a land alive

Bhakti Issa Urra
digest this with Reena
4 min readFeb 25, 2024


The island of Negros in Western Visayas, Philippines is recognized for its traditional farming inherited from local Ata aborigines — the conservators of its forests.

part of Negros Occidental Eco-Tourism Highway

Among its earliest inhabitants, the indigenous Ata — one of several indigenous Negrito ethnic groups of Southeast Asia — possess a unique culture closely tied to nature and its cycles. Their stewardship has maintained much of what little forest cover remains on Negros Island.

In the heart of the province at the center of the island lies Cuernos de Negros (“Horns of Negros”) mountain range and homebase of the Ata. Dividing the island into its east and west provinces, it is the home of Mount Kanlaon volcano and its surrounding nature park.

reasons to visit Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental, the part of the island facing Guimaras and Panay — is known as the “Sugarbowl of the Philippines” — producing more than half the nation’s sugar.

Negros Island is more importantly considered the Organic Capital of the Philippines. It hosts the longest running organic festival in the country. Leading the way for other local communities to watch and learn.

strong local participation at Casa A. Gamboa Earth MarketFeb 24, 2024

Areas focused on preserving and conserving its ecosystems are growing and spreading. Grass roots programs are gaining support among farmers, locals, and organizations.

Ecotourism is a sustainable, viable, and reliable method to protect the natural environment and create social and economic benefits for local communities.

sugar plantations, Negros Occidental

Livelihood education and environmental workshops can encourage and empower local environments. Providing the necessary processes and skills to inhabitants who are invested and inspired in their success and projects.

The importance of protecting biodiversity has a lot of benefits — especially for the people who are reside here. The significance creates knowledge, interest, and the skills to address and resolve biodiversity issues in light of local needs and concerns.

Bay-Bay mangrove eco trail

Locals and visitors can apply themselves hands on and witness what their personal and collective efforts bring. As we know, it takes a village to keep the village healthy and thriving.

Ecotourism promotions also mean educating all involved in the awareness of caring for and prioritizing the native environment, elements, and wildlife.

Become an active part of Slow Food Negros

Spreading information far and wide builds interest and support — via strategic planning, well promoted and attended events, media promotions and support — in virtual and actual coverage.

Partnership, collaboration, and involvement is essential in securing and ensuring that what the land and nature provide remains in balance for everyone’s benefit too.

Slow Food Terra Madre Visayas video

The government can contribute in the management and operation of ecological and biodiversity programs. Especially in providing resources to achieve goals and advocating actively through legislation and implementation.

While homegrown ecological efforts and practices can bolster the tourism industry in a reciprocal loop — providing residents and foreigners with colorful travelogues that inspire and provide insight.

Negros Island, Western Visayas, Philippines

Preventing habitat loss in the province of Negros Occidental is of primary importance where development and improvement are concerned. The collaborative effort of all is required if we intend to keep the island we live on safe and well.

We are all in this together so in however way we are able - we all need to work hand in hand, heart to heart, and mindfully.

Originally published at https://ruraltreks.blogspot.com.



Bhakti Issa Urra
digest this with Reena

canvassing consciousness, constantly curious — ever challenged & changed