Mindanao Grows its First Successful Apple Tree, Thanks to a College Student
Davao del Sur
Choose Philippines | May 12, 2020
How do we keep the doctor away? By eating an apple a day!
Benzone Sepe has proven that growing apple in the Philippines is possible.
“I pruned the plant but it did not end there. I found out a proper way in the internet and that the branch should be bent for sunlight exposure.”
“I cannot see any difference between that and a commercial apple because the juiciness and crunchiness is still there.”
Story by Chastine Jen Montaño
How do we keep the doctor away? By eating an apple a day! It contains antioxidants and phytonutrients which may help reduce the risk of developing diseases. However, apples are one of the few fruits that don’t usually grow in tropical countries like the Philippines. Thus, apples available locally are imported from other countries.
An Agriculturist student from Digos City, Davao del Sur, however, has proven that growing apples in the Philippines is possible. While eating an apple back in in 2014, Benzone Sepe decided to plant three seeds in their backyard in Barangay Kapatagan, Digos. Unfortunately, after a few months, the two died and the only surviving tree was still not bearing fruits. Undeterred, Benzone did a lot of research about apple growing. “I pruned the plant but it did not end there. I found out a proper way on the internet saying that the branch should be bent for sunlight exposure,” he shared.
His diligent efforts paid off. In January 2018, he noticed flowers form the apple tree, signifying its flowering stage. The following month, Benzone found four pinkish, fist-sized apples hanging from the tree's branches. “I cannot see any difference between them and commercial apples because the juiciness and crunchiness are the same,” he said.
According to agriculturist Dr. Alexander Campaner, the genetic characteristic of an apple requires a temperature of 7 to 12 degrees Celsius for the plant to grow. “Based on the studies that I conducted in Benguet, they planted apple trees, but the result is not as good as ours,” he said.
It took four long years for Benzone to finally savor the fruits of his hard works and sacrifices. It really pays to wait!