123112: The Urban Tracker (In Cavite): Take A Bow At Mambog Farms

The borderline of housing development and farmlands in Cavite

n a semi urban part of Molino, the hours of restlessness could revert from the usual charmed life to the simple joys of farming or yet a small harvest. Few surviving farmlands still survived in Mambog I Bacoor Cavite which later would be surrendered to urbanity. As soon as these lands became settlements, then we took a bow to the real Farmville.

From the back of Malinis compound is the last of saluyot or jute leaves farmlands
The little compound of Malinis was once part of a vast expanse of farmland which is now reduced to give way to private housing projects. These remaining lands were rented out to local farmers who persisted in farm practice. That afternoon, we went to the bank of river to find our  farmer friend Jerome at the back of MCI hospital to ask for permission to harvest for few saluyot or jute leaves. Our friend was not around but the neighbors told us to go ahead do our picking only to the part which was already harvested. That's when we came back to the farmstead for the actual pick.

Jute leaves in closer look
Jerome once told me they were paying 500 a month rental for each of 200 sqm piece of land to grow crops like dahong sili, alugbati, pechay, saluyot  depending on season and demand. They sold it to local markets or for export for ones with best quality. Farming here was like a gamble fraught with irrigation issues aside from natural calamities or man-made acts. Flooding for example is due to flawed drainage  system by surrounding subdivision where excessive rains drain water with nowhere to go but to farms as a big catch basin. This explains the flooding on some parts of Palico and other reclaimed parts of Bacoor. 

Picking jute leaves are neighborhood privilege in Mambog
Farming was an activity that refuse to die here for some who sees it as an  opportunity to earn. Thus, even a few of harvest or pick was a privilege knowing these lands would soon be diverted to communities but for now these farms served the markets and supermarkets as they put the greens in their shelves. Our harvest of saluyot leaves was just enough for our plan to make a diningding dish this afternoon Ilocano style - that is to detoxify our stomach . For tonight, it's new year, oh yes, another round of year to think about the hope that these green harvest would still be around for years.

Jute leaves fresh and ready to be cast as pinakbet ingredient