Retired teacher finds fulfillment in gardening
Having spent 37 years teaching children, 62-year-old Blasa Perez finds contentment caring for plants in her backyard in Mandaue City.
“Ig hikap nako sa tanon, akong stress ug problema mawala (Every time I touch the plants, the stress and problems I have disappear),” said Perez, a retired Filipino and HELE (Home Economics and Livelihood Education) teacher of Pagsabungan Elementary School.
Perez won a container gardening contest in Mandaue City.
She received P20,000 and a consolation prize for backyard gardening. She uses recycled water jugs and plastic containers for her plants.
Two years into retirement, Perez has an assortment of vegetables like broccoli, lettuce, okra, eggplant, cauliflower, spring onions and white onions. She sells them to neighbors and earns P100 a day.
She said she started by asking for seeds from the City Agriculture Office and fertilizer from the barangay.
A percentage of her prize money will be used to improve her garden, she said.
Every year, the Mandaue City government promotes container gardening and backyard farming to encourage Mandauehanons to plant.
Sharon Mangadlao of the City Agriculture Office said 35 participants joined the container gardening category while 125 entrants joined the backyard gardening category.
Perez, who was a runner-up in the past few years, will represent Mandaue City in the national gardening contest.
Mangadlao said Mandaue City is a consistent winner in the national gardening contest.
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