On September 6, 2019, we visited the model 10-hectare farm of Orlando Chio in Calinan, Davao City. He calls it Tau Hai Farm which he says means “good ambience”. And good ambience it really is. The farm is well kept so that fruit trees are bearing exceptionally well.
What immediately impressed us were the heavily fruiting longkong trees. The individual fruits are bigger than most fruits in the market which is an indication that the trees are adequately fertilized. They are sweet and juicy most likely due to balanced fertilization complete with micronutrients.
The durian durian trees looked very healthy with no indication of any dieback condition that we observed in other durian farms attacked by phytophthora disease. Orlando said they had finished harvesting a bumper crop a couple of weeks before our visit. He said that he plants any variety that he finds outstanding. One very outstanding durian variety that he is very proud of is Alcon, an early selection that is rarely found in other farms today.
The fruits of his marang that he served his visitors were bigger than the fruits that were served us in a farm that we visited earlier. Pabs Villegas, our companion, really had a great time enjoying the plump arils of Orlando’s marang. Aside from the varieties mentioned above, Orlando has many other fruit-bearing crops like jujube, atis, mangosteen, guyabano, chico, jackfruit, papaya, pineapple, mango, rambutan and more. During trips abroad, he also brings home seeds that he finds interesting. Just like a guava with orange flesh that he grew from seed he brought from Taiwan.
A couple of landmarks at the Tau Hai Farm are big metal sculptures by a prize-winning sculptor from Davao City. Orlando’s family has a thriving business in the heart of Davao City but he spends more time in his farm. Farming is something he enjoys very much. He is a regular buyer of Agriculture Magazine that we edit and he also has copies of our agri books that include “Winning Strategies in Agricuture.