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Make the ‘New Normal’, the ’New Better’

Updated: Jan 2, 2023

Agriculture is a dying sector. We are losing more farmers than we are producing. Farming is just not seen as an attractive career. Despite agriculture being the foundation of food security and the Philippines being primarily an agricultural country, we have not done anything to ‘cultivate’ this sector.

Farmers currently represents the second poorest sector in the country
Farmers currently represents the second poorest sector in the country
“Agriculture today is more than just a farmer simply planting a crop, growing livestock, or catching fish. It takes an ecosystem and several factors to work together to produce and deliver the food we need. It is this dynamic and complex ecosystem that will equip agriculture to cope with the competing challenges of addressing food safety and food security, creating inclusive livelihoods, mitigating climate change and sustainably managing natural resources,” - Glenn Baticados, Executive Director of UPLB Center for Technology Entrepreneurship

It is imperative that we all work together to support our farmers to ensure the security of our food supply. We can all do our part in this agricultural ecosystem, such as MAD Travel, a social enterprise that works for and with marginalized communities in creating impactful, inspiring, and authentic experiences that create a positive impact on the lives of the communities they partner with. They first started their tours with the Aetas in San Felipe, Zambales before they expanded to the Aetas of Bataan particularly the Pastolan and Kanawan Tribes. (Check out this story about MAD Travel and about our partnership)

All of their tours have been put on hold due to the restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, but the support to their Aeta Community Partner continues. Raf Dionisio, co-founder of MAD Travel, was recently interviewed by a local news channel about how they continue supporting their host communities despite the closure of tourism activities.

The MAD Market is an initiative by MAD Travel to keep supporting local farmers and SMEs during the CoVid-19 crisis while delivering fresh fruit, veggies, and baked goods straight to people’s doorsteps. Check their updated stocks & prices at . The Lighthouse Legacy Foundation is currently working with the Subic Indigenous People Assistance Group (SIPAG) in the sourcing of honey which is currently being sold in the MAD Market. Check out how the Aetas gather the honey!

Raf Dionisio, Co-Founder of MAD Travel
“For us, MAD Market is but one small way to start redistributing wealth and value, and promote a more conscious way of consuming. We are able to channel income to sectors made even more vulnerable by the pandemic, promote local agriculture and most importantly bring value to our farmers, forest and budding enterprises. We believe that we have the chance to make the ‘new normal’ - the ‘new better’.” - Raf Dionisio, Co-Founder of MAD Travel

“The support of Raf to the Aeta Communities is truly inspiring. We need more people like him, his determination and passion for helping other people. He has amazing and wonderful ideas towards a more sustainable future and working with him has been a great privilege.” said Zed Avecilla, Sustainability Director of the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation. If you want to know more about how you can help farmers, please visit this Go Get Funding: Feed the Farmers Today & Fund Tomorrow’s Forest

Here are some links for MAD Market:

The local residents and business community inside the Freeport represented by the Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce have also stepped up to the call to support our neighboring Aeta Communities in Zambales such as the Aetas in Sampaloc Cove and Silanguin Cove, and in Bataan such as the Pastolan Tribe in El Kabayo and Kanawan tribe in Morong. Through the efforts of the Subic Indigenous People Assistance Group and the Lighthouse Marina Resort Legacy Foundation, we are able to distribute these goods to these communities. As we make our way through this crisis, let us always keep in mind our farmers and food providers and ensure that we do our part in taking care of them by supporting organizations such as MAD Travel.

Special Thanks to the following:

Lighthouse Marina Resort

Grande Island Resort

Subic Sailing Club

Bay Marine Subic

Watercraft Venture

Nanofixit Inc.

Subic Superfood Inc.

Zoobic Safari

Pacific Ace Group of Companies

Subic Water

Juz Electronic Processing Plant, Inc

Spartan Racing

PTT Philippines Trading Corp.

Pastor Eden

Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority

Philippine Coast Guard

PNP Maritime Group

Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce (SBFCC)

Subic Bay Hotels, Attractions, and Tourism Stakeholders Visitors Board (SBHATSVB)

Subic Indigenous People Assistance Group (SIPAG)

If you want to know more about how you can help, please send us an email at


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