After spending more than 2 decades in two different maximum-security prisons, Mang Senio never thought that his once hopeless life would change for the better. At 56 years old, he is still strong enough to manage his 400 SASSO breeders and hundreds of free-range layers.

Mang Senio (we keep his real name private due to his complicated past), at the young age of 23, was convicted of double homicide over a land dispute that resulted in the death of his only brother and two other distant relatives. He spent 15 years in the New Bilibid Prison and another 12 years in Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm in Palawan. His original 40-year sentence was reduced to 27 years due to his rehabilitation and dedication to change. He was released in 2014 at the age of 50. He thought there is nothing left for him in the outside world but everything had changed after a year of hard work.

It was his later days in Iwahig that raising chickens caught his attention. During his time in the penal farm, he raised native chickens for his own consumption and his love for the animals motivated him to continue raising chickens after being freed. This time though, it’s a different story in a different world.

The former inmate was brought by his wife to her native town in Murcia, Negros Occidental after being released from Iwahig. Imelda, a social worker meet Senio 11 years ago when she was assigned in Palawan, and since then, they never separated. They have a daughter and a son. Imelda decided that they move to Negros to take care of her father’s land.

A couple of months after the family moved to Murcia, the family bought 50 SASSO chicks from an AgriVet supply in Bacolod City. Senio’s original plan was to raise chicken for meat but decided to let the birds grow to adults when one of the store’s helpers told him that the company is buying chicks from its contract farmers. Senio had a clear plan – to multiply his flock and supply chicks to the same store where he bought his chicks from.

The SASSO SA31A – the specific variety raised by Senio.

With vast land and an abundance of organic foods, Senio’s plan materialized 12 months later after he talked to the branch manager. The company sent inspectors to Senio’s small farm and decided that he is capable of supplying healthy chicks with his 120 hens during that time.

“My first delivery was 1,350 chicks and that was 4 years ago. The price of each chick at that time was P38 and when I received my first check of more than P50,000, I felt like I won the lottery. Since then I am attached to the company and continue selling them at least 3,500 SASSO chicks every month,” Senio recalled.

Aside from breeding and hatching, the former Iwahig resident also supply brown eggs to a chain of a local convenience store and a dozen of hotels in Bacolod City.

Senio now employs 4 of his fellow former inmates who also enjoy taking care of farm animals.

Asked what motivates him to succeed, Senio said his family is the main reason why he always has a high spirit and motivation.

Originally from Misamis Occidental where the crime was committed more than 3 decades ago, Senio never looked back to his native land and continue to live motivated in his new adopted town of Murcia with his family and his only remaining sister on his side.

This article is published with the permission of Mang Senio on the condition that his real name, the farm, and the company he is supplying should not be mentioned due to the nature of his past.

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