Amancio Farm Hotel broods Native Chicken Festival

A raft of Pekin duck swims freely in one of the ponds at the Amancio Farm Hotel.
Animal husbandry students go head to head to castrate roosters. Tools all lined up right before the contest begins.

CORDON, Isabela —  One farm is pioneering the future of agriculture by showcasing the Philippines’ native produce and livestock.

Amancio Farm Hotel, a Department of Tourism accredited agri-tourism model site, recently embarked on a two-day native chicken festival as a means of reintroducing the slowly withering sector of agriculture in the country.

Owner Dr. Noemi Concepcion-Liangco, D-Hum, said the plan hopes to inspire students and tourists to get involved in farming.

In focus were a native chicken beauty pageant, skills competition, and culinary competition.

In the native chicken beauty pageant, students not just from Cordon but also from different towns in Isabela and even from the province of Quirino, brought in their most attractive and good-natured fowl to compete for the crown.

The skills competition had a broader range. Animal husbandry students raced against the clock to castrate roosters. An open for all slogan and poster making contests, a jingle derby, and spoken poetry bout were also held. Hospitality and culinary students competed in dressing the chickens, table setting and a cut-throat cook-off.

And to make it more festive, added perks like drum and lyre competition, folk dance showdown, indigenous dance rituals, and the infamous chicken dance were likewise held.

Topping it all off was the graduation rites of the immersants or interns at the AmancioAgri-Tourism Academy, plus a few candidates for master class graduation in Native Chicken Enterprises. ”I am very much happy to have seen a good number of students from various educational institutions having considered understanding the road events, the processes and the various activities being done here, at the AmancioAgri-Tourism Academy,” Dr. William Dar, the Academy’s Chairman of the Board, former Secretary of Department of Agriculture, InangLupa Movement founder, told PhilippineNews.

The native chicken festival is made possible by a few helping hands from the community, from teachers, professors to private professionals, who went out of their way to pull off a festival in two months’ time. Some literally went from one province to another.

Diffun National Highschool students perform the Balamban dance. A cultural dance of lowland Christians that originated in Santiago City. It means butterfly and the movements mimic the gracefulness and lightness of a flying butterfly.

”Last year, I saw the potential of Hotel Amancio as our immersion venue. But our Division only allowed within Quirino province. Yet I fought for Hotel Amancio. I know the students would be well-trained here,” said Ms. Alice Mariano as Senior high school teacher at the Diffun National High School, Duffin, Quirino. Last October was the start of the immersion of the students, the same time the native chicken festival was conceived, she added.

As for NapolCayaban, Resident Manager of the Dormitel at the University of La Salette, who’s one of the first practicumers of Hotel Amancio, ”I know this is a good avenue for the students to showcase their skills and abilities in their respective fields.”

Dr. Joel Reyes, Dean, College of Agriculture at the Isabela State University, a former professor of Dr. Liangco, said, ”This is just the start.”