The white-eyed carabao at Ubay Stock Farm

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The white-eyed carabao at Ubay Stock Farm

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When people look at this carabao at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) at Ubay Stock Farm, they often do a double take. There’s a good chance you will, too.

It has to do with the carabao’s big white eyes! Yes, white eyes!

There are more than 400 carabaos at the PCC. However, the white-eyed carabao from Bulgaria is so peculiar.

People like to say that its eyes make it seem very wise or soulful. It is timid when people come to check its eyes.

Karen Ciroy, PCC staff, never imagined how much attention the white-eyed carabao would get for it looks.

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According to Science, blue-eyed people are more attractive, but this white-eyed carabao is  attractive, too.

Incidentally,  the province of Bohol celebrated the 5th Bohol Milk Congress last Thursday, Nov. 28.  It was graced by Senator Cynthia Villar, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food,  who pushed for more affordable milk for children.

The 5th Bohol Milk Festival, as part of the effort to push the province’s stature as the Dairy Capital of the Philippines, highlighted the launch  of the school-based milk feeding program of the Department of Education and the Bohol Integrated Community-Based Dairy Farming.

“I have been proposing and pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers,” Villar told at least 500 farmers, teachers and school children. 

Under RA No. 11037, the school-based milk feeding program, fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products should be included in the fortified meals and cycle menu in schools

Villar said that she has been pursuing the use of locally-produced milk in the National School Feeding Program to help solve malnutrition among school children and to provide livelihood to dairy farmers.

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“We want to further grow and develop our country’s milk sector,  and to improve the nutrition of Filipinos, especially the children who need it most,” she said.

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Long considered a complete food, milk contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Milk is also a significant source of riboflavin (Vitamin B2) which helps promote healthy skin and eyes, as well as vitamins A and D.

Only two percent of the total national dairy requirement is produced in the country, while 98.2 percent are imports.

In Bohol, at least 2,000 hybrid carabaos are found at the PCC at the 3,000-hectare Ubay Stock Farm in Ubay town.

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Farmers who produce carabao’s milk must be able to free themselves from poverty, Villar said, citing the testimony of a housewife, who now earns some PHP18,000 a month from buffalo’s milk.

The housewife, Villar said, having augmented her husband’s income, has been delisted from the government’s Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program, otherwise known as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

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New Loboc public market eyes February completion

After Ubay, my media colleagues (veteran broadcaster Lito Responte, Rey Chiu, Allen Doydora, Rey Tutas, Edward Guyano, Nilo Sapong and Helen Castaño) and I visited the town of Loboc.

The Loboc Tourism Complex has been undergoing renovations.

The heritage house was transformed into an entrance, while the former ticketing office area would serve as the exit and souvenir area. The second floor serves as a function room.

With at least 3,000 guests a day, Mayor Leon Calipusan said that tourists deserve a spacious terminal building while waiting for their Loboc River cruise.

Mayor Calipusan also toured us to the renovated two-story rural health unit and the almost complete Loboc Market.

He is targeting to complete the P20-million new public market at Barangay Camayaan  in February next year.

“They can expect that it will be a comfortable public market,” Calipusan said.

The ground floor of the public market will have  stalls for fruits, grains vegetable, dairy products, bilao (circular basket), delicatessen, and dry goods sections, while at the back is a terminal building and a separate building for  fish, shell, and meat sections.

It’s building footprint is 600 square meters. The land intended for the public market is five  hectares.

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