Inspired by the family business, bangus farm owner starts own venture

Adolf James A. Gamilla started Pong's Milk Fish Farm Manila because he found the aquaculture industry to be profitable.


For Adolf James A. Gamilla, his journey in the aquaculture industry started with the family business. 

His grandfather was a bangus farm owner who later passed on the business to his son, Gamilla’s father. Gamilla was sent to the family’s aquaculture farm where he could observe and learn from the business. 

“I was there since I was a kid and I was curious about all the operations happening in the fishpond. After I graduated and worked from other companies to get experience, I saw that the family business was a good one,” Gamilla said.

Gamilla spent his childhood on their family’s aquaculture farm. He went down the same path after graduating and working for other companies.

But instead of taking over the family business, the experience inspired him to start his own venture to see how he fares in the aquaculture industry. He began as a bangus supplier and distributed bangus fries around Visayas and Mindanao. 

With the knowledge and experience that he acquired from spending time in the family business, Gamilla then established Pong’s Milk Fish Farm in Malabon where he cultures bangus fries and supplies them to various areas in the country. 

Raising imported bangus fries 

Gamilla’s bangus fries are imported from Indonesia. He deals with suppliers who he knows have a good understanding of how to handle fries. 

“As long as it arrives here alive, I can condition all fries properly by making them strong using proper feeding and equipment,” he said.

The bangus farm owner raises imported bangus fry which he gets from a trusted supplier.

Gamilla shares that he considers caring for bangus fries his top priority. He always makes sure that they are well-fed, taken care of, and protected against extreme weather, diseases, and other external factors. 

Since he raises bangus fry, he regularly maintains his fishpond and fish pens to secure a good harvest. This is because he prepares for the occurrence of typhoons, which happen annually, that may damage his farm if he doesn’t take preemptive measures. 

Learning new things 

According to Gamilla, it was hard when he started his business but he managed to learn the ropes by developing the proper initiative and persevering to gain knowledge about the career he wanted to pursue. 

Other than his own determination, he also leveraged the knowledge and experience that the people around him have.

Workers in Pong’s Milk Fish Farm harvesting bangus.

“This line of work is not easy. To become successful, you need a good adviser from whom you can learn. Ask the right questions, follow good advice, correct your mistakes, and work smart,” Gamilla said. 

He added that his success also comes from building a good team and having someone to trust regarding the farm operations when he’s not around. Having them around gives Gamilla an extra set of eyes to observe the current conditions of his bangus farm as well as more voices to help him gain ideas to solve problems or improve the farm.

In aquaculture, or in any business, Gamilla said that it’s important to keep learning. One way to do that is by listening to the insights of the people around him.

Gamilla’s family has been involved with bangus farming for generations. He was inspired to go into the aquaculture industry because of his family. But rather than taking over the family business, he decided to start his own farm and test his own luck. Like his grandfather and father, Gamilla saw that fish farming is a fulfilling and enjoyable business to get involved in. 

For more information, visit Pong’s Milk Fish Farm Manila on Facebook

Photos from Pong’s Milk Fish Farm on Facebook
This article appeared in Agriculture Magazine’s December 2022 issue.

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Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
Patricia Taculao, or Patty as she likes to be called, is a content producer for Manila Bulletin Digital Lifestyle. She graduated from University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. She loves to spend her free time, reading, painting, and watching old movies.

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