),Palakpakin Lake, Bunot Lake, Muhikap Lake, Calibato Lake, and Sampaloc Lake.

Z – Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Peninsula

The Philippines’ 3rd largest city and dubbed as “Asia’s Latin City” offers a wide array of adventures to dive in. The Merloquet Falls can give you a free massage and soothing sounds. From the boardwalk at Paseo del Mar, have a view of big and little Sta. Cruz Island and Basilan Island. Witness the Spanish influence through Fort Pilar.


Planning to go to Zamboanga? Mark your calendar for Regatta de Zamboanga – the biggest and most colorful event in the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival conducted throughout the month of October with main events happening during the first 12 days.


Do you have other places worth trying this year not listed here? Write it down in the comment section.



A Quick Guide To Ukay-Ukay Hub in Tagaytay

Do you have thrift/ukay-ukay shopping plans? Why not try the Ukay-Ukay Hub in Tagaytay? Here’s a quick guide:

If you have a car, going to Tagaytay will be very easy. Just locate Fora Mall, park and you are ready to go.

photo not mine. ctto.

For commuters coming from places near Los Baños, Laguna, here’s what we did: At Crossing, Calamba Public Market you can ride a van going directly to Tagaytay City Market. However, our visit was during a holiday and there were fewer vans going to Tagaytay so we opted to cut trips. First, we rode a jeepney bound to Balibago Complex, Sta. Rosa. At the back of Target Mall in Balibago, we rode a jeepney bound to Tagaytay. We dropped off at the terminal in Tagaytay City Fruit/Flower Market and wait for a jeepney with ‘Olivarez’ signboard (or if you are a group of 3-5, you can ride an e-trike). You can walk going to Ukay-Ukay Hub from Olivarez Plaza. The Ukay-Ukay Hub is just across Fora Mall.

For those coming from the city, as a promdi, I am not well versed on commuting from Metro Manila/Quezon City. Check this link ( on how to go to Tagaytay and then once you are at Olivarez Plaza or Fora Mall, you are just a few meters away (or a less than 5-minute walk). Use your google map to easily locate the place.

Screen Shot 2019-08-28 at 11.05.02 PM


Do not underestimate the small signage of the Ukay-Ukay Hub. This thrift shop is so massive you’ll probably be overwhelmed. Don’t panic. Here are some preparations you can do:


Wear appropriate clothes. Wear the most comfortable shirt, pants and footwear. Remember, you will be searching from several racks and will be standing for too long so better gear up. It’s also better if you bring and wear a face mask (because as in every ukay-ukay, you can’t avoid dust which can trigger sneezing).

Note: The shop is not air-conditioned but it has a commendable ventilation.

Bring some extras. Extra clothes so that you can change when you got sweaty and kinda dusty after shopping. Extra water and snack for that hydration and energy you need while finding thrifted treasures. Extra ecobag because who knows how many pieces you’ll get, right? And extra patience since you will face a wide array of options.


Upon entry you’ll find sea of clothes hanging on the racks. At first glance it looks small, but as you walk inside you’ll see how big this Ukay-Ukay store is. Relative to those individual Ukay-Ukay shops I tried in Baguio, Anonas, Laguna, and LRT stations this one is the biggest I’ve seen. And, I am guessing, 4 hours is not enough to browse everything in this shop if you are considering checking each piece in every rack.

Ukay-Ukay Hub basically sells preloved shirts, polos, pants, tokongs and shorts for men, women and kids (dominated by clothes for women). Aside from clothes, you can also spot areas for bags and shoes.


Clothing racks near the entrance are the priciest while lowest ones are at the back. Front line clothes are new arrivals with FIXED price ranging from 100-500 pesos. There are several brands to expect like Uniqlo, Zara, G2000, Levi’s, Cotton On, and H&M (these are brands I personally spotted).

TIPS: Branded piece at low price is a good steal IF AND ONLY IF it fits your size, the style suits your liking, and it still has good quality (check for any damage or stain). Stop yourself from getting ukay-ukay clothes that do not fit you or have damage or permanent stains just because they are cheap and/or branded. Also, do not settle for those pricey branded pieces because you are defeating your purpose of Ukay-Ukay shopping. There are a lot other unbranded and good quality clothes, shoes and bags on sale which can still ‘spark joy’. JUST KEEP LOOKING.

As you dig deep in, you will find racks on sale. These racks are labeled with less PhP 20, 30% off, PhP 10 – 60 each and 4 – 5 pieces for PhP 100.


TIP: Start your search from the back.

I hope this post will lead you to a sulit, comfortable and fun Ukay-Ukay Hub shopping experience. If you have extra time and budget you can shop for fruits and flowers at Tagaytay City Fruit/Flower Market or view the Taal volcano while dining or sipping coffee. Besides, you need to relax after hours of standing and looking for budget-friendly pieces to add to your wardrobe. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: “ca-pub-9588335866876339”, enable_page_level_ads: true });

5 tips to pass the licensure examination for agriculturists (LEA) in the Philippines

Are you graduating from your agriculture-related course and eligible to take the licensure examination for agriculturists (LEA) this 2019? Or does your institution require you to pass LEA?

In the Philippines, agriculture graduates may opt to take the Licensure Examination for Agriculturists. Government offices often require their job applicant RA 1080 (or board/bar eligibility). Passing LEA is a win-win factor when applying for a government position because you have an advantage for agriculture-related positions plus you can use it if you are interested with other vacancies.

First timers or not here are my 5 tips to pass the licensure examination for agriculturists.

Disclaimer: Tips are based on my personal experience.
1. Start early

If you are still in college,  focus and study well. I sound like your parents repetitively telling you to study, but it’s true in all board exams – you need to put effort and take college learning into your heart and mind because in the long run it will be worth it. The board exam is composed of 6 subjects (crop science, animal science, crop protection, agricultural extension, soil science, agricultural economics) – it will be information overload if you force yourself to study everything for 1 day, 1 week or even 1 month before the board exam.

2. Join review sessions/self-review

Do not lose hope if you fail  the no. 1 tip and did not take your undergrad courses seriously. Board exams take months after graduation to happen; you still have plenty of time. You can enroll in a review center and then aside from your review sessions you can create or join groups to have additional reviews outside the review class. If you are on a budget, you can also do self-review – there are a lot of review materials offline and online you can use to refresh your knowledge.

3. Expect the unexpected

Everything under agriculture can be one of the questions – as random as where does macopa originate? It’s better if you diversify what you already know. Read recent events on agriculture. Do not solely rely on one reviewer, be resourceful and look for other review materials (from other schools or previous takers).

4. Be prepared

Aside from getting your mind prepped for the questions, you also need to set everything needed in place. First, make sure that your course has required units to be eligible to take the exam. Check the schedule of application submission and exam dates. One week from the time of the exam, look for accommodation that is comfortable and near the examination venue. A day before the exam, find your designated classroom. Before going to the venue make sure that you are wearing proper attire, have all the documents and exam materials needed (i.e. pencil no.2, black ballpen, eraser, basic calculator, light snacks, water, medicine kit (with loperamide and paracetamol, just in case)). As much as possible, do your restroom duties before taking the exam. Always arrive early or on time for the 3-day exam period (during the first day, go to the venue much earlier because you need to process some documents before the exam proper). Relax during the exam, don’t let your anxiety block you from answering; you have 4 hours allotted time for each subject – use it wisely.

5. Pray-do your best-pray

On the day/s of your exam, all that you can do is relax, pray and apply all the best of what you’ve learned. Aim for the top place and not just a passing grade; failing the top place will lead you to passing level while failure from just-passed mark will bring you directly to failed grade. After the exam and you know that you did the best that you can, pray and pray until the announcement of results. Pray that you will pass and have the courage to face whatever outcome might be. If you pass, then congrats! However, if you fail, then take another one next year.  DO NOT LET A SINGLE EXAM DEFINE YOU.

I hope these tips will somehow help you ace the LEA. Good luck, takers!