"Balud" (Wave)

Created on Monday, 19 August 2019 Published Date

Nature’s twist of events has it that five (5) years after super typhoon Yolanda’s fatal giant waves wreaked havoc in Brgy. San Antonio, Basey, Samar, it is now the farmers’ turn to make waves in backyard livestock production.

Gerardo Realino and Arturo Paquiding have a lot of things in common.  Aside from their age–both are 49, and status–married, they reside on adjacent lots nestled between the mountain and scenic San Juanico Bay in bucolic Brgy. San Antonio.  They are also cousins who were chosen as beneficiaries of SAAD Program’s Livestock Production.  The cousins have large families, Gerardo, having 7 children, and Arturo has 5, although some of the brood have already gone to roost in their nests.

Gerardo cultivates a 1-hectare farm he inherited from his grandmother, which is planted to pineapple, camote, and bananas.  During the monitoring visit, a pregnant sow was kept in a pen near the chicken coop.  Gerardo works as part-time electrician of the Samar Electric Company (SAMELCO), based in Basey, Samar, earning an estimated income of PhP4,000.00/month.  But this is hardly enough to feed his family, while at the same time sending his children to school.  He is a member of SANTI–KAMPAY, a group organized by the DENR 8, which is engaged in rainforestation.

Arturo, on the other hand, has about the same area planted to coconuts, from where he gathers tuba, which he sells locally.  He earns about PhP300.00 on a good day as parapananggot (tuba gatherer).  He raises swine, which was provided him through the Dispersal Program of DA–Basey.  His family is registered with the DSWD’s 4Ps Program, but he is not a member of any farmer’s association because of the nature of his work.

It was with a sense of déjà vu for both project recipients when the monitoring interview was conducted.  They were in high spirits wanting to share their experiences about the rollercoaster ride of the waves at the height of the typhoon, being tossed up and about, then suddenly brought down.  However, they vowed that their lives will not be tossed about again “pareho han mga balud” (like the waves), what with their newfound livelihood.

The beneficiaries received their interventions in October 2018, each consisting of 6 heads native chicken (4 females and 2 males), 1 bag feeds (crumble), and 50 m. polynet roll.  As the feeds have already been consumed, they now buy commercial feeds in town.  They were thankful they were given the Basilan breed because it has good mothering ability.  They were likewise grateful for the pag-ataman (care/concern) of the government for them through the provision of the interventions.

The cousins may not have attended any related technology training yet, but they are knowledgeable in managing the chickens, having experienced raising them in the past.  Proof of this is that Arturo’s hens have already multiplied and have continuously bred with his Bantam cocks.  He also continues with his egg production, selling some to local buyers.  Gerardo traded two of his cocks for hens, since what were initially delivered to him were all cocks; but he is optimistic that he will also reach the status of Arturo’s native chicken production in no time.

There was no remnant of angst whatsoever on the part of the gentlemen farmers on the devastating deluge that swamped this tiny village more than five years ago.  No trace of pain or agony on their happy faces either.  According to Gerardo, “The waves and storm surge made us even stronger.  They exposed us to the realization that we are not alone.  We felt loved.  We were not forgotten.  Look at these unexpected blessings (referring to the project) that came our way!  All we had to do was accept fate with a stronger grip on faith, and learn to nurture the surge of assistance that are still forth-coming.”  (MICHAEL F. DABUET, SAAD Staff, FRANCISCO C. ROSAROSO, Chief, RAFIS)

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