Allegro Visits Kiulu Farmstay

The rustic charm of Kiulu Farmstay has caught the attention of a Malaysian celebrity, Marsha Milan Londoh and her crew to come and host a cooking show here. In her show, she invited two local villagers to show her how to cook local dishes. Later on, she went for a short ride around the village, having a go at quad biking and after, interviewing local villagers on handicraft making.
Marsha Milan Londoh

Marsha Milan Londoh

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

Marsha with local villager

  Her show called "Onu Rinapa ti" literally means "what's cooking" will showcase different locations around Sabah for a 13 episodes that will be aired on radio Television Malaysia (RTM) a local TV channel. Marsha, a native Sabahan is a well-known artist whose debut is from a reality TV singing competition called Akademi Fantasia where she won fourth place. She also dubbed the Malay version of the famous “Let It Go”, an original soundtrack from the animated Disney movie Frozen. Kiulu Farmstay is honoured to receive such warm welcome, and hopefully more will know the charm of its people and this place. Stay tuned for the episode!  

Harvest Time For SRI Project

A year ago, the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) was introduced to Sikong Morigo at Kiulu Farmstay. This foreign method was received anxiously by Sikong and many others as they did not know what to expect. Months went by, and with guidance from our in-house expert Allan Zinkler and peer-learning during our recent trip to Tambatuon, we are anticipating the harvest results!
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Sikong Morigo tending to his paddy

SRI promotes less reliance on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides, reduce water requirements, enhance soil fertility and create resilience against climate change. What’s vital to note here is that the application of SRI practices can raise household incomes! From our observation, the paddy is seen to be progressing well with stronger and healthier tillers. OMG_4765 SRI is one of the many initiatives of Borneo Eco Tours (BET) and Borneo Ecotourism Solutions & Technologies (BEST) Society in enhancing the lives of the villagers in Kiulu. Part of the Community-Based Tourism efforts, the project aims to better the life of the community using positive methods that will bring about positive outcomes.
Our SRI consultant, Alan Zinkler

Our SRI consultant, Alan Zinkler

 

Teaching Day for MUKEST

Greywater natural treatment

Progresses are going fast in Kiulu! The environmental protection compromise is still on and our baby project is starting to achieve greater goals! This new activity was under the environmental education program initiated in October of last year and took place in Mantob village. The MUKEST president gently offered his house for the expositive presentation, where villagers engaged with this society came to learn new methods of water waste management.

  img_5392   img_5390 For a start, the sustainability concept was approached, explaining the intrinsic value of nature conservancy in order to protect our future generations. The audience was asked to identify which of their current habits they considered to be bad for the environment and some were mentioned, such as chemical use on farming and plastic burning. At first, a review was made about solid waste disposal, insisting for the eradication of one of the most common practices in these rural areas: plastic burning. An article was delivered, reporting all the direct and indirect dangerous of this activity, mentioning once and again the importance of recycling. Along, two simple tutorials were given, describing how to do a compost pile and the banana circle. This last mentioned system was the main subject of the day and followed by a practical example on field.   img_5403 The banana circle is a three-in-one method, representing multiple functions: composting, greywater natural treatment and food production. Greywater is all the after use water coming from shower, sinks and laundry, containing traces of grease, hair and washing products. As banana plants are very hungry beings, they’ll absorb really fast this water, avoiding their infiltration in the groundwaters, rivers and estuaries.   img_5413 In the tropics, like Kiulu, this is a very cheap, ecological and simple system to implement, to easily solve the problem of soil and water pollution in remote villages without any kind of greywater handling. Instead of banana plants, papayas can also be used or even coconut palm trees for bigger spaces. In this practical application, other plant species were placed around the banana shoots, including yam, sweet potato and lemongrass, creating a balanced inter-crop system where each plant represents a beneficial role for its neighbours.   img_5419 Hopefully, soon we will be able to see this implementation in all MUKEST villages. Big hurray to them! TERIMA KASIH! Filipa Gomes (BET intern)

 Environmental education day for Kiulu children

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Once more, the environmental awareness engagement is going forward and this time, a full morning was reserved for the future of our societies: children!

The prepared activities started at nine o’clock and lasted until noon, providing some hours of entertainment, laughing, singing, playing, eating and, specially, learning!

Twenty eight of them attended, aged between six and fifteen years old. Plus, a local youngster, with nineteen years old and presently in college, came to give an extra help in the translation to Malay, although the majority of this pupils shown to be very proficient in English!

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Introduction and briefing before the games begin

The main subject approached was the current state of Sabah wildlife and its endangered species, alerting for the problems caused by irresponsible human practices.

Firstly, they were introduced to twelve autochthonous and endemic species from Sabah with an endangered status in the IUCN Red List, such as the Proboscis Monkey (Nasalis larvatus), the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus), the Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus), between others. In an interactive talk, was described each species natural habitat, population decrease, longevity, gestation period, favourite diet and major threats.

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Getting to know the different species

As a prove of the actual situation that, not just Sabah, but the whole world is facing, when they were asked where these species live, all of them answered in chorus: the zoo! And unfortunately they’re not wrong... Some of this species have just a few individuals left and are being kept in Zoos or reserved areas, due to habitat loss provoked by human race.

After the opening session and with some clues already given, was time to start the real fun: team games!

The first one was the memory game, stimulating them to memorize the species’ names. The three formed teams were exemplary, with hundred percent of correct answers. They were really paying attention!

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The children playing the memory game

Secondly, came the food chain game, where they had to guess which animal preferred that type of aliment. They were divided by two teams this time, but everyone had the chance to participate individually. And they almost got a total score again! A few mousetraps were given, like soda cans and hamburgers to see their reaction and also to alert for the problem of disposable materials consumption and waste production. Here they could understand that each animal represents an important value in its ecosystem and no specie is less important than the other.

 
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Drawing the Tree of Life

 

Next came the time to guess the natural habitats and why they’re disappearing. Issues like palm oil exploitation, overhunting, illegal trade, urban growth, pollution and excessive logging were mentioned, transmitting them the importance of preserving Sabah rainforest, the mangroves and the water quality in rivers and the ocean. The three R’s were remembered several times during the activity, explaining the urgency on Reduce consumption, Reuse materials and Recycle the waste.

To finish, after a snack break and some singing to cheer up, the last game was played: the tree of life!

Each kid drew a tree following several steps, identifying every living being that depend on them and all their functions. Summarily they were enlightened about the carbon cycle, the rain catchment, the soil protection and improvement, the habitat for wildlife and all the values for humans.

Having a little fun singing

Having a little fun singing

As a compromise, environmental education and awareness will continue to be a priority, either for children or grownups, with the main goal of re-establishing nature’s balance and life improvement for every living being.

TERIMA KASIH! Filipa Gomes (BET intern)

Kiulu Farmstay: Environmental Education Program

Expositive & practical presentation by Filipa B. Ramos Gomes

Last Sunday (6th November 2016), an environmental education program was held in Kiulu Farmstay, under an Ecotourism internship project. About thirty villagers from the Lembah Embun communities were present and avidly participated.

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Several subjects about waste management and self-sufficiency were approached, including themes such as natural building, composting, natural greywater treatments, recycling and seed collection.

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After an oral & expositive introduction, a practical application was conducted, were all the audience had the chance to participate.

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A compost pile was built with the organic kitchen waste from the local families and the materials available in the surroundings. Everyone put hands on work and learned how to do it on the field.

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The coming Sunday (13th November 2016), new activities will come under the subject of sustainability. Therefore, big steps are being made toward environment and local communities’ life, moving theory into practice.

Filipa Gomes (BET intern)

Two Weeks Experiencing Homestay in Kiulu- A Tourist Perspective

  Oct. 25 – Nov. 8 After spending one noisy week in Kota Kinabalu, adapting to the weather and getting off jet lag, I felt like I needed to get off the grid for a while. And for that, I couldn’t have made a better choice... The homestay experience around Kiulu’s communities has already made my trip to Sabah well worth it. For that, I must thank to Borneo Eco Tours.
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Paddy field view (Kg. Mantob)

  As a first thought, I had the fear to miss my comfortable ‘European’ lifestyle, heading to such a remote area. Being a newly fresh tourist in Asia I had no idea what to expect for. But on the contrary, it proved itself to be the most amazing cultural discovering of my travelling around the world so far. Not because I noticed such a big cultural disparity, or a really old fashion lifestyle, but because of the genuineness of the place. My hosts welcomed me as if I were a member of the family and behaved in a very natural and relaxed manner. True hospitality was shown!
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Host family picture

  My first week was spent in Kg. Mantob, fulfilled of activities with my three host families. We walked around the Kampongs, enjoyed the great views over the paddy fields, picked some delicious local veggies from the gardens, visited the Tamparuli local market, did river tubbing, played local games, sang traditional songs and had some great treks into the jungle: to swim in a beautiful waterfall and to find the tallest tree in the surroundings (the Gaman Kapur tree). Through this last mentioned trail it was also possible to see the rubber trees that belong to each family. It represents one of the main incomes of the local population and everywhere around I could watch the rubber tapping procedures.
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Traditional songs

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Gaman Kapur trail

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Rubber tapping

Even so, the climax of the week was when they dressed me the traditional Unduk Ngadau costume. I’ve been told that it’s used for a beauty pageant during rice harvest festival and I’ve got real pro hair style and make up. The families where so excited that would be impossible not to enjoy this moment. We took about two hours of photo session around the Borneo Eco Tours Farmstay. Everyone wanted a picture with the orang putih (white person).  
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Unduk Ngadau costume

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Unduk Ngadau costume

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With one of my host family

  Every time I changed of homestay I felt a deep sadness for leaving the previous host family. I was so kindly treated and welcomed, that saying goodbye is not an easy task. Still, the next week I moved to another neighbouring community: Kg. Pinagon Baru.  
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Kg. Pinagon Baru

  When I thought that nothing new would come, I realized that every day I was experiencing different things. Especially the jungle food, which came to my plate in all sort of delicious ways.
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Dinner

  Here, besides the recognition tour and the fruit & veggies harvesting with the wakid (traditional basket), we did some extreme trekking through a new trail, which took us all around Pinagon area, reaching the highest peak and ending in some refreshing waterfalls. On the way, the local guides always introduced me the species they knew about and talked about the history of the place. As I was the first one to do this trail (opening way through the impetuous jungle), they said they’ll give it my name. Of course I was happy to hear that.
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Pinagon trekking

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Pinagon Trekking

I also was taught how to do rubber tapping, to blow the sumpit (an ancient blowing pipe used for animal hunt) and to collect rice.
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Rice collecting

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Blowing the sumpit

    One of the ladies in the Kampong showed me how to use some of the plants for medicinal purpose and how to cook the local dishes. Furthermore, I was able to watch the traditional river fishing, to plant a tree and to taste the homemade rice & tapioca wine. Yummy! At the end, we celebrated my farewell all together, dancing, singing and laughing...
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Farewell party

  To conclude, this is what I can call true Community Based Ecotourism. For sure, is a place worth to visit more than once. Thank you Sabah! Filipa Gomes (BET Intern)

Kiulu Farmstay Celebrates Borneo Eco Tours’ 25th Anniversary Milestone

On the 25th of October 2016, Kiulu Farmstay was privileged to celebrate in the success of Borneo Eco Tours’ reaching its 25th anniversary milestone. The celebration was held in Le Meridien Hotel, Kota Kinabalu and present at the event was the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah (Malaysia), YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun who was the Guest of Honour as well as business associates, partners, friends and staff of Borneo Eco Tours.
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The Guest of Honour, YB Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun giving his speech

  Borneo Eco Tours was generous enough to give away lucky draw prizes that included the Borneo Quad Biking scenic guided adventure worth RM300 each as well as a 2D1N stay at Kiulu Farmstay worth RM700 each to the lucky winners. Read more about the joyous Borneo Eco Tours 25th Anniversary Celebration here!
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Borneo Eco Tours' Managing Director, Mr. Albert Teo giving his speech

  Being a community based ecotourism product under Borneo Eco Tours, gives us such great pleasure to be part of an organization that has broken barriers and achieved such a great milestone since its establishment. Kiulu Farmstay was created in order to act as a catalyst for community development and capacity building and that would not have been possible without the vision that Borneo Eco Tours has for the villagers of Kiulu. From all of us here at Kiulu Farmstay, we wish Borneo Eco Tours a very happy 25th Anniversary and many more to come! bet_1252

SIB Skyline’s Picnic and Outreach Program in Kiulu

Just recently, a group of youths from SIB Skyline had a picnic and outreach program at the Kiulu Riverside Sulap and Vanilla Hut. The outreach program, which was held on the 1st of October was a merry one with new members also joining in the fun. Besides that, members from SIB Skyline also invited the locals in Kiulu to join in the program to make it a more memorable one. There were about 15 to 20 people who came to attend the program. They also played games and had a picnic at around noon. From all of us here at Kiulu Farmstay and Borneo Eco Tours, we would like thank you for choosing Kiulu Farmstay as the venue for your outreach program. Hope to see all of you again soon! img-20161001-wa0036 img-20161001-wa0059 img-20161001-wa0070 img-20161001-wa0081 img-20161002-wa0012 img-20161002-wa0015 img-20161002-wa0016

Engagement Day Celebration at Kiulu Farmstay

From the 11th to 12th of September 2016 (Sunday and Monday), the lovely couple Jewlvrmiltda Jhoas and Eder Nettleton Bingku had a joyful engagement day celebration at the Kiulu Farmstay, The Fig Tree. Their families stayed at the ecolodge the night before the actual engagement day for setup and preparation.

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It was a very beautiful and intimate gathering of close friends and family members whom attended to witness the joyous occasion between the newly engaged couple.

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From all of us here at Borneo Eco Tours, thank you for choosing The Fig Tree as the venue for your special day. We would also like to wish both Jewlvrmiltda Jhoas and Eder Nettleton Bingku a blessed life and future together. Have a wonderful one!

Check out more photos below!

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