The remote barangay of Balaybay in Castillejos, Zambales used to be an unknown place some 10 years ago. Like most far-flung barrios, there was nothing to make it well known. It was a sleepy community where marginal farm families lived. There was no significant economic activity to speak of.
Today, Balaybay has become well known as the source of high-value vegetables that find their way to supermarkets in the Subic free port and in Metro Manila. No less than one to two tons of leafy greens and fruit vegetables are shipped to Manila every day from the 10-hectare farm operated by Johnson Huang, a 43-year-old Taiwanese.
Foreign nationals as well as Filipinos from the Subic industrial zone also frequent the place not only to buy their supply of fresh vegetables but also to sample the fine cooking of Johnson, Taiwanese style. In fact, a number of Manilans and other outsiders also visit Johnson’s Green Healthy Vegetable Farm to observe the farm’s operation. In the supermarkets in Manila and Subic, the vegetables bear the Garden Green brand. They are really fresh because they are delivered by a refrigerated van immediately after cleaning and packing the same.. They are washed with purified water.