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Somewhere Only We Know -01

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Somewhere Only We Know - 02

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Urban Farming

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CGC's Corner

Farmers' Plight

 Growing up in Ilagan, Isabela, I have always wondered even when I was a young boy why the farm crops are dying during the summer season, even in fields just above the river banks. So, I dreamed of cheap bamboo pumps that will bring the water up to the farms above the river banks. [I learned later on in college that I "re-invented" the perpetual motion engine to power my bamboo pumps.] 

East of the Eugenio-Magano Farm 03
East of the Eugenio-Magano Farm 03. 

What I learned later on was that farm crops dying during the summer, was not solely because there are no pumps, nor because there is not much rain during the dry season but more linked to socio-economic issues including the question of who owns the farm lands.

So, while in college, I spent a few summer camps in the island of Mindoro to help advocate for farmers' right to own their lands (and almost got killed in the process). Later on I realized that even with land reform, the individual farmers on their own are quite vulnerable due to risks inherent with farming -- drought, flood, pestilence as well a family issues  -- that could endanger those farmers who happened to have been fortunate to finally own their land.

Caught in a May rainstorm in Cadu, Ilagan

During our first trip to the Cadu Farms, it was so hot and humid. [Well, we woke up later than our planned, 7 am trip.] We also had to talk to Fernando "Ando" Eugenio, who is the brother and caretaker of the Eugenio-Magano Family farms. By the time we had our talk, ate the watermelon and bananas, it was already well past 10 am. We had four farms to visit in Cadu, Ilagan, all owned by the Eugenio-Magano family.  We only had a chance to get "bird-bath" view of the farms, and took pictures only of the last farm. It was so hot and humid, we were preparing "buckets of sweat" [Well it felt like it when you don't sweat much.] We retired to the cool breeze of the "kamalig" in Farm 01. And talked more, before we parted ways and went home.

 Giant cumulus clouds developing in the sky

Fig. 01. Giant cumulus clouds developing in the sky above Cadu Farms. [Read "Cumulus clouds" in Reference Desk" to learn how cumulus clods may develop into rain clouds.]

Since it was difficult for us to wake up so early, like farmers do, we decided to visit the farms again two days after our first visit; this time later in the afternoon to avoid the noon hot sun. That's when we got caught in a May rainstorm in Cadu, Ilagan.  It was so bad (especially just using a tricycle for our travels) that we had to seek shelter in Fuyo, Ilagan. 

However, this is not a revelation about the "harrowing experience" we had, caught in a rainstorm in May-- because t could be really dangerous, like getting struck by lightning) -- but more the significance of the rainwater of May, in relation to our Ecoculture projects.

Read more: Caught in a May rainstorm in Cadu, Ilagan