By Eula Dee A. Lañada
Photos by Kent Edward S. Ballesteros

When you reach a place with never-ending arrays of the queen of the fruits, pineapple, you will know you have arrived in Jade Shine Agri Farm. Since the weather in Aurora is erratic, he has grown accustomed to planting pineapples because of its unique trait: climate resilience.

Hailing from Tubigan, Mindoro, Jonathan Tayaben found a home irfSan Luis, Aurora where his wife is a native. Back then, he was a barangay councilor at the same time worked as a tricycle driver to make meets end. In 2007, when it was the end of his political career, he focused in farming. In fact, he was an High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Gawad Saka Awardee in 2014.

While waiting for their pineapples to grow, Tayaben tends to other crops on the farm.

Hailing from Tubigan, Mindoro, Jonathan Tayaben found a home irfSan Luis, Aurora where his wife is a native. Back then, he was a barangay councilor at the same time worked as a tricycle driver to make meets end. In 2007, when it was the end of his political career, he focused in farming. In fact, he was an High Value Crops Development Program (HVCDP) Gawad Saka Awardee in 2014.

“Dapat integrated ang farm [every farm should be integrated],” said Tayaben when asked a piece of advice to other farmers especially the budding ones. Farmers can still enjoy the harvest of other crops while waiting for the yield of their main crop With this, there are still food filling their plates perched in their dining tables, even snack too.

Pineapple jam made from the farm’s pineapples.

Tayaben also encourages other farmers to make a business out of farming. With this, farmers can earn income by doing the things close to their hearts. Since he has seen this importance, together with his lovely wife, Aileen, they offer products such as pineapple jam, guava jelly, taro chips, coco jam, with raw materials fresh from the farms in the vicinity.

At first, he was not a believer that one can live with just farming as a source of livelihood. Through the trainings and seminars he has attended as well as with his vast experience, a strong belief in farming has completely replaced the said hesitance in his system.

This article was first published as Jade Shine Agri Farm in Vignette A Travelogue of Central Luzon’s Agritourism Sites from the Agricultural Training Institute Regional Training Center III.