Monday, June 16, 2008

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.

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