I did not mean to acquire a farm three years ago. I have just been passively scouting for a spacious out-of-town lot to build a rest house. Lipá was not even on my shortlist. But providentially, I discovered a quiet barrio called San Celestíno close to an unassuming mountain, Malaráyat, and an abandoned farm sitting on a ridge above a small gorge with a river below. I instantly liked it and made up my mind to acquire it on the third minute, more or less, we were there.
I had no experience, no practical knowledge, no plan, no nothing. I was about to turn forty in some months and I felt like throwing myself into something way bigger than I am. Shortly after, I got what I wished for: all nine acres of coffee and coconuts.
This blog is called 1784 to commemorate the year coffee was most likely first farmed in the area, some years after the first seedlings arrived in the whole archipelago. God bless the man who thought of bringing a coffee seedling, planting it, and systematically farming it first in the very vicinity where we are now. That man had no clue he would literally and figuratively break ground and pave the way to make Lipa the world's biggest coffee producer and exporter in the 1800s. By that one singular act, not only did he change history, he made it. And more than two hundred years later, we all still enjoy the fruits of that idea.
Can anyone imagine what can happen if we do the same now?