Del Monte is one of the biggest landowners in the area around Cagayan de Oro. This particular field was once used to grow corn. Like much of the land on Mindanao that was once planted with staple foods, it is now used to grow fruit for export.
Once the rice basket of the Philippines, Mindanao now depends on imported rice to feed its population, shackling the island's food supply to global commodity markets. With grain prices rising, poor laborers like these -- who do backbreaking labor harvesting food they cannot use to nourish their families -- are among the hardest hit.
On another note, regarding "Filipino style," these workers, who have almost nothing, insisted on making a gift of some pineapples. I must confess: they were sweet and delicious. (Even sprinkled with salt per local custom).