Brgy. Mabileg, Sigay, Ilocos Sur topped the first ever Regional Search for Model Bio-Intensive Garden (BIG). It bested Brgy. Oya-oy, Bacnotan, La Union; Brgy. Salvacion, Sto. Tomas, Pangasinan; and Brgy. Pila, Laoag City, Ilocos Norte which landed as runners-up, respectively.
Parent Leader Leonila Solimen, also a member of Bago Tribe, boasted their “Paksiw Garden” composed of pinakbet vegetables and a tilapia fishpond yielding organic and exotic produce. She said that her group is proud of their garden’s sustainability as a bountiful source of nutritious food for their families.
They say that our locality is just P20.00 away to heaven, but now, we feel like in heaven because we won!” Leonila said.
Sigay, one of the most remote upland towns in Ilocos Sur can be reached through a three-hour ride from Candon City, Ilocos Sur.
The group of Leonila received P30,000.00 cash prize which they will utilize for the further improvement of their bio-intensive garden. All the contenders were given various vegetable seeds courtesy of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 1 aside from cash prize and plaque.
“Our feet are on the ground. The ground we step on is the source of our living. It is in planting and consuming vegetables that we sustain and flourish our life,” Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo said. He stressed that through BIG, Pantawid Pamilya beneficiaries will have an abundant supply of food to augment the cash grants they receive.
“Magtanim, magdilig, mag-ani (Plant, water, harvest.),” Regional Program Coordinator Rosalyn Descallar said and encouraged all the Program beneficiaries to be productive members of the community in a harmonious way.
BIG is one of the thrusts and priorities of the Department of Social Welfare and Develop-ment this year through National Advisory Committee Resolution No. 38, series of 2016. (Jaesem Ryan A. Gaces, Pantawid Pamilya)