Fetalvero: Simple pleasures-A A +A
Two empty bottles
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
HAVING spent a weekend vacation with the mountain folks of Mantalongon, Dalaguete, made me realize that it takes so little to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
I met Severina, the oldest matriarch of the Mamag-id family, who is 81. She still maintains a vegetable patch, the produce of which she happily shares with her grandchild Jen and visitors. The hospitality of the mountain folks cannot be overrated.
Residents in the upland area have the least of worries but rather have the most enjoyment from Mother Nature. All it takes is steady, earnest and energetic effort to till the soil so that a rich harvest can be gathered.
Mantalongon is regarded as the Little Baguio in the south of Cebu where anthuriums abound and where children enjoy picking wild strawberries.
The vegetables that the farmers grow are huge and crispy like the cabbages that we brought home. They were as big as singer Charice Pempengco’s head. The sayotes were as firm and large as the arm muscles of actor and weight lifter Arnold Schwarzenegger. Their pechays are so big that you will mistake them for ornamental plants.
How could they grow such gigantic crops? Well, they use organic fertilizers like the droppings of chickens and goats. The farmers would have far better yield and more abundant harvest had the commercial fertilizers reached their rightful recipients.
Reports have it that it ended in a “fertilizer scam.”
Now that there are efforts to quell the controversial pork parrel, perhaps the Department of Public Works and Highways will concentrate on the farm-to-market roads which are very much needed by these farmers whose main and only legitimate source of income is farming. Then governor Gwen Garcia started the farm-to-market road. The project is still ongoing but more funding is still required to ease the transport of the produce from the farthest barangay of Lahug, Mantalongon, down to the Mantalongon market and its neighboring municipalities and cities.
While we still have able bodies in the mountain barangays, who are willing to till the soil, let us support them. Can you imagine an agricultural country with no farmers?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 10, 2013.