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I am Planting for the Economy of the Philippines – "Para sa Ekonomiya"

Here in the Philippines, I believe some Filipinos are quite familiar with the phrase “Para sa ekonomiya” (for the economy). We used to say “Ginagawa ko ito para sa ekonomiya” (I’m doing this for the economy). That funny tone of saying it but somehow with sincerity in the mind, that’s what made this tagline popular for quite some time. Okay, I guess you know who started this craze (Google it).



Now, let me state my version of saying it, with this simple story I want to share with you.

Around February of this year (2017), we asked the permission of our neighbor if we can plant on her front yard. This neighbor of ours and a close friend of my wife as well is now living in the United States and since her departure about 2 years ago, her front lot is becoming crowded with weeds and grasses. Fortunately, she allowed us. We took the chance of cleaning the abandoned yard and see if we can grow some vegetables there. Here are some shots of those days when we turned this lot into something beneficial.







While transforming the lot into garden plots, we grow a variety of seedlings. There we have the okra, eggplant, pechay, bell pepper, tomato, and sitao. Within 2 weeks, the seeds became 2-3 inches tall. Some of the seeds were directly planted on the plot while the tiny seeds were sowed first in the mini-nursery.

After about one and half month, we then start seeing plants one to two feet tall in our garden. With just water, sunrise, and organic fertilizers (cow poop, compost) we were able to bring life to a lot of seeds. Along the growing process, we did used “urea” as a substitute fertilizer. Have a look.





In two-month time, we were already able to harvest pechay, that green leafy vegetable that is becoming so expensive these days. Then on the third month, eggplants begin to share its lavender and green fruits. Okra also give its non-stop supply of fruits. Every two to three days, we are harvesting okra, eggplant, and pechay. Sitao and bell pepper begins to bear fruits on the fourth month. Truth is, there were bugs, ants, birds, rats, cats, and flying insects infesting our plants. Somehow, we were able to keep them away by spraying water with little soap and once a month burning of dead leaves. For the birds, I made a bundle of cans and hang them. I pull a rope to make noise whenever birds are coming. I also use casette tapes to move away birds.





Sometime in April, we tried planting squash, ampalaya and alugbati. These vines start sharing their tops or talbos after two months. Thanks to the coming of rainy days, free rain water keeps our plants alive and healthy. We were not that lucky to harvest the main squash fruit. We don’t understand, but whenever the fruit is about the size of an egg, it starts to fall off the ground. The same situation happens for all the fruits that sprouted over the next two months period. We only happen to cook the talbos and flower of the squash which is really good for a soup dish. The alugbati, we enjoyed mixing it with canned sardines. Every other day, we have these leafy vegies on our menu. Let me share with you our harvests.










Around August, I decided to clean an area at the back of my house. This is part of a wide acre of land (not our own but I did not even think its illegal to plant for the economy) where native tall grasses called “talahib” grows the whole year round. On the first week, I trimmed the grasses in an about 4 meter by 4 meter area. Then I start digging the soil, making a 12 feet diameter plot, on the following week. On the third week, I start planting okra and sigarilyas. When I noticed that these plants are growing fast, I tried planting squash and cucumber too. Every week, I used to visit the area to remove the weeds and other unnecessary plants and water the plants too if the rain wouldn’t come in 3 or 4 consecutive days.





Early in October, I can already harvest okra, lots of them. Then in mid-November, I can harvest the cucumber and few straws of the sigarilyas. The squash starts bearing fruit late this November. Hopefully, it won’t fall off this time.

Every 3 to 4 days, there is a satisfying harvest from both of my neighbor’s lot and at the backyard. In our front yard, by the way, we keep on growing medicinal plants like oregano, pandan, sambong, kamariya, lemon grass, and ashitaba. Of course, the flowering plants is my wife’s best friends. They keep on sharing colorful flowers the whole year round.






Today, we continue to harvest. We’re also tried planting Lolo Rosa, a variety of lettuce. Recently, I harvested gingers. We have the turmeric and the native ones. I am also experimenting on potato, onions, celery and garlic. I built a ladderized structure where I can place the pots in a row for easy planting and harvesting.






Our love for planting started when we first arrive on our place in 2008. Me personally, is from a clan of farmers, probably the reason why I want my hands and feet to feel the soil every time. We planted pink bell, yellow bell, a pine tree, and many other types of ornamental plants. We also have fruit bearing trees like guyabano, lemon, and avocado that when they become two to three feet high, we’re bringing them in my hometown in Batangas to plant them there. Some of them were shared to a neighbor who owns a farm. Some plants were donated to our Homeowner Association for a beautification project in our place.

The truth is, me and my wife always dream of having a small farm someday where we can grow more vegetables, fruit trees, medicinal plants, and ornamental plants. We do not know if that will happen or if it happens, when would it be and would are waist and knees still capable of planting. But what’s great about planting is that we’re just doing it today even in small spaces that is available for us. Reality is, we can harvest and eat the fruits and vegetables of our labor. Somehow, we are saving a bit of our budget for food. Moreover, we are eating food that makes us healthy – organically grown and guaranteed clean. Literally speaking:



“Pag may itinanim, may aanhihin”
(When you plant, you will harvest).




I believe many of you reading this post is also a planter. You have a backyard garden too. Good job if you are!

So why am I doing this for the economy? And in the first place, is this kind of act really helps the economy grow?

Well, here’s the thing. We are sharing to a few of our neighbors our harvests. That helps the economy, would you agree? When you produce your own food, you are actually helping the economy in simple ways. Indirectly, you are putting supposedly vacant lots into good use thereby creating alternative food sources at least for your own. Directly, you are becoming part of the producers or farmers providing food to the market. Also, you are contributing to the green revolution which is vital in shaping the future of a nation’s economy. Think of a rubbish environment (instead of clean and green), do you think investors will come to start their businesses there?

Hope you get my point of my “Para sa Ekonomiya” action.

The good thing I want to share in this post is that anyone of us can plant even in small containers, plastic pots, or recyclable plastic bottles if not direct to the soil. We can do it by just thinking it is for ourselves and just ignore the “Para sa Ekonomiya” tagline. That by doing it we can feed our stomach. It can be difficult to start. There are pests and occasions when plants suddenly die for no reason. But in the proper time, you can do it too. And remember that we have our expert uncles and aunties to guide us about planting. The internet is always there to offer us tons of information about planting. Just make the move.

“I am planting for the economy."

(Nagtatanim ako para sa ekonomiya).

What is yours? Share it in the comments section below.

Hope this post inspires you in some ways.



About this Blog
This blog is about the Filipinos and the Philippines. In this blog site, you will read compelling, truth-revealing, enticing, and even alarming articles about our land. The goal is to encourage everyone, especially the Filipinos, to act for a change. There are bad things going on that needs to be changed and this blog is a campaign to make it happen. It is hard, it is not fast. But with these posts, it can happen slowly and be done in time. I am encouraging you to read and share my blog posts. You can comment, suggest or react to the articles thru the comment section below. Alternatively, you may also visit www.knowriel.com, an educational website for every learner.

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