I never realize three weeks have passed since I last blogged and in just a few days we have done several major activities. I can't discuss all of them in one blog so I'll just mention two for now.
First we went to one of the mountain Barangays to do forums on organic farming with the local farmers in the area. The community organizers were very accommodating and hospitable.
When we arrived the pilot area, freshly cut coconuts fruits coupled with some steamed japanese sweet corn were already set at the table. The place was a bit far but accessible. Farm to market road where already built although some of it need immediate repairs due to constant soil erosion and earth movements in the area.
The program started with a prayer, then the national anthem and acknowledgement of guests. Then the Barangay Captain/Village Chief gave his brief welcome remarks. I meet an old friend, a former City Administrator of which he said this is the first time he has ever set foot there. Same with me. ;-)
One the main reasons why this place was chosen as pilot for organic farming was because the use of pesticides is rampant in the area. As the discussions and presentations continued so did the temper of the people present in the forum. Most of the farmers were not convinced with the method of farming presented by one of the resource speakers. One farmer even strongly opposed to the idea and made a mockery out of it. I never realized that it was this tense. Fortunately, we were able to diffuse the arguements and all went well. I just hope we would be able to set an actual pilot area so that we can have a prototype and prove that organic farming can be economically viable, feasible, efficient, earth friendly and productive.
Second activity was the awarding of 77 school children with school supplies. Prior to this, they were given school supplies. The objective of this program was to encourage children to grow their trees planted several months before. The children were very happy getting their school supplies. The school supplies was in cooperation with one major telco company. Children were reminded to protect their trees and was designated junior foresters. They all agree and were very receptive to the activity. We hope that this will encourage other children to participate in this new program to plant, protect and grow trees. ;-)