There was once a FB Group survey where members were ask what would they do or what would they like to do in their retirement.
After a week long vacation after coming back from my overseas work I am stuck back at where I grew up, Dulag in Binmaley in the province of Pangasinan. after settling for a bit I started making rounds around the barangay with our bike. As I went around i noticed that areas which were once rice fields are now covered and flatten and are fence around with concrete, or covered and a house is built on it, and most are just open fields either filled with rain water or dry land.
I had a conversation with my mom about this “new things for me” in Dulag and she said that more and other non-locals started settling here thus rice fields are being converted into residential lots and those who had funds started buying lands basically for future houses. And also I mentioned about the “tiwangwang”(unused or unproductive) lands. She told me stories about her lands and that how real property taxes ballooned for ignoring to pay it and thus most people abandoned the idea of planting rice or asking the “kasama” or “magsasaka” to plant rice since not only they will be cheated when harvest time comes(meaning the farmer who tended the rice field does not give fare share) but also you will end up having an enemy and end up paying them just to leave the land. Also if planting rice is that problematic why plant fruit trees so that at least after planting you will just wait for the tree to grow and harvest the fruits. Again that also present a problem with people who have no respect of the owners. Some would get the fruits without telling you and worst some will sell those fruits not even giving the owner a single centavo.
It is such a waste. In the survey most answered that they would go into farming in their retirement.
Real estate can be productive either in cultivating the land or making it a rental/for sale space. I told my mom that one day our sleepy and kinda remote barangay will be a bustling area but she laughs and says when will that happen with the area so remote and not near any establishments. I told her that one day the government might build a 8 lane highway here and thus business will spring out like mushrooms or a SM mall will finally be put up in town(there was once a news that the SM group was planning to buy a huge land in the town where another SM mall will be put up but was foiled and the idea never surfaced again). Another means to make will use of real estate is agriculture.
Farming seems to be look at so down probably because as already mentioned the complications that arise from the “kasama” system of farming and also because of mindless people who steal. I have an idea to solve such. Why not established a cooperative that would cover all lands in this big barangay and that the “tambays”(bystanders) and those who are not employed in the cities devote at least 4 hours a day doing farming work. I am sure there are so many people who have no work and just stay home or in the small “tindahan”(mom and pop stores mini version) gossiping. All people who live in the barangay will become members and those who have money and land will just contribute their land via lease and some financial aid as seed money for the cooperative. Those who have nots will contribute their labor and at every harvest time the fruits or produce will be distributed or it will be sold and profit will be divided as per contribution.
This way everyone will be concern about the land and the plants. Everyone will be vigilant watching against mindless people who would steal the crops. Also with such system the community should have a weekly or monthly meeting just like the town meeting of some Amarican counties to discuss what is happening with the barangay thus making the whole community aware.
I hope such idea will some day come to reality to all the barangays that are agriculturally gifted instead of being wasted and I guess if such places are in the works, lots of soon to retire Filipinos will be interested to live in a farm based barangays for their retiremement(I know there will be a lot the FB Group survey says so).