By Vina Medenilla
In a sea of farmers, there is one group that you might not expect to find: celebrities.
Famous personalities have their own interests out of the spotlight, and farming, for some celebs, is one of them.
The singer and actress Esperanza Perez Padilla, better known by her stage name Zsa Zsa Padilla, is no exception.
When she is not performing on-screen, the Divine Diva of the Philippine entertainment industry enjoys spending time on their family farm in Kilib, Lucban, Quezon.
On her YouTube channel, she gave her followers a glimpse of Esperanza Farm that spans a total of 5.5 hectares.
The singer-actress shares her love for farming and cooking with her partner, Conrad Onglao.
Although their farm is still a work in progress, it is already filled with various ornamental plants, edible crops, nipa huts for lounging and lodging, ponds, a rice field, a chicken coop, a goat pen, and more!
If you visit the place, you’ll be welcomed by lush ornamental plants like different types of beehive ginger plants (Zingiber spectabile) as you walk through a gravel path.
Updates and improvements at Esperanza Farm are documented by Padilla and can be watched on her YouTube channel.
As shown in her vlogs, the once-empty coop now houses several chickens, while the roofless shed has been made habitable and is now home to two cows.
Some of the crops at Esperanza Farm include papaya, ginger, tanglad or lemongrass, and orange habanero, Onglao’s favorite.
As she toured viewers around the farm, she shared that whenever she travels to Japan with Onglao, they visit local markets to buy different kinds of sweet potatoes because they find them delicious and easy to propagate.
Owing to their love for kamote, they planted several varieties of this root crop on their farm, which differ in size and color. According to Padilla, it is “really fun [to grow] and very filling [to eat].”
Padilla also mentioned that the property came with fruit-bearing trees like pomelo and coconut trees, plus a bamboo grove.
They also planted flowers next to the crops to increase crop productivity and keep pests at bay. Their family no longer buys rice from the market because they get it from the farm.
There are separate ponds for tilapia, lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), and water lilies (Nymphaeaceae). The farm also has a stunning view of Mount Banahaw.
When buying a lot for agricultural use, one has to consider the availability of water, said Padilla. She went on to say that using spring water is also important for plant growth.
To ensure this, the water at Esperanza Farm went through a bacteriological test and the results suggest that it is safe for consumption or usage.
Zsa Zsa’s blooming ornamental collection
Esperanza Farm is a place of serenity. Inside the farm, there’s a greenhouse filled with lots of thriving orchids and other ornamental plants.
Padilla mentioned in a farm vlog that she doesn’t have to worry about watering her plant collection since they have an automated sprinkler system in the greenhouse. Some of her orchids shown are of dendrobium varieties.
The couple continues to carry out the plans they have left for the property, but by the looks of it, the farm already appears to be beautiful and well-thought-out.
Photos taken from Zsa Zsa Padilla’s YouTube videos.