Anniversaries always bring fond memories of joy, laughter, celebration and triumphs. Looking back at how we celebrated the 2020 ATI 34th Anniversary, I remember saying that “next year should be much bigger, much prepared, less hassle, and “mas bongga”.
But then, no one can really tell what will happen next. The calamities of the year 2020: the storms and volcanic eruptions, did not stop this year’s 34th ATI Anniversary celebration. It was only the Covid 19 Virus that dampened the ought to be annual festivity among the partners and stakeholders of ATI.
Following the health protocols mandated by the local government and the Inter-Agency Task force, we invited only 12 farmer-partners from the newly established Learning Sites for Agriculture (LSA), who received their financial assistance from ATI. They were the only guests during the celebration. Unlike the previous year where all partners were invited, bringing in their products for sale. With her presentation of ATI-RTC 10’s Year 2020 accomplishments, OIC Center Director Maria Lydia Echavez said, “we will be one with the Department of Agriculture and the whole nation to act, as one. With the support of my colleagues and with good teamwork, dedication we have, with the support from our partners in both national and local government, and non-government organizations, with the active participation and positive response of our clients / beneficiaries, we are sure that together we win, we rise, we heal, and we move forward as one. We will continue to lead, to share knowledge, to inspire both our partners and our clients, and to extend services beyond boundaries.”
One thing that made this year’s celebration different and worthy of recognition is the free training on Flower Arrangement sponsored by Greenminds, Incorporated, headed by Mr. Reynaldo Gil G. Lomarda or Datu Makadingding. A gift from Greenminds to ATI-RTC 10 as a gesture of thanksgiving for the opportunities that widened its horizon in uplifting people’s lives, particularly those who are deprived of government interventions. ATI on the other hand is always thankful Greenminds for being a true partner in agricultural development, who never failed to come and offer assistance rather than seeking assistance. With the expertise of her mother, Ms. Nancy G. Lomarda who is an interior decorator and was a Certified Sogetsu Teacher of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in Tokyo Japan, the ATI employees learned different types of flower arrangements. Hidden artistic talents of the participants were displayed when they created their own version of round, vertical, and L type flower arrangements. As what Mr. Efren Macario, the Administrative Officer said, the training is an opportunity for the staff to learn new things which may become a hobby or an additional source of income, especially that Valentine’s day is only a few days away.
Starting the day right and the not to be missed in special occasions, is the holding of a Holy Mass, in the anniversary date of January 29. In his homily, Fr. William Salva, SSJV said, ATI can be the 3 S in the homily: the SOWER, the SEED, and the SOIL. The Sower as the training ground for agriculture; the Seed as we grow every day in our service (and what kind of seeds are we in our service?, he asked); and the Soil where people grow and eat because of us. Sower and seeds are nothing without the soil. ATI and its employees are nothing without the people. These are Intertwined, one is nothing without the other. And ATI is ALL, like word of God is ALL. And this connects with what I shared during the closing of the training on Flower Arrangement: “Like wild flowers; you must allow yourself to grow in all the places people thought you never would”. In work or in life, do the best in anything that you do, and let yourself grow wherever you are placed.