Starting my Own Blog for a Change

It's my first time to write a blog here

I’ve wanted to write blogs for the longest time.

But somehow I did not get to start writing blogs because I lacked the inspiration to do it. I did not have a good reason to blog.  I have always believed that if you write blog for all the wrong reasons then for sure your entry will just feel bland and your readers will likely be confused on what you’re trying to convey to them.

I needed that motivation to start a blog.

Fortunately, this came last February during our yearly KM Updates. ATI director Asterio Saliot was talking about the importance of documenting all the activities of the Institute. ATI have been doing remarkable things in the field of agricultural extension and it is a sad fact that without proper documentation people will not be able to recognize these accomplishments. What is more depressing is that Filipinos will not be able to learn from these undertakings if there will be no record to support the activities.

So I thought I can help document the activities of ATI in my own little way through writing blogs. I have been exclusively writing just news articles for the ATI site and with this blog I hope to make it more personal.With this blog I will write about the activities of ATI specifically of ISD. I will write about the different places that we go in conducting our activities. And certainly I will write about my reflections and the lessons learned from all these activities.

Here are some of my reflections from the past ATI activities that I have been involve with.

ATI as Learning Organization

The ISD (Information Services Division) team was at Dipolog City last February 18-22 for the 2014 Knowledge Management (KM) Updates. One of the Highlights of the activity was a Knowledge Sharing Forum where select e-Extension coordinators shared their experiences as well as the lessons they gained from the activities they participated the previous year.

I was particularly interested with Ms. Obing’s presentation on the KM certification program which she attended together with other e-Extension coordinators. During her presentation, Ms. Obing sort of posed a challenge to ATI if it can transform to a Learning Organization. 

I was quite curious with this concept of ATI being a Learning Organization. As the extension and training arm of the Philippine Department of Agriculture, ATI is committed to share knowledge through different extension modalities. In the concept of a Learning Organization it’s not just the participants of a training who benefit and learn but ATI also learns from these participants thereby gaining new knowledge based on the experiences of these people from the field.

The practice of “learning to learn together” not just among ATI staff but also with its clienteles in the agricultural sector should be further enhanced.  This is how I picture ATI as a learning Institution.

Mushrooms and Wild Raspberry can be a viable venture

Who would’ve thought that raspberry grows in the Philippines. I myself did not think it was possible to grow raspberry here in our country but that all change when I visited the Bangkong Kahoy Valley Nature Retreat & Field Study Center in Dolores, Quezon for the 4th Organic Agriculture Bloggers Event last March 1-2, 2014.

Mr. Dion Pullan, the owner of the farm says that he is more of a caretaker with the farm found in between Mt. San Cristobal and Mt. Banahaw. The farm is a private property but is under the protected area of the government. Mushroom is the main produce of the farm with other vegetables being produced organically.
But what I was most interested in was their wild raspberries and locally known as “Sampinit”. I was already surprized that this plant can thrive in the Philippines and was more fascinated that it took little to no effort to grow them. You don’t need to practice cultural management or put fertilizers when you plant raspberries.

From the raw raspberry it can be processed into a shake, jam as well as vinaigrette and the leaves into a tea.  Venturing into growing “sampinit” would be an easy decision because of these processed products. With just little cost on inputs but can generate huge income, raspberries can really be considered a good source of income.

Postscript:  That’s it for my first blog post and hopefully won’t be my last. For my next blog entry I will be writing about life on the road as our division will conduct FITS monitoring and will requires us to travel all over the country to assess the status of the 400 or more FITS Centers. Till next time!