When he left to work as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lodi Carbonilla has to leave behind a life that he has been used to—living around coconut plantations in Southern Leyte.
However, after working ten years abroad, Lodi went home to the Philippines and decided to venture into coconut farming.
He rented his coconut farm, developed it, and called it ‘King David Integrated Farm’.
Sometime in 2016, Lodi diversified into sowing fruits and vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, pineapple, and banana. He also began raising cows, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and tilapia.
In 2019, he further expanded the operations of his farm by putting more elements such as accommodation and camping activities.
Coconut—the tree of life
Since Lodi’s grandfather’s time, coconuts abound on the farm. There are currently over 2,000 of them that were grown by different generations of Lodi’s family. What’s good is that most of these trees are still standing and bearing fruits that sustain the business.
“Coconuts have been there since my grandfather’s management. It is grown naturally since no chemical fertilizer is used; just rich, natural, and fertile soil,” Lodi shares.
He added that these coconuts are now the main source of their products.
From his coconut trees, Lodi was able to launch Buko Moko. The business enterprise offers fresh buko juice, smoothies, pies, and other refreshments. They also produce naturally-spiced coconut sap vinegar sauce.
The business also earns from the livestock. They currently have five cows, 100 ducks, six goats, and one horse.
“We usually earn a gross income of P250K per month from the stores and our farm. But today, we encountered a tremendous profit loss because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lodi shares.
However, profit loss became a motivation for Lodi to adapt and create new things.
“Now, we are creating a Buko Moko experience. It is an on-site bakery or mobile bakery on wheels where customers can buy fresh buko pies straight from the oven every day. This idea came up because I believe that in every crisis, there will always be an opportunity,”