Wenceslao: Rainy season

Candid Thoughts
SunStar Wenceslao
SunStar Wenceslao

After enduring the lengthy dry season that saw temperature rising and farms being deprived of the needed rain to start the planting phase, the rainy season is finally on. A storm did signal the rainy season’s entry several weeks ago. This was followed by the weather bureau declaring that, indeed, the hot days will be gone.

The past summer was particularly brutal for students, prompting the education department and some local government units to suspend classes because of the heat. But that did not deter some people from doing what they usually do during summer. In our place, kites were flown despite warnings about particularly hot days. Now, as I am writing this, the day is a bit darker because of the clouds and intermittent rains have fallen.

The days are colder, which reminds me of those times I spent in the mountain areas of Cebu City. That was the time when I learned the difference between walking without rain and walking while the rain is falling. I used to worry about being caught in the rain while walking from one village to another. But there came that time when I realized that walking while the rain is falling is better because the rain masks the body sweat and the cold lessens the tired feeling one experiences while walking long distances.

I could just imagine what the farmers are doing now. With the dry season over and the rain falling, I am sure they are now planting the farms with whatever produce that would help them survive life. In the areas where I resided, corn was the main agricultural produce and these were planted often with root crops and other products meant for the lowland markets like baguio beans, tomatoes, etc.

In the uplands of Cebu, corn farms are usually seen in hilly terrain and corn are planted in places where the topsoil is eroded by the rain and which are eventually left to “heal” when the farm is no longer productive. Such is the nature of the “slash-and-burn” farming practiced by the farmers in the uplands. We did try to convince them to practice the non-traditional forms to save the farms’ topsoil like a bit of terracing but, as they say, it is difficult to teach old dogs new tricks.

But at least the people from Central Cebu up to the province’s northern mountain areas are trying to make the soil productive. In Cebu’s mid-south mountains, seeing agricultural farms is rare. That is why the mountains there are dotted with subdivisions. Lands are rather sold to developers because farmers do not make the mountains there productive. I think this is one of the failures that the Department of Agriculture in the Cebu City mountains and Cebu Province should address,

But sadly, even agriculture in Cebu’s lowland areas have suffered. Carcar City used to pride itself of its vast rice lands. Those rice farms have been decimated and what one sees now in Carcar are lots where urban structures have taken over. That is happening now in Minglanilla town where the rice farms are being decimated by urban growth. These have contributed to our overdependence on imported rice.

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