A toast to saniata aka dragon fruit

It’s been more than a year since I visited Manang Edita Dacuycuy of REFMAD Farms in Brgy. Paayas, Burgos. Manang Edita is the original Ilocano grower of this wonder fruit called saniata in Ilocos, more popularly known worldwide as dragon fruit. A befitting name for the fruit, saniata is Ilocano for blooming, progressive and promising. Manang Edita, who heads the group of 54 dragon fruit growers all over Ilocos Norte, has big dreams of making the province the dragon fruit capital of the Philippines. Why not?

The 5-hectare farm looks a lot different from the last time I went with Martine and Ericke. Spacing visits longer makes it more thrilling.

(Read my first news feature about REFMAD Farms and the King of Fruits posted last year via the LEAD Movement blog)

Alexa seems too excited for this agri-tour. It’s her first time at REFMAD Farms. I was excited, as well.

The hubby had to try it, too. He doesn’t actually like fruits.

Saniata ti Kailokuan, my kind of fruit! Loaded with antioxidants.
.

saniata aka dragon fruitI had this chilled for a while before grabbing my first wedge. ’twas just so refreshing!

100 % of the farm’s workforce is from the community.

The tilapia pond is new.

More and more locals and tourists are discovering this organic farm. Carlson Chan of Liwayway Foods, makers of Oishi, and DepED Assistant Secretary Jun Abelita were recent REFMAD guests.

Dragon fruit cactus is known to aid several illnesses. You might want to check this out (here)

Saniata flower glows in the evening.

REFMAD Farms dragon fruit farm

A garden lounge for picnickers.

Farm ducks. I guess they’re meant for integrated farming. I forgot to ask, though.

I wanted one for my sandboarding activities. A cool sun shield

That’s our organic farmer/innovative entrepreneur Mrs. Edita Aguinaldo Dacuycuy.

REFMAD Farms dragon fruit bi-products

Nothing is wasted. Dried dragon fruit flowers are made into lumpia, empanadita, dumplings and burger patties and served at the café. They also have farm-baked cupcakes and cookies… and surprise, ice cream!

Brewed tea made of dried dragon fruit flowers

Dragon fruit bread sticks.

Dragon fruit ice cream. Brandon liked it much.

I had two shots of this dragon fruit wine, which I ended up bringing home.

For the vain, anti-aging soap that whitens the skin, also made from dragon fruit.

Ain’t that sweet?

“I hope I have enough money.”

Saniata weighing half a kilo.


My loot basket

Goin’ back to home.

Photos by Blauearth Copyright © Blauearth™ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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32 thoughts on “A toast to saniata aka dragon fruit

  1. this fruit looks interesting…since this is considered a cacti fruit, is it sweet? sappy? tart? i have to search for this @ the asian store….it looks ornamental…too pretty to eat.

  2. it’s a cross between strawberry and watermelon. not too sweet, not sour, really juicy and refreshing especially if chilled. kinda like the texture of strawberry and kiwi.

  3. Nice place the Dacuycuys have in Burgos.`Is she the wife of Dr. Dax? My family loves this fruit! Haven’t been at Burgos for quite a time and not seen this place. Perhaps my family would ride out this week-end. They would sell cheaper fruits there I suppose. We buy these at Robinsons-SN for 150-160 per kilo.

  4. Hi, again, Asiong. No, she’s not the wife of Dr. Dax. Manang Edita is an Aguinaldo from Pasuquin. Anyways, REFMAD supplies Rob IN. I just ate the biggest one I brought home. I noticed wonderful things about eating the fruit — my constipation is relieved LOL and I guess I’ve lost weight since Sunday, which is good.

  5. Well, thanks for the info! Don’t want to make a mess of a wanton conversation if I got to see the Dragon Lady herself, he,he! Sure ,so did I. I lost about 2 kilos this week. My wife scolded me last night for being so selfish tsaka matakaw sa dragon fruit. I ate two whole bulbs, forgetting to eat supper meal! How much is a bottle of the dragon fruit wine, can you tell me please?

  6. Gee,`thanks! My wife and I planted some of the dragon cacti at our backyard garden the other week. We got some cuttings from a friend of a friend. I wonder if they would bear fruit and how soon? I’ve seen some newly planted ones on the hilly ridges east of the new Sarrat bridge. The dragon fever is really in Ilocos!!!

  7. you might just be the next dragon fruit grower in Ilocos, who knows? i wish i had a green thumb. watch out for the first Eco-Living Backyard Bazaar in Ilocos. Kapuluan’s organic veggies like Romaine lettuce and Swiss chard will be among the fresh produce for sale. I’m bringin’ in stuff from Adams as well. Red mountain rice will be available only in Dec, though.

  8. Hi! Nice to know people who got the interest on sharing and making the place such a an interesting spot to see and visit. I’m Mimie, daughter of Edita Dacuycuy of Refmad farms. I wish to congratulate you for posting a very captive, great shots and a good captions to the farm and it’s by products ….. it has brought people from different places, diff. walks of life and people who may and may not interested in farming. More power! THANK YOU AND GOD SPEED!

  9. Hi, Mimi! Ma’am Edita mentioned to me when I last talked to her… actually when I visited REFMAD for this post that she will be sending you to market in the first eco-living bazaar in Laoag. I think due to much work for the farm, she might have forgotten the date and the ice cream cooler, as well as my orders such as the huge hats:)) I’ve been super busy myself the past months. Thanks much, too.

  10. Ma’am pleasure to meet you and thank you for coming. Hope the students of UP Diliman enjoyed. See you again soon!

  11. same here. they loved the dragon fruit flower lumpiang Shanghai. ’twas great to have discovered too… in fact, i am preparing the pack i bought yesterday. the dragon fruit hopia was wonderful! hope to be visiting again soon. thanks to you and Manang Edita!

  12. JOB WELL DONE MADAM! Have seen google earth already. Nothin’ more to say…… great great great and muchos gracias!

  13. I’m interested to learn about this fruit. What are the requirements and needs to be prepared to start a Dragon Fruit farm. I am from Pangasinan. Can you please email me the information…Thank you!

  14. hi, Melchor! i guess you should visit Mrs. Edita Dacuycuy, who’s the pioneer in dragon fruit farming in Ilocos. she’s also the president of the dragon fruit farmers’ asso.

  15. hi blauearth, it’s so nice to see your blog about refmad farm. i’m planning to visit the farm this month, do you have the contact number of the farm so that i can make arrangement for a farm visit in case mam edith is not busy. i also have dragon fruit plants in nueva vizcaya but i’ve just started 2 yrs ago, they’re bearing fruits now. just want to visit refmad farm so that my knowledge about these fruits will be enhanced hopefully. thanks and more power…

  16. hi, Neil. i don’t have the number of Manang Edita. i usually just go. however, please try this number i found on the net – 09292757940

  17. thanks blauearth..i’ll try to contact that number before we’ll visit their farm..their farm is so nice as shown on your pictures, it will be an exciting tour if we can get there…regards..

  18. Hello Blauearth! You have a very interesting blog. I am based in Southern California and would be interested to know if Refmad Dragon Fruit Cuttings would be allowed for export to the US and if they will thrive in the Southern California Riverside county climate. Please let me know if Mrs. Edita is scheduled to visit California again anytime soon.

    Sam B.

  19. Thanks, Sam. I haven’t seen M’g Edita in a while. I’ll ask her when I see her again. Re: dragon fruit cutting, you should declare at customs, but then it has to pass agriculture.

    Here’s some info I found on the net.
    “Certain items brought into the United States from foreign countries are restricted according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations. Prohibited agricultural items can harbor foreign animal and plant pests and diseases that could seriously damage America’s crops, livestock, pets, and the environment – and a large sector of our country’s economy.

    All travelers entering the United States are required to DECLARE any meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, animals, and plant and animal products (including soup or soup products) they may be carrying. The declaration must cover all items carried in checked baggage, carry-on luggage, or in a vehicle.

    Upon examination of plants, animal products, and associated items, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the ports of entry will determine if these items meet the entry requirements of the United States.

    Even though an item may be listed as “permitted” from a particular country, it is always best to DECLARE the item by checking “Yes” on Question 11 of the CBP Declaration Form 6059B.”

  20. Your site is very informative. Is there a closer place to La Union where we can avail of a few seedlings (10-20). I don’t have a car so I would like to know also if their is a ride going to REFMAD FARM? I just want to buy a few seedlings for my backyard and also want to know how to raise the dragon fruit.
    thank you so much for any help you can give me

  21. Thanks for visiting BlauEarth, Art. I’m not sure if there’s another place where you can get seedlings near La Union. Anyhoo, You can commute to Burgos, ask the driver to drop you off the Barangay 1 Paayas in Burgos and walk to the farm (less than half km ciguro). There’s a REFMAD signage along the highway going north, so yon iyong daan na mismo to the dragon fruit farm. You’re other option is to hire a tricyle to and from the Burgos poblacion or centro. hope this is helpful.

  22. Hi,
    Im very much interested in visiting her farm. I will be visiting the Philippines this April and I would like to visit her farm. Can you please give me instructions how to get there from Makati City? I’d greatly appreciate it.
    My name is Mercedes Gagnon and Im’s from Charlotte, NC.

  23. Please read The Ilocos Norte Travel Guide on this blog. Take a bus or fly to Laoag and head to Burgos (about an hour travel from Laoag). REFMAD is in Barangay 1 Paayas.

  24. I am Tushar patel , from India Gujarat. I want to visit farms of dragon fruit . And I want to know how many colours are there in dragon fruit . Is there yellow, purpal , green flash colour are there . And if there please let me know I want to visit the farm .
    Tushar patel
    From INDIA

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