August 10, 2022

Emmanuel "Manny" F. Piñol

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Teach Them How To Fish!

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Yesterday, I gave a potful of Malunggay or Moringa seedlings to families living beside my brother Patricio’s farm in San Vicente, Makilala, Cotabato.
My brother is planting hundreds of Nicaraguan Moringa seedlings in the periphery of his farm and I did not want his neighbors to look with envy at his lush Malunggay later.
“Here, you could share these with the others so that you will have your own Malunggay too,” I told my brother’s neighbors.
Malunggay is an iconic plant grown by many Filipino families in the countryside.
Rich in amino acids, Malunggay leaves soup is usually given to nursing mothers to improve lactation.
It is so important to Visayan families that there is a joke that during typhoons, they would make sure that the Malunggay would not be toppled by the strong winds.
“Bahala na matumba ang balay, dili lang ang Kamunggay,” goes the joke.
Giving Malunggay seedlings to my brother’s neighbors yesterday was also a way to teach families to be self-reliant and to grow their own food.
I have always abhorred dole outs as a way of helping poor families because these are not sustainable and degrading.
Lao Tzu was right when he said: “Give a man fish and he will not be hungry for one day; Teach him how to fish, he will not be hungry for the rest of his life.”
(Video by Kimberly Joy Sarino, SAAV Corp.)