Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dawn At AANI Sa Boystown

Early this year, the Department of Agriculture started a techno-demo farm, a joint initiative with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim at the Manila Boystown Complex, Parang Marikina. It was a doable project, but if the supervisors were not focused nor passionate about the activity, it may not succeed. Eventually the project was abandoned.

The techno-demo farm and rehabilitation of idle land in Boystown was now offered to Agri Aqua Network International (AANI), the endeavor is still with Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and an able Col. Levi Viesca who is present at the site Mondays through Fridays. The City of Manila will assist in the marketing of the produce of the demo farms.

When we went there yesterday, we saw the initial work by Pol Rubia on the vegetable plots. They have already harvested and sold at the AANI markets.

We walked around and Pol showed us the spot alloted for the Sunshine Chicken. He had always been ecstatic about the project and where we will be. Now I understand fully. The place is perfect for urban farming. Thank you for our location! Right by the entrance (perfect security), beside the church, and it has a building that may be used for housing by the AANI boys and as brooder room.

Before our visit there yesterday, I was searching on Boys Town and that was when I read about the DA's techno-demo farm, during Mayor Atienza's time they wanted to convert this facility to a housing development and abuses allegedly committed by the former administrator :(

Walking through the facility is a humility reality check. Pol was talking with the boys and you can hear about not seeing parents, former street children etc. Now you see them playing, courteous although some are still aloof and wary of new faces like us. As for the senior citizens, they were waving at us :) Maybe thinking that not too long ago they were just our ages.

If you consider an agri-tourism-civic trip, AANI Sa Boys Town should be an option....

Sunshine At AANI Sa Boys Town!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

LGU Tanza Makes Sure Farmers Earn

Teach them how to fish, don't give them fishes to eat...

There was a good article in today's Agri Plain Talk of the Manila Bulletin.

We are glad to be part of LGU of Tanza in their quest to uplift the farmers in their area. To date, two dispersals of Sunshine Free Range Day Old Chicks have been done and we all look forward to harvesting for the fiesta.

See how hands on Mayor Arayata of Tanza, Cavite and the Municipal Agricultural Officer Margarita Soberano are.

Doc Rey was around again to give brooding tips to the first and second timers alike.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

FREE SEMINAR Raising Sunshine Chicken

When: July 6,2008, 9am
Where: AANI Herbal Garden and Livelihood Center, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City

If you want to learn about the benefits of eating free range, grass fed chickens and how to raise them for backyard and commercial benefits, come and join us for the FREE SEMINAR.

See you :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Now At Week22

Our second batch of Parent Stocks, from SASSO of France is now at week22. These will be the Parent Stocks that will give your certified F1 Sunshines soon.

Since day one, from all indications so far, we're far doing better now than our first batch from another genetic company.

90 eggs at average 46g were selected for test hatching.

Hard to wait for 3weeks :)

It will be worth the wait.

Table Eggs Production

After the "can we breed questions", another frequently asked question is do you need males in a flock of females kept for table egg production.

No, you don't need roosters in your free ranging layers :) They eat a lot and are noisy!

Healthy pullets start laying at 5-6 months. That is standard. Enjoy the hide and seek game when you pick up their eggs on the range.

They have dark orange colored yolks, no fishy taste nor smell. I am able to take them raw :) You get great tasting eggs from grass fed hens. Perfect for my leche flan.

At 60days, dress your male Sunshines for meat and keep the females for your grass fed layers.

Tunnel Ventilation

We are taking our SASSO Parent Stocks from France and breeding our brand of F1, Sunshine Chicks, to a different level.

Talks are now on installing tunnel ventilation for our buildings, housing our Parent Stocks.

We are now on our 3rd batch of Parent Stocks, 3rd poultry building...taking our baby steps in getting our feet solidly in this :)

A year ago we didn't see this coming. Maraming maraming salamat sa supporta.

Our partner Sunshine growers also see that we continue to give full assistance and uplift our marketing of our products from day old chicks to the dressed chicken arena.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Wet Season

We can't deny the rainy season is here.

What should you look after?

1) Are they feeling cold? They group/pile together to get heat from one another.
1watt per bird is the recommended for brooding them. Depending on the temperature, you may add more bulbs to keep them comfortable. Instead of using one 100watt bulb for 100 Sunshines, use 10 10watt bulbs or 4 25watt bulbs so the heat will be distributed well.

2) Are they getting wet?
Make sure their housing in not flooded. Elevate housing/flooring if you must. Change beddings often to keep them dry and clean.

3) Do they have fresh air? Is there a strong odor when you open their pens?
Most people make the mistake of enveloping the pen using sacks, curtains etc. The Sunshines need fresh air, even during rainy season. Remember that air comes from below and exits above. So make sure they have vents for the intake and exhaust of air. Do not suffocate them. Create wind breakers around the cages, but do not block off fresh air.

How you feel is how they feel also. Use your senses to guide you in looking after your Sunshines.

Congratulations to Agree sa Agri

In such a short period of time, Anne Bernardino and Larry Guerrero were able to bring up ratings of Agree sa Agri, aired over 1062khz.

They started at 4-5am Mon-Fri. Now they are on everyday, with the addition of Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30-9am.

Glad that we partnered with Agree sa Agri at the onset!

Friday, June 20, 2008

FEEEDPRO Price Increase

If you want to go unmedicated in your feeds for your Sunshines, look for FEEDPRO in your area.

Effective June 01, these are the new prices:

Proavian Broiler 100 25k PHP 680 (suggested day1-21)
Proavian Broiler 200 50k PHP1,130 (day22-35, or day22-harvest)
Proavian Broiler 300 50k PHP1,095 (day36-harvest)

Prices may vary in different areas. The ones quoted above are pick-up prices from our outlets.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Joey Rigor Holding A Sunshine Capon

Today is Thursday. One of the days that Agri Plain Talk page comes out in the business section of the Manila Bulletin.

Have you got your copy yet? Joey Rigor was photographed with the Sunshine Capons.

I texted Joey to look at his picture. He asked if "gwapo"? Hmmm....did he mean himself? I would want to think that the stars of the show were the Sunshines. Yes, they were gwapo :)

Marketing Our Sunshine Growers

For the past month, suppliers have been asking why we do the food trade shows. They know we do the agriculture expos, but now the queries are "Why the food shows?". Suppliers and colleagues have been wondering "why" when the cost of show spaces are very high. And now, they see that we also do the consumer food shows, w/c is some steps past our line.

We do the agriculture shows because our main business is in animal health supplies and services. It spun off to Sunshine Chicken, my passion since.

Asked often if we do contract growing, buy backs, etc. You'll be amazed at how almost everyone asks! Nope, we don't.

There are growers, entrepreneurs, marketing people etc. Possible, but unlikely, that we get them all rolled into one persona. Some may have the capacity to raise, but where to sell?

Long before you see themes of "niche marketing"...I had been saying that. Create a market. Focus. And yes, it is all about niche marketing.

I for one go on gut feel, no feasibility plans etc. You don't need to go far to sell. Start with your circle, going to outer circles little by little. Before you know it, you are selling.

So how do we assist? Any guarantees that a grower makes money? How d0 we work on the marketing for our Sunshine growers?

1) Open up the avenues for them through our joining food trade shows/expos/weekend markets. They join the shows for FREE. No charge for space!
2) Brainstorming on product development
3) Information dissemination
4) Consumer awareness on benefits of getting Sunshine
5) Print and radio exposures

I nurture relationships w/ our growers. Communication is open and constructive points are taken.

Our growers are getting their share in marketing mileage. The ones who work side by side with us see and experience this.

Hopefully, the other quiet growers see the importance of the food trade shows we do for them.

Next stop is the Cebu Food Expo 2008 at the Waterfront Cebu! My three regular growers in Cebu are joining.

If my growers feel we are not helping them any, I pray they let me know :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Took A Sandy Break

Was I quiet?

I missed interacting with you, but when you have your hands with wet polished nails, masque on your face and my "you can't open your eyes while at it" eyelashes being can't type with wet polish nor when you can't see :) - well, that was Tuesday, yesterday.

Today I was early at AANI Circle....greeting "Good morning"! Flashing my neon colored nails (honestly, I get headaches..might be from the glare of this polish) and showing my close/open eyes weheheheh. I was telling Tita, the better half of Pol Rubia that yesterday was "MY DAY".

After AANI I went to two other suppliers to get what we needed...then headed again to the mall to get a display medium for my dressed Sunshines at Market at the Hills...shhh then I shopped a little for myself.

Well, half work/half play....

Let's see tomorrow...looks like I will be back to work. Get a copy of Manila Bulletin for Agri Plain Talk page, going to Hobbies of Asia, oh of course, it is hatching day so invoices to prepare. Have to remember to get to my printer for the working designs on the two trade shows coming up.

I really look forward to Saturdays and Sundays for MATH...Market at the Hills! Oh yes, I get Sandy weekends too.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Durian Is Coming

Do you recall last year's Durian Festival at AANI Herbal Garden and Livelihood Center?

It will be back. Pol Rubia said the Durians are arriving YES!!! It should be there by Saturday?

I can almost smell it...and I hope there are real ripe Puyat varieties on the first day.

If you are one of the special people who enjoy Durians - You know now where to go.

Capons, Roosters That Can't Father

Joey and Doc Mitzi Rigor's Sunshine Capons have always been written about in Manila Bulletin, but this is our first real visit to the farm. Prior to this day, either there was no batch of capons to photograph, the family was out of town or Doc Mitzi was ready to give birth (she finally did 2weeks ago to a really can't deny Joey Jr).

We arrived soon after lunch and it was really a humid day. The batch now, about 5kilos, 4months old, didn't want to go out to range under the intense heat. We had to go to them. Besides, we can't risk them getting all stressed out....we know how overweight can make it hard to move around!

After all the interviews done in the past, we just needed to take photos of the actual capons....then we proceeded with the agenda for the day..."roasted capon and authentic pinakbet"!

Enjoyable banter with familiar company, great food, plus you learn more about one another. Durian turned out to be another common favorite.

We are glad the couple decided to enter this niche market. Just the other day, someone bought 10 capons! Surely, the man doesn't expect to crossbreed it :)

Plan in place now is putting up their own restaurant to serve specialty food in the Tarlac area: capons, roasted kid etc.

July will be loading time to serve the Christmas orders.

Sunshine Capons will be with us for the trade shows....

Father, Son & Patience

Day after Father's Day, we hie off to Umingan, Pangasinan to visit MARSSE Tropical Timber Plantations.

Equipped with a faxed map, we follow landmarks, junctions, forks etc. We pass through what looks like ricefields, but the area was dry and seems like a long stretch. We immediately recognize our destination because we saw the piggery buildings of a friend (let's save that for another story), and the fact that it was the only property planted with Mahogany trees. The gate was opened for us. The drive up the short driveway wasn't exciting...yet.

You are greeted immediately by a house that you'll think was conjured from ideas of a massive tree....but I actually remember my Bolinao lighthouse :) thing is sure, its not your typical house in the middle of nowhere.

Father and son (Mario and Mario Jr) came to us and excitedly showed the area beyond the house. You will see hectares and hectares of 16yr old trees, and non stop planting.

I wasn't very interested in the Mahogany talk as the volume and time to realize the project is beyond me. I opted to stay on the clear area near the house...after I hear of snakes etc :) The sounds of silence were relaxing and gave Doc Rey and I some new topics to talk about.

When they came up, we were led inside the house, floor by floor. Mario Jr did the steel railings and grills. I didn't believe at first because it must have been done by skilled hands. While waiting for lunch to be served (w/c Mario Jr oversaw), he showed us his wooden pepper mills, airplanes, furniture and toys that keeps him busy after work at plantation....hmmmm, he really is good. You will see his love for his craft. Now I believe that he did the steel works! His woodwork, he says, is where his income comes from.

From the time we were engaged in small talks, you see a dedicated father and son relationship. Respect, friendship, admiration and love. He is now 33yrs, so if the trees are 16yrs old, then he started young. In high school he began helping Mario Sr by picking seeds in the Katipunan area.

Father and son now live in the plantation, going down to Manila to visit their respective families...and getting their Mamonluk siopao!

It was befitting to meet the Marios today....spillover of memories of what Fathers are to children. Plus "patience"! This farming is really patience in all its glory.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Today is Father's Day! May all the children now relish the times and memories of having a father. There are no good nor bad fathers. Just FATHERS...they always wish us the best.

Being a Sunday, we always have a trivia question for a contest to win 10 Sunshine Day Old Chicks over DWWW 774khz's Kalikasan Sa Agrikultura, 4:30-7:30 am.

I wanted something befitting the it went: Sino ang tinitingala na tatay ng French colored chickens sa Pilipinas? Malaki ang pasasalamat ng kompanyang SASSO at Solraya sa kanya. (Who is looked up to as the father of French colored chickens in the Philippines? The companies SASSO and Solraya are very thankful to him).

The answers came in one after the! Anthony "Bobby" Inocencio is no doubt the father SASSO and Solraya refers to :)

Though Bobby is presently focused on something else, we always credit the initial awareness on the free range chicken to him. We hope to educated the people in line with what is proper, learning from Bobby, and not tire of explaining the difference of our F1 Sunshines from the proper Parent Stocks for breeding.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Genetics 101 By Doc Synan

Remember our interesting chat with Doc Synan during the inauguration of Milk Star Dairy Plant?

While on the way to Los Banos, we texted Doc Synan to ask if he was free to meet up with us after lunch.... he will be at PCARRD! Take note it was a non working holiday!

After all that Makapuno eating and talking, we grabbed a quick lunch by the pitstops along the highway. By 1pm or so, we were knocking at the door marked LIVESTOCK...and there began another round of banter and chitchat with the never tiring Doc Synan.

Genetics and animal behavior were topics he can't have enough of. No wonder, because that is really his specialization in school. Zac's original intention was talk to Doc Synan about goats, but the afternoon it went from goats, cattle, poultry...and of course Doc Synan had to end with his love, the Darags.

With all that passion shown, it does rub in...I want to go back now to my roots' hometown and try to recover some of the chickens that place is known for.

I will not deal on the "lectures" we got...I might end up preempting some articles meant to be written. Those things you can research about.

As Doc Synan brought us to the parking of PCARRD, I thanked him for seeing us on a holiday. He didn't go there to meet us. He just squeezed us in his overwork schedule.

THE dedication and passion of some of our public have to experience!

That we got this June 9, the declared Holiday to commemorate Independence Day.

Puro Makapuno

The trip to Los Banos was so short. That is how travel times are cut...with interesting conversations. With us was Linda Rillo, consultant for PhilHybrid and Zac Sarian.

The moment you get to the laboratory, you are requested to change footwear.

Puro Makapuno is the brand used for the Makapuno processed by PhilHybrid for the nuts they harvest.

The candies which were cooked with milk, cheese, sugar and Makapuno strings were sooooo far in taste and consistency than their Bulacan cousins. Newly harvested Makapuno nuts were opened for us to see and experience the taste of fresh ones. They need not be cooked in sugar as far as I am concerned. They are great to eat as is fresh.

After all the eating, we were invited to see the culture room where they do the embryo cultured seedlings they sell. We almost forgot what the trip was all about after all tasting.

Interesting how they can propagate Makapuno now, when before it was just an accident to encounter such nuts among bunches of coconuts. We got some seedlings to take home. The price of PHP650 each is not expensive....after all the steps PhilHybrid carefully work on, we have seen how they were able to have the seedlings available.

There is such a big demand for pure Makapuno in the food industry. Look into it if you have space to plant, can afford to sit on investment....hey, after 5yrs, you will harvest the nuts continuously.

The Makapuno strings we took home and sampled today are not all sugar and coconut as we get from the commercial brands we are so familiar with :)

With my seedlings...maybe I can have my own nuts in 3-4yrs.

Hobbies Of Asia: Seminar

Aida Gonzales of the mushrooming, Cafe Amadeo, invited Doc Rey to her radio program last night over 558khz.

They agreed on Doc Rey giving a FREE seminar on Raising Sunshine Chicken on Saturday, June 14, at her Cafe Amadeo inside Hobbies of Asia. That is along the famous Macapagal Blvd., infront of the Senate Building.

Be there by 8am!

Aside from frequent seminars, we will be carrying our dressed Sunshines there too.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Have you seen or heard about inarching?

Yesterday, on the way to Alaminos Goat Farm, we stopped by Ato Belen's nursery in San Pablo.

We were served bananas while waiting for him. It was somewhat "mapakla" and I remembered as a child that was told to sort or make it "lamog" to speed up the ripeness. Zac gave me my Agri 101 for the day..... get a piece of the banana skin when you peel it...and sort of wipe or rub the exposed fruit with the peeling. He said it will take off the "pakla". IT DID! Try it.

It brought back memories of a trip to Davao. They said to get the fruity odor of Durian off your hands and mouth, fill an empty Durian peeling with water as in a basin, and wash your hands there. True.

Ato showed us his compost soil, fish amino acid tanks and effective microorganism (probiotics). Next, I saw these trees with hanging seedlings???? I got 2nd lesson in Agri 101 for the day. Inarching.

Philippine International Flora & Fauna Expo 2008

July 18-20, World Trade Center in Pasay City, sees action for the Philippine International Flora & Fauna Expo 2008.

We will be at two (2) locations. Indoor at booth 81, and outdoor retail with the AANI group.

Of course, our Sunshine growers are open to use our booth for marketing their produce :)

Seminar on Raising Sunshine Chickens, had been scheduled for July 20 at 5pm.

Friday, June 06, 2008


I am not comfortable going to parties, events....I guess am not sociable :) Thought about what I can do while Zac and Doc Rey were learning about the plant....

We got there at 11am...parking was full, save for a lone spot near the caterer's place (good, it means a short hop to the registration). But it means walking into a tent full of visitors...

The Almedas were such pleasant hosts! They led us around, making us feel at home and welcome. First table had a familiar smile but I am so bad with names and faces...but this one was a really so familiar face. He said we met during Agrilink. Oh well, yeah right, very helpful info. Next table, I heard "PCARRD" being mentioned. Then I recognized Doc Synan, then I immediately looked again at the "familar face" and of course..the boss of Doc Synan. I am terrible with names...was that Doc Edwin?

Next table was the Goat Federation members, let by Ben Rara. I've been bumping into him in several web sites already...from gamefowls, to everywhere wehehhehe.

By the time we were walking to the blessing proper....I saw our grower in Tuy, Batangas! We were just texting on our schedules on visiting the Sunshines in Tuy, Batangas. Not knowing we were both enroute to Alaminos Goat Farm!

The blessing proper of the first dairy plant for goat's milk went smoothly. Credit it to relatives and friends who cared. You don't drive a distance just to be there :) It was so cute to see adults pick up the coins from the "pasabog".

Going back to the tent...we were taking pictures of the lechon kambing - perfect excuse to make kurot! Take another picture...kurot again!

During lunch...I see a brother in law! Geez, we don't even see each other in Isabela for ages, and here we are about 500kms from were we both stay.

Thankful that Doc Synan came over to our started a very interesting talk on genetics in several species up to show biz denizens. Guess Doc Synan, Zac, Doc Rey and I looked we were enjoying ourselves as several others came over and joined the table :)

Doc Synan of PCARRD, and who moderates the poultry forum of the PCARRD message boards - does make an interesting specimen for an interview and information gathering.

I learned a lot today....Alaminos was the 2nd in the iterinary for this morning! Before I share what I learned earlier.... Let me relish first the feast called lunch today. From the buffet I had two servings of the lechon goat, several too for the ice cream...and yes two huge slices of the Leche Flan made from Goat's milk. Didn't they say "better to walk in pairs"?

You can feel that the preparations was a family affair event. Everyone looked like an Almeda. Hey Doc Synan...what did we talk again about producing good looking offsprings? wehehhehe

Good night for now....have to go to the Market tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Vacuum Packaging

We got a vacuum machine and ordered our plastics in 2 sizes.

Why are we getting it?

The machine was going to be demonstrated and we needed a product to package. The only thing we had was the Adobong Sunshine Capon at our IFEX 2008 booth. So we got about 50g and had it vacuumed. It did look good and gave me an idea to .....

Watch out for our line up of special home made products.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Booked For Cebu Food Expo 2008

July 10-12 2008 will be the dates to go and see the Cebu Food Expo that coincides with the Cebu Goes Culinary2008. This will be at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. We will be at booth 827, near the seminar areas.

Seminars for Raising Sunshine Chicken will be scheduled during our stay in Cebu from July9-12. Our Sunshine growers in the area will be there to market their products.

Cebu Food Expo is scheduling us for two (2) seminars on the benefits of eating grass fed Sunshine chicken, both at the ground floor, Pacific Ballroom:

July 11, 5pm
July 12, 11am

See you at our booth for a more personal talk on raising Sunshines.

Come End Of May

Or Start of June?

Depends of you see the glass half full or half empty :)

What am I saying? We had our 1st egg drop from the 2nd batch of our Parent Stocks, now from SASSO (thank God!). The Parent Stocks from SASSO of France had been good from the day it arrived as day old chicks. No mortality at the airport, packed well, alive and chirpy. Hardly any mortality during the grow out period and gave a 38g 1st egg drop. Very good sign, in comparison to our initial batch of Parent Stocks from another company. Really glad that we made the switch.

2nd weekend at Market at the Hills. Enjoyable, relaxing. Good venue for consumer awareness and developing the niche market some of the growers are targeting. This also serves as my I have encountered numerous friends from way back, and not too distant past. I guess that is why I don't find MATH weekends as work, its like throwing a duck into a pond.

You have to go try the native chocolate drink at Manna Specialty Bakery. It was really good. Just right. Not too sweet nor thick. Sarap to dip your bread from Manna :)

If you care to gift your parents, grandparents or yourself some exotic fruit trees, go to Market at the Hills on Saturdays. Teresa Orchard will have their miniature Macopas from Indonesia and Abiu available. Free taste test of the will make you want to grow your own trees.