The COVID-19 pandemic not only left so many people without a job, it has also halted the operations of various facilities. Gatherings, concerts, and sporting events had to be postponed to prevent the virus from spreading.
Because everybody was encouraged to stay at home, football fields, like the one at St. John Bosco Parish in Tondo, have remained unused for months.
So in October 2020, the parish church, in partnership with the Department of Agrarian Reform started to work to turn the idle soccer field into a vegetable garden. They called the project "Buhay Sa Gulay."
"We are ready to offer our land," Fr. Gaudencio Carandang Jr., SDB, Rector & Parish Priest at St. John Bosco Parish-Tondo, said. "From [there], nag-tap ang DAR with the Department of Agriculture and then sila 'yung nagpadala ng mga tao."
The government agencies also brought machines like plot makers to kickstart the project. "Mayroon silang mga farmer scientists from Cavite, tinuruan 'yung mga tao namin rito, volunteers from the 17 different barangays to help make the vegetable farm," Fr. Carandang said.
"Pinangalanan nila 'yan ng DAR ng 'Buhay Sa Gulay' because una, alam natin na 'yung gulay, ay nagbibigay ng buhay. Pangalawa, buhay sa gulay because pagkakatian, so may kabuhayan na mangyayari," he added.
You know the proverb, and this story shows how true it is: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. In this case, teaching a man how to farm not only feeds him for a day, but it can sustain him until we see the end to this pandemic.
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Watch the video below to see how they turned an empty piece of land into an amazing community vegetable farm.
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