Pioneer broadcaster puts into practice what he preaches

- Dell H. Grecia -

Kabayan Gerry Geronimo (Adolfo Ruede Geronimo in real name), the country’s pioneer in agricultural program on television, is now an integrated farmer. (He started his so-called “Ating Alamin” agricultural program over Channel 4 on Oct. 5, 1980, launched at the Public Information Service once located where ABS-CBN now is).

Kabayan Gerry, as he is fondly called over the airlanes, covered different successful chores of the farmers, and he dreamed that one day he would also become one of them applying their successful doings.

Now that long-time dream has come to reality. He bought a six-hectare coconut farm in Anilao Valley, Lipa City, and he turned the farm into an integrated one. He puts his heart into it, and is only absent when he and crew have a coverage.

Kabayan Gerry got rid of the older coconut trees, replacing them with grated mangoes of “Carabao” variety. They are now bearing fruit. He left the younger coconut trees standing and still bearing fruit. Underneath their canopy are rambutan plants which fruit prolifically during their season. There are also citrus and black pepper, trellised over kakawate. There are four lychee trees, and Kabayan Gerry is able to let them fruit.

Aside from plants and trees, the farm has at least 50 colonies of honey bees. Two big tanks made of cement contain the “Best”  line of tilapia. He has a piggery, too, its stock coming from Jhon & Jhon Farms in Macamot,  Binangonan, Rizal, one of the best breeding farms in the country. The piggery supplies the family’s meat shop at 10 Greenheights Avenue, Greenheights Village, Parañaque City where the three-story building of the family stands.

The farm also runs a biogas digester, fueled by the piggery’s wastes. Compost and liquid fertilizer produced from the biogas digester enhance the good growth of the plants of the farm.

Other businesses

The Geronimo family also conducts seminars on various agricultural subjects — piggery, tilapia raising, honey bee raising, gamefowl raising, and even bread making, candle making, others. Sons Miguel and Rico (the only two children of couple Geronimo; both are now doctors of medicine) help in the family businesses, while mother Zenaida takes charge of money matters. She was once a teacher at Lyceum.

Kabayan Gerry once told this writer that he would like to put out “Libro sa Video.” Like his dream to have a farm, it is now on sale at National Book Stores in Metro Manila.

Back to his “Ating Alamin” TV program. It was a hard undertaking during its pioneering days because sponsors were hard to find. There were times when the family had to cover the expenses just to continue the broadcast. “Ating Alamin” is presently broadcast over Channel 13 on Sundays from 1 to 2 p.m. It has its major sponsor — the B-Meg Feeds of San Miguel Corp. The Jhon & Jhon Farms also helps.

Kabayan Gerry also had dreams of being in Congress one day. That dream also came true when former President Fidel V. Ramos appointed him sectoral representative for fishery and agriculture during the 10th Congress.

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