Going back to my past to make my future Print
Monday, 30 May 2016 13:41

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

 

Probably while reading this column I am on my way to Lapuyan, Zamboanga Del Sur. The town is known as “little America”. (Ask someone who knows why it is called that way ). It is my birthplace. Since the rains have now moistened the soil, I am going back to my humble farm inherited from my parents. Aside from the coconut and fruit trees planted by my parents, Table Talk has improved it from a little savings while working with the government. With the use of domesticated carabaos, a farmer’s favorite friend called “beast of burden”, Table Talk was able to build about a hectare of rice paddies (basakan), complete with a simple irrigation system and a water impounding dam from a brook beside it. The long dry El Nino phenomenon hardened the rice paddies and the brook almost ran dry except for a small spring as its source.  But it cannot support rice planting until its harvest. Three rice cropping were lost because of the dry spell and my farmhands and Table Talk barely survived this dry spell from other seasonal farm crops, whose selling prices are controlled and manipulated by unscrupulous businessmen. Today the rains came in Zamboanga Del Sur and time to plant rice.

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With a heavy heart, You will not see Table Talk in print temporarily. But we will try to write in internet cafes that can now be found in my once obscure hometown. This time it will be about nature and topics of human interest. A breathing space from controversial articles that many times make enemies and loss of friends. This will be a new start for Table Talk, help protect the environment even if it does not need people to survive.

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To start with, Table Talk has constructed a small and humble farm house from indigenous materials found in the farm. It is located beside a river. For all purposes of survival. It has a flowing spring nearby for potable water and hygiene. Instead of barbed wires as its fences, it is surrounded by mahogany trees, almost 20 years old. It is clean air at the farm and healthy food of vegetables planted in my farm’s lawn planted with carabao grass. Nearby is a coconut charcoal kiln for fuel to feed my charcoal stoves. Zamsureco 1 newly energized the barangay and the electric lines pass my farmhouse and had it connected for home lights and security lights at the lawn, since my farmhouse is about a kilometer away from the center of Barangay Marwing. If I have a laptop unit I could have written everyday since at a certain time in the morning the cell phone signal is okay. Probably in the near future I will have one to continue my writing that keeps me going and the best exercise for the brain. I turned over my laptop to the last government office I worked, I could have owned it with a little chicanery, but I don’t want to have problems on clearances. I did not bother to acquire a new one since I have a desktop computer at home in Zamboanga City.

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Farm living gives one a peace of mind and away from the maddening crowd. The food you take everyday is healthy. Although you have a little problem where to buy fish and livestock meat, you have to travel to the center of town riding in a Habal-Habal motorcycle, with 6 other passengers tightly seated with the others and passing muddy trails and rough roads and bridge-less rivers. Unless you grow your own livestocks like chicken, goats and pigs, then you have no problem. Your only problem is how to care for those animals. Native chicken is easier to care, and I have some of those “sayam chickens” from Zamboanga City.

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Scoop: For now it is bye-bye and see you next time. Rest assure Table Talk will find a way to be back in Daily Zamboanga Times by means of internet cafe services, but, for the meantime, this is it, “till then”. You don’t have to disagree.