This is a story of a father and a retired overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Liliw, Laguna. Mr. Victor Esmeris, a husband and a father of two, worked as a licensed architect in Saudi Arabia for over 32 years. After his retirement, he developed a land and turned it into a nature farm that became famous in the small town of Liliw, Laguna.

As an architect who has vast knowledge in architectural design and with full experience, he established the idea of this famous nature agritourism farm in Liliw, Laguna. The ideal mind of this retired OFW burst out as he wanted to be an outstanding example with his fellow retired OFWs. To be productive, he decided to seek help and coordinated with the Local Government Unit of Liliw to establish a nature farm that will not only help the town improve its tourism but also give jobs to the local community. With the help of the Tourism Department of Liliw, Laguna, the “Esmeris Nature Farm” was established in 2018.

The first idea was to develop the land to make a farm where they can plant different vegetables and trees but later on the owner decided to turn it into an agritourism park because of the beautiful scenery of the farm. However, the park faced challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and had to temporarily close for 2 years. When the local government gave the signal to reopen, the park became famous for its beautiful nature sceneries and started attracting visitors from faraway places. The park gained large popularity boost and attracted visitors from distant towns after being featured in the TV show Unang Hirit.

After experiencing success with his farm, Victor is still seeking for more to further expand his knowledge by attending seminars and other services offered by the Department of Trade and Industry that is based in the province of Laguna (DTI Laguna). He believed that continuous improvement is important for the park and attended various seminars to gain new insights. From these seminars, he has developed the idea to open a canteen and cafe within the park providing additional service for the clients and with affordable price also.

With continuous participation in various seminars, he later came up with an idea to utilize the coconut trees in the park. He then decided to try and create the local wine called “lambanog,” which is very popular among the community. The idea of Victor was to level up and improve the local product lambanog. With the help of some wine experts, they created different wine cocktails using lambanog as the base. Coco Collada, Liliw Sunset, Lamba Bobba Banana, Gat-tayaw Coffee, Buko Bobba and Flaming Bonfire Cocktail are some of the cocktail menus they created. To further showcase these products, Victor opened the Esmeris Bar located within the park and this is open every weekend.

After the successful launching of the Esmeris Bar, Victor continues to develop more products from the farm and eventually registered Esmeris Coconut Farm. With the help of the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan (CFIDP) Program facilitated by DTI Laguna, a perfume product derived from the coconut wine is now under development. The idea of these perfume also came form the brilliant mind of Victor. Now, for continuous development, the packaging and testing of these products is ongoing and soon will be available to the market.

In conclusion, the story of Mr. Victor Esmeris is one inspiring story of a father, an OFW and a concerned citizen who wanted to create a beautiful and fruitful life not only for them but for the whole public. May we all be inspired to his story and learned the true meaning of perseverance and kindness. His ideas created the notion of being able to leverage a business not only for the urbanized areas of the country but with the usage also of what the nature can provide delivering a service where all people, regardless of financial class, can enjoy to the fullest while not exploiting the Mother Nature’s offerings. ♦

Date of release: 3 January 2024