model Ping Federis:
She was once
a famous model who was used to the glitz and glamour of the
ramp and commercial modeling . Her face has graced the cover
of many local and international magazines and newspapers and
has been flashed a thousand times on TV as product endorser.
Fe Ping Federis, the former svelte and stunning 5'7 tall beauty
now lives a simple quiet life in Naga City. She is no longer
the fashion icon many women look up to. She has a new a
passion - cultivating the good earth and advocating healthy
diet and healthful living through organic farming.
In the 70's and 80's she was a top model of the country and
she had set her eyes to a modeling career in Europe had not
fate intervened. She was supposed to join the group of top
model designer Aureo Alonzo to a government sponsored tourism
blitz in Europe to promote the Philippine fashion . But this
dream fizzled out when people power occurred and the Marcoses
were driven out of power.
She went back to Naga and tried to pursue a course in business
administration in Ateneo de Naga but a bout with pulmonary
embolism , a debilitating lung illness was prevented her from
finishing the course and has changed the course of her life
as she was forced to stay home most of the time. But it was
during this time that she began to realize the importance
of healthy living.
Today, she has taken over as administrator of the 40-hectare
family estate in barangay Carangkang in Magarao, Camarines
Sur. She has opted to go into organic vegetable farming to
advocate a healthy diet not only for herself but for other
consumers. Having went through the ordeal of battling with
a debilitating lung illness she wants to raise the level of
awareness of other people about healthful living.
While most of their estate are utilized for rice production
, in 2004 , she started vegetable production in a 1,000 sq.meters
of the vast estate. With the help of farm workers she planted
a variety of vegetables: about 100 tomato plants, 100 pieces
hot pepper, 100 pieces. eggplants, some cabbage, snap beans,
spring onion (striped blue violet) squash and sweet potatoes.
Her venture into organic vegetable production started when
she began to realize the hazards of vegetables sprayed with
too much. pesticides. She initially intended to produce vegetables
for family consumption and for use in her restaurant and
catering business she had ventured into. But having associated
with vegetarians and fitness and wellness buffs she has decided
to expand her production as her friends and associated began
getting orders from her.
Her initial harvest of tomatoes yielded about 50 kilos tomatoes
which she sold at P5.00 per kilo; 6 kilos hot pepper which she
sold at Ps 5.00 per kilo. The initial harvest gave her a
sense of satisfaction as for the first time she experienced
the joy of reaping the fruit from the land through her own efforts.
The second harvest even yielded more as she was able to harvest
100 kg. tomatoes.
Today, Ping has taken farming to heart . She has been attending
seminars and trainings related to farming. As an organic farming
advocate she uses organic matter to fertilize the vegetable
crops and practices mulching using rice hull to cover the plant
roots especially during. dry and hot days. She has been actively
attending meetings of the Vegetable Board organized by the Department
of Agriculture where she is the public information officer.
At the same time she also sits as one of the board of directors
of the Camarines Sur Agribusiness Chamber of Commerce. She
goes to her farm regularly driving her blue Mercedes benz car-
never mind if the road to the farm is so bumpy, dusty and
sometimes muddy. But she hopes that one day a farm-to market
road to link barangay Carangcang of Magarao to barangay Carolina
of Naga City will be constructed not only to facilitate transport
of farm products from her farm but most especially the produce
of hundred other farmers in the area.
Perhaps only few people would recognize her now as her once
slim figure has ballooned to 150 pounds - but the poise
and grace are still there. And even if she is only in denim
pants and simple polo tops sans make-up on her still beautiful
face the dignified and regal manner she carries herself are
still unmistakably trademarks of a ramp model. She still drives
the blue Mercedes benz car, one of her treasured mementos
of her glorious and glamorous days.
But she is more at peace with herself now that she is back
to her roots and focused and committed in preparing for
the future of her two kids who deserve the best - a secure
future , a clean and safe environment and a healthy lifestyle
and in the process she is also touching lives of people within
her sphere as she advocates wellness and healthy living through