FROM the displays of green vegetables and vibrant fruits, it wouldn’t seem that Cebu City’s farmers have been suffering from a water shortage for months now.
Some farmers in Cebu City’s upland barangays continue to harvest high-quality fruits and vegetables, despite being in the midst of El Niño. They had a chance to showcase their harvest in an agro-fair in Barangay Malubog, organized as part of Pahugyaw sa Kabukiran 2015.
Barangay captains of 31 upland villages in Cebu City thought of the event to feature products and tourist attractions in their communities.
It turned out to be a testament of sorts to some farmers’ survival skills, too. Elji Marces, for one, said she had to dig a hole near a river to store water. She then connected a hose from that source to her crops.
But while she used to water her plants daily, she has limited this to thrice a week since the water shortage started.
“Seguraduhon lang gyud namo nga sakto ang pagpamubo namo sa tanom kay ka-tulo na man lang unya gibutangan sad gyod namo ug natural fertilizer (We just make sure the plants get enough water even if we do it only thrice a week, and we also use some natural fertilizer),” she said.
Marces said that fruits and vegetables cost much less in the agro-fair, which will last until June 14.
Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Philip Zafra said the Pahugyaw sa Kabukiran was organized to promote eco-tourism in the mountain barangays.
“There’s more to discover in Cebu City and through the cooperation of the 31 mountain barangays, residents in the lowland will know that we have tourist attractions in the area,” he said.
Some captains of urban barangays attended the opening to show their support.
Adlaon Barangay Captain Elvis Narra said he hoped that through the event, more local and foreign tourists will visit their place.
Barangays Tagbao, Tabunan and Sudlon, he said, can offer tours that will lead to waterfalls and caves. All that participants need to do is register in the ABC office in the South Road Properties for their schedule.
Since Barangay Adlaon is known for its sweet corn, Narra said, visitors may also get corn directly from the farms.
“Bayran lang nila kung pila ka kilo ang ilang nakuha (They just need to pay for what they pick),” he said.
Mayor Michael Rama, who visited the activity yesterday, said it showed barangay empowerment at its best, along with the values of “bayanihan and boluntarismo (cooperation and volunteerism).”