Latest Stories

Working on farm gives drive to disabled man

DONALD CARPO goes about his work at a farm at the back of SM City Rosales. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ROSALES, Pangasinan—Every day, 34-year-old Donald Carpo rises very early to work on a 1.5-hectare vegetable farm near SM City Rosales here.

He joins three others to water the plants, pull out the weeds, apply fertilizer and manually remove pests from fruit crops.

The land, which used to be idle, was transformed in 2010 into a farm through the committee on disability affairs of SM Cares program, said Jersey Mendoza, an engineer and SM City Rosales manager.

Before the mall opens at 10 a.m., Carpo slips into his work clothes as maintenance employee and goes about his work in the mall for the rest of the day.

For a person with clubfoot, a congenital deformity where a foot appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle, just walking to and around the farm and the spacious mall is a daily struggle.

But his disability did not deter him from doing his work well, and from being a good team player to his similarly physically challenged farm workers and colleagues.

Early this year, the success of the farm project was recognized by the Asia-Pacific Development Center on Disability (APDCD).

Upon the invitation of the center, Carpo and Mendoza attended the United Nations-sponsored Regional Workshop on Disability-Inclusive Agribusiness Development in Bangkok last month.

“I did not expect that my disability, which I considered as a burden years ago, will be my passport to see another country,” said Carpo.

The two-day workshop, which was a joint project of APDCD, UN Food and Agriculture Organization and Nippon Foundation, was aimed at building and enabling environment for disability-inclusive agribusiness.

Over 120 delegates from different countries with disabled people engaged in agribusiness attended the workshop.

Carpo said the workshop helped him see through his disability and realize that he is part of the community who can contribute to his country.

He said he once tried to commit suicide because he was being bullied for his disability. “But I’m glad I am still alive to perform my role as a productive member of society,” he said.

He thanked SM City Rosales for the opportunity to find his self worth as part of the maintenance workforce at the mall and as a farm hand.

“I am thankful that when SM City Rosales hired me, they didn’t look at my physical disability. Instead, they believed that I have skills and talent that I can share and use productively,” said Carpo, who had worked as vendor, gasoline boy, car wash boy and vehicle dispatcher before SM hired him in 2010. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Agriculture , disability , Donald Carpo , Farm , People

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • Tens of thousands travel by sea this Holy Week
  • Police: Dad smothered toddler to play video game
  • 7 killed in shooting in China-Vietnam border
  • Chinese trade group to mediate shoe factory strike
  • Malaysia, Australia in deal on black box custody–report
  • Sports

  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Marketplace