Have you ever imagined how big one hectare is? Well I never really did care how big that was until I was told about Del Monte's farm in Bukidnon. The province of Bukidnon is home to Del Monte Philippines' 20,000 Hectare farm! What??? 20,000 hectares??? Now how big is that? I heard it span more than 5 municipalities and a lot more barangays. As I looked at the farm, all that my eyes could see were pineapples and mountains and like a famous line in a movie "abot ng nakikita.ng iyong mga mata...ay lupain ko!'
The farm is a P 40 jeepney ride from Cagayan de Oro City or a P 800 taxi ride from the CDO Airport. At the heart of the farm are camps that house most of their employees. Camp Philipps, Camp Crawford and Camp Fortich. I was told that a the full cycle of a pineapple is 18 months for it to become fully ripe. What??18 months - Now that's a long time. So I asked when do farmers harvest these pineapples? EVERYDAY!!! What??? I've run out of whats and was truly amazed that a world class farm exists in our country. They harvest 2000 Tons everyday and plant pineapples everyday. The climate is quite perfect as my new friend Belle said, since most of the time it rains there which gives del monte the needed savings by not watering the pineapples anymore. One thing that I failed to visit was the farm in which they kept their cows that ate pineapples. Now that's something worth eating I said.
I was really happy my friend Jerome Buhay invited me to join his group LEAD which facilitated the team building activities of the Del Monte group. I told myself, next time I am in Cagayan, I will definitely pass by again to taste their steaks. For now, seeing the farm was enough to keep me in high spirits. Just wait for the return of the comeback of Mhel G. to del Monte land.