Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Del Monte Pineapple Plantation in Bukidnon, Philippines

The Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is one of the largest pineapple plantations in the world and the biggest in the Far East. It is owned by Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) which is based in Cagayan de Oro City, the main urban center of Northern Mindanao. The DMPI is a subsidiary of Del Monte Pacific Ltd.  

Situated on plateaus with elevations ranging from 1,600 to 2,200 feet, the pineapple plantation covers an area of 23,000 hectares that includes the municipalities of Manolo Fortich, Impasug-ong, Sumilao and Libona of Bukidnon Province in Mindanao. Harvested fruits are sent to the Del Monte Plant in Philippine Packing Corporation in Bugo, Cagayan de Oro City for processing and canning. Products such as sliced pineapple and pineapple juice carrying the household brand Del Monte are exported to different countries like the United States, Japan, and European and Middle Eastern countries.

The focal point of the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is Camp Phillips, the place where administrative and control of the activities of the plantation is conducted. Officials and employees of the plantation constitute as community in Camp Phillips. Officials and regular employees are provided free houses within Camp Phillips which they can occupy as long as they are active personnel of the company. Camp Phillips is as good as a typical small Filipino town. It is a town within a town. It has tennis courts, post office, hospital, cooperative, gym, schools and other social facilities.

Camp Phillips is the visitor’s gateway to the pineapple plantation. The surrounding environment with its cool climate and beautiful scene created by a sea of pineapples make it an ideal place for sightseeing.

Pine trees and other trees line the road of Camp Philips and adjacent areas. On a road within the plantation one can see vast expanse of land planted with pineapples. He can see pineapples as far as his eyes can see. There are ripe pineapples along the road, but picking them up is prohibited.

People who are going for a ride on the zip lines at Dahilayan Adventure Park, one of the longest zip lines in Asia with a length of 840 meters, will have the view of the pineapple plantation as a bonus. The route from Camp Phillips to the Dahilayan Adventure Park traverses an area of the pineapple plantation.

One of the attractions within the Del Monte Pineapple Plantation is the Del Monte Golf Course and Country Club in Cawayanon, San Miguel, Manolo Fortich. The golf course and country club which was established in 1928 is five kilometers away from Camp Philips. The route to it passes through the pineapple plantation. The golf courses are well maintained. Golf enthusiasts from Manila and other places in the Philippines come to the place to play golf. The golf country club has a famous world class 18 holes, 6,390 yard par and 72 golf courses.

A fixture of the Del Monte Golf Course and Country Club is the Del Monte Clubhouse. Even though the clubhouse is primarily intended for golfers, it is open to anyone who wishes to dine in it. Visitors from the zip lines find the clubhouse an ideal place to eat their meals after a daring experience at the Adventure Park. The specialty of the clubhouse is its beef steak although patrons can also have other orders like pork steak, fried chicken, sandwiches, salads and other foods. The clubhouse’s beefsteak has a taste that probably suits the western palate rather than Filipinos’ who prefer spicy taste. Nevertheless, the beefsteak is great. It is probably cooked to give it a distinctive Del Monte Clubhouse taste. A visit to the plantation should include a dine in clubhouse.

Camp Philips, the gateway to the pineapple plantation, is just 34 kilometers away from Cagayan de Oro City, the cultural and commercial center of Northern Mindanao.  It can be reached   with the use of private car or van or other means of local transportation.

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