For an ordinary consumer like me, organic products do not seem commonplace in our readily accessible markets. We’re still stuck in the age of processed food, canned fruits, and packaged, well-labeled vegetables. Although I may have heard of organic farming initiatives, they remain small scale advocacies that hardly make it to our central markets. And with the poor education of consumers of what’s safe to eat and what’s not, these organic initiatives are met with low demand with high price tags.

But the amazing success of Greenpeace Yes to Ecological Agriculture Diversity Fair Visayas made me consider that perhaps Filipinos-Cebuanos, in particular-care more about their food than I thought.

On the first day, Greenpeace supporters and walk-in attendees were treated to a series of learning sessions entitled “Eat, Learn, Grow.” It featured an interesting lineup of speakers like: Chef Chip Lopez who encouraged people to eat local, fresh, organic food; Francis Sollano of Youth for a Livable Cebu, who shared their projects to turn decaying urban landscapes into green, conducive spaces; Pedro “Eddie” Bohol of NatFamCo, who lent his knowledge on propagating bees in farms; King Philip Caballes who discussed aquaponics and biofertilizers; and creative duo Kayowe and Jonvee Sepulveda who talked about holistic health, natural therapies. Greenpeace campaigner Daniel Ocampo capped off the sessions by inviting the public to support the on-going Yes to Ecological Agriculture campaign.

Shoppers and enthusiasts of different ages rushed to the three-day fair which gathered exhibitors who showcased sustainable farming and healthy living products and services:

Cebu Aquaponics offered a soilless way of gardening or farming which is both applicable to large open areas and small urban places.

Hatake Harvest Philippines Inc. brought biofertilizer that’s 100% organic and also an anti-mold and bacterium pathogen.

Dad’s Organic Farm featured natural and homemade food and bath products.

The Daily Farm showcased various Malunggay oils and skincare products that remedy many skin ailments.

Youth for a Livable Cebu got to promote their projects for greener and more livable communities.

Sergio’s farm brought fresh, organic tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, celery, and other vegetables.

Natural Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative brought goods made from naturally farmed plants.

The Cebuano Youth Ambassador was there to support Greenpeace’s campaign engaged potential youth leaders.

Earthworm, a landscape design and solutions company and e-commerce shop, endorsed their ecological landscaping services.

Ananda Marga Wellness Center inspired people to detox using natural therapy and yoga.

Cambugsay Healing Haven, a planters association from Ubay, Bohol, featured the Bignay fruit juice which is a great source of calcium, iron, antioxidants and anti-carcinogens.

Carcar City Farmers and Vendors, an organic farming advocate group, sold naturally farmed white corn.

Seed4com used the fair as an opportunity to encourage people to promote renewable energy, sustainable development, environmental enterprise, and social enterprise.

Southernpartners and Fairtrade Center Inc. featured snacks and foodstuffs derived from organic farming.

It was a great learning experience that allowed me to relive the love for keeping a safe and healthy environment and living a sustainable lifestyle. A bonus was that I got to do this alongside people who share the passion.

Andrea Xayide Gaurana is a volunteer for Greenpeace Philippines.