The story of how a former seaman who wanted to be a ship captain ended up raising stingless bees will show us how unpredictable life can be.
Mac Bergonio of Los Pepes Farm has always wanted to become a seaman and eventually a captain. After graduating BS Marine Transportation in 2005, he boarded a ship and spent 8 years of his life there. Unfortunately in 2014, he got into an unexpected incident that crushed his dreams of becoming a ship captain: one of his ears lost its hearing. This made him fail his medical examination and was sent him home.
Like they say, when one door closes, another one opens. Mac found himself helping his father-in-law manage their stingless bee business.
“Napunta po ako sa pag-aalaga ng mga bubuyog dahil sa mga panahon na wala akong kinikita, in-introduce ng biyenan ko yung pag-aalaga ng stingless bee,” Mac shared in an interview with OG via its Youtube channel.
In an interview with Agriculture Online, Mac revealed that his father-in-law wanted him to take care of their stingless bees because he was busy with their native ducks. He taught Mac skills on how to take care of lukot, the local term for stingless bees. Soon, Mac found himself passionate about stingless bee farming.
“Nagustuhan ko yung pag-aalaga. Naging passion ko rin ang beekeeping,” he said.
Mac enjoyed making creative beehives, some in the shape of ships, minibus, and many others made out of upcycled material.
Los Pepes Farm in Cavite is home to two species of stingless bees: Tetragonula biroi and Tetragonula sapien. They sell various bee products such as raw honey and pollen granules. They also turn them into lip balm, throat spray, massage oil, and ointment.
According to Mac, their business boomed during the pandemic when people were conscious of their health. Because of beekeeping, Mac is proud that they are now building their dream house.
“Dahil sa lukot nakapag-patayo tayo ng pinapangarap naming bahay. Hindi pa siya tapos pero unti-unti kini-claim na namin na darating ang araw na mapapatapos namin siya,” Mac said.
Mac explained that the profits of a stingless bee farm aren’t always the same monthly. During their peak months, they could earn as high as 6-digit profits. He is confident to assure aspiring entrepreneurs that bee farming is a good and profitable business venture.
“Nagkaroon kami ng bahay. Natutupad namin ang mga pangarap namin na dati ay hindi ko naipundar o naabot,” Mac shared.
In the end, Mac’s story is a reminder that when one of your dreams fails, another one will surely come along. Giving up on our dreams isn’t always the end of the road. Maybe, there’s something better waiting for us.
There are many success stories of entrepreneurs who chose to farm. A student is earning thousand with his goat farm while a couple sells fresh produce through their own veggie farm.
You can watch Mac’s story via OG Youtube channel: