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Please note: We’ve actually forwarded this proposal to the municipal office in Sibale. This post therefore, is simply to raise awareness and cooperation to and from all concerned; and if possible (to those interested) to help push for the project.
We are so proud and delighted that through the internet, our young generation are able to eloquently express their ideas on how to improve the island’s economic condition through tourism and agriculture. We believe that through unity and cooperation, the attainment of these goals are within our arms’ reach, by God’s grace.
In our humble way, we would like to propose a project (see attached document - Annex A) that will specifically target the agricultural and consequently, health condition of Sibalenhons. As we know, healthy constituents make up a peaceful, contented and happy community.
In our years of going to Sibale for the town fiesta and for summer vacation, we always had to rush to Pinamalayan market for our fruit and vegetable supplies. This total dependency for food from a distant place is a sorry situation and is quite unnecessary, given that the island’s fertile land, if cultivated, can yield these much needed vegetables, fruits and crops.
Consider the following observations:
Old (Sibalenhon) Barrio Saying:
Pang-utana: “Nang Inang mahagar it itlog!”
Sabat: “Nak pari o maestro ka? Oya huda!”
Truth be said, egg need not be a luxury food, raising poultries and benefiting from their produce is a very affordable family backyard enterprise, and it can happen if the people are given the right push.
Rice and Sugar for Breakfast
One day while strolling in town, I chanced upon a family whose two young kids (of school age) were having rice and a tablespoon of sugar for breakfast. And though the kids were begging for more rice, the mother had nothing more to give. One thing that striked me though is that there were bananas (saba) scattered on the floor that she could have boiled for a more nutritious meal for the kids.
The above observations clearly indicate that lack of general knowledge on health and nutrition are keeping many Sibalenhons from taking advantage of the resources that may already be abundant in their midst or could potentially be grown in their own backyards.
In view of the above, we believe that the following project proposal may be of good merit:
NAME OF PROJECT: Harding Pampamilya Tungo sa Kalusugan at Kaunlaran ng mga Sibalenhon
To encourage constituents to attain self-reliance and self-sufficiency by producing their own food through the adoption of integrated backyard gardening.
Provision and distribution of initial seeds/plant materials (to participating families of the island) by the municipal agriculturist through each town’s barangay chairman. Through the assistance of the municipal office, the agriculturist will prepare kits that would include seeds of varied vegetables and fruit trees, small packets of organic fertilizer and “how to grow’ instructions. Easy to grow crops such as sweet potato, cassava and malunggay should be included.
Organize and facilitate the conduct of trainings/information dissemination through experts (e.g. Agriculturists, Nutritionists, etc.) sourced from responsible government offices, non-government organizations or other agencies. Agricultural training should cover topics such as vegetable and fruit-tree planting and growing, plot preparation, organic fertilizer production (composting, etc.).
Project Duration, Scope and Coverage:
Year-round family home garden progress monitoring through a report-system established amongst the town’s baranggay chairmen under the supervision of the municipal government for at least (experimental) three years. Note: The individual households shall be responsible for the establishment and maintenance of their home gardens.
Hello! Maam Ophie/Mga Kasimanua
Kamusta na ang favorite kong teacher sa Grade 5 and 6. By the way, Cherry was my classmate in elementary school, in case you'll hardly recall it. I'm now living in Canada Scarborough, Ontario in particular.
The project, as you proposed, is noteworthy and relevant and you can count my support on it. I got some suggestions though sifted from previous experience.
During the Green Revolution in the 80's, the people of Sibale planted all kinds of fruits, vegetables in whatever space available in the island so that when I went on vacation on that year, I was surprised to see the produce everywhere when I went around the neighbourhood and the island. That goes to show that given a proper program and encouragement, Sibalenhons can really make it.
Then came the sad part! Bulk of the produce were rotting especially bananas and some fruits because the supply was more than what Sibalenhons can consume and it seemed the local government forgot to include in their project a program to market the excess products. What happened was that many Sibalenhons gain nothing but frustration because the cost of inputs was not recovered.
So, to make the project really a success, I'll propose that a marketing program to take care of any production excess be in place and become part of the proposed project.
Here are my suggestions for the marketing program.
1. Put up a flea market, tiangge o mercado, whatever you call it, where the products can be traded initially once a week. Poblacion would be an ideal location for a start and then branch out in some other barangays. The flea market shall be established by the local government but operated by the producers themselves through a "producers cooperative" so that every producer will be stakeholders in the project.
2. With the establishment of the "Producers Cooperative" marketing could expand outside the island, say in Pinamalayan, Lucena City, Batangas and even Metro Manila where budget permits.
3. The ultimate goal is to put up processing centers i.e. virgin coco oil, banana chips, fruits and vegetable packaging, etc. in the island so that it can generate employment and be able to sustain the project, long term.
As I've indicated in my previous posts in this forum, I'm very much willing to invest in the Producers Cooperative. I'm sure many Sibalenhons will follow suit if the Cooperative can be established and realized.
Also, the Tiangge concept can promote island tourism especially if we can come up with specialty products and niche market.
I think it is high time we translate our words into action and let's start with your proposed project.
Kamusta yangey sa ato mga kasimanua.
Hello Bong, how are you? How can I forget one of the smartest kids in my class? I'm so glad to know you've turned out to be such a fine and successful person, as I expected. As a teacher, I personally feel rewarded when my students eventually do well in their adult life. What delights me even more is that one of my students is with me on this particular desire to help enhance the quality of life of our co-Sibalenhons, even if they've long left the island to expand their horizons.
Remember those days when I taught you along with your classmates the rudiments of tending a garden plot? Beyond those activities, I wanted to instilll in my students the value of appreciating the apparent and immediate resources we have within our environment and to take advantage of them for the enhancement of our overall sense of well-being. And if we could take the project to the next level (i.e as a community business enterprise as you suggest), that will even be a greater pursuit.
Example of a successful family integrated "backyard" gardening turned income-generating venture:
My family when we were living in Sibale is an example of those who benifitted from such a family enterprise. We planted cocunuts, cacaos and all sorts of fruit-bearing trees and crops that we could get our hands on in our property in Suyor. We also raised cattle. The activity eventually became such a fun, even exhilirating way of enriching our young family life (doesn't living in the midst of such natural beauty and taking advantage of everything it's got to offer affect us all the same way? Unfornately though, many do not realize the immense unique blessings they have for living in such an environment). The goal of eventually being able to put some food essentials on our dining table at the end of the day, brought such pleasurable feelings of fulfillment to me, my husband and the little children as we engaged in the planting activities as a family. We even brought our dog, Gulliver and goat, aptly named, Billy the goat to our frequent Suyor adventures…:). Not only did the "fruits" of our pleasurable labor brought food on the table, but the earnings from copra and cattle sales helped us send the children to school (one to medical school) in the years to come.
I am not very familiar with the Green Revolution project that our co-Sibalenhons engaged and eventually failed in back in the eighties. And you're right, we should certainly incorporate in a project such as the one I am proposing, the lessons learned from engaging in the past in a similar venture. We certainly should revive the spirit of the "Green Revolution" and even take it to the next level. For sure, the prospect of income-generation would motivate greater participation from our kasimanwas to participate in the project.
I am not very familiar with the mechanics of producers cooperatives just yet, you seem to have a working knowledge of how it operates. But certainly, the idea of a very viable mercado, palengke or tiangge in the poblacion (through a cooperative)even on an initial barter system set-up, once the basic project gets going is excellent. From hereon, we could expand our goals in sync with the level of our enterprise to greater heights (e.g. trade with neighboring islands, and eventually export). We can dream big, can't we?:).
Bong, you seem to have a big passion for the project. I was wondering if it's possible for you to submit an official proposal (incorporating the eventual producers cooperative and marketing program) to the municipal office? Maybe we can start from there. I am currently living in Nevada, USA along with my husband, as well as Cherrie and her family. From here I can only send "feelers" and raise awareness. We need people back home who will take the initiatitve to start with the project. I know the Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and like agencies may accommodate such a project for technical support and funding, but the proposal should come from Sibale's local government. Even international agencies like the Peace Corps perhaps (has operated for years in the Philippines in aid of rural development) is a potential resource.
Anyone out there back home up for the project? We'll be behind you.
Bong, my family sends our regards to your family. I pray more blessings to come into your life and keep on pursuing the best not only for yourself, but in the service of others.
I can only say thanks for those nice words. Anyhow, I think I owe a part of my success to your teachings and the examples you have shown me in the course of my learning process.
I have no problem preparing a project proposal or feasibility studies with regards to the proposed project. My main concern is a point man in Sibale who can translate our rhetorics to concrete plan and implementation. I don`t see any problem on the financial aspect of the project as there are lots of sources we can tap i.e. investment equities, loans from GFI`s, etc. I know some GFI`s and NGO`s that provides micro to macro financing they don`t lend to individuals but to a group of individuals like a `ccoperative``. That`s why I am batting for the setting up of a producers or community cooperative so that collectively, Sibalenhons will be stakeholders. By being part of the project, I believe this will give empowerment to our kasimanua to make the project a success.
I could have started this project had I not emigrated to Canada. I remember this was one of my banner projects(aside from the college scholarship program)when I was at the helm of Sibale Def. Anyway, I can prepare a project proposal to the effect that we can start and realize this project next year. I`ll try to enlist the help of Sibale Def, which can act as project implementor, pending the setting up of the cooperative. While the LGU of Sibale can be tapped for the project, I`ll suggest that the preliminary implementation be carried out by an NGO to stave off the political color that maybe hurled to us later. Besides, I am confident that the LGU will lend their support in the other aspects of the projects such as infrastructures that we will need.
I`ll post updates from time to time for the information of the forum listers.
Meantime, please send my regards to Cherie and her family and to your family.
Excellent idea Bong! My confidence is with you!
I mentioned you to Cherrie and she's sending her regards to you and your family. God bless!
What a great Idea, I just hope that the our Municipal agriculture officer pay attention to this.
Thank you Rustom, let's keep our fingers crossed that all concerned parties pay attention indeed. God bless!
We work with the Couples for Christ in Sibale. My brother Nestor "Jun" Famatigan is the Coordinator of the Romblon Chapter Couples for Christ.
Please contact him of the plans of the Couples for Christ Sibale regarding their livelihoood program if they have this project. How can we help?
We will support this "vegie" project in Sibale. But we have to work with Couples for Christ as they are the ones who help us in executing projects.
Actually, the Bantoanons are planting vegies in their backyard. The produce is good for their daily consumption. I observed this phenomenon in Banton when I went there last 1999, 2004, 2005 and 2007. They had backyard vegetable garden. Pasawa ako et kaon et margoso ag tabo.
Chileren's Livelihood Education Assistance and Relief Foundation
Thank you so much for your input and for your concern for Sibale. MY husband and I used to be members of the Couples for Christ in Novaliches, Quezon City when we were still in the Philippines. I am confident of the possibility that they may support this project, if it is within the framework of their existing programs.
Maybe we can also tap them for the project aside from the Sibale Def that Bong is proposing. Who knows who will take action first? Eventually, it may be necessary for them to cooperate in bringing the initial backyard garden project to the next level, which is the setting up of a producers cooperative, etc. as Bong suggests. They could even work side by side in initiating it, along with Sibale's LGU.
I have also submitted the proposal (by mail) to the municipal office.
Could you please e-mail (see above) the contact address of your brother? It may be expedient if I send it by e-mail.
By the way, my husband vicente David is the former classmate of your mom and dad. Also, your mom used to be my close friend when we were attending FEU during our college days. Please send our regards to your mom.
God bless you!
My heartfelt greetings to everyone!!!
I am delighted and have learned from the exchanges of beautiful ideas of my fellow kahimanwas like Mam Ophelia F. David, Bong Fornal, Mam Delia Famatigan, etc. But for your informations, some of our kahimanwas in Sibale already done and enjoying the harvest of naturally fresh fruits and vegetables in their backyards. My mother herself is maintaining a backyard garden as what I have personally witnessed during our last vacations in Sibale. Infact, I was amazed that scarcity of water during summer did not hinder my Mom's hobbies of growing medicinal plants, fruits and vegetables. It's really refreshing and healthy to eat vegies like okra, tayong, taybos it kamote, petchay, etc. I know my Mom is doing a good example in our community as Barangay Health Worker in Calabasahan ( mga kapitbahay ngani ay nakakahagar pa it utan). I can't forget what my father said to me, "kung mayungot yang siguro sa Merkado or sa Syudad ay maramo kitang benta sa prudukto it mga tanom nato." In this case, I would agree to the idea that a "Cooperative" be stablished in Sibale so that marketing and other farming concerns be given priority for the ultimate benefit of Sibalenhons. My best regards again!!!
Hello Limuel, thank you for your participation in the frutious exchange of ideas here regarding the project Bong and I are proposing.
I am glad to know that your Mom is setting a good example to our kasimanwas in Calabasahan, not only as a barrio health worker but as a resident who is proactive in maintaining a healthy and ideal island-lifestyle in the community. I certainly hope many will follow suit.
The project I am proposing however, hopes to target those who are not engaging in such a productive backyard enterprise, which appears to be still uncomfortably large in number - island scale-wise.
You can probably suggest to your parents to take ap pro-active stance by encouraging those who engage in a similar backyard enterpise to set up a "mercado" in Calabasahan on a "cooperative-like" set-up to trade their excess produce? A once a week or two-week "on the market exposure" basis may suffice in the beginning. I"m pretty sure they can enlist the help of the munisipyo for certain logistics for the start-up. Who knows where a "humble beginning" will take them?" It will be great if eventually they expand trade with the neighboring towns, and elsewhere. As a pioneer in such a potentially profitable venture, they will serve as "a torch of light" for the rest of the majority of Sibalehons to follow.
Send my regards to your parents. Silinggang mahagar et tayong, petchay atbp....:). God bless!
Your Auntie Ophie
Dear Auntie Ophie,
Mom is now in Odiongan. She was in Oregon for about 20 years. Dad is in heaven for 2 years now.
Anyway, I want to say hi to the Fallarme clan. Uncle Ponso Fallarme and I are e-mailing each other. I call him from time to time. At 91 years old he is still very sharp.
Yes, we will help each other for the progress of Sibale.
I am connected to the Santiago clan - composed of Fallar, Fallarme, Fallaria and Fallurin.
I hope to meet many of them in the future.
Your idea is good of having a week-end or Monthly Tiangge (pagtinra or baligya it mga fruits and vegetables in a specified place). But the problem is kung karamoan ay ingga ra it mga pananom sa inra uma or backyards, sio pa ara ka mabakay? In this case the surplus should be marketed in other towns or cities. But do they have good storage and transportation facilities? Reli makakatabang it marako kung ingga it organizadong Cooperatiba sa Sibale nak hanrang magtabang sa post harvest concerns, storage, transportations, marketing, etc.
In our next vacation this summer of April 2008, I will personally say your best regards to Mama as part of the big Fallarme clan and to my family and relatives. My best regards also to you and your family, U. Ponying sent me the big lists of the Fallarme Family Tree and I was suprised and excited knowing many names I've never known before. God bless!!!