IMG 0591Dr. Alberto Jo (standing), owner of The Rapha Valley, Place of Wellness, discusses about Lifestyle Wellness and the wonders of organic medicine to the participants of 6th Regional Organic Agriculture Congress. ### Photo by Denice Joelle Benosa, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA

CALAPAN CITY. This year’s Regional Organic Agriculture Congress of the Department of Agriculture-MIMAROPA highlights organic agriculture’s benefits to human’s health and wellness. The three-day (Septembr 25-27) event happened at the Filipiniana Hotel, Calapan City with exhibits of different organic products from the provinces of MIMAROPA.

Among their special guests and speakers were Dr. Albert Jo owner of Rapha Valley, Place of Wellness in Negros Occidental and Dr. Monalisa Acero-Xavier of Remnant Institute Inc. (RII).

Dr. Jo is a medical doctor who believes in the power of herbal medicines. He has been known to be helping cancer patients like Gina Lopez, who has been cured of Stage 3 breast cancer because of his help, he shared.

He is also a farmer who owns a wellness place in Negros Occidental that only serves organic food that is harvested from his farm.

In the event he discussed the healthy alternatives and the importance of organic farming in curing sickness.

He gave different tips using herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables as antioxidants and as alternative medicines.

He also shared “the dirty dozen”---the group of food that pose a high health risk to humans such as a)pork products, b) shellfish and fish without scales and fins, c) hydrogenated oil (margarine, shortening, etc.) d) artificial sweeteners, e) white flour, f) white sugar, g) soft drinks, f) pasteurized, homogenized skim milk, g) high-fructose corn syrup, h) hydrolyzed corn syrup, i) hydrolyzed soy protein, j) artificial flavors and coloring, and k) excessive alcohol.

According to him these foods are high in sugar, chemically-based, and high in cholesterol that are causes of different sickness such as cancer, diabetes, heart failure, etc.

He then imposed that organic agriculture should be strengthened and be spread all over the country. “Let’s help Ph (Philippines) to be healthy,” he uttered.

IMG 0726Dr. Monalisa Acero-Xavier (3rd from left) receives her tokens of appreciation from Nida San Juan, Division Head, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division and Ramon Policarpio, Market Specialist III. ###Photo by Michael John Galivo, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA

On the other hand, Dr. Xavier, a doctor at the RII, a lifestyle center that offers lifestyle medicine and health education, talked about herbal medicines and the different sickness people get from unhealthy lifestyle.

She emphasized on organic farming objectives which is promoting healthy use of soil, water, and air; ensures health and welfare of the farmers, consumers, and the general public; minimize pollution and destruction of the environment; among others.

As such, she said, that organic farming and health are partners. “It can’t take one because you are promoting the both branches,” she said to the participants. “Kayo (organic practitioners) ang kaagapay naming (mga doctor),” she added.

She also quoted Thomas Edison with his saying that ---“the doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”
With this, the doctor explained the importance of the food people take especially natural vegetables and fruits and the natural herbal medicines that patients should take rather than taking synthetic medicines.

“Synthetic medications will address one of your symptoms but will give two or three side effects and every side effect there will be another drug that will give you another side effect,” she shared. This why she said, as a doctor she does not fully believe in synthetic drugs.

Like Dr. Jo she also shared different tips in using vegetables and medicinal herbs to prevent and cure sickness and ended her lecture with a Hipocrates quote of “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

Other lectures and activities

IMG 0327(L-R)Nida San Juan, AMAD Chief; Junibert De Sagun, Administrative Chief, National Organic Program; Dr. Antonio Gerundio, Regional Executive Director lead the parade of colors during the opening of the 6th ROAC.### Photo by Denice Joelle Benosa, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA

Apart from the health and wellness topics, there were also about “Agritektura” by an Architect/Aquaculturist Francis Neil Quijano. His topic was about innovations on agriculture with the use of architecture.
Furthermore, Mr. Dewey Albufera, 2017 Outstanding Organic Farmer of DA’s National Gawad Saka Awards, shared his success story in the event.

The five provinces and the cities in the region also had a presentation of the statuses of the organic programs in their respective places; the Regional Organic Program had their presentation of updates, as well.

There were also farm tours in different organic farms and aquaculture in Oriental Mindoro where the participants had the chance to learn how the farms were established and maintained.

The City Government of Calapan and Provincial Government hosted a dinner for the participants as their warm welcome. While the Regional Institute for Agricultural Research Center in the Municipality of Victoria prepared a boodle lunch.

IMG 1027Participants of the 6th ROAC with Governor Alfonso Umali of Oriental Mindoro and Cong. Reynaldo Umali of 2nd District, oriental Mindoro and show the organic hand gesture during the Governor’s Night, a dinner hosted by the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro for the participants.###Photo by Michael John Galivo, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA

ROAC  is a yearly undertaking of the DA-MIMAROPA organized Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division and the Regional Organic Program, this year it is in coordination with the City Government of Calapan.

IMG 0468Participants from Calapan City pose for a photo opportunity with Mayor Arnan Panaligan (6th from left) as they received their plaque of appreciation from DA-MIMAROPA. Also with them are AMAD Chief Nida San Juan (4th from left), Regional Executive Director Antonio G. Gerundio (5th from left) Calapan City Vice Mayor Gil Ramirez (7th from left), City Agriculturist Lorelien Sevilla(8th from left), Regional Technical Director for Operations Ronie Panoy(9th from left), and City Board Member Charles Pansoy (10th from left).### Photo by Denice Joelle Benosa, RAFIS, DA-MIMAROPA

It aims to promote organic agriculture and to gather organic practitioners, enthusiasts, and local government units to learn new techniques and open new opportunities for business and investments.

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