More than half of his life is devoted to farming but only last year that Ernesto Pablo, Sr. started reaping the fruits of his labor.
In 2003, the DA technicians in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro were promoting the hybrid rice program to the farmers. Being certified rice farmers for so long, all the farmers in the barangay turned them down except one.
With the loving persuasion of his wife, Mayor Sonia Cabaluna Pablo, he gave in the plea of DA technicians that he would try it only once. Mang Baby as he is fondly called was given a 20 - kg - bag of seeds ( SL - 8), which he planted on a one-hectare rice field just, near the highway. The DA technicians helped him prepare his demo farm. And to ensure success, they religiously followed the ABC of hybrid rice production technology - from preparation of seeds, land preparation, sowing and transplanting them to fertilization and pest control. There were constant visitation and monitoring to ensure the proper procedure is followed. Truly planting hybrid seeds is strenuous but as what mang Baby was attested, it is very rewarding and profitable.
The single trial becomes constant. For the cropping season Nov. 2002 - April 2003, his yield amounted to 10.6 tons or 212 cavans with the net income of P90,100.00/ha. For May 2003- October 2003 cropping his actual yield was 12.95 MT or 259 bags with net income of P123, 508.00/ha.
Last year Mr. Pablo has earned two (2) distinctions for being an SL- 8 rice farmer. He was proclaimed last July 2003 by the SL Agritech Corporation in the coordination with the Department of Agriculture as First Outstanding Rice Farmers of SL -8 hybrid rice throughout the Philippines and in March 2004, he was awarded for the second time as Outstanding SL - 8 Rice Farmer for the yield he got in June - October cropping season.
Where others failed, Mang Baby had succeeded. It really pay to try and take risk sometime. This is just what the famous "Baby" of occidental Mindoro had done. Recently, he just got another feather on his cap - was proclaimed as Regional GAWAD SAKA Rice Farmer for the year 2003 - 2004 by DA- Mimaropa.