By Zac B. Sarian

Judging from the people who visit our farm where we propagate more than 30 varieties of exotic fruit trees and other crops, people who have reached the age of 40 and above turn to agriculture as their choice of enjoying their remaining years.

Just like Arthur Loyola, 63, who retired from a big pharmaceutical company three years ago. For sure, he and his wife Ludy have accumulated a comfortable nest egg. Their children have taken their graduate studies in the United States and are still there, so the couple no longer have children to spend for their education.

So what’s their game plan to keep them enjoying life during retirement? Arthur is from Carmona, Cavite, while Ludy is from Calauan, Laguna. They have bought a 2,000-square meter lot in Pampanga where they will be doing their own brand of retirement farming or gardening.

Arthur and Ludy Loyola with ripe dragon fruit at the Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal.

Arthur and four other buddies bought a one-hectare former sugarcane plantation, with each one having a 2,000-square-meter lot. The one hectare has been fenced but there’s no fencing between the lots inside. Recently, the couple bought planting materials of exotic fruit trees from Teresa for their small farm. Arthur is a bonsaist, a member of the Philippine Bonsai Society. In the farm, he could be kept busy attending to his bonsai trees.

Another preparing for retirement

We had a recent visitor, an IT engineer who has been working in Saudi Arabia for the last 23 years. Ashley Fontanilla and his wife, Aura, were on their yearly vacation when they visited Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal to buy planting materials of exotic fruit trees for their farm in Infanta, Quezon. This was not their first time to come to the farm. It has become a habit for them to buy planting materials for their farm every time they are on vacation.

Every time Ashley and Aura Fontanilla are on vacation from their jobs in Saudi Arabia, they buy planting materials of exotic fruit trees for their farm in Quezon.

Ashley said he is now 53 years old. By the time he retires from his job, the fruit trees in their farm, which is under the care of a relative, will already be bearing fruit. The fruit trees include longkong lanzones, durian, rambutan, dwarf sweet coconut, marang, mangosteen, Abiu from Brazil, pomelo, and others. Wise couple, if you ask us.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s October 2019 issue.