Written by: Amor Grace B. Babaran

A farmer’s hand is his most important instrument. But not all farmers use theirs fully. Alfredo Mariño Segovia is more of an exception.

“Life is difficult before, when the New People’s Army (NPA) invaded our barangay and took over our farm. I have no other choice but to vacate our farm and leave the area temporarily. All I have is faith that someday, God will restore everything and make everything better. I am complete, I have two hands to work and as long as I do not have vices. I can raise my family with God’s help” Mang Fredo relates his story…

“Mang Fredo” received one of the greatest blessings in his life when in 1993, the Siari Valley Estate was voluntarily offered for sale through the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). He was one of those identified as beneficiaries and was awarded with a 1.2 hectare riceland and a 1.7 hectare cocoland. This Siari Valley Estate is a 1,133 hectare agricultural land formerly owned by the landed family of the Mendezonas.

My family

Mr. Alfredo Mariño Segovia or “Manong Fredo” , 54 years old of Bago, Sindangan, Zamboanga Del Norte, now owns a 2.9 hectares of agricultural land. Married to Antonia Badiles, also a native of their place, the couple worked really hard to be able to raise their five children.

He believes that education is the greatest gift that he could give them. For this, he was rewarded; all his five children finished their studies and are now professionals. His eldest Lorena, 31, now married, finished computer science. Alfredo Jr. 29, finished his bachelor of science in nautical, now a seaman and working in Saudi Arabia. Oliver, 27, is a Bachelor of Science in Criminology graduate, Annalen, 26 is Bachelor of Education graduate and is now working in Cebu while youngest Fretoni, 22 also graduated BS Criminology.

My hands

Manong Fredo was very courageous and determined to fight the battle of hunger. He strives to make his efforts productive and look for resources to meet the needs of his family.

As a result of his hard work, patience and perseverance, Manong Fredo produced marvellous things. His diligent hands have earned other properties in and out of the community. He built a residential house worth Php 500,000 on his 4,000 sqm. lot. He acquired a 1,000 sqm. farmlot and a 137 sqm. residential lot for boarding house purpose located in Poblacion, Sindangan. Still not contented, he leased 1.5 has. agricultural land.

The annual net income is his earn from the riceland is P 185,198.74. (2 cropping with 16,800 kls. at P15/kl, a gross annual income of P252,000 less the annual production cost of P 66,008.01). The coconut land was intercropped with mango, cassava, squash, rootcrop and corn resulting to annual net income of P 40,856. The leased riceland gained P 154,802.40 annual net income as his three-fourth share in the total amount.

Manong Fredo also has other income generated projects like poultry and livestock. He has corn that gave him annual net income of P 4, 644, mangoes (seasonal) and banana gave P 80, 600 and P 2,500 respectively. Vegetables like squash that shares P 5,840. He has 3 cows, 4 carabaos, 4 pigs (sow) and 50 chickens.

One is amazed upon entering their new house. You will be inspired! People consider his farm house as “Palacio sa bukid”, where one sees classy sala set, television set with accessories, Karaoke/videoke, dining set, refrigerator, pressure tank that supplies water in the house and garden. Outside the house, there is a big warehouse that kept all the farm facilities like 2 units of rice thresher, 3 units of hand tractor, 1 unit mud boat, 1 unit welding machine and 3 units of motorcyles that uses for personal and business as well.

Wonder Father did it all! Out of his earnings, he placed his savings in different banks like the Metrobank, Rural Bank of Dipolog and even the Savings and Credit Center in the ARC in which he was awarded as the highest saver depositor in the amount of P 50,000 for 5 years consistently Manong Fredo does not just devote all of his time in farming. He also takes part in the affairs of the SVARBEMCO as BOD and he is the chairman of the agriculture and fisheries committee. He is busy with his community as he was elected two times as barangay councillor. Above all, He never waste time, he balances his life by serving God. He is also very active in their church being the chapel president and trainer-facilitator.

My dream

He attributes his success first and foremost to God, who gave him wisdom, good health and patience. Second to the CARP program, being the instrument of his faith and believe that nothing is impossible to his dreams that came true. He cannot help but being sentimental over the hardships he and his family had encountered. But he prayed to God for strength to sustain them in their daily lives and to model other farmers to stand in the test of time.

Thus, Manong Fredo says, “No dream is big enough if one is determined, hardworking, patient and most of all has no vices.”

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