Satisfaction measures Triumph in Farming: The Luz Dayo Story

     “Just as long as I am contented and satisfied of what I have done, that for me is the true measure of success. Money is nothing. We are all pilgrims on earth.”

     This is the statement of Ms. Luz Trinidad Dayo, 64 years old and a proud resident of Purok 2A Barangay San Jose, Bislig City who raises the banner of Filipino Women Farmer to higher heights. Married to Mr. Claudio Dayo, “Luz”, as what her friends call her, has two children.

Humble Beginnings

     Luz comes from a family who engages in tilling the land from dawn to sunset. At such a young age, her father exposed her in farming from scattering of seeds to harvesting the crops.

     “I used to participate in the sowing of seeds in our neighbors’ farm in Tandag City when I was little. They would pay me five centavos at the end of the day which I used to buy a whole fruit of mango or any food the kids of my days like. I used to wonder why I always get five centavos when the older ones get 50 centavos. Now, I know that from little things come great things”, Luz recalled.

     With her husband’s support, Luz started to cultivate three hectares of land. She planted it with different commodities such as coconut, banana, jackfruit, marang, rambutan, avocado, santol, cassava, lemon grass, chili, yam, sweat potato, and even the mahogany tree. Aside from these crops, she also has livestock animals like chickens and goats.

     “I have always used the organic way of farming. I never applied synthetic materials such as insecticides and pesticides to my plants instead I make concoctions from plants I can use as fertilizer and ripening agent. I believe that we should preserve the nutrients found in the soil so the crops will grow in a healthy way.”

     Luz even avoids burning as much as possible. She would gather leaves and rubbles of wood to be placed at the bottom of the tree crops for it to serve as its natural fertilizer and compost. Some concoctions she has were Fermented Fruit Juice (FFJ), OHN, Calcium, FPJ, and FAA.

     Her area was hilly at the start of their agriculture venture. But through her years of experience and diligence, she gathered the soils from the craggy part and put it to the lower part of her field. As a result, her field is not bumpy anymore.

Membership to Organization

     Luz serves as the secretary and treasurer of the Linaw Native Kamayo Tribal Association of Bislig (LINAKATAB). The association was registered in the year 1998. The group existed even before their area was called as “purok” in 2000.

     According to Luz their group always meet up during Saturdays and plan their next steps. “We share our ideas, I like listening to peoples’ ideas because I can be wrong and the best might be from them.” she added.

     Unfortunately, during the year 2010, the group was divided into two creating the Purok 2A From 60 members, the group decreased into 35 members.

Supports from Agencies

     As the years goes by, four hectares were added to Luz’s land area. She planted it with pineapple, eggplant, okra, squash, sour soup, lemon, alugbati, bell peppers, and even flowers like gumamela, daisy, roses and daisy.

     She was also establishing her tree park where she planted falcata trees and fruit trees. Mabolo or Magkuno, also called as hard wood, can also be seen in the vicinity. Thus, she is establishing a tree park of her own.

     Luz is also very active in participating trainings conducted by different agencies. Her very first was the Training on Natural Farming conducted by Agricultural Training Institute – Regional Training Center (ATI-RTC) Caraga. Other trainings and activities she attended were Organic Agriculture, Corn production, Farmers Field School on Vegetable Production and etc.

     Moreover, the ATI-RTC Caraga, through the target of Learning Sites establishment under the Partnership Accreditation Services Section (PASS), has recognized Luz’s farm as one of its beneficiary farm. This is in response to the recommendation received from the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bislig City and the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Caraga Region.

     The agency extended its support by the provision of swine, feeds, barrel, sprinklers, vegetable seeds and a model farm budget amounting to Php 50,000.00. Support to have a training hall was also given by the agency.

     “When my farm was recognized as a model farm in 2014, we made the ATI farm in Los Angeles, Butuan City as our basis. It helped me to be chosen as a Local Farmer Technician (LFT) by the DA-Caraga,” said Luz.

     LINAKATAB also received 500 seedlings of coconut tree from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA). Some of the seedlings was planted in her farm. With the overwhelming support of the different agencies, the group are planning to put up a bunkhouse in their area.

Living a Successful Life

     “I have nothing in me that I can show off,” Luz retorted when asked if she can call herself successful. “Success for me is being contented. It is the feeling of fulfillment that I get whenever I know I have helped my neighbors. I am satisfied enough that my family has something to eat and that my children have finished their studies and now living a comfortable life.”

     Luz aim in planting cassava in her farm is for her to give it to people who will asked for it. Further, the high price for the transportation and the low price of cassava in the market convinced Luz that giving it to the needy is better than selling.

     She had once had a nice house, a store of her own, and money amounting to millions. She reiterated that she helped her relatives and neighbors by letting them lend her money because she knows the feeling of in great need. Unfortunately, chaos started when the borrowers refused to pay her back to the extent of selling her house in the year 1998. The case went into court and Luz won. According to her, the event had stained her relationship with them. She wants to help but people should know the limits.

     “Whenever I am tired and sick, I always ask God for strength because I know I still have lots of things to do. Helping people is always the true measure of success. For what is the use of money when you don’t have friends. What is the use of money when you have no one to call unto,” Luz explained holding her tears in.

Words of Gratitude

     “I have always been thankful to ATI. They have been the instrument for me to attain broad understanding in farming. They have also been my inspiration to share to others what I have. Thank you for the people behind ATI in their efforts in outspreading the knowledge and time which have big impacts to people like me. Farmers just have to open up their minds and should be active in attending trainings offered by agencies like the ATI. Most importantly, learnings should be put into action,” Luz message to ATI and to other farmers as well.