Text and photos by: Bombette G. Marin
A COUPLE of months ago, a sunflower field become a Facebook sensation thanks in part to photos of the place that went viral. While you won’t find miles and miles of sunflowers in Iloilo, you will find sunflower patches to behold, along with a variety of other kid-friendly farm activities.
Now you can visit the flower patch, located in Barangay Tinorian, just outside the town proper of Barotac Nuevo. You will find this dreamy five-hectare lot officially known as John Lei’s Flower Garden and Restaurant, the best spot to simply stop to take in the beauty of sunflower fields.
The sunflower farm is a must-see when you are in the area. Be sure to make it a part of your itinerary for a day of outdoor fun. For a minimal fee of P30 per person, the farm is a perfect place to bring your kids for a trip to the sunflower patch and maze farm.
Conceptualized in July 2018, the 5-hectare privately-owned lot of Stephanie Sustento is now open to the public, thanks to Elvis John Aurelio Lonzaga of Mandurriao, Iloilo City who partnered with Allied Botanical Corporation, rented and planted the patch to attract customers to his small restaurant business, and now it is one of the most visited family-friendly spots in Barotac Nuevo.
Venture through the farm’s nature trail. Stop by to make your way through the attraction, skipping the maze of sunflowers is a 3-hectare vegetable farm growing eggplant, sweet pepper, hot pepper and tomato using good agricultural practices. Products are distributed and sold in the local market in the city.
Visitors can also take a walk and stop by to take photos around the 2-hectare sunflower maze portion. Visitors will find rows and rows of bright sunflowers ready to be admired. Made up of four hybrid varieties, namely Vincent’s Choice, Vincent Fresh, St. Vincent Orange and Pomelo, the farm also grow and sell popular garden flowers of Marigold, Vincas and Petunias where you can take home to style into beautiful arrangements.
A Green House of 6m x 18m is being constructed for growing strawberries and flower cabbages that are going to be better tasting than the field-grown consumers normally find in grocery stores. Colorful Kubota tractors and miniature Bahay-Kubo blends well with the entire landscape where kids and adults-alike can take photos.
Sit back and relax while you take in the beauty of the sunflower fields. After your adventure, you can buy freshly picked sunflowers on site, or check out the many farm flowers and produce on the property. Then finish your visit by heading to their restaurant for a gastronomic treat of local cuisine.
We recommend timing your visit to the farm when the sunflowers are in full bloom. Be sure to add it to your bucket list and head to the fields while you can. Bring the kids along to this family-friendly sunflower farm.
The Second-Class municipality of Barotac Nuevo is at the north-eastern portion of the province. It is 30 kilometers away or an hour drive from Iloilo City. It is bordered by Pototan in the west; Dingle in the northwest; Anilao in the northeast, and; Dumangas in the south. It has a total land area of 9, 449 hectares that is politically subdivided into 29 barangays.
One can visit the town via jeepney, van or bus at the new Ceres Terminal in Barangay Camalig, Jaro, Iloilo City or at the Iloilo Terminal Market in Barangay Rizal Pala-Pala I, Iloilo City.