Tomy Garma is presently enjoying a life which he, initially, thought would only exist in his dreams. He wasn’t able to obtain a college degree, and never enrolled in any agriculture-related course, but he fulfilled his dream of becoming a successful farmer through hard work, continuous learning, and open mindedness. He is a living proof that hope can make wonders and that seizing a better life is possible. And so, Mr. Garma, now, dedicates himself in sharing his blessings so that others may succeed, too.
Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have been cited as the “new heroes”, but in the life of Roberto Lintag, he went home to pursue another heroic line of work: farming.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 2.3 million OFWs as of 2018 and most of them perform menial jobs. The former carpenter, Roberto Lintag, might have remained an OFW had he not seen the opportunities from a piece of land he inherited from his father.
Venturing towards a different path
The pandemic has pushed industries into exploring the digital platform since face-to-face contact is not advisable to limit its spread. Aside from the proliferation of urban gardening, webinars and other online training platforms suddenly sprouted out of nowhere. If you have not heard of Zoom or Google Meet, then you have been living under a rock.
Hangga’t ating ortelanung magkasakit, eku tuknang. Gawan ku ing gagawan ku” (for as long as there are farmers who struggle for livelihood, I will continually thrive and do my duty), the seasoned farmer Mr. Nestor Garcia uttered with conviction. This has been his guiding principle in his 50 years of farming experience.
Garcia started farming at the young age of 10. His father and uncle, who were both farmers in Pampanga, would tag him along as soon as works in the field commenced.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus’ famous quote “there is nothing permanent in this world, except change” is reflective of what Ronilo Gines, the Magsasaka Siyentista of Llanera, Nueva Ecija, believed in.
The Llanera, Nueva Ecija farmer grew up dreaming a career not on land, but on the vast ocean. In 1982, he took his two-year bachelor’s degree in marine engineering at Pangasinan Merchant Maritime Academy for a chance to become a seaman someday.
One of the most surprising perks of the pandemic is the rise of urban gardening. Panic buying in several areas which resulted to long queues and empty shelves in supermarkets paved way to finding an alternative source of food. With this, the community quarantine has pushed more city dwellers to engage in backyard gardening, giving possibly lasting boost to urban farming.