I am Illuminado “Berting” Igloso, 52 years old and a resident of Barangay Jubang, Capul Island, Northern Samar. Before I started planting seaweeds, I was doing compressor fishing. I started with compressor fishing in 1984. I would fish even in the sanctuaries. I was good at compressor fishing, and was able to go to different places because of it. The farthest I have gone to was in the province of Palawan.
I started planting seaweeds in 2005. MODE, an NGO, came in our barangay. We were able to establish a livelihood organization, and I was chosen as president. We were able to learn about seaweed farming. Since then, and because of the plea of my children, I have stopped with compressor fishing and tried farming seaweed instead. I started with 4 lines with 35 meter lines. After the 1st grafting, my lines increased to 12, and after the 2nd grafting, my lines became 20.
We planted seaweeds then, but the problem was the market for it. There were people buying seedlings from us but they never came to get them. A typhoon came and our seedlings were affected.
Our seaweeds got destroyed. Despite this, we still continued planting. When SPPI came in 2010, the seaweed trade became better. There is now a market for the seaweeds, and we were also taught technologies in planting seaweed. We are excited to plant because there are now protocols and procedures. I was also able to apply a loan from the office to buy a boat.
On February 2011, I was able to sell 625 kilograms of seedlings to CERD. On March, May, and October 2012, I was able to sell 200, 300, and 655 kilograms of seaweed seedlings to interested farmers from other POs (people’s organizations). I was able to earn a total of more than P25, 000 from seaweed farming.
Seaweed farming has helped me a lot. I stopped with compressor fishing. I am now busy planting in the sea or going to the farm. If we do not have money to buy even rice, we sell our dried seaweeds and get money from there. If my daughter who’s studying in Manila does not have enough money, I am able to send her some which I get from seaweed farming.
Seaweed farming has greatly helped me and my family!
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