MAKE IT RICE: The Rosemarie “Tita Mayeth” R. Centina Success Story

Rice is considered as the staple food in Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines. Farmers play a vital role in the society. They farm to provide food for the people. This includes Rosemarie Centina, also known as “Tita Mayeth”, a 61-year ol farmer who hails from Luisiana, Laguna. 

Early Beginnings 

During her early childhood, Tita Mayeth was already taught by her parents to do farming. She was the eldest child among the 10 broods. Only three of them ventured into rice farming. It was in rice farming where her youngest siblings finished College. “Sa pagsasaka doon din kinuha ang pag-aaral. Yung dalawa ko kasing kapatid parehong chemical engineer. Tapos yung isa ay teacher yung babae,” as strongly emphasized by Tita Mayeth.

Taking the Responsibility

                When her mother stopped farming due to old age, Tita Mayeth, being the eldest child among her siblings, took the responsibility in taking care and managing their rice field. For almost 20 years, Tita Mayeth has been into farming business. Before, they were only tenants of the said rice field until they bought it in the year 2000. Today, her family owns three and a half (3 1/2) hectares of rice field.

Building Farming Capacity Through Trainings

                Countless trainings have been in the list of priorities for Tita Mayeth. She was awarded as the “Outstanding Rice Farmer” from 2005 to 2007.  “Lahat ng seminar, pag my sinabing seminar ako nama’y pirming ready sa mga seminar. Dahil ang katwiran ko nga di ka matututo kung di ka a-attend ng mga seminar. Di para sa sarili laang, para makatulong din sa iba”, she cited. She added that attending trainings lessen expenses and resulted in an increase in rice yield. She defended that “Noong ako ay di pa naattend ng training, napakadami na nagagamit na binhi. Nitong ako ay mag attend ng mga seminar, ngayon ang 40 kilos na binhi nagkakasya sa isang ektarya, yun ay certified. Pero pag sa hybrid 10 kilos nagkakasya na yun. Yung 20 ay talagang sobra-sobra na yun. Kaya napakalaking natipid. Tapos ay sa ani naman ay talagang nakaranas nga kami halos naging triple ang palay. Nakaranas kami dito ng isang ektarya, nung ako ay mag Gawad Saka is 180. Nung kami ay nag hybrid noon, umabot ng 10 tons isang ektarya”. Up to date, Tita Mayeth still attends trainings and workshops to continue learning and applying techniques in rice production.

Achieving The Goals

                When her husband died, farming became the main source of income for the family. “Nung mga anak ko ay nag-aaral ng highschool, ang gastos talaga, doon kinukuha sa pagsasaka ang pambaon. Hanggang sila ay mag College sa pagsasaka ko pa rin kinukuha”, she highlighted.            

                The eldest child, Rosalyn, graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Commerce in Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. While, her two youngest sons, Rodolfo Jr. and Ricardo both took up and graduated from Electromechanic Technology in Dualtech Center, Canlubang, Laguna. They are now both working in a renowned aircraft company. Rodolfo Jr. is happily married with a daughter and currently working in Etihad Airways based in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE) as an structural mechanic. The youngest child, Ricardo, works in Lufthansa Technik in Pasay City, Philippines for nine (9) years as a Senior Toolkeeper.

Aside from rice farming, Tita Mayeth also plants organic vegetables as another source of income. She also has fish (tilapia) pond. As a member of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC), she also makes dishwashing liquid. She is into food processing as well.

Facing Challenges

                In spite of all the triumphs she accomplished, Tita Mayeth also experienced struggles in life. One of these was the calamity brought by typhoons. “Nakaranas nga kami noon na pag bagyo, pag tumingin ako sa aking gulayan at yung palay talagang lahat ay nakabuwal. Ang tingin sa tubigan ay parang dagat”, she mentioned.

                Never in the mind of Tita Mayeth to give up and lose all what she has started, rather this misfortune in life only made her better and continue to do great things. “Sabi nga ni nanay ay para man ding di ikaw namomroblema. Kitang-kita mo na sirang sirang. Eh di pag nasira ayusin. Taniman uli, magtanim uli”, she recalled. 

Looking Forward

                Tita Mayeth advices the other farmers to continue learning and adopt new technologies for the progress of their rice products.  “Huwang silang titigil ng pag-aaral. Kahit sabihin na tayo ay nasa pagsasaka ay kailangan dire-diretso ang ating pag-aaral para makaranas tayo ng magandang ani. Kung ano ang tinuturo ay sundin naman”, she expressed.

 

                Tita Mayeth sets a good example and serves as a true inspiration not only to her fellow farmers, but also to all the Filipino people. Mabuhay ang mga magsasakang Filipino!