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Entertainment

Filmfest spotlights farmers

LIVE FEED - Bibsy M. Carballo - The Philippine Star

When we were invited by Maryo J. de los Reyes to a press conference called To-Farm Film Festival, it sounded so interesting we quickly accepted. The venue was Annabel’s in Tomas Morato where most presscons are held.

We found the discussions that followed to be most engaging, especially since it had been announced that there would be a competition and awards like any other contest. The big difference is the subject — the Filipino farmers — with the purpose being to gain attention through television entertainment, while at the same time earning from a competition that may help convince them not to leave the farm.

Project Stakeholder in 2003 is from Universal Harvester, Inc., which has proven its strength while continuing to grow and hopefully become bigger in the near future. Dr. Milagros Ong-How, executive vice president of Universal Harvester, Inc. was present during the presscon. She delivered a speech concentrating on the strength, resilience and ingenuity of the Filipino farmer.

But before all this, Dr. How gave us an idea of how all these came about. She shared with the audience the fact that as a college student, her mother had raised seven children through the small business of selling ammonia, while Dr. How opened another company marketing related chemicals. One of the chemicals needed was Hydrochloric Acid which when integrated with the production of Sulphate of Potash (SOP) was used as fertilizer by farmers. And that is what brought Dr. How to concentrate on the farming technology.

Still, the need to raise funds remains of primary importance so farmers wouldn’t leave their farms with the small earnings and follow the call of the big cities abroad for a much larger income. And this is when the idea of holding a competition came about.

An announcement for The Search and Award for Outstanding Farmers of the Philippines was held together with the dates for submission of entries in September for photo contest and infomercial and in October for screenplay. Six award-winning screenplays will be announced in November. Grand opening of the film festival, theatrical screening of entries and awards ceremonies will be held in 2016.

In the open discussions held after all announcements, it was made apparent that the average annual income of the Filipino living in the farm is P27,000 with average age of farmers at 63 years old, and the farm children are among the most malnourished due to wrong kinds of food intake.

Director Maryo J., who is from Bohol, shared the experience of bringing a CD there to get reactions to television shows many haven’t seen or heard of. It did help prove that farmers, like all Filipinos, go crazy over TV shows, which help improve their happiness quotient and their willingness not to leave home.

(For your comments, e-mail us at [email protected].)

DIRECTOR MARYO J

DR. HOW

DR. MILAGROS ONG-HOW

HYDROCHLORIC ACID

MARYO J

OUTSTANDING FARMERS OF THE PHILIPPINES

PROJECT STAKEHOLDER

SEARCH AND AWARD

SULPHATE OF POTASH

TO-FARM FILM FESTIVAL

UNIVERSAL HARVESTER

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