Traditional Farming of Motag, Philippines

$1520 / $14615



Project:   ‘Traditional Farming of Motag’

Location:  Boracay, Philippines

Beneficiaries:  Community of Motag

Local sponsor:  Chief of Motag &Go Discover Travels’ 




The project will follow on from the success of a SEAK (Self Employment Assistance ‘Kaunlaran’) project started by the government to create self employment opportunities in rural and remote villages of the country.  Locally, the project is overseen by the Chief of Motag who introduced a ‘soap making and basket weaving’ that now supplies 10% of the hotels in Boracay and several retail stores on the mainland.  ‘Go Discover Travels’ takes some tour groups to visit this project, providing another revenue stream for the local community.  Local residents welcome these initiatives and would like similar projects to follow.


What does the project entail?

The project will create more farmland, increase the operational capacity of small scale farming in Motag and revive traditional craft making.  It will establish access to local markets via the large number of hotels and bars on nearby Boracay Island.  A project manager will be employed to oversee the project and implement a program for welcoming and guiding visitors through the community so that they can experience the traditions and work practices of a rural Filipino community.  The project will ensure that sufficient marketing is carried out to ensure a good number of visitors from the hotels and resorts.


What challenges does the project seek to overcome?

Employment - Motag’s close proximity to Boracay, a burgeoning holiday destination, has meant that many of its residents have been lured to the nearby tourist island in search of work.   For the residents that remain, there are very few employment options.   

Agriculture - Farming is suffering from decline and poor management; local residents are resorting to unsustainable farming methods including the over-use of chemical fertilisers

Culture – Despite the huge footfall of visitors in Boracay and their increasing interest to experience local Filipino culture, there are currently no cultural activities on offer in the region.  Many visitors including Filipino nationals have never seen or experienced rural life and are interested to discover the rural traditions that are at risk of being lost.


How the funds will be spent:   $14 615 (Loan)

Wages – Project Manager (6 months)

$2 790

Land lease – 2 hectares

$2 000

2 x Caribou (cart) rent (12 months)


Construction – Farmhouse, grainstore & communal area

$3 500

Farm tools – 5 x sets

$1 500

Wages – 8 x cooperative workers (6 months)

$3 360

Website & marketing materials


Permits – local administration clearance

$1 000


What will be the outcomes and impacts of the project?

- New skills & training learned

- Old crafts revitalised and new ones developed

- Employment opportunities and prospects improved

- Improved income to local residents, providing for long term benefits in personal healthcare, education and general well-being

- Increased number of younger /school leavers choosing to work in their village


What will the project offer the traveler?

The whole cooperative farm will be open to visitors.  A walking trail will lead to stages of the farming cycle and visitors will be able to join in, interacting with the farmers who are keen to demonstrate their methods and share their knowledge.  Visitors can ride the traditional oxen-drawn caribou (cart), used to transport rice to the communal grain store.  Then be invited into the communal village hall where other crafts and cooking take place.    


How will the project be financially sustainable?


Expected Annual Income (after 4 months)

Rice yield


Souvenirs / crafts

$16 000

Entrance fee - based on 30 people per day

$50 000

Crops - lemongrass & sampaguita



$67 150



Local Sponsor details:

Nenette Graf is the Chief of Motag.  She was born on Boracay and is passionate about helping her community.  She wants the benefits of the large tourism industry to be distributed throughout the area, in a way that will safeguard the culture and traditions of local Malaynon people.  She was instrumental in setting up the SEAK project and will oversee the GDF supported project.

Go Discover Travels is a long established tourism provider in Boracay.  They have helped promote smaller independent and family run establishments on the island and are strong supporters of community lead initiatives and activities.   Its director Helen Atanacio has helped establish a not-for-profit international school on the island and is currently active in working to promote and preserve Boracay with the committee of the Boracay Foundation Inc.



Beneficiary details:

The village of Motag is positioned on the mainland, opposite the island of Boracay, and has a population of 700 Malaynon people. 

I'm proud that I belong to the group building Malaynon the bright and better future" - Lilibeth D Solano (SEAK project member and local resident)