OFWs have been called “new heroes” in recent times, but Roberto Lintag went home to fulfill another career path: farming
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 2.3 million OFWs in 2018; most OFWs perform menial tasks He may have remained a carpenter had he not seen opportunity on the land he inherited from his father.
Venturing towards a different path.
Lintag reflected on his time at the former Pampanga Agricultural College (PAC). He is not afraid to reveal his red marks while in college. Lintag decided to forego furthering his education and instead practice carpentry after two years as a student. Roberto Lintag took a carpentry job in Saudi Arabia in 1982. He felt compelled to look for work abroad because the majority of his siblings were also on the same path. But his luck abroad was fleeting, and in 1986, he decided to return home to the Porac suburbs of Pampanga.
After his 4-years working abroad, Lintag returned home and set up a small business venture in front of their house at Pio, Porac, Pampanga. He and his family began to make a living from investing in the bar business. When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, bars suffered from devastating lahar. Even in the face of this adversity, Lintag’s family stayed in Porac. instead, they opened a rice cake bakery along the Pio route, which later turned into a small enterprise
Lintag discovered that his father’s farmland was available for lease in 2001 who will occupy the 1000 square meter land piece. He gave it a shot despite not having a lot of farming experience.
Struggles in the first years of farming were daunting, but Lintag persisted in developing his farm regardless. He express, “Kayari mung meyari keng gabun, manaya nakamu” (after preparing and seeding the soil, farmers just have to wait for the harvest). This attracted Lintag to venture into farming.
Leading the farmers in Porac.
Lintag became the head of the Barangay Agricultural and Fisheries Council (BAFC) in 2001 by actively leading the Federation of Porac Farmers. With his excellent record as a farmer leader he then vice-chaired the Pio’s Farmers’ Association, a civic position that broadens his view on farming.
His prime commodity where cassava, which earned him the regocnition of Magsasaka Siyentista of Porac, Pampanga last 2011. He also recieved the Science and Technology-Based Farm (STBF) from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).
The recognition that he received from PCAARRD motivated him to continue nurturing his craft. Despite not pursuing his higher education, he remained involved in seminars and training provided by the country’s agricultural schools and colleges. His eagerness to improve his craft awarded him a NC III on Crop Production.
Lintag did not only work for the good of his records. He occasionally offers his own front yard as a venue for farmers’ training. He found out that such active collaboration would motivate his fellow farmers. His advocacy towards efficient agriculture in the town of Porac grew even stronger. The neophyte farmer skillfully grew into a farmer leader who soon headed Porac’s Municipal Agriculture and Fisheries Council (MAFC) from 2012 until 2018. His leadership also led him, along with fellow active farmers in Porac, into the founding of the recently converted Porac Farmers’ Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperation. It was from cooperation to association.