“If you have the passion to serve without conditions, blessings will be poured unto you unexpectedly,” said Abel Cabajes, an ARB from Barangay Tagbayani, Sison, Surigao del Norte.
Born eldest among the seven siblings of Cabajes family, they live in a typical rural environment. At the age of 10, he already experienced helping his parents as share tenant in a farmland owned by landowner Olympio Epis. He took part some of the household works, minor works in the farm and taking care of the animals. These responsibilities were his daily routine until the later years of his life. Because of his love to serve his family, he declined to pursue college and preferred to support his younger brothers and sister who are still studying.
Life for Abel is not easy, the hardship and trials of life molded him to become a very responsible person. At the age of 22, he got married to her neighbor Rowena Maratas and was blessed with 3 children. A few years later, Abel was qualified as a recipient of agricultural land being distributed by the Department of Agrarian Reform under
the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP). His awarded land of 2.7393 hectares was a blessing knowing his dedication.
He was always been identified and recommended to attend trainings and seminars facilitated by DAR and DA. The application of his learned insights on diversified farming technology and other trainings have resulted to a maximization and utilization of his awarded land through planting of rice, intercropping of potato and cassava on bananas , fruit trees and falcata trees as perimeter fence.
Abel Cabajes is also an active lay leader of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines from 1989 to 2008. As he exemplifies his leadership, he was elected President of Barangay Tagbayani Farmers Association (TFA) and Chairperson of the Barangay Agrarian Reform Community (BARC) simultaneously.
He was also elected as Barangay Kagawad of their community for three consecutive terms. His wife, Rowena, also served their community by being an active Barangay Health Worker. Both husband and wife were known for their sincerity and dedication as public servants.
Today, Abel and Rowena were able to make good of their harvested crops and was able to buy their own turtle hand tractor and rice thresher which other farmers rent. They also purchased four cows. Rowena also raised several pigs and opened a small “sari-sari” store.