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Visiting a Salt Farm for the First Time

I wasn't sure to expect when I joined a salt farm tour in Bolinao, I kept an open mind. I didn't know a lot about salt, this went in and out of my mind during the long drive from Quezon City to Pangasinan. After the trip, my knowledge about salt deepened.

Salt Farm Tour

Our trip to Pacific Farms Inc. in Bolinao was an eye opener. I only knew salt as a seasoning and preservative for food. However, the salt farm tour opened my eyes to its diverse uses. Despite the huge opportunity in salt, the Philippines is an importer of this product. More than 50% of our salt is from either Australia or China. Pacific Farms aims to change this. The company produces more than 10,000 metric tons of salt yearly with the 500 hectares property.

Before the tour proper, we were accompanied by Mr. Glenn Khonghun who was not just the Business Development Manager but also one of the children of the owner. One tidbit about the company is that their product Fidel iodized salt was part of the DOH's campaign in the 90s to address iodine deficiency. They also supplied salt to gourmet restaurants and various companies in different industries.

After learning more about the company and the other uses of salt, we were ready to rest and have an early start for the tour the next day.

The tour included different parts of the farm which were the Sunrise View Deck, Love Bridge, Salt Harvesting, Salt Mountain and Lake, Locomotive Ride and the Chapel Ruins.

The first stop was the Sunrise View Deck, it was raining the day before so there wasn't much of a sunrise. However, we were introduced to the different flavors of salt made by PFI.

We tried the local delicacy called binungey (sticky rice and mango). We used the different salt flavors to give the food a distinct taste. The product was called Aro-en, a gourmet salt.

The farm also has an interesting history since Mr. Khonhun's family acquired it from the Aranetas. One of the symbols of this history is the church ruins. This was a place where the workers thanked God for a bountiful harvest. In 2009, typhoon Emong substantially damaged the church and was left as it is ever since.

The love bridge may seem like an ordinary bridge, but it played an important role in teh farm's history when the Khonghun family acquired it. Sir Johnny's first day as owner was a tumultuous one. The previous owner was unable to pay the salary of the workers for several months and the farm was in debt and had little chance of surviving. This led to tensions between the workers and the new management. However, the presence of a goat giving birth on the bridge grabbed people's attention and then defused some of the tension that led to talks of improvement.

During the tour, we also got a glimpse of how salt was made, collected and turned into final products. The science used to keep the farm efficient was eye-opening.

The food served to us during the trip was salty but delicious. They used their own produce and farm animals.

Other than the display of the products and the salt farm, we heard stories from some of the workers. We heard from employees from three generations. The workers talked about the changes in the farm and how it helped them move up in life.

At the end of the salt farm tour, my eyes were opened. I learned how one small crystal of salt has several uses and how it can change lives.

Read my guide to Bolinao: budget and itinerary for Bolinao

Contact the Farm

Pacific Farms Inc. (Manila Office)
33 Scout Rallos St., Quezon City
Telephone Numbers’ 371-4304 / 371-4305 /371-4303
Mr Glenn Khonghun – 09994296902
Ms. Irene Robrigado – 0939-5123156

Email: gjck@pfi-ecotour.com /  tour_reservation@pfi.ecotour.com

Day Tour Rates

Salt Farm Tour – Php 1,800 per person (min. 20)

Salt Farm Tour with 100 Islands – Php 2,400 per person (min. 20)


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