On May 30, 2022, the Provincial Consultative Body (PCB) of Northern Quezon alternatively known as PCB Q1 staged a celebration of the PATIKIM Festival at Brgy. Malapad, Real, Quezon two years into the pandemic. Similar to past Patikim Festivals, farmers and their organizations from Real, Infanta, and General Nakar set lengthy tables filled with their own cooked food and organic farm goods.
One of the festival’s highlights was the sharing of farmers’ and their organizations’ responses during the peak of the pandemic and recent typhoons which demonstrated the benefits of sustainable farming methods in times of scarcity, including the bayanihan in production, marketing of products to the community, and strengthening of PCB member organizations Q1.
The farmers were also grateful to the local government of Malapap, Real, who assisted them in hosting the festival, as well as the local governments of General Nakar and Infanta, who provided assistance to the participants.. A testimony of the effectiveness of sustainable farming creating an adequate space for meaningful collective action between the farmers and government organizations.
“Parang unang Patikim ito dahil sa kasabikan ng mga miyembro na magkita-kita at magsama-sama ulit pagkatapos ng dalawang taon (This is like the first Patikim since the members are excited to meet and come together again after two years,)” said Dario Gurango, head of COFAR, who founded the festival in 2012.
The Patikim Festival demonstrated that farmers can feed the people safe, nutritious, adequate and accessible food through organic farming, especially if the government provides proper and necessary assistance and programs for their endeavor.
Patikim Festival started in Quezon province led by the people’s organizations (POs) of MASIPAG in the municipalities of Real, Infanta, and Gen. Nakar. It began in 2013 which serves as a farmers’ expression of gratitude to the organizations that assisted them in recovering from the onslaught of typhoon Winnie in 2004, which caused an avalanche of boulders, logs, and soil that buried their farmlands and killed several of their families and community members.
“Kita-kita ulit sa susunod na Patikim at bayanihan para sa sapat, ligtas, abo’t-kamay at abo’t-kayang pagkain para sa lahat! (See you again at the next Patikim and bayanihan for enough, safe, inexpensive, and affordable food for everyone!)” said the farmers.