Ilocos Series: REFMAD Saniata Plantation

November 23, 2015

REFMAD Saniata Plantation, Ilocos

After a few minutes in Bacarra Church and Bell tower, my family and I went next to this 15-hectare dragon fruit plantation, more popularly known as the REFMAD (Rare Eagle Forest Marine Agricultural Development) farm, located in Paayas, Burgos, Ilocos Norte.  

This first ever dragon fruit farm in Ilocos began from Edita Aguinaldo-Dacuycuy's search for a natural cure of her daughter's cerebral palsy.  She was advised by one of her friends that dragon fruit is effective in managing constipation, a condition which is common among patients with cerebral palsy.  In the hope of making her daughter feel better, her family started planting this wonder fruit.  Eventually, the strong demand for this fruit led to the expansion and success of their farm.  

Apart from the organic produce they are able to harvest, REFMAD farm also offers a variety of products such as wine, vinegar, tea, jams, cookies, ice cream, pastries, and even bar soaps -- all of which are derived from the fruit (from its dried flowers to its roots).  No wonder the owner, Edita Dacuycuy, was awarded "The Most Outstanding High-value Commercial Crop Farmer" in 2011 and received PHP 100,000 as a cash prize.

Here are some of the photos I took at the REFMAD Farm:

Dragon Fruit
Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is a natural source of anti-oxidants that's rich in vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus.   It also contains lots of dietary fiber that helps ease constipation and stabilize blood sugar levels.  In addition, this amazing super fruit can also help lower bad cholesterol and manage arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory component.  

REFMAD Saniata Plantation, Ilocos
Dragon fruit or red pitaya belongs to the Cactaceae family or in simpler terms, it is a cactus plant.  It grows from the ground and later on climbs stems or runners, thus it is considered a vine plant as well.  

REFMAD Saniata Plantation, Ilocos
We came here during the last week of October and saw only a few dragon fruit on the farm.  Apparently, this fruit is said to be photoperiodic, which means its ability to flower and bear fruit are greatly influenced by the duration of daylight.  Thus, December - April is known as off-season because night time is longer during these months.

REFMAD Saniata Plantation, Ilocos
REFMAD Saniata Plantation, IlocosREFMAD Saniata Plantation, Ilocos
REFMAD Farm's Dragon Fruit Wine
REFMAD Farm's Dragon Fruit Ice Cream
After walking around the farm, we took a few minute rests in their receiving area where we got the chance to sample their very popular dragon fruit ice cream.  And I must say that it actually tastes good!  I'm pretty certain that you'll definitely love it too!

If you are planning to have a tour of the Ilocos region, better drop by this place and treat yourself to a healthy and scrumptious snack!  Admission fee is PHP 10.00 per head, which already includes a free taste of their fresh dragon fruit.

For its exact location and further information about REFMAD Farms Dragon Fruit Plantation and Resort, visit their official Facebook page by clicking on this LINK.  


You have read Part 4 of 16 of my travel blog posts about our family's trip to Ilocandia.  Should you wish to view the rest of the blog posts under this series, feel free to click any of the links below:

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