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 FROM FISH VENDOR TO FARMER—Coffee farmer Lito Mahubay used to sell fish at the wet market, but his decision to plant coffee instead changed his life for the better.

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Around 30 years ago, Lito Mahubay of Agusan del Norte was struggling to make ends meet for his growing family. Then he decided, following a neighbor’s advice, to grow and sell coffee instead.

And yet, even with fertile soil and ideal climate, it was still Mahubay himself who needed to work the soil with his hands, who needed to wake up very early in the morning to plant, water, prune and nurture his coffee trees under the hot sun. It was hard work, but the former fish vendor decided to put his whole heart into farming.

Mahubay says the cycle of planting, nurturing, and harvesting is a gift from the divine. He never fails to commune with God, the Creator and Sustainer of all Life, when he walks amid his coffee trees.

“I just pause, close my eyes, and fall silent. For me, the best prayer at such a moment is ‘Thank you, God. Thank You. Thank You, God.’ It’s the best prayer because, if you think about it, there’s nothing ordinary about a coffee farm. It’s the grace and the love of God right there: being planted as a seed, being nurtured, growing and bearing fruits—miraculous,” says Mahubay.

Mahubay says the spiritual connection he feels with the land inspires him to wake up before dawn every day and do the necessary work at his farm.

“If you work with a sense of gratitude to the Creator and the land he entrusted into your care, then you will be blessed and rewarded. If you give your best to the land, the land will give back what is due to you,” says Mahubay, adding that the livelihood he and his family now enjoys is really a result of his hard work, devotion and caring for the land, and faith in his Creator.

Help Lito Mahubay and other Filipino farmers harvest their future by bringing home a jar of the 2010 Special Limited Edition NESCAFÉ Classic First Pick.

Look for the unique code at the back of the jar and log on to www.nescafe.com.ph/firstpick. Key in the code to learn more about the journey of your coffee and to adopt a coffee seedling that will benefit a local coffee farming community. To know more about NESCAFÉ Classic First Pick, call the Nestlé Care Hotline at 898-0061.
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