BAKIT LAGING GANYAN CAGAYAN? Andie and I just arrived from 5 hours of highway travel and 3 hours of city traffic. I wrote this piece in my mind while driving with much sadness and indignation. Oh, to be a farmer in Sta. Ana where the soil is as fertile as a woman in perpetual ovulation is both a blessing and a curse. You can grow absolutely anything there but being at the tip of Luzon, as far from the Capital market as it can possibly be, means you might as well be planting on the moon. Do you remember the Green Cabbage Rescue, that was Cagayan. The first Tagalog Pechay Rescue? Cagayan. The Cagayan Rescue flight? And now another one, pineapples, yes Cagayan, Cagayan, Cagayan.
This video is an eye-opener, let this man Herardo Sapallo speak to you about the hard realities of farming in a land that is equally blessed and cursed. Mang Herardo is one of 76 small-scale pineapple farmers farming some 57 hectares of land in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. He says that each farmer harvests anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 kilos of pineapple, so between them all we are talking about 300,000 kilos. That’s 300 tons of pineapples and the only sales strategy these farmers can think of is to pile the produce by the side of the road…and wait for passing cars. In a pandemic situation there would be much reduced traffic to absorb it all. The farmers’ cooperative, the idea that is supposed to be a collective saving grace, falls far short of expectations. Its single truck can only take so many tons and make only so many trips in a week to Manila in a week, it would save only one farmer…or save no one at all. This situation is so desperate, you can almost call it tragic. Enter the greed of other men wanting to take advantage of a bad situation. This big juice processor company comes in to dangle false salvation, making an offer to bulk buy the pineapples with two conditions: sell the pineapples at half the price and remove the crowns so there would be more pulp per kilo. This, this is so fucked up, you can almost call it a crime.
OUR MOST DIFFICULT RESCUE BUY YET. This is an urgent Pineapple Rescue Buy this week, dear group, please do not lose faith in us, please open your hearts and your wallets. We are taking the group back to a place whose farmers often needs saving. Will you contribute something so we can send trucks and money to Cagayan, fill them up, bring them back to Manila, then send them back out again? Will you take a bulging sack full of these pineapples, 10++ kilos inside, as your share for making this trip happen? The minimum contribution is 600 pesos. With this, we can pay the farmers the price that will save them—and we shall take the crowns because damn, really, who insists otherwise? If we fail to make it to Cagayan, we shall be happy to refund your money. So please will you help? Will you say “YES”?
Andie and I, we thank you for your kind and caring hearts.
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