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of high level of living. It was therefore clear that although some farmers derived high income, this was only true for few of them making the overall picture of standard of living low. It was found out that all the respondent households owned a house either permanent (concrete + G1 sheets, 51 or 33%); semi-permanent (combination, 62 or 40%); or temporary (bamboo, cogon, etc. 41 or 27%). A little more than three fourths of them (118 or 76%) used electricity as source of light and almost one-fourth (35 or 23%) had no electricity but petroleum and kerosene lamps. One was using petromax. Almost all (138 or 90%) got their drinking water from pump wells. Only a few had piped water (NAWASA, 9 0r 6%); open wells (5 or 3%); and natural spring (2 or 1%). As to toilet facilities, a little more than three-fourths (117 or 76%) used water sealed toilets and only nine (9 or 6%) had flushed toilets. There were four (4 or 2%) who still did not have toilets and (24 or 16%) were using pits. Regarding household facilities, amenities, and appliances, the following list shows the ownership of the farmer-respondent households studied: Facilities, Amenities and Appliances Owned No. % TV set (colored or black and white (1-2 units) Radio Cassette (1-3 units) Electric Fan (1-3 units) Refrigerator Stereo/Component (1-2 units) Video player Air conditioner (1-3 units) Radio transceiver Piano/organ Washing machine Telephone/Cellular phone 107 106 78 34 22 11 8 6 5 5 3 69 68 51 22 15 7 5 4 3 3 2 It could be gleaned from the list that not all the households possessed appliances and other household amenities and facilities. As to the farm equipment owned, majority (107 or 69%) did not own any. There were 13 (or 9%), however, who had irrigation pumps; 33 or 22% owned hand/mini tractors; and 3 or 2% had thresher. The carabao, as usual, is a very indispensable resource as far as land preparation is concerned. This was owned by 134 or 87% of the farmer-respondents. There were two who used cattle in preparing their land. The carabaos owned by the farmers ranged from one (1) to five (5) heads. Still, there were 18 (12%) who did not have any working animal. The farm implements owned which the farmers used in cultivating their land and other farming activities are found in the following list.
Farm Implements No. % Bolo/”Panabas” (1-3 units) Plow (1-3 units) Harrow (1-2 units) Shovel Scythe (106 units/HH) Rake Sprayer Sled Grub Hoe Cart “Sagad” Spading fork Crowbar 124 116 115 101 92 25 23 21 24 19 17 9 3 80 75 75 66 60 16 15 14 16 12 11 6 2 As to vehicle owned there were few farmer-respondents who possessed passenger jeepneys (2 or 1%), owner jeep (3 or 2%), hauling trucks (2 or 1%), motorcycle (3 or 2%), and cars (2 or 1%). There were twenty-one (21 or 14 %) who owned tricycles, and there were more farmers (67 or 43%) with bicycles which is more affordable. Most (139 or 90%) of the farmer-households used firewood in cooking their food. The others who would afford use gas stove (80 or 52%), gas range (24 or 16%), and electric range (12 or 8%). Charcoal was also used by some (20 or 13%) farming households. Kerosene stove (7 or 4%) and rice hull stove (1 or 1%) were used by very few households. With these descriptions of the findings on the various indicators it was found out that majority (87 or 57%) belonged to low level of living. INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE BASE Scientists advocating participatory approaches and methodologies in working with farmers believe that indigenous knowledge and practices of farmers combined with new discoveries would give better results. In this study, indigenous tools, beliefs, methodologies, and practices of farmers in the lahar areas studied were identified and documented. Farmer respondents classify soil into four categories using different indicators. To them, sandy loam soil is a good quality soil and this enables the plants to grow greener, it is porous and easy to manage. Farmers’ assessment of the soil is actually the description of their soils prior to Mt. Pinatubo eruption. However, now that their farms are buried with lahar they have to contend with the existing characteristics. Lahar was described as white, coarse to fine sand, hard, and gets compacted but with high seepage. Weeds easily grow. At saturation or at moisture content above water holding capacity, the particles exist as individual particles if prior to saturation, it is not compacted.