Republic of the Philippines

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AV & AP Dakila Partnership: A Testament to a Filipino couple's exemplary rise and road to success in the diary sector in New Zealand

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The Philippine Embassy’s third feature of the determination, dedication and discipline of Filipino dairy workers to rise up and traverse the road to success in the dairy industry of New Zealand puts the spotlight on AV and AP Dakila Partnership, trade name for Albino and Anna Guien Dakila, Lower Order Sharemilker, milking 580 cows, 171 hectares in Rimu, Invercargill. Theirs is a heart-warming and inspiring story of how family closeness and involvement, hard work, study and skills upgrading for themselves and others, sacrifice and service and assistance to fellow dairy farm workers continue to take them higher towards the fulfilment of their dream to be a dairy farm owner in Southland, New Zealand.

Albino Dakila known as “Daks” is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics 1996, and his wife Anna Guien Perez-Dakila a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Forestry 1996, both from University of the Philippines, Los Baños (UPLB). They served as Volunteers under the UPLB Ugnayan ng Pahinungod, an all-volunteer and service organization of the state university where they first met in 1997. They got married in 1998 and were blessed with their first son, Godwin in 2000. Daks came to New Zealand in June 2006 as a Dairy Farm Assistant in Centrebush area in Southland from June 2006 to May 2011. He worked under the same employer until he was given an opportunity to become a Variable Order Sharemilker in June 2011. Anna, Godwin and Randall joined him in New Zealand in March 2008. Lavinia Gail was born in May 2009.

During their first year as a Variable Order Share Milker in Tuatapere area from June 2011 to May 2014, Anna assisted the farm owner in calf rearing where she gained substantial knowledge and experience in raising calves. She also joined the Dairy Women’s Network to learn more about dairy farming and has been involved in other discussions about dairying. For his part, Daks also actively participated in group discussions in Western Southland. Daks is primarily responsible for farm operations and Anna supported him as relief milker and do the administrative side of the business. They also trained their eldest son, Godwin to do the milking and other household chores including lawn mowing. They received a Certificate of Merit for 2011/2012 season, Certificate of Achievement for Low Somatic Cell Count and Grade Free Certificate of Excellence for 2012/2013 and 2013/2014 seasons. This year, Daks and Anna moved to a Lower Order Share Milking Agreement last June in Rimu area near Invercargill. Daks handles the farm works and Anna still does the administrative works and is a full time calf rearer and relief milker. Mr. Michael Clinton, the farm owner gave the Filipino couple the opportunity to learn more about dairy farming and has authorised Anna to update their herd record via MINDA apps in dairy farming. He likewise allowed their son to work as relief milker. It is a valuable learning experience for Daks, Anna and Godwin as a family striving together to reach higher goals in the dairy industry in New Zealand. Anna is currently enrolled in Primary ITO National Diploma in Agribusiness Management course to enable her to learn more about the administrative requirements and procedures of the dairy business.

Whenever necessary, Daks and Anna employed Filipinos and New Zealanders at varying times during the dairy season. At present, Herson Gumtang continues to work with them since 2012 together with Mr. Dexter Awa whose wife is a graduate student in Southland Institute of Technology. Daks and Anna offer free Primary ITO training to help them keep their qualifications meet the Immigration requirements for a working visa.

They are aiming to get a 50/50 share milking job within the next 5 years and to eventually own a farm in the near future.

To augment their family’s income and use her talents in baking, Anna is applying for a home based cake business named Anna’s Cakes and Cupcakes and also it’s facebook page with huge of designs from Wedding cake to children and adult cakes. She donated cakes during the opening of Southland Filipino Society and in Fund Raising activity for Typhoon Haiyan in Woodlands organized by the Presbyterian church. Anna is now known as “the cake lady” among local residents in Tuatapere area Western part of Southland.

“Together with other Filipino dairy workers and farm owners who continue to shine in New Zealand fuelled by their passion, grit and laser focused determination, Daks and Anna continue to raise the bar and pave the way to fulfil their dreams and aspirations in the dairy sector of New Zealand. The Filipinos in the dairy industry in Aotearoa are making a distinctive mark in the dairy farms and communities throughout the North and South Islands for the mutual benefit of their home country, the Philippines and their adoptive country of New Zealand,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.

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