ABOUT Zac

zac sarianI am Zac B. Sarian, a veteran agriculture journalist who also runs a one-hectare nursery of exotic fruit trees. I am currently the Agriculture Editor of  Manila Bulletin, a 113-year-old daily newspaper. My agriculture page appears every Thursday and Saturday where I write my Agri Plain Talk column. This twice weekly column has been running for more than 21 years now.

I also edit Agriculture Magazine, a monthly that is the most widely circulated magazine of its kind in the Philippines.

I also write a weekly column in Panorama Magazine, the Sunday supplement of Manila Bulletin. My articles also come out in the vernacular magazines published by the Manila Bulletin  like  Bannawag (Ilocano),  Bisaya (Cebuano), Hiligaynon (Ilonggo) and Liwayway (Tagalog or Pilipino).

LOCAL TRAVELS - I travel a lot to the provinces in connection with my journalistic work because I want to meet and write about actual farmers, especially the successful ones so I can feature their success secrets, their strategies and insights.

FOREIGN TRAVELS - I am often invited to cover agricultural events in other countries. In 2011, I made seven such trips, two times in India, two times in Thailand, once in Vietnam, once in Israel and the latest, December 18 to 22, in Taiwan. In earlier years, aside from the above countries, I was invited to Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, United States, Australia, Nepal, Japan, Germany (2 times) and Singapore.

AWARDS - My journalistic efforts have been duly recognized. In 1974, we received the Magsaysay Award for JournalismLiterature and Creative Communication Arts. This is often referred to as the Asian version of the Nobel Prize. You don’t apply for this award. An incognito search committee does the research on candidates. The Award was established in 1957 in honor of the late Pres. Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash. President Magsaysay was the most loved president the Philippines ever had. And the Rockefeller Foundation saw it fit to initiate the establishment of the  annual Award.

Besides the Magsaysay Award, we have received various other awards, including Agribusiness Journalist of the Year Award by the Rotary Club of Manila, Outstanding Print Media Award (three times) from the Department of Science and Technology),  Most Outstanding Science Communicator Award from the National Academy of Science and Technology, Brightleaf Journalism Award for Best Tobacco Story in 2010, Brightleaf Hall of Fame Award in 2011 and J. Burgos Biotechnology Award for Best Feature Story also in 2011.

Journalism and farming are closest to my heart. Before enrolling at the University of the Philippines, I worked in my veterinarian cousin’s farm where we raised commercial poultry and piggery and had a small dairy farm. I finished an agricultural high school curriculum in Batac, Ilocos Norte, where I was born. We really wanted to take up journalism at the UP but there was no complete journalism curriculum, only a few subjects which we took as extra subjects.

I finished the Foreign Service course at UP and also passed the civil service exam for Cultural Attache. By that time, I was already editor of a farm and garden magazine published by the defunct Manila Chronicle. Although our senior reporter covering the Department of Foreign Affairs assured me he could get me a job at the Foreign Office through his influence with the then Foreign Affairs Secretary Mauro Mendez, I never entertained his suggestion because I was enjoying my work as agriculture editor at the newspaper.

While with the Chronicle, I was awarded a Jefferson Fellowship in Developmental Journalism in 1971 at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Martial law in 1972 ended my career with the Chronicle but I was subsequently employed as agriculture editor of Business Day, followed by the newly revived Manila Times and the Agribusiness Weekly. In 1991,  I joined the Manila Bulletin and although I am now past the retirement age, I remain as a full-time employee. The beauty about the Bulletin is that they don’t retire you for as long as you can do your job. I am very thankful to  Bulletin Chairman Dr. Emilio T. Yap because he is giving great importance to Agriculture in his newspaper.

AS HANDS-ON FARMER - In 1985, we bought a one-hectare farm because we wanted to practice what we have been writing about all along. We want to prove that even a small piece of land could be made productive and profitable with the right technology and common sense.

We chose to specialize in ornamental plants and then exotic fruit trees. Our strategy has been to collect outstanding varieties and then propagate them commercially so that they are made available to many farmers. We have outstanding pummelo varieties from Thailand, Vietnam, Florida (USA) and of course from the Philippines. We have a wide variety of mangoes from Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, Florida and Malaysia. We have latexless jackfruit from Malaysia, Longkong (lanzones from Thailand), durian, prize-winning rambutan, imported wax apple (makopa), Abiu from Brazil, pomegranate from India and Israel, and many others.

AS ORNAMENTALS MAN – I have a long involvement in ornamental plants and orchids because I had maintained gardening columns in the defunct Manila Chronicle and Philippine Daily Express newspapers. Until two years ago, I also edited a Garden Page in the Manila Bulletin which came out twice a week. I also maintained an ornamental plants nursery and plant shop. I had covered gardening events not only in the Philippines but also in other countries, particularly Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore.

In the late 1980s we were active in plant hunting and  have collected a number of Aglaonemas and Alocasias. In fact, a member of the Aroids Society named Alocasia Sarian after me. Up to now, I am very much interested in orchids and ornamental plants. Although she has her other business, my daughter Arvee  is maintaining a nursery of special bromeliads, ferns and other ornamental plants where she lives in Taytay, Rizal, Philippines.

RADIO PROGRAM CO-ANCHOR – For 10 years now, I have been co-anchor of the radio program “Kaunlaran sa Agrikultura” aired every Sunday morning from 4:30 to 7:30 on DWWW, 775 khz on the AM band. I have segments on ornamental gardening and successful agri-people.
BOOK AUTHOR - We have authored 8 volumes on agriculture. these are:

1. Successful Agri-People & Their Practical Ideas that Work, now out of print.

2. Successful Agri-People & Their Practical Ideas That Work - Book II, now out of print.

3. How to Start and Manage Your Own Dream Farm, now out of print.

4. The Nicest Agri-People Share their Bright Ideas, Experiences & Know-how, now out of print.

5. Fisheries Ideas that Work - Available @P225 + mailing cost.

6. Updates on Agri-People & Their Money-Making Ideas - Available @P275 + mailing cost.

7. Winning Strategies in Agriculture - Available @P225 + mailing cost.

8. Sekreto Ng Successful Agri-People - P150 + mailing cost.

AGRI-KAPIHAN FOUNDER – In 1986 we started the Agri-Kapihan, a weekly forum for agriculture enthusiasts. This is where experts, hands-on farmers and hobbyists share their experiences. It is where agri aficionados meet new friends and possible business contacts. Agri-Kapihan is open free to the public and is now held every second Sunday of the month at the AANI Urban Farm in Antipolo City, and every last Saturday of the month at the Agribusiness Development Center at the Department of Agriculture in Quezon City.

AS A BLOGGER – Last September 2011 we resurrected a blog that was started in 2009 but which was neglected and died a natural death two weeks later. I now realize that we can hasten the dissemination of useful agricultural information. That is why we are active in posting what we believe to be of help to our farmers in Agri ZACcess Ideas and to date zacsarian.com.

107 thoughts on “ABOUT Zac

    1. Text us at 0917-847-5477. Indicate the book you want to order. We will text you back to tell how much you are going to remit to our BDO bank account. We will send your order thru JRS Express after depositing the cost of the book or books plus the JRS fee..

  1. Sir, ask lang po ako kung saan pwede makabili ng high yeild corn seeds? kung meron kang mairecomendang supplier…

    1. Where do you farm? You should tell us your address so we can tell the nearest source to your residence. There are good seeds from Pioneer Hi-Bred, Monsanto, Syngenta and Bioseed.

      1. Please do not refer genetically modified seeds you mentioned above but seeds from our indigenous people that are not harming us and not harming all living habitat in our environment.

  2. hi sir! how ru doing? great stories about ur visit to some farms in taiwan. im filipino married to a taiwanese and have been living in taiwan for 24 yrs but will be retiring nxt week (my last day on july 31st). i love to plant veggies and fruit trees and raise some farm animals ever since i can remember and i opted to do this for the remaining days of my life starting on my retirement. am really excited to go back.

    with organic farming gaining popularity, i am very much interested about anything organic. im new to it and i want to learn. im thankful that ive found ur website–i know i can learn many things from u. one of my to dos when i get back is to visit ur farm. is it ok?

    btw, i have brought some grafted fruit trees from taiwan and planted them in my farm. cant wait to see ur fruit varieties in my visit. tks for ur time reading this post. god bless!

  3. Is there any hog raising seminar to be conducted on sept, plan to put up organic hog raising business. Pls assist us how to start. Many thanks in advance.

  4. Hello po, san po pwedeng magsimula kung gusto ko po matuto magtanim ng sibuyas. Any training po or reading materials na maisusugest nyo po?

    Thank you!

    Ion

    1. Get in touch with Allied Botanical Corp. Click their logo on the side of this blog. Their technicians can help you. You may get in touch with Rowena Bienes who might be able to help you get in touch with their expert at Allied. Call or text her at 0928-507-6362.

    1. If you log on to zacsarian.com, click sarian farm above. The address is there and you will also see the fruit trees we have on the farm. It is in Teresa, Rizal, km.36.6, about 30 meters before Teresa-Morong boundary. Teresa is next town to Antipolo City.

  5. Can you share your article about planting watermelon/melon in taguig or pateros after the raining season when water have receded back into laguna de bay ? What seed company would you recommend ?

  6. Hello SIr,

    I am Vic Adrada and I am very much interested I am planning to develop a land In Laguna but it is located on top of the mountain in Pangil, Laguna and my Dad told me that they used to grow coffee bean trees wayback in the mid 70’s. Now it’s full of cogon. What can you suggest I can grow in the land I believe it’s about 5 Hectares.Looking forward.. Thank you

  7. Hello dear Mr. Sarian! Tanks for your big work! how can buy the book How to Start and Manage Your Own Dream Farm? Maybe in electronic form?
    GOOD LUCK!

  8. Hello Sir Zac,

    Good day po sa inyu.. Hope everything is well for you to..

    Inquire po sana ako kung may double root stock po kayu ng mangosteen, latexless jackfruit, Luz calamansi and Longkong lanzones? Ask ko lang po kung nagbebenta kayu ng double root stock ng mga eto?

    Gusto ko po bumili sana sa inyu kung meron kayu.

    Thank you po.

    Best regards,
    Ryan P. Gardose

  9. Mr. Zac

    Magandang araw po sa inyo

    inquire ko lng po sana kung may available kelan available ung makopa fruit niyo? at kung anu anu ung mga available. nag hahanap po kasi ako niyan at dito ko lng nakita.

    maraming salamat po Godbless

    1. We will contact you when they are fruiting. For easier contact, give us your complete name, address and phone number. text us at 0917-841-5477. This is Zac B. Sarian.

  10. Dear Mr. Sarian,

    I am so pleased to have come across your website via a post of yours on Taiwan atis to the Rare Fruit Society of the Philippines Facebook Group. I was an avid reader of the magazine Agriculture News when I was briefly in the Philippines in 2011, and attended one Agri-Kapihan event in Quezon City then.

    All power to you! Dios ti agngina!

  11. Hi sir i’m lian pura po my partner and i nasa agri preneurship na..katuwa i’m a foreign service graduate dn po while my partner finished naman architectural course. Ngayon po nagbusiness kame ng lettuce ….we planted it then ayun we sell sa iba’t ibang resto and coffee chains. Etong july lang kame nag start. Nasa status pa din kame ng trial and error and willing to learn and mag risk. Hindi pa dn regular mga clients. Kahit sa market my part tlga na mahirap. Its hard pero we both love and enjoy everything.A-attend po kame ng talk niyo. Excited to meet and learn from you sir! ????

  12. Hello Sir Zac,

    I am Alvin Fidelson, Public Information Officer (PIO) of Phil. Postal Corporation (PHLPost). I would like to send a Press Release of a special stamp of “Mahaguyog Festival” which shall be launch on November 06, 2015 at Sto. Tomas, Batangas. I will send a Press release sana po thru your e-mail? Ano po ba e-mail address nyo sir? Thanks po. The stamps is all about the agricultural crops of Sto. Tomas and where Gen. Miguel Malvar, the famous son of Sto. Tomas and Phil. National Hero is famous for.

    Respectfully,

    Alvin Fidelson

  13. Sir Zac,

    ask ko lng po if open yung farm nyo @dec 28-31. balak ho sana naming bumili ng fruit bearing plants at bumisita n rin sa farm

  14. Gud am Sir Zac,

    Eto po yung balak naming bilhin para may variety of fruits sa farm :
    – Seedless guava (1)
    – Pink guava (1)
    – Super avocado (4)
    – Latexless jackfruit (1)
    – Longkong lanzones (4)
    – Seedless atis (10)
    – Guyabano (4)
    – Luz calamansi (3)
    – Key lime (1)
    – Vietnam pomelo (3)
    – Chico (3)
    – Sweet orange from spain (1)
    – Variegated lemon (1)
    – Sweet kamias (1)
    – Seedless duhat (1)
    – Honduras banana (2)

    Ano pong fertilizer ang pwede bilhin sa inyo for land preparation before planting the trees?

    Lastly po, If meron po kayo mangosteen and young coconut, order din po kami, 4 each.

  15. Good day sir zac. I had visited sarian farm last year and purchased br25 cacao seedlings as a start of the cacao farm I’m planning here in malasiqui pangasinan. I was wondering if you would also have a mesoamerican criollo cacao seedlings like the ones they use in Magdalena Chocolate in Laguna?

    1. sir pwde po ba bumili ng longkong seedlings nyo online? at At I pa deliver rin po sa jrs. magkano po?

  16. Dear Mr Zac, I’m Shree Padre, Indian Development Journalist. Editor of 28 year old Kannada Farm Magazine – Adike Patrike (www.adikepatrike.com) and Regular Writer for National English Magazine – Civil Society (www.civilsocietyonline.com). I’m very much impressed by your recent article – “JF is big business in Vietnam.” Would you permit our vernacular Farmers Magazine Adike Patrike to translate and publish this article with those photos? We will give due credit to you as well as your magazine. Apart from this, I would like to interview you. Please send your WhatsApp Number to me (Mine is +91 85470 85148). Regards Shree Padre

  17. Thank you very much Zac.

    You are playing a pivotal role being farmer & editor of farm magazines.
    I want to interview.

    If you use WhatsApp or Skype please let me know.
    My WhatsApp : +91 85470 85148; Skype : shree.padre
    Would you co-operate with me?

    Rgards

    Shree Padre

  18. Good day Mr. Zac Sarian, I would like to inquire where to buy the power grower combo & heavyweight tandem including the philor anaa which I will use for sugarcane. I have read most of the topics regarding the said fertilizer. I’m from hinigaran, negros Occidental. I once attended one of your seminar a long time ago @ up Dilliman re tree farming.
    Your reply regarding my request will be highly appreciated. Thank you & more power. Gino

          1. Sir Zac,

            Bili po ako Ng 20 young coconut. Please Let me know how to proceed with payment.

            Regards,
            Len

  19. Sir Zac,

    Pwede ho ba i-deposit ko n lng sa account nyo yung payment? Dito p po kc ako sa Singapore, end of the month p po ako balik ng pinas. Bka pwede rin po sa may quezon city memorial circle ko ipa-pick up pag may AANI bazaar kyo.

    Please advise.

    thanks.

  20. Thanks Sir Zac. Will do remittance soon. Full name nyo po ba is Zac Sarian? Also, please provide your address. Need these info for making remittance.

    If ok po sa inyo n i-meet sa quezon city memorial circle or somewhere in edsa, will arrange for early pick up. Sa bulacan po manggagaling yung mag-pick up.

      1. Sir Zac,

        Na-remit ko n po yung PHP6K sa BDO account nyo and sent the transaction history to your email. Pa-confirm n lng po.

        Please advise if we can do early pick up somewhere in quezon city or edsa so I can make the arrangement. Thanks again

        1. Thnx. Am going to Taiwan. Your plants have already been set aside. Ask your people in Bulacan to contact Rose at 0915-434-4216. The plants can be delivered at the AANI Store in QC Circle. I will instruct Rose to coordinate with your people so they can meet at the AANI store at the agreed time..

          1. Thanks po uli. Hv given Rose no. to our staff Boyet to coordinate with her on the pick up schedule.

  21. Thanks for the info about napier that I just read from you Sir Zac…in one hectare area to be planted by napier how many kilos of planting materials are we going plant?

  22. Dear Mr Zac,
    I would like to buy a few of the Super Avocado budstick. I am a hobby fruit enthusiast and is currently into trying out avocado. Butsticks are easiest to send by ordinary airmail here with the least hassle. I am in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
    If you are interested in getting indigenious fruits from Borneo, which is very rich in germplasm and have many superior species not found elsewhere, please let me know.
    Joshua

    1. Dear Mr. Voon,
      We have not tried sending budsticks abroad thru air mail or some other means. I will try to find out how to do it with the local postal authorities. Thanks for your interest. Zac B. Sarian

  23. Hi Sir. In your opinion is there a huge market for biofertilizers in the Philippines in particular and in Southeast Asia in general? Is there an online article or website that can provide information on the size of the market? Secondly, where can I get a list of distributors for biofertilizers in these geographic areas?

    How can we get an appointment to see you personally to discuss consultancy and product endorsement matters? Would appreciate your earliest response Sir Zac.

    1. Vietnam pomelo that will bear fruit in 2 years is P500 each; Magallanes pomelo (Davao) P400 each; Jackfruit (latexless) P100 each. You can visit Sarian Farm in Teresa, Rizal to buy them. The farm is along the road, Km. 36.6 Sumulong Road, 30 meters before Teresa-Morong boundary.

  24. Dear Mr. Sarian,

    I had bought Power Combo from you sometime ago, although I have not applied it yet to my plants.
    I have some questions:
    a) as a matter of “sequence” when to apply it, do I apply it first to the plant and then the fertilizer, or is it the other way around? And whatever the sequence may be, should there be a period of time before I apply whatever I use next?
    b) or, is it ok to mix both the Power Combo with the fertilizer? (I intend to use complete fertilizer 14-14-14)
    c) I suppose the application should be directed to the roots, but is it also ok to spray it on the leaves?
    d) I intend to use it on house plants. Please let me know what the proportion of Power Combo to a gallon of water should be used.
    e) How often should I use Power Combo?

    Thanks so much. Your valuable advice will be very helpful, since there are no other instructions on the label of the product, and I have not read any other information elsewhere.

    1. You apply the ordinary fertilizer in the growing medium before you spray Power Grower Combo on the leaves. Make sure the soil is moist so the roots can absorb the nutrients in the soil. You can immediately spray PGC soon after you apply the complete fertilizer in the soil. To a gallon of water, mix one scoop. Observe the growth of your plants then calculate when to apply PGC next. If you want fast growth, then apply every 10 days. but if not, you can spray once a month.

  25. Hi Sir! We’re interested on Dairy Gold dairy investment scheme which you featured on Agri-Talk Oct. 16 edition.
    Kindly send us contact details of King Ranch Dairy Farm for inquiries.
    Thanks.

  26. Hello,
    Inquiring if you’re farm in Rizal is open in late December or early January. Do you sell fresh fruit or plants or trees only? What fruit are in season during December or January? Thank you.

  27. Sir, regarding sa post nyo about Philippine wisteria. Is it really related to Wisteria or just mislabled as Philippine Wisteria since magkamukha yung flowers nila?

  28. Hi Sir,

    I read an article by you, about “A Super Napier from Thailand” found very interesting. I am running a dairy farm in sourthern part of India (Chennai). I am very much interested in planting “super napier pakchong 1” in my farm. I tried getting it from some source but failed. It will be a great help if you could arrange few slips to me or direct me to get it from any other sources.

    Thanks in advance.

    Cheers,
    Saravana

  29. Hi sir Zac! pwede ko po ba malaman yung contact number nyo kasi meron po akong kakilala taga NAGA CITY na gusto bumili ng seeds sainyo? Thanks

  30. good day sir zac

    im engr den, from ilocos norte.. im planning to grow varieties of fruit bearing trees..may i ask a few questions-
    >can u pls recommend a variety of native mango that is best suitable in our place?
    >where can i buy latexless jackfruit seedlings in ilocos norte?
    >is rambutan suited in our locality? if so, what is the best variety u recommend and where can i buy the seedlings?
    >since we have a limited space, can i have ur contact numbers sir for more information?

    thank u and hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Why not try the MMSU Gold Mango variety? Or the Sweet Elena. I saw that at MMSU. You can plant Rrongrein, R-% or Super Red rambutan. They are very good. We have grafted seedlings in our farm in Teresa, Rizal. Latexless jackfruit, too.

  31. Good Morning. Where can I get Calcium Nitrate ( just like from yaraliva) ? Im using hydroponics for my vegetable garden. Thanks and God Bless Mr. Zac Sarian

  32. Hello Sir Zac! Very nice website po to… Ngayon ko lang po nakita ito sir, at tamang-tama mahilig din sir ako magtanim ng mga halaman kapag nasa bakasyon ako. Isang OFW ako sir at meron akong 4 hectares na agricultural land. Tanong ko lang sir, pwede bang itanim ang BR25 cacao in-between sa mga Rambutan? Thnx sir at Mabuhay po kayo… Willy M. Panopio

  33. Hi Sir Zac,
    Do you handle spraying services for mango fruit bearing trees near your farm.
    Thank you and more power

  34. Good day po sir, this is Vermar from Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. The President of our school (Dr. Inocencio P. Angeles, Sr. – Agusan del Sur College, Inc.) would like to buy Malaysian Langka Seedlings, saan po kaya pwede makabili non?…thank you po…

  35. Have a nice day sir, this is Angelo Vinoya from Ilocos Norte, a farmer. I have read in your column at Bannawag regarding SRI, in which they used a foliar fertilizer called Supravim. Sir, I am interested with that product and may I ask sir if where can I buy the said product.

    Thank you very much sir and God bless.

  36. Hello po Sir Zac,
    pwede po ba ang power grower combo sa niyog na malapit na magkaroon ng bunga?
    Sinobokan kung tawagan ang celfone number 0917-841-5477 kaso hindi naman nag re ring meron po ba kayong ibang numbers?.

  37. Good day !

    Sir,

    Mayro’n po kayong copy ng Monthly Agriculture for the Month of April 2017 only ? Pwede po bang bilhin ?
    at saan din po pwedeng makabili ng isang magazine ng Agriculture?
    Kailangan ko po kasi para sa isang subject namin.

    Maraming salamat po.

  38. Sir, Itanong ko lang po kung may cp # pa kayo ni Mr. Greg Trinos (yung nag-iistall ng drip irrigation)? Mukhang nagpalit na kasi siya ng number, tinatawagan ko siya doon sa dating number na nakita ko sa website nyo pero “can not be reached”.

    Thank you po.

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