Four entries from the province of Albay were recognized and awarded with various farm inputs in the “Gulay Mo Post Mo” online contest of the High Value Crops Development Program of the Department of Agriculture Bicol in support to the Plant, Plant, Plant Program of the government.

DA Bicol Field Operations Division-OIC Chief and regional coordinator of HVCDP Dr. Mary Grace DP Rodriguez disclosed that this online contest is a local initiative in support to the government’s Plant, Plant Program” or “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Laban sa Covid-19” program which will provide adequate, accessible and affordable food for every Filipino family.

“Overwhelming po ang resulta ng contest at ito ay nagpapatunay na nagkakaisa tayo upang malagpasan ang challenge dala ng pandemya”, Rodriguez said.

Under the Gulayan sa Barangay category, the post of Almera Orlanes of Doña Mercedes, Guinobatan placed second.

Orlanes’ post gained a total of 695 reactions from netizens which featured their communal garden which is part of the Albay Family-Based Food Production Program and being assisted by the Bicol University.

Albay Provincial Agriculturist Cheryll Rebeta said that the AFBFPP supported the said barangay with technical and marketing assistance through their assigned municipal community facilitator and the vegetable seeds came from DA Bicol which include okra, sili, mungbean, bush sitao, cucumber, sweet potato, pechay, mustasa and radish.

These vegetable seeds were distributed by DA Bicol a week after the region was placed under ECQ.

Guinobatan Mayor Gemma Ongjoco underscored that agriculture sustained her constituents during the Enhanced Community Quarantine of the government because of the pandemic.

Orlanes’ group received 70 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, 30 seedling trays, seven sets of garden tools, five sets mini garden tools, seven plastic crates, seven bags of organic fertilizer, three plastic drums and a garden hose amounting to Php37,035.35.

Under the Gulayan sa Bakuran category, the entries of Albert M. Banania of Buraguis, Legazpi City which received more than 3,500 reactions and Romer Oquendo of Busac, Oas which received more than 2,500 placed second and third, respectively.

Banania received 20 sets of assorted vegetable seeds, 20 seedling trays, a set of garden tools, three plastic crates, three bags of organic fertilizer, plastic drum and garden hose amounting to Php12,022.90.

Oquendo, on the other hand, received 15 sets of assorted vegetable seeds, 15 seedling trays, set of garden tools, plastic crate and organic fertilizer amounting to Php3,384.07.

Meanwhile,  more than 1,500 netizens were impressed by the post of Sandria Barnedo of Calayucay, Sto. Domingo and topped the Gulayan sa Pamilya category.

Barnedo shared that farming is their only way of living, thus, her passion for farming grew stronger during the ECQ.

Dai ako nasusupog maghawan, magharok tubig asin magkalkal daga dahil sa pagtanom mi nin gulayon iyo an nagbubuhay samo asin pigtatabang mi an sobrang gulay sa mga kataraid mi,” she related.

Barnedo was awarded with 30 packets of assorted vegetable seeds, 30 seedling trays, two sets of garden tools, two sets mini garden tools, five plastic crates, five bags of organic fertilizer, two plastic drums and a garden hose amounting to Php18,831.05.

Barnedo urged all fellow youths to love farming especially now that there is a pandemic. The online classes mean more time in the house so make those time productive by gardening.

The contest was launched online when the region was placed under ECQ through Facebook page HVCDP Bicol on April 14, 2020 and submission of entries was closed on July 30, 2020. The entries were directed to post photos of their vegetable gardens in social media. Winners depend on the highest number of reactions from netizens. “Sa pagtanom, nakakarahay sa kalikasan, nakakatabang sa pamilya, asin nakakamenos-gastos,” Barnedo quipped. (jaysonmgonzales)