Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Pangabuhi sa Uma" following Thailand's Self-sufficiency Economy: An OFW's perspective

This Karay-a song "Pangabuhi sa Uma" (Life in the Farm) by Sammy Rubido with its well-made video (by Ulysses Loresto as posted on Youtube and Facebook) captured in a perfect farm setting reminds me of the Self-sufficiency Theory by the longest reigning king of Thailand and in the world. His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej developed the philosophy of the Sufficiency Economy to lead his people to a balanced way of life and to be the main sustainable development theory for the country.

According to this theory, the farmland is divided into four parts with a ratio of 30:30:30:10 which means, 30% is set aside for pond and fish culture; 30% for rice, corn, root-crops and vegetables; 30% for growing fruit and perennial trees; and the remaining 10% for housing, raising livestock animals and other activities.
 Hubby's clan farm somewhere in GenSan is blessed with a vast span of lake and the Buayan River that  both supply water for the crops. Can you see the grazing cattle beside the lake? (Thanks to hubby's cousin Jessie Marie for these photos.)

My husband would like to advocate this philosophy by tending a farm following the same idea by the self-reliant Thais. He believes that raising organic plants and livestock for family's consumption and selling the surplus is the best way to go especially during our retirement as OFWs. Aside from the health benefits from eating organic produce and the exercise we can get from growing plants and raising livestock, reaping what we sow brings so much happiness and fulfillment for sure. It will also teach us to live by our own means and help solve the food shortage crisis. This model is environmental-friendly as well as it balances the ecosystem. Planting more fruit and perennial trees will help with the atmosphere's oxygen supply.

This is the model dear hubby desires from his observations with the sufficient farmers here in Thailand selling their own produce with their very own transportation such as pick-ups. It is also following from his uncle who has been managing a farm since his (hubby's) birth and is able to put up his foundation, by sending his siblings, nephews and nieces including some of their children to school through the abundant produce of his farm.  He has also been raising cattle, goats and lots of chickens. We enjoy the fresh farm "native" chickens and their eggs, which "Manoy" regularly sells at GenSan market. Hubby sees that Manoy is more than self-sufficient so as an OFW, he wants to manage his own farm someday as his great model does. Just one thing he will add to his farm to completely adopt Thailand's self-sufficiency philosophy, a fishpond for his fish diet in addition to his vegetarian diet (pescetarian= fish & vege). It is as well to enjoy game-fishing, one of the whole family's favorite pastime.
 The new generation of lush coconuts under the old  ones in the farm of "Manoy" , hubby's hardworking, wise and generous uncle, shows how many generations of graduates it has produced even before his birth. He acquired this farm at the age of 25. And Manoy has just celebrated  his 78th birthday. 

Maybe hubby will grow the ingredients I need in the resto I'm building in mind:) Not a bad idea, is it? Big food chains here operate that way so they can lower their prices to attract more customers.
We have learned that as OFWs, we have to gather experiences and ideas to help us grow and develop ourselves and share them to our kababayans.
It's all but a plan yet but Og Mandino says that successful people are "those who can visualize their goals in life".This visualization is powerful in making dreams come true as it serves as our guide in our actions. Effective implementation comes from a clear planning.

(This post is a tribute to our dear "Manoy"  on his 78th birthday this August. Manoy, this is dedicated to you for living such a worthy, selfless and exemplary life for your clan. One day, we will take JD, Josh and Jako to pay tribute to you for how you raised their dad and gave him a decent education. All because of your hard work and discipline... We love you, Manoy!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Connecting with the World at Robinsons GenSan

Although my two-week vacation was mainly meant for working on my thesis in Manila and improving our house a little bit in Magandang Gensan, it wouldn't have been more memorable without socializing and going out despite my super tight skeds. One of the highlights of my short vacay in the country's Tuna Capital and home of PacMan was meeting up with old (and new) friends. And I was so glad that some of them asked me to meet at the newly opened Robinsons Place I've been to only once last year. While waiting for my dates one after the other, I was able to check my emails and to reply the urgent ones at my work in Bangkok. Most importantly, I got the chance to reconnect with my dear hubby and family who were waiting for ages for me to be online (huh!) because Robs GenSan has already got a free wi-fi connection. I was terribly tied up so I couldn't afford to waste any seconds. Thanks to Robs' wi-fi connection that kept me productive between waiting times! It's so relieving that I was able to update with my loved ones overseas seeing them on webcam. With an energized mood after chatting with my family, I fulfilled one of my plans in going to Robs. I was happy to quickly find the desired home products I had in mind. Was also able to buy at Robinsons neat supermarket my whole wheat bread and unpolished rice which I couldn't easily find elsewhere. Here in Bangkok, Robinsons is always one of our shopping places because it speaks of best quality and fortunately, it's the same in GenSan.
And we met at last! After longggg years of missing each other, I had to reconnect the missing links with my closest friend at the college of law, Tantan Fortaleza-Pingoy I haven't met for over 10 years . No wonder she brought me to Fonti, a cafe that offers heavenly cakes at Robinsons baked by no other than the smart and beautiful wife of Atty. Fontanilla herself. Tantan is one of the stockholders here. Oh, I really needed to be updated! And guess what a hospitable friend she remains! I went home with a large box of yummy-licious chocolate cake she asked me to pick up 2 days after our "bitin-na-bitin" chit-chat ever. My kids licked their finger with Tita Liza's specially baked goodie given by Tita Tantan.

While Tantan and I were catching up with each other at Fonti inside Robinson's, this train carrying merry kids (and their guardians:) cho-choed at our side. I wished that my baby were with me. Anyway, I would surely take him to Robinson's Place when we go home as a family. He will certainly enjoy this ride here while mommy will be very busy shopping for her household needs.

Ah, GenSan has really grown into a more sophisticated place with classy Robinsons' establishment! It's not only the panga, kinilaw, abundant fruits and food that I'm proud of Gensan now but its keeping up with the modern world. Having free wi-fi connection at a mall like Robs shows that Gensan is at par with world-class cities. How good it is to shop for best qualities here and dine at its food court and restos to enjoy the fresh and bountiful food Gensan offers at the same time to connect with the world for free and reconnect with loved ones away from home! Only at Robinsons...

(Let me take this opportunity to thank my nice friend Jinky Borela as well as her hubby Arnel for the box of  fresh panga that has reached Pangasinan and Bangkok. Also to Bossing Orman M., Media Officer AvelMan aka Bariles, Prof. Gilbert Tan, Marz, Peter for the sundo at Gensan airport and for Orman's fun Blogoversary Party at Arnevel. My never-changing friend Beth Peralta-Gomez for my croc leather bag loaded Victoria's Secrets. Also to my relatives who have kept me company at home, to all my friends who have made my stay there so meaningful, you guys, make me keep yearning to go back to Magandang Gensan. I really like this beautiful city with lots of beautiful people, interesting spots and world-class malls ever! I love you Gensan!!!)