While shooting a wild plant along the road of Barangay San Jose, I spotted an elderly farmer tending his front yard garden of assorted vegetables and crops. As good custom dictates, I said my “Mayad na adlaw po, (Good day),” to greet the village resident. My gesture was met with enthusiasm as soon as he learned that I am into photographing local plants. It was a spontaneous hospitality.The next thing I knew was I am being toured to a biodiverse residential family farm – a product of long years of dedicated and devoted farming life. Coconut trees interspersed with Pili trees, intercropped with Karagumoy and Buri palms and so many assorted fruits and vegetable – more than my camera could capture extend from end to end of the most livable farm patch I have ever seen in Bulusan.
Voices of family members from a modest cemented house (a child and elderly grandmother, and a mother were discussing what TV program to watch) can be heard from the spot where I was busy taking the photos (above). Mixed with the ambient sound of the village farm, the voices arguing at times added to the bucolic charm of the place. No wonder why the resident farmer seemed so enthusiastic to tour me around. “Almost everything we need, I get it from here. My children though are advising me to retire because of my age. They can support me well even if I stop farming. But this is where I get my energy. I’ll become weaker if I stop tending the farm,” he related as we walked around the farm.
My tour was cut short though because the tricycle ride that brought me to the village was only good for an hour or two as agreed upon me and the driver. Despite of the shortness of time, the hurried trip turned out to be a serendipitous farm tour that yielded several plant photos with some ethnobotanical notes to boot.
*Suli na santol recipe :http://pamughaton.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/suli-na-santol/
Photos: Alma P. Gamil
San Jose, Bulusan, Sorsogon