By Zac B. Sarian

Two octogenarians refuse to be doing nothing to pass the time long after retirement from their employment. They are Andres Licaros Sr. who used to work for a textile company in Cainta, Rizal, and Marcela Dalipit-Licaros, a former elementary school teacher, also in Cainta.

At their ripe old age, they still run a bakeshop that supplies baked products to a hospital, although they don’t have to if it is only to have extra income. They have long provided themselves for their old age. They simply don’t want to be doing nothing productive and fulfilling.

Their two children are now well-off professionals but the Licaros couple are still thinking of their kids’ welfare. That is why they keep taking good care of their 10-hectare farm in Alitagtag, Batangas because they want it to be in good shape when it is passed on to their kids. Andres Jr. is an engineer who is president of Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa City. His sister Aida, now Mrs. Velasco, is a professor at La Salle where she finished an Industrial Engineering course as the first female graduate in a university which used to admit only male students.

Mrs. Licaros bewails the very low price of mature nuts ex-farm which is P2 per piece as of March 4, 2019.

Mr. and Mrs. Licaros visit their farm every week, sometimes bringing with them new planting materials for their caretaker to add to their coconut and other fruit trees. On April 27, they bought from a nursery in Teresa, Rizal latexless jackfruit, sweet kamias, sweet tamarind, giant duhat, sweet guyabano, and Mama Sita banana sucker. They brought these planting materials to their farm the following day.

Mrs. Licaros said they want to grow some other crops that could give them a better income than coconut. She lamented the fact that the ex-farm price of mature coconut (the husk removed) is only P2 per kilo today, whereas in better times in the past, it was P12 per kilo.

In the past, the couple used to make P82,000 from their coconuts every time they made a harvest. The last time they sold their harvest, Mrs. Licaros said they only made P28,000. Of course, she is aware that there is keen competition among coconut oil, palm oil, corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil in the market. Whenever she buys cooking oil, she sees to it that it is coconut oil. She says more Filipinos should patronize our own products.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s June 2019 issue.