As early as 56 years of age, Filipinos are entitled to retire from work and spend the rest of their lives in the comforts of their homes. Some would want to rest well, travel, return to their provinces, or even take the responsibility of taking good care of their grandchildren. But to some, they want to extend their working years, even beyond 65 years old.
The Philippines have senior citizens who cannot leave work despite their twilight years. They saw the need to continue to support their families, buy their maintenance medicines, and pay home utility bills among others. Assistance from the government may be present, but more is needed for some, so they exert more effort to work further. While others of that age do just want to stay active.
Job opportunities should still be offered to senior citizens who wish to continue or apply to work. They should, too, experience equal chances of making a living.
Alejandra Santander, also known as “Nanay Ale” chose to spend her golden years at the Yamang Bukid Farm.
Yamang Bukid Farm is a new farm tourism destination declared by the Department of Tourism in the heart of Palawan.
It opened its doors in the year 2017. It is specifically located on the ridges of Barangay Bacungan, Puerto Princesa City. The farm was established because of Yamang Bukid Healthy Products, Inc., the top manufacturer of Turmeric 10 in 1 Tea in the Philippines. They wanted to extend their business and at the same time to do business with a heart. They partnered and benefit different communities and individuals. One is accepting senior citizens as their employees who wish to help on the farm.
Nanay Ale at 63 has 6 children and 10 grandchildren. Being with family is the most precious time for her yet she needed to work more to sustain herself and support her family as she lost her husband a few months back.
She shared that she might follow her husband soon, but working with her Yamang Bukid Farm family helped pave lonely feelings.
“Lahat nakangiti dito, kakamustahin ka, tapos makikipagkwentuhan pa kaya nakakagana lang araw-araw,” (Everyone smiles here at the farm and even share stories with you. I find every single day interesting.) Nanay Ale shared.
“Gusto ko magpatuloy lang ng pagtrabaho dito kasi ‘di naman nakakapagod. Malakas pa nga ako. Kaya ko pa umakyat ng puno ng niyog,” (I want to continue working here because work is not tiring. I am still strong. I can still climb up coconut trees) she continued.
Employers should not belittle senior citizens’ capabilities because of their age as they can still offer more. They can even help in teaching younger employees to be productive and produce their best work. Moreover, they can be models of the company’s values as they already have it by heart.
“Akala ko dati susunod na ako sa asawa ko. Pero hahaba pa buhay ko. Sa tulong ng Yamang Bukid Farm, buhay na buhay kami,” (I thought I would soon follow my husband, but I know now that my life will last longer. We will all live with the help of Yamang Bukid Farm).
Other than the salary, employees of Yamang Bukid Farm, no matter what age and rank, receive complete benefits with overflowing incentives such as medical assistance, scholarships, a daily allowance for studying children, travels, seminars and workshops, and so much more.
“Naku, alagang-alaga kami dito sa Yamang Bukid Farm. Kaya nakangiti din lahat. Ako matanda na pero tanggap ako dito,” (All of us here at the farm are well-kept. That is also one of the reasons why everyone is smiling. I am accepted even though I am already old) Nanay Ale said.