THERE are bad typhoons and there are "good" typhoons.
Or so retired Philippine Army major Pablo Pagtalunan believes.
The ex-military officer-turned-businessman seemed to be philosophical about recent Tropical Storm "Paeng" being "kinder" than Typhoon "Karding" immediately before it — at least to his home province of Nueva Ecija.
Much has been reported about Paeng having exacted death and destruction of property in many parts of the country last week, particularly the provinces of Maguindanao del Norte and Maguindanao del Sur in Mindanao, but it did little damage to Nueva Ecija in Region 3 (Central Luzon).
Karding, on the other had, according to Pagtalunan, caused damage to his major investment worth P20 million — the Paradise Farm Resort that he owns in Gen. Tinio town, formerly Papaya, in Nueva Ecija — and felled thousands of trees inside the sprawling enterprise.
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Provincial disaster officials reported that P3 billion in agricultural crops, P35 million in infrastructure and P65 million in irrigation facilities were affected by Karding's fury in Nueva Ecija.
Little by little, however, Pagtalunan said, he had recouped his losses from this typhoon, only to be surprised again by Paeng. "Hindi grabe" (Not worse), he put it in an interview with The Manila Times last week.
Guests and visitors, he noted, are slowly coming back to the Paradise Farm Resort, which is recognized by the Department of Tourism as the largest unique draw of its kind, offering exciting amenities and facilities at its site in Barangay Nazareth.
Meanwhile, lawyer Jose Maria Ceasar San Pedro, provincial tourism officer, said in spite of previous typhoons and other calamities, tourism is bouncing back in 27 towns and five cities of Nueva Ecija.
What Pagtalunan described as an increasingly popular local and foreign tourist destination in the Philippines features sky rides, a zip line, a hanging bridge and a children's playground.
It also has fishing, horseback-riding, biking, walking and jogging areas.
For those who prefer to hold their business-planning meeting or team building out-of-town, Paradise Farm Resort is just right for such activities, Pagtalunan said.
A total of 17 swimming pools, nine of which had been rehabilitated shortly after Karding exited, invites corporate types to take a dip after their business exercises.
Pagtalunan recalled that 40 years ago, the place was a mere reforestation and organic farm sitting on 250 hectares.
By converting the property, he said, he fulfilled his dream after his retirement to help protect the environment and, hopefully, effect change to preserve it for future generations.
The resort has since received several prestigious awards such as Inang Kalikasan and Golden Globe for Business Excellence.
Topping the awards was Pagtalunan being adjudged by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as the first Filipino to have planted more than 1 million trees.
Eventually, he transformed the resort into a man-made "paradise," making the guests and visitors feel that they are in the company of Adam and Eve when they go there.
Why not, Pagtalunan said, when, like the First Man and First Woman, they can pick fruits from the hundreds of fruit-bearing trees inside the resort.
Sorry, he added, apples are still not planted and raised at the place.
Pagtalunan said he deeply regrets such "omission" for seemingly not acknowledging Genesis (3:2-3) that the apple, according to the Bible, symbolizes the "original sin" committed by Eve.
Sheep-herding is thrown into the mix of the rural package that is the Paradise Farm Resort.
That package is expected to be jazzed up a bit by villas and a hotel, which, Pagtalunan said, are in the works.
Not one to rest on his, well, laurels, he added, he considers battling typhoons such as Karding and Paeng as harder than his efforts to make tourism sustainable through Paradise Farm Resort — under pouring rain or bright sunshine.