Nowadays, more and more people are trailblazing their way to sustainability. Vegan skincare and eco-friendly products that provide innovative solid waste management solutions such as stainless steel straws are all the range, and the revival of the ethical fashion initiative is steadily cropping out, as well.
Another step towards living sustainably that the Philippines is taking is farm-to-table dining. This movement has been alive for years, and growing stronger as more restaurants begin to source their ingredients from farms, so the food is picked at peak freshness and is bursting with flavors and nutrients. Dining farm-to-table is definitely more healthier—and helps support the local industry as an added bonus.
This is why Club Balai Isabel is committing to the movement. This resort is an ecotourism haven boasting of vivid green panorama and lush vegetation. Within its premises are six varieties of mangoes, over a dozen varieties of bamboo, hardwood trees, several varieties of macopa, as well as cacao, mabolo, tiesa, chico, caimito, santol, duhat, pomelo, oranges, balimbing, langka, banana and papaya.
Club Balai Isabel strongly believes in doing its part for the environment. Over the years, the resort has initiated change by asking suppliers to stop using plastic during deliveries and using reusable boxes or cartons instead, getting involved in and sponsoring community initiatives on recycling and waste management, and having their own recycling and waste management center that they share with the town of Talisay.
Now, the resort is introducing Balai Organiks — Club Balai Isabel’s very own organic farm.
Balai Organiks is where Club Balai Isabel grows their own vegetables, livestock, and fish that are chemical-free and only using organic wastes. It is anchored to the principles of organic, natural, and sustainable farming. Its design, facilities, crops, products, technologies used, management approach, and overall branding and image are consistent with the principles and advocacies of the resort.
Balai Organiks is all about zero waste and sustainable agriculture. As such, kitchen wastes are turned into compost and concoctions to be used as crop, livestock, and poultry supplement. Microorganisms are used instead of synthetic fertilizers, fish entrails are used to make food supplement for poultry, and poultry entrails are used to feed the fishes.
Balai Organiks also promotes living “back to basics” by employing tapayan with filtration system for water consumption — so that water bottles are not necessary anymore — and using pugon and griller to cook the fresh produce handpicked at the farm.
Balai Organiks’ facilities include vermiculture technology, aquaponics, aquaculture, greenhouse, and different areas concentrated on food processing, potting, and poultry — with concoction, roasting, and native pig areas coming soon. Here, guests can learn about the different processes and systems used in the farm as well as crop production and livestock raising.
With Balai Organiks, Club Balai Isabel not only provides freshly harvested vegetables and organic produce, but also a good family bonding activity for its guests where they can teach their kids about cooking and have a meal together; after all, having a sit-down lunch or dinner with family has always been a Filipino practice that should always be exercised.
There are two packages available for checked-in guests: Package 1 consists of full farm experience, minimum of 20 pax for PHP 950/head; Package 2 consists of cooked farm meal, minimum of 12 pax for PHP 950/head. For day tour guests: Package 1 consists of lunch at the farm, use of facilities and amenities, and one hour at the Aqua Park, minimum of 12 pax for PHP 1,850/head; Package 2 consists of lunch at the farm, and use of facilities and amenities, minimum of 12 pax for PHP 1,550/head.
Apart from going local, Club Balai Isabel aims to eliminate the use of plastics by planning to change from single-use packaging to package-free room amenities (shampoo, conditioner, soap), and encouraging guests to use refillable water containers. The resort also plans on switching to swimming pool salt system to eliminate the use of chlorine and other pool chemicals that have harmful effects on the human skin and the environment.
Furthermore, Club Balai Isabel plans on promoting the use of reusable/refillable water containers, and changing to reusable food take out containers in order to lower carbon footprint.
Club Balai Isabel has also started employing the classification of trash bins for its villas, suites, and cottages. Guests are urged to throw their wastes properly in the dry, wet-recyclable, and wet-biodegradable trash bins. In return for complying, guests will receive a discount voucher worth PHP 500 or a free pizza coupon.