“Bata pa lang ako, nagsasaka na ako. Tinuruan ako ng magulang ko magsaka. Nagsikap ako at napagpaaral ang pito kong anak. Hanggang sa nakapundar na rin ng sariling lupa.” (“I’ve been working as a farmer since I was a young kid. My parents taught me how to. I worked hard and was able to send all my seven children through school, and I’ve even been able to buy my own land.”)
At first glance, you wouldn’t think Tay Leonides Esguerra of Jaen, Nueva Ecija is already 70 years old. He’s still strong and hardworking, and, in addition to working on his own farmlands, he serves as president of the Vegetables and Fruits Association in his barangay in Jaen.
His perseverence through more than six decades of farming is an example definitely worth emulating, and his children haven’t failed him: after successfully completing their studies, all seven are now employed, productive citizens on their own. One is a manager in Saudi Arabia, while another is a nurse in Ireland.
Besides the four hectares he uses to grow rice, Tay Leonides also owns additional lands that his children gave him, and where he today cultivates nearly 1,000 trees of banana and other fruits. We can’t help but be impressed thinking about how much he’s achieved.
We salute you, Tay Leonides!