Palayan City is home to two of Nueva Ecija’s prime products namely; C-Blast (calamansi juice drink) and Palaman–C (calamansi jam). Apart from these, Palayan is also the home of family members whose interest in agriculture was embedded early on in their bloodline. Each one believes that farming is made easier when everyone in the family works together.

Most farmers are born while some are made. Born in Rizal, Mr. Ernesto P. Perlas, Sr., or Jun to his friends, was a telecommunication technician before he became a farmer.

His better half, Mrs. Josephie B. Perlas, a registered nurse who’s venturing in farming. And now a proud member of the Volunteer Leaders Association of the Philippines (VLAP).

They have successfully run their seven hectare land by also giving each of their four sons a role to play. The second, Ernesto, Jr., is currently the president of Brgy. Aulo, Palayan City’s 4-H club while his two younger brothers are members.

Upon returning to the Philippines after working as an OFW abroad, Sir Jun chose to venture into farming. He accepted this new challenge after attending various training offered by the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) in Central Luzon.

farmer PEARL OF  PALAYAN CITY: THE PERLAS FAMILY

A Farmers Journey

“I joined training on growing rice, corn, and vegetables as well as Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) on different crops. I sincerely thank ATI for the learnings I acquired, which I gladly share with my co-barangay members.

Likewise share what I’ve learned as a Local Farm Technician (LFT) to my fellow farmers here in Palayan City,” describers sir Jun. “As a farmer, the impact of this training was clearly seen when my income increased. From 80 cavans, our fields now yield 120 cavans of rice per hectare per year.

Moreover, my children were able to finish their studies thanks to agriculture, adds Sir Jun. The family that plants together, learns together and wins awards together.

Ernesto Jr., or simply J.R to his friends, was given a chance to learn about livestock production in Japan for 11 months last 2015. His goal was to apply everything he learned once he is back home.

“It is a joy to share my knowledge especially to kids who do nothing in the barangay so they won’t cause trouble in the neighborhood.”

In addition, I hope agriculture can help change people’s perceptions about the youth for the better, explains J.R.

Mrs. Josephine, on the other hand, has been attending a number of training conducted by the center for women and VLAP members.

She wishes to guide the youth, especially the 4-H in Brgy. Aulo, and to encourage them to take part in the activities of the club. Furthermore, the Perlas family has also been chosen as this year’s Gawad Saka Regional Outstanding Farm Family awardee.

Overcoming Challenges

Due to various invitations from other agencies to serve as resource speaker on rice, corn, and fruits and vegetable production. Now, Sir Jun’s time to manage their land has become limited. Nevertheless, he is still grateful for the opportunity to share his knowledge.

In moments like these, he can rely on his son J.R. to take over and run the farm. As to funds needed to maintain operations, he submits proposals to the Municipal Agriculture Office for financial support.

Also, his land is being used as a Farmer Field School site during Training of Trainers (TOTs) and other training.

Read more at the Agricultural Training Institute.

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