Residents of the island as well as visitors wishing to enjoy the refreshing atmosphere of nature can now visit Magnesia National High School in Virac where an agri-tourism project recently opened.
Dubbed as “Fishyalan,” the project aims to generate income for the school through its components such as fish culture, organic vegetable production and propagation of ornamental plants.
Vegetables such as pepper, eggplant, tomato and pechay are being grown and sold under the “Pick and Pay” scheme while visitors can use handlines to catch tilapia at the pond at the back of the school and pay for the fish at prevailing market price.
On the other hand, the growing of ornamental plants for sale is being spearheaded by the Central Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), with students of organic agriculture and Accountancy and Business Management (ABM) responsible for production and maintenance.
According to Principal Edgar Sarmiento, the project also seeks to develop the high school into an eco-tourism destination and as a learning site for TVL students through the technology demonstration of the Integrated and Diversified Organic Farming System (IDOFS).
During the March 4, 2022 launching and 2nd Stakeholders’ Summit, representatives from the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Municipal Tourism Office, Catanduanes Midtown Inn, Magnesia NHS Alumni, the barangays surrounding the campus and the PTA expressed their commitment to support the project and sign Memoranda of Agreement.
The management of Midtown Inn also donated personal alcohol containers to each of the 65 Senior High School students and promised to assist the school in addressing internet connectivity issues as well as in complying with DepEd requirements for limited face-to-face classes.
Among the expected contributions to the project are 1,000 tilapia fingerlings from the provincial government, labor for pond excavations from Virac LGU and the barangays of Magnesia del Norte, Magnedia del Sur and Casoocan, aquaponic technology from BFAR as well as a lifetime supply of tilapia fingerlings, budded kalamansi from DA, giant bamboo plantlets from Catanduanes State University, ornamental plants from individuals, used tires, and construction materials from the PTA and Midtown Inn.