They cheered, they clapped, they wolf-whistled as Luisa showed off her special talent. The event was the first ever farmers’ and fisherfolk’s day held in Anda, Pangasinan last December 14.
Upon signals from her caretaker, Willy Castro, 64, of brgy. Macaleeng, she knelt while her back feet stumped the ground in cadence with the beat of the background music.
Not only that, she posed with gusto like a pro in front of the camera.
Luisa is a native carabao.
“It takes a lot of patience to teach a carabao how to kneel, lie down, and sit. The caretaker must be passionate in teaching and goading for his animal to do those things,” Willy said in Filipino.
Willy named the carabao “Luisa” after his granddaughter because of her docility and domesticity –the same demeanors his granddaughter manifests.
According to him, Luisa was only four years old when he started to teach her how to kneel and lie down.
He has been taking care of Luisa for 14 years now, which already had six parities.
“I kept on asking and telling her to lie down by slowly pulling and moving her leash. She learned in two days how to lie down and another two days how to kneel,” he shared.
Willy is fond of teaching animals and treat them like growing up kids. He said that he even taught his goat, dog, and cow how to pull a cart.
Luisa is owned by Milagros Arig. She herself was in awe as she didn’t expect that her carabao could show off such talents.
“When the emcee said it’s time for the talent show of carabaos, I was shocked and at the same time amazed when Luisa entered and began flaunting her kneeling ability and beauty by striking a pose in front of the camera. That was the first time I saw her doing those in front of many people,” Milagros said.
No other carabao in the event dared to compete with Luisa in the talent show.
The event, dubbed as the “Awron Magtatalon Tan Mangnguna 2017 (Day of Farmers and Fisherfolk)”, was a day of thanksgiving for the bounties of the land and sea. It featured varied abundances of Anda, Pangasinan such as vegetables, fish, rice, carabaos and others.
Other activities of the event which starred the carabaos included contests for carabao painting, best-dressed carabao, best in talent, biggest, and heaviest carabao based on their body conformation. Eight competed in the events.
Luisa, obviously, was the runaway winner in the “best in talent” award category and second place for the best-dressed carabao and fourth for best-painted carabao categories.
“Marian”, a crossbred carabao owned by Jimy Cacho of brgy. Sablig, won the best-dressed award.
Meanwhile, a crossbred carabao owned by Renato Celso and tended by Bartolome Cacho of brgy. Macando-candong won several awards in the painted carabao, biggest, and heaviest female carabao categories. For the biggest and heaviest male carabao, a crossbred owned by Ernesto Carlit and tended by Boy Caniedo won the award.
Crossbreds in Anda are being used mainly for draft purposes but the municipality also supports the dairy program of the Philippine Carabao Center at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University (PCC@DMMMSU).
Mayor Aldrin Cerdan, on the other hand, underscored the executive order declaring the second week of December of every year as farmers’ and fishermen’s day or week.
“It is indeed a must that we express our gratitude to our farmers and fishermen who work hard just to produce our staple food. If not because of them, we wouldn’t be able to eat nutritious meals. When it comes to our livestock and farming industry, as a veterinarian by profession, I fully support the farmers and raisers,” Mayor Cerdan said.
Meanwhile, Municipal Agriculturist Elizabeth Tomas bared noteworthy plans after this event.
“This event will be implemented yearly. The Sangguniang Bayan is already drafting an ordinance on this to give emphasis on the carabao industry because we need to maintain and improve our carabao population,” she said.
She added that through this event, they expect to appreciate more the carabao as an essential part of the farming industry in Anda.
“The farmers will be more open to the initiatives of PCC@DMMMSU and LGU when it comes to carabao upgrading program. Rest assured that our LGU will be supportive of any carabao-related activities,” she concluded.