By Niño S. Manaog
Regional Applied Communications
July 6, 2010 was the big day for Magsasaka Siyentista (MS) Rebecca Tubongbanua.
On this day, the farmer scientist based at the Farmers’ Information and Technology Services (FITS) Center in the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) in Guimaras hosted the Science & Technology-based Farm (STBF) Field Day featuring her mango processing technology in her newly constructed McNester Food Products site in barangay San Isidro, Buenavista, Guimaras.
The owner proprietor of McNester Food Products presented the highlights of her mango processing technology to some 200 guests including barangay folk, local government officials, and partners from PCARRD, the Western Visayas Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (WESVARRDEC) and the Bureau of Plant Industry - National Mango Research and Development Center (BPI-NMRDC) and the media.
After a Holy Mass celebration and blessing of the new process site, WESVARRDEC Director Joseph Edward Idemne opened the program proper by highlighting the need for MS Tubongbanua to pursue further steps to level-up her processing technology. Idemne expressed optimism in the MS’s technology even as it continues to reap success in business and networking locally and internationally.
MS Tubongbanua served the guests her signature spaghetti featuring her mango sauce, and also mango calamansi juice, one of the bestsellers in the McNester Food Products product line. The host also distributed dried mango sample treats for everyone who came for the farmer scientist’s big day.
A video presentation developed by FITS OPA Guimaras and WESVARRDEC RACG was also screened in the venue featuring Tubongbanua’s practicable mango recipes and process procedures. The said IEC material can be purchased from the WESVARRDEC One Stop Information Shop (OSIS) for 100 pesos a copy.
Then, in her speech, MS Tubongbanua stressed on the word “substance,” her mnemonics that spells her own success. Using her own raw material in processing—SUBSTANCE—Tubongbanua attributes her success and continuous growth some nine elements or ingredients, namely: S for self confidence; U for untiring; B for boldness; S for skills; T for tolerance; A for attitude; N for networking; C for Christ-Centered Commitment; and E for essence.
For Tubongbanua, self-confidence and boldness are what propels her to pursue her technology despite the numerous setbacks, saying she took risks in a rather unexplored terrain. While Tolerance is an equally important factor for success, the MS requires that the business person should be Christ-centered, saying she is only an instrument used by God. For essence, Tubongbanua realizes that she has to make sense, if only to prove herself relevant to the community.
Tubongbanua’s efforts at McNester Food Products she seeks to provide income for a few members of the marginalized sectors in her small community in Barangay San Isidro in Buenavista, Guimaras. Tubongbanua also thanked PCARRD, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 6, who assisted her through the SETUP, the regional offices of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture, who believe in her capacity to produce quality commodities even as she is able to provide livelihood to marginalized sectors in her community.
According to RACG Coordinator Cora Navarra, these government support entities continually extend institutional, financial and logistics backup to promote her technology because Tubongbanua carries a high sense of social responsibility always noteworthy for advocacy.
Highlighting all other activities in the Field Day was the awarding of certificates to some 30 prospective and concurrent adaptors including housewives and out-of-school youth in San Isidro, and neighboring barangays of Buenavista town.
Among other speakers supporting the farmer scientist, Judy Bulquiren, manager of FITS OPA Guimaras, expressed due gratitude to all supporters who contributed much to MS Tubongbanua’s successful project.
Promoted by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) in all its 14 consortia across the country, Tubongbanua’s Field Day was the farmer scientist’s chance to showcase her one-of-a-kind innovation, one that continues to expand and can now be replicated or adopted by other people.
In full support of the Field Day were MS Tubongbanua’s family whom she deeply thanked, the PCARRD as represented by Technology Outreach Promotion Division (TOPD)’s Yolanda Tanyag; two members of the local clergy; the barangay and provincial officials of barangay San Isidro, Buenavista town and the province of Guimaras; the FITS OPA Guimaras; the BPI-NMRDC headed by Yondre Yonder; and the WESVARRDEC family.