February 2, 2023

As one of the judges in last year’s Baguio Survival Garden contest spearheaded by the City Veterinary and Agricultural Office (CVAO) under Dr. Brigit Piok and the Department of Agriculture regional office, this Ibaloy writer was pleasantly surprised to find out that many residents have gone into urban gardening not only for food security purposes but also as a form of relaxation and de-stressing activity.
In fact, quite a number of the gardeners got into urban gardening for the first time due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic that continues to cause havoc to both life and livelihood. To digress a bit, shouldn’t Asia’s island-grabbing bully be made to pay for the suffering this worldwide catastrophe has caused? Just asking.
Anyway, as a self-proclaimed, trying-hard urban gardener/farmer, I hope to be chosen once again as a judge of the contest since last year was truly a joyful and learning experience. I learned that one does not have to be blessed with a wide space to enjoy the benefits of urban gardening. You can use pots or other containers for growing your crops. Some use old jeans, shoes, and toilet bowl as containers. Talk about being innovative and creative. Several of the plants in containers are even hung in strategic places of the home beautifying the place. Edible decorations, anyone?
As mentioned in an earlier column, it seems that the only silver lining or positive that the pandemic has brought to the city is the sudden interest in urban gardening and farming. I hope even if the pandemic is over, those residents already engaged in the activity will continue to be passionate and encourage others to join the bandwagon. Gardening and farming is actually fun, I tell you. Not only does it contribute to put food in the table, it can also blow your stress away. Kudos to the CVAO and DA for playing a huge role in this boom in Baguio urban gardening by distributing free seeds to barangays and conducting information and education campaigns. Cheers!


FYI: Three of the oldest senior citizens got vaccinated recently, namely Anastasia Enriquez, 92; Lourdes Tavora, 94, both of East Modernsite; and an unidentified lolo from Middle Quezon Hill who at 98 is the oldest vaccination participant yet. The City Health Services Office said more than 3,000 senior citizens were inoculated in the past three vaccination dates. Demand for vaccines had visibly increased among the senior population in the city.


Here’s “Barefoot Five” by Brooke Hampton: “I’m busy;/ but not in the way/ most people accept./ I’m busy calming my fear/ and finding my courage./ I’m busy listening to my kids./ I’m busy getting in touch/ with what is real./ I’m busy growing things and/ connecting with the natural world./ I’m busy questioning my answers./ I’m busy being present in my life.”


Let’s end with a prayer: “Almighty creator, you who never sleeps, your arm is never too weak to save. In your mercies, show us mercy. In your graciousness, give us grace. For the sick, we ask that your grace will abound more.” (from the Internet)
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.

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