My Iligan


Monday, January 26, 2009

a climb to flourish

The trails to Kablon…

The village is at the foot of Mt. Matutum with an area of 4,700 hectares, more or less. It is the most populated in Tupi and most of its inhabitants are indigenous people, the B’laan tribe. It has very fertile land, and cold weather with no distinct wet and dry seasons, favorable to vegetables like potato, radish, carrot and cabbages that are commonly planted. The village life is mirrored by the ‘habal-habal,’ a modified motorcycle to transport farmers and vegetables that ply along its roads, aside from trekking by foot. The land tenures are merely certificates of stewardship that worried the farmers.

The farmers relied heavily on lending at unreasonable rates to finance their farms. They could hardly get by their income. Health care is scarce in this part of the upland, and education is expensive that only few farmers are literate. Despite these facts of life, they still enjoy the horse fights and “Amyak Maleh Matutum,”-a climbing activity at the peak of Mt. Matutum.

…or a descent to perish?

Ever since Glandang is into vegetable farming producing vegetables in commercial scale and trading normally takes place at the roadside. The price is so unstable and usually happened at harvest when vegetables flood the market, and farmers would engage in price war just to avoid spoil.

The UDP approved the proposed Bagsakan, a buying station at Glandang to improve the trading of vegetables in Kablon. It was completed in 2003, with a rainwater reservoir for washing the vegetables. The farmers finally experienced payment on time at delivery; while their association with scarce capital could only buy a limited volume of vegetables--such with some internal conflicts, the buying stopped after two months.

However, the UDP have known their problems, and provided them with consultants to revive the Bagsakan Center. A team was formed, the “Matutum Enterprise,” as a subsidiary of the farmer’s association.The farmers made a business plan and manual focused on renting the bagsakan and how the enterprise would run the center. The association is able to prove that the business is profitable. The farmers were not able to make use of the bagsakan, as a trading facility, in a sense they failed to manage.

Until now, the Bagsakan is not operating. The farmers insisted on their old ways and hard to accept changes.


Duan said...

hi.. i'm really amazed looking at the live activity feed. You really know what to write.

vince said...

Thanks Duan! I think this is my 5th shorts in a series. This is actually culled from my experiences in the uplands of Southern Mindanao, when I was working with the European Union. Also I'm writing my next story sometime soon. Hope you'll come back again! Hear from you soon...

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