Monday, October 29, 2012


(a couple of months late. a summary for the bosses. #storyline love)

Celerino Caluag (Tatay Siling), a 67-year-old third generation tenant farmer of their family, was raised in a livelihood of animals, especially carabaos, in Pulilan, Bulacan. He gave up school after finishing his 6th grade to embark on farming where his passion is. He’s the most famous farmer and carabao trainer in Pulilan. He was 9 years old when he learned how to make carabaos kneel. Pulilan is known for its Carabao Festival (May 14 and 15) where hundreds of carabaos are led on a parade in their colorful embellishment. The carabaos are made to kneel down all together in front of the church as a symbol of thanksgiving for the year’s harvest. This is also when the farmers all over the town pay tribute to the patron saint of farmers, San Isidro Labrador. Tatay Siling mentioned having no regrets to this kind of living. Carabaos are with them until now through their struggle for a seemingly rags-to-riches life. He said, “Kung hindi dahil sa kalabaw, di ako makakadayong Maynila.”

The passion for farming was handed down to Kuya Eddie, Tatay Siling’s 41 –year-old son, the fourth generation bearer and unfortunately, the last.  He wasn’t able to finish grade school because he didn’t want to continue his studies anymore. He told his father that what he wanted is a life of farming. At the age of 8, he learned how to make a carabao kneel. The carabaos as their means of living are treated as an additional to the family. When his wife died, he mentioned during the interview, “Yan [carabaos] na nga yung naging asawa ko eh.” When asked about his feeling of being the last bearer since he has no sons and his siblings’ sons are not interested , he said, “Hindi lang ako malungkot. Kumbaga ito na kasi yung kadugtong ng buhay ko eh.”

Last May 14, both of them joined the parade with their carabaos. Tatay Siling brought his 2 carabaos. Kuya Eddie brought his newly bought carabao.
talking to strangers, finding Storyline stories, I terribly miss.

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