A Success Story: “Nong Eling: the Man and his Field of Dreams”

Born on September 20, 1939 to poor parents in the backwaters of Barangay Pamosaingan, Socorro, Surigao del Norte, Felix Alatraca saw the light of day in dire surroundings. Due to poverty and inaccessibility of their school at that time, and fresh from the ruins of World war II, Nong Eling as he is fondly called, only reached Grade III.

In 1963 he got married to Florida Comon, a native of Barangay Esperanza, Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte, where he now permanently resides. The quaint, little village of Esperanza is part of the ESLA ARC where the full implementation of Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program [CARP’s] support services delivery is yet to be realized.
In 1987 the DAR awarded him with the following landholdings: EP # 053972-74 lot 1742-A, 1742-C and 1742-D which has a total area of 1.1171 hectares and A-010961 lot 1746-A with an area of 2.9274 hectares. Total area of the four lots is four hectares.

These patches of land became a field of dream coming true for Nong Eling because he is now transformed into a new landowner. Encouraged by this blessing, he doubled his efforts in making the land productive. His 4-hectare awarded land yielded a total of 180 cavans of rice per year for 2 cropping seasons. However, since the land is not irrigated, after harvesting the rice and the land is now dry and suited for other crops, Nong Eling planted it with corn. With this, he is able to harvest 10 sacks of corn every harvesting time.

Every year, there were an increase of 20 % Nong Eling’s income from rice and corn production amounting to Php 176,250.00 and deducted with operating expenses amounted to Php 43,750.00 he earns a net income of P132,500.00. His desire for progress did not stop with the money on hand, because he used it in making the land more productive. To rationalized the farm production cost, he bought farm implements such as mechanized turtle to make the land preparation easier, post harvest facilities such as thresher and “sulpot” to ensure that harvest would be immediately threshed out . He was also raising livestock such as: (carabaos, cows and pigs) and poultry (chickens and geese) to augment household income.

As the saying goes, “when it rains it really pours”, because at this time, the wife of Nong Eling had inherited 1 ¼ hectares of coconut land from her parents. It would mean additional net income for the family in the amount of P19,556.40 per year. But the desire for progress remains enkindled in the heart of Nong Eling and his wife by enabling to earn an extra income of P1,000.00 per month from vending assorted foods and delicacies. Consequently, spouses have an accumulated income of 187,156.00 for the whole year.

The following computation are as follows:

WET/RAINY SEASON:

1. 4 HECTARES RICELAND, 2 CROPPINGS
COMPUTATION PER HECTARE

Gross Sales [ 40 to 50 cavans] assumed at 45 cavans per hectare

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
45 cavans 2250 Kls. 13.20/kl 29,700.00
Less: Expenses
Good seeds 50 kls 15.00/kl. 750.00
Labor Pakyaw system ibot,semilya & planting 5 JO 1,500.00 7,000.00
Labor Harvesting 5 JO 1,250.00 6,250.00
Total Expenses 14,000.00
Net Income from Rice Production/ hectare/cropping 15,700.00
Net Income from Production 4 hectare per cropping Php 62,800.00

DRY SEASON
2. 1 HECTARE OF CORN PRODUCTION PER YEAR

Item Qty Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
10 sacks Milled Corn 500 Kls. 10.00/kl. 10,000.00
Less: Expenses
Cost Corn Milling 500 Kls. 2.50/kl. 1,250.00
Transportation Cost 500.00
Total Expenses 1,750.00

Net Income from Corn Production/year PHP 8,250.00

3. 1 ½ HECTARE OF CAMOTE PRODUCTION PER YEAR

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
50 sacks of Camote 2,500 Kls. 10.00/kl. 10,000.00
Less: Expenses
Transportation Cost 500.00
Labor Cost 2,000.00
Total Expenses 2,500.00
Net Income from Camote Production/year Php22,500.00

4. 1 ¼ INHERITED COCONUT LAND
Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
COPRA 328.125 Kls. 21.30/kl. 6,989.10
Less: Expenses
Labor Cost 1,800.00
Transportation Cost 300.00
Total Expenses 2,100.00
Net Income from COPRA /harvest 4,889.10
Net Income from COPRA/year Php19,556.40

5. PIG PRODUCTION

Item Qty. Unit of Measurement Unit Price Amount
Gross Income:
Sow 4 heads 6,000.00 24,000.00
Piglets 10 heads 1,500.00 15,000.00
Less: Expenses
Commercial Feeds 10 sacks 900.00/sack 9,000.00
Rice Bran 5 sacks 200.00/sack 1,000.00
Total Expenses 10,000.00
Net Income from Sow/Piglets/year Php29,000.00

As a proof of his diligence and industry, he was able to sent his nine children to school. Two of his children are now with the DAR as Agrarian Reform Program Technologists, one is a criminology graduate, another is connected with Department of National Defense, while the other five finished Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. No small feat for a Grade School farmer.

In thanksgiving for the blessings given him by Divine Providence, Nong Eling continually strives to gain new knowledge especially if it pertains to increasing farm productivity. He applied all his learnings from the various training programs he had attended concerning the enhancement of productivity income.

He is also a born leader.

Way back in the 70’s and 80’s, he had been the President of the Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association of Siargao Island, a federation of Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (ARBA) covering 9 municipalities. Unfortunately, the ARBA was dismantled by the DAR as an assisted organization with the advent of CARP. With this, he became the Barangay Agrarian Reform Committee (BARC) Chairman in his barangay in 1989 to 1992, when it was organized by DAR throughout the country. He was a former Vice Chairman of Esperanza Farmers Credit Cooperative (ESFARCRECO), a DAR assisted cooperative. For his unselfish and untiring dedication and support for the success of the agrarian Reform Program, he was given a plaque of recognition by the Department in 1984.

Nong Eling, now already 69 years old, has reminiscences of the time when he dreamed to have a piece of land he can call his own. Now, he can say that success does not depend on how others can help you but it depends on how your indolent hands do for you. (Melencio C. Migullas,Jr., DAR-Province of Surigao del Norte)

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