To Third Domingo, farming was a childhood dream. Coming from a family of teachers and farmers, he now savors the different kind of happiness that agriculture offers, that is despite being a sought-after creative writer for big brands. 

Now that he has built his own advertising company called IXM, he set off to his dream of being a farmer. 

Farming: Returning to his roots 

“When the sun sets, you stop working in the fields. In advertising, you keep working…In farming, it’s physically demanding, but mentally refreshing. You can turn it off. In advertising, it’s the opposite: your brain is always churning,” this advertising company Chief Executive Officer (CEO) quipped.

Domingo bought his 10-hectare farm in Capas, Tarlac in 2019. He allotted five hectares for rice and the rest for vegetables and fruits. He sought the help of a group of farm hands from the Aeta community to assist him while running his company in Manila.

Challenging start 

His farming challenges were enormous at first. He and his helpers had to take care of a kilometer-long river traversing his land where his farm hands cultivate rice, mangoes, coffee, mulberries, and vegetables. 

In particular, he discovered rice planting was so complicated that it required so many things like soil preparation and investing in fertilizers, which he failed to do in his first try. “If your soil is not level, it would waste an ungodly amount of fresh water because water would drain on one side,” Domingo noted.

As he recalls, neighboring farmers laughed at him when he first harvested 30 cavans per hectare (cav/ha). “Hey, go back to advertising!” they taunted him. Unperturbed, he vowed to do better next harvesting season. He researched modern ways of farming from books and the internet, and watched tutorial videos from YouTube. 

All the farmers in the area were astounded when they saw two large container trucks pulled over at his farm to haul his 110cav/ha harvest as he tried for the second time, making him the talk of the town. 

“Farming is a very purposeful way of life. You rediscover new insights about life, which make you humble, and learn how to contend with the power of nature on a daily basis and harness that power as well,” Third Domingo, said with finality.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) is a government corporate entity attached to the Department of Agriculture created through Executive Order 1061 on 5 November 1985 (as amended) to help develop high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos.

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Philippine Rice Research Institute