“Pursuing your career related to your degree doesn’t guarantee your happiness”

Executive Director of Champion Farmers Program of Lambunao, Iloilo

Ariel Lastica, is a registered Medical Technologist. He graduated as Bachelor of Science in Public Health at University of Philippines-Visayas and attained his Masters Degree in Entomology at UP Los Banos.  Despite this educational attainment, he is now pursuing and enjoying his promising career in Agriculture as the Executive Director of Champion Farmers Program of Lambunao, Iloilo.

Ariel had his long way before working confidently in this field of Agriculture as he once doubted himself. As a former Public Health Manager of DOH Romblon and WHO Staff in Palawan, he realized that medicine is not his career to pursue. The routine works and activities he performs in this field easily made him bored.  It is then that a decision to go back in Lambunao was triggered because he has to take care of his mom who was diagnosed with brain tumour that time and  that, he also felt the emptiness while being away from his family and missed out the opportunities to celebrate different occasions in his hometown.  Staying for good in Lambunao, he grabbed the opportunity to work as Executive Assistant for Health in the Local Government Unit.

His journey in agriculture started when Former Lambunao Mayor Jason Gonzales and currently Board Member of Iloilo 3rd District offered him the vacant position in Municipal Agricultural Office as the Agriculturist.  To learn more in this field, Mayor Jason back then, give him a book about permaculture for him to read and they discussed it after he finished reading. Then he was also sent to Palawan for two weeks to attend a permaculture seminar and, when he got back in Lambunao, they started the planning of the framework.

At that point, he decided to accept the position because he saw it as a challenge and an avenue for him to take new learnings. Aside from that, he is very observant on what is really happening in the areas of agriculture and to the farmers itself.  This new journey is not easy for him for the reason that other people have doubts on his potentials because he is from the field of health and medicine. He then too, started questioning his skills and capability as being part now of Agriculture Department. But Mayor Jason helped him to gain and boost his confidence. He told Ariel that even he is not an agriculturist by profession, as long as he is capable to do the job, you are fit for the position, regardless of your background.

From then, opportunities started to knock on his door. Currently, Mr. Ariel Lastica is still the Executive Director of the Champion Farmers; a Council Member of ESSA; and actively affiliated in different organizations with relevance to his passion.

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