Text & Photos By: Dante Diosina, Jr.
MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, Philippines – “Planting crops is like raising your own children. You have to take care of them all the way through,” said 41-year-old farmer Efren Loogan.
Agriculture is the primary livelihood in their community at Sitio Paktil, Bauko in Mountain Province, explained Mang Efren.
But it’s no longer as profitable, Mang Efren laments.
Before even beginning to plant, farmers like him need to buy supplies such as fertilizer and pesticide, he explained.
Due to typhoons becoming more frequent than before, spoilage occurs more often, decreasing the volume of harvested crops. The resulting produce is likewise priced at cheaper rates.
But Mang Efren still plants despite these challenges, with the future of his children in mind.
Mang Efren and his wife Margarita desires that their 3 children study hard, envision their future, and dream big instead of forming bad habits. Margarita is a teacher by profession.
Efren and Margarita finds delight in their children’s perseverance in school and their eagerness to help in household chores. Erryl, their second child, dreams of becoming a doctor to help the community and has also shown talent in photography.
Ten-year-old Erryl took part as a student in the Juan Portrait program, where photographers travel to far-flung communities around the Philippines to teach the art of photography to youngsters like her. Erryl won fourth place in the program’s Most Proficient Photography category. She had two photos in the exhibit in their hometown, Bauko.
Mang Efren and Margarita are proud parents, happy to see their child excelling in a craft. They said this gives them the strength to work harder and inspires them to do whatever they can to help Erryl achieve her dreams. (END)