Tupi has arguably cemented its position in contributing a lot to SOX tourism via the, wait for it – sunflowers. The hype started middle of this year when Blooming Petals Inc. opened its doors primarily marketing the place through its sunflower field. After changing its name to Mariano’s Blooming Agri-Tourism Park it opened again this September as it is again sunflower season. And once again, social media posts are sunflower floods; much to the annoyance of some and enjoyment of others. But the place is more than just a sunflower farm. But then many are not really very proud of posting in their accounts their poses with vegetables – why should they?
A lot has changed in the place. Now, it has become more organized, secured, and accommodating. Consequently, the entrance fees have also upped – rather soared through the roof. The new entrance rates are:
Weekdays: Adult – P50, Children – P30
Weekends: Adult – P70, Children – P50
Simple math would tell us that from their previous entrance fee of P30, the entrance fees for Adult had a markup of 66.67% for weekdays and 130.33% for weekends. Wow.
But as I have said a lot has changed in the place. These entrance fees are justified, somehow. For starters, they have added swings and seesaws – because, after all, it is a park. They also have kiosks serving rice meals, burgers, shawarmas, corns, lemonades, etc. For instance, I tried this lemonade for P20 a cup. It made me wonder whether sugar just became a currency because how can a lemonade taste both bland and bitter at the same time? Sorry, it really was. But then I tried their P110 burger. The vegetables are newly harvested from the farm and you can have more lettuce if you want – free of charge. The burger made me nostalgic. Apparently, I have never tasted a burger made of truly fresh vegetables for a long time!
The heat was high in Tupi so I suggest you bring an umbrella or cap to shield yourself. You will have to walk in order to go from station to station in the park. That’s what I did and I saw lots of other vegetables and flowers and plants that were way better than sunflowers. No offense sunflowers.
I started to juggle my memory to what certain vegetables are called. I actually sang the Bahay Kubo to check their attendance in the nursery rhyme but I didn’t know where I was going with that so I stopped. Similarly, I forgot where I was going with this article too so I will be leaving you with the pictures of the place and how to get there…
How to get there…
From General Santos City Bulaong Terminal, ride a bus going to Marbel with two stops to Polomolok and Tupi for P50. Your stop will be at Tupi Public Market. You can then hail a tricycle for P20, if alone; P15, if not alone. I just told the tricycle driver I was going to the sunflower farm and he knew what I was talking about. Many tricycles will be waiting in the farm so there will be no problem for a ride going back to the terminal.