At the recent AMUMA seminar workshop on Urban Container Gardening, the multi-awarded passionate agriculturist, Mr. Perfecto “Jojo” Rom animatedly showed the captivated audience from AMUMA Cancer Support Group Foundation, Inc., and some other guests how farming is not merely beneficial but truly essential to every Filipino household.
Donned in a polo shirt, maong pants and rubber shoes, Mr. Rom faced his eager audience of urban gardening seminar on July 20, 2019 at Undivided Hearts Home of Mary Foundation in Mulig, Toril.
Speaking before AMUMA members and guests, Mr. Rom found himself a captivated audience hungry for more agricultural knowledge that they can apply back in their homes.
A graduate of Agriculture in Ateneo de Cagayan, Jojo’s training and education and more, was put into practical use during tough times.
After prompted by life’s hardships, Jojo focused on home farming and found later on, to have made significant earnings. At least, the family wouldn’t have to spend three thousand pesos for food, which he can just pick from their home farm. But he didn’t stop there. He researched, experimented, applied and shared his findings on some innovations in Urban gardening.
Kicking off with the workshop, Mr. Rom demonstrated the difference between ‘ordinary’ top soil vs an ‘improved’ soil, saying an ordinary soil can be improved in 5 minutes. He then proceeded with the demonstration. He showed the mixture: 1 part ordinary soil, ½ part powdered coal, ½ part [powdered] chicken dung (or any other wastes ruminant animals). He added tips that ruminants have even, flat teeth, instead of sharp fangs. Additionally, all particles should be the same size (in powdered dry form), to achieve an even mixture. To complete the mixture, add 2 parts of coco peat.
He gave more tips on how to spot a ‘good’ garden soil mixture if one plans on buying in a market.
To enhance the growth of the plants, the speaker also shared how to make liquid fertilizer, thus:
- 1 part ihi (yes, we’re talking about your urine)
- 1 part duga sa basura/kitchen waste extract
- 2 parts kinilis (rice wash)
Garden of Eden
Mr Rom then tackled the history of Agriculture that has its Biblical beginnings with the Garden of Eden as the very first garden, and no less than God Himself, as the very first Gardener, tending the oasis for His first human creation, Adam and Eve. Because of disobedience, both humans were exiled from the garden and had to toil on their own. Even the very first occupation of humans was agriculture, with Cain, who ‘majored’ in crop science; and Abel, in Animal Science. The earth was so abundant, as God made it so. Fast forward, because of man’s insatiability, he exhausted all the natural resources and dug into the core of the earth for its minerals, thus scraping the land with natural life-giving wealth and leaving the environment vulnerable, and ultimately, barren.
This led to the displacement of farmers, leaving the role of feeding the nation to big companies.
He lamented that the natural riches of the Philippines have been depleted as time went by. The Philippine forestry has been rapidly decreasing, leaving the country prone to flooding and erosion.
Thus, his advocacy for a green urban Philippines was born. He started sharing his research findings to people through seminars. However, he posited that out of a hundred seminar attendees, there’s usually only one who would apply what they learned. But he never and would never stop what he does.
This is how Mr. Jojo Rom effect change in the world one household at a time.