An Ideal Homeowners’ Association…Flores Village Phase II (Bangkal, Davao City)

An Ideal Homeowners’ Association
…Flores Village Phase II (Bangkal, Davao City)
by Apolinario Villalobos

Life in a subdivision is not always idyllic. There are always setbacks such as unreliable security, stray dogs, arrogant neighbors, and irregularly maintained cleanliness of surroundings. Having a reliable homeowners’ association then, becomes the only hope of the homeowner from nurturing regrets for having lived in such kind of community.

During one of my trips to Davao City, I was invited by a friend to stay with his family for a night which I gladly accepted. He lives in a middle- class, though exclusive subdivision, the Flores Village Phase II in the suburbs of the city, particularly, Bangkal. As I was used in our subdivision of being bothered by the presence of stray dogs and their incessant barking at night, my overnight stay at the Flores Village was a relief, as I never heard a single bark.

Incidentally, my friend, Ed Collado is the president of the homeowners’ association and I got interested on how he does his job. He confided that among his implemented priority projects was the installation of the CCTV units at strategic locations around the subdivision. The cleanliness and cordial relationship among neighbors are also maintained. The vacant lot which has been developed into a plaza which lately, has been provided by the local government with a multi-purpose shelter and basketball court is further made useful with the Council’s encouragement of homeowners to maintain plots which to date are planted with vegetables. Much earlier, mango trees were also planted to provide shade and later, fruits.

A healthful activity of the homeowners is the early morning brisk walk around the village which they commence as early as five in the morning. Usually, the earliest to rise is Manuel Pabriaga who is also a staunch volunteer in practically all activities of the association, despite his being a non-officer. But Ed, considers him as the Council’s “Ex-O”.

Noticeable in the subdivision is the abundance of ornamental and medicinal herbs. Some are rare which prompted this writer to encourage Ed to have them propagated and sold during agri-trade fairs, making such venture as a fund-raiser for their association. And, for this purpose, a small portion of the community garden can be converted into a nursery.

I was also told that coordination is being done with the local government for the provision of additional streetlights that will definitely make the village more livable. As of now, only the “tri-sikad” (non-motorized tricycle) is allowed to service the transport needs of commuting homeowners within the village to maintain the peace and quiet.

Interesting is their “mortuary” program for the homeowners which is akin to the “paluwagan”. In such, the homeowners are encouraged to deposit in their common fund, Php100 per month that can be withdrawn to provide relief when somebody dies in the family. This is aside from the fixed death aid benefit.

Aside from Ed Collado, who is the President of the homeowners’ association, the rest of the officers are: Emeterio J. Josue, Jr. (Vice-President), Elizabeth E. Sacco (Secretary), Rolando V. Supetrano (Treasurer), Alex Cordero (Auditor), Jesus Galcio (Business Manager), Federico Limjuco (Public Information Officer), and Rogelio Limjuco (Peace Officer).

The successful Council of the Flores Village Phase II, showed that an effective homeowners’ association is very crucial to maintain a friendly, clean and secured in a subdivision.

Blessing and Faith

Blessing and Faith
By Apolinario Villalobos

This share is for a friend who failed to position himself along the route of pope Francis or go to the Luneta Park for the concluding Mass, because he was bedridden.

Emotion triggers the exaggerated expression of admiration that results to fanaticism. For things material, this may be excused, but for something spiritual, constraint should be observed. Uncontrolled fanaticism makes one selfish, as he or she develops a strong desire to satisfy the felt pent up emotion. It can even result to violence. This is one of the causes of stampedes.

In expressing a spiritual devotion, one need not be too overzealous as others may view the act as hypocritical. Ever since spiritual devotion in us has been developed, we were made to believe sincerely what we do not see, such as God, Jesus, Mary or the saints. We were made to believe in the power of prayer that can heal somebody, even if the one who says it is thousands of miles away. We were made to believe that Jesus who died on the cross is just around. We may not see them but we feel all of these – through our faith. I call it – power of the heart!

I can’t see, therefore, the reason why some “faithful” have to fight their way in front of altars during a Mass, or special spiritual occasions. And, with the visit of the pope, Francis, I cannot understand why one should practically, be a touch away from him to be blessed. Blessing is something spiritual that can be received depending on how faithful the recipient is, as the heart should be open to receive it.

Just to hear the pope’s voice and sincerely receive in one’s heart his message is already a blessing. In this regard, just seeing him on TV or hearing him over the radio does not spell any difference as seeing him pass by, because the same blessing is dispensed. In other words, the “effect” of the blessing is not determined by the distance between the giver and the recipient….as it all depends on one’s faith.

Ang Mga Bagay-bagay Tungkol sa Mamasapano Masaker

Ang Mga Bagay-bagay
Tungkol sa Mamasapano Masaker
Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Ang mga malinaw:

1. Matagal na pala ang teroristang bomb maker sa “teritoryo” ng MILF at ang kasama nito kaya siguradong alam ng MILF.
2. Apatnapu’t-apat ang minasaker at marami pang SAF members ang nasugatan.
3. Maraming sibilyan ang nadamay.
4. Nasa “teritoryo” ng MILF ang BIFF kaya lumalabas na para itong kinakanlong, at ang dahilan ay magkakamag-anak daw ang mga miyembro ng MILF at BIFF.
5. Bago pa masuspinde si Purisima ay alam na nito ang mga detalya tungkol sa kinaroroonan ng mga terorista subalit hindi naibahagi sa hukbong sandatahan ng Pilipinas.
6. Hindi napagsabihan si Mar Roxas bilang kalihim ng DILG.
7. Hindi napagsabihan ang mismong OIC ng PNP.
8. Hindi nakipag-coordinate ang SAF sa MILF sa ginawa nilang operation.
9. Maglulunsad pa ng mga pag-atake ang BIFF na nagsabing hindi sila sasali sa imbestigasyon.

Ang mga katanungan:

1. Bakit hindi hinuli ng MILF at isinurender sa pamahalaan ang mga terorista?
2. Bakit hindi pinapaalis ng MILF ang BIFF na itinuturing ding teroristang grupo, sa “teritoryo nila kahit magkakamag-anak pa ang mga miyembro nila? May ginagawa na bang plano, bilang paghahanda kung napirmahan na ang Bangsamoro Basic Law?
3. Paanong naputol ang koordinasyon na “dapat” sana ay ginawa ng nasibak na hepe ng SAF bago sila nag-operate, kaya tuloy walang alam ang hukbong sandatahan, ang OIC ng PNP at ang kalihim ng DILG?
4. Sino o sinu-sino ang “pumutol” ng koordinasyon?
5. May maganda bang pinangako ang mga “pumutol” sa namumuno ng SAF, kaya ganoon na lang ang sobra-sobrang self-confidence ng nasibak na hepe ng SAF sa interview na ginawa makalipas ang maraming araw pagkatapos ng masaker? Bakit ganoon ka-delay ang interview? Pinag-usapan ba muna ang mga ibibigay na sagot upang may mapagtakpan?
6. Anong ibig sabihin ng ininterbyung taga-sandatahang hukbo ng Pilipinas na parang may kulang sa sinasabi ng “ibang grupo”?…na parang may itinatago?
7. Bakit hindi lumulutang si Purisima upang makatulong sa pagpalinaw ng mga isyu dahil malakas ang ingay sa pagbanggit ng pangalan niya?

Ang mga kawawa:

1. Ang mga pamilya ng mga apatnapu-t apat na miyembro ng SAF at mga nasugatan…ang mga asawang buntis, ang mga batang paslit, ang mga sanggol, etc – lahat sumisigaw sa paghingi ng hustisya.
2. Ang mga nadamay na sibilyan sa pinangyarihan ng masaker.

Ang mga nagmukhang tanga:

1. Si Mar Roxas na kalihim ng DILG.
2. Ang mga taga-hukbong sandatahan ng Pilipinas dahil sinisisi na.
3. Ang OIC ng PNP.

Ang pinagmumukhang tanga ay ang taong bayan….at ang masaya ay MNLF!

The “tapok-tapok” sa Davao 2015 (02 February 2015)

The Tapok-tapok sa Davao 2015 ( 02February 2015)
By Apolinario Villalobos

After three absences from the reunions, I finally made it when it was scheduled at daytime. I was having second thoughts about attending until I took a flight to Davao six days before the event. Of all people, Tita Manabat was my seatmate on the flight! Because of long absence of contact, we had an animated conversation about the last reunion that I attended held at the North Palm Hotel and Garden in Lanang. She resolutely reminded me about the February 2 “tapok” at the residence of Boy Jolampong.

Being excited, I was the first to arrive at the venue, exactly at 1:20 PM, although the schedule was at 2PM. The comfortable venue was the family’s gym on the second floor. The humble host, Boy Jolampong was assisted by his mestiza and pretty wife, Beth and daughter. As if the Almighty was happy about the eventful day’s “tapok”, it was blessed with intermittent drizzle.

Before 3PM, the Mindanao PALers who filled the gym were James Hannen, Deo Escarilla who came with his wife Vilma, Art Balaga, Tita Manabat, Bernie Fernandez, Delfin and Minda Talattad, Horace Abear, Vic Ruperto, Nonoy Banzuelo, Sonny Cruz, Jun Dizon, Joe Jimenez, and Amading Solistrino. Some retirees who initially confirmed their coming and really tried their best to attend but failed due to unavoidable circumstances were Atty. Doming Duerme who got stranded at M’lang, Bong Velasco, Punay and Phraim Fernandez, as well as, Ludy Bagares and Archie Batu who were both on duty at the airport. As expected, the stars of the show because of their jokes were Horace Abear, Sonny Cruz, Art Balaga and Deo Escarilla.

Incindentally, the reunion was made more significant because of the birthday of the two members – Ding Talattad (February 1) and the host, Boy Jolampong, though belated (January 26).

The PALers, as usual are thankful to the selfless effort of Deo Escarilla in coordinating among the members and as always, too, the spirit behind the reunion events. It has been his advocacy aside from being an active text evangelist. He is ably supported literally, by his pretty and ever smiling wife Vilma who also acts as the photographer.

(Note: “tapok-tapok” is the Visayan word for “get together” or “reunion”)

Religious are Meant to Ispire not to be Adored

Religious Images are meant to Inspire
Not to be adored
By Apolinario Villalobos

The images of Christian saints, Virgin Mary, and Jesus are supposed to give inspiration. They are not intended to be adored. Something must have gotten wrong during the early stage of conversion that made the practice of image adoration prevalent and deeply-rooted among Filipinos. God has no image, and He is the only One who, mankind should worship. Today, however, the “new” Christians have practically done away with the display of images, while the Catholics have maintained the practice of filling altars with them.

While most Catholics understand the purpose of the images, there are still some who boast their idolatrous adoration of the images, especially, during the fiestas in honor of patron saints. Some even offer foods to them on the altar.

Those whose fervent prayers to the saints are said to have been answered, more than double their devotion, making them their “personal saviors”. Devotees wear scapulars and medallions with images of saints, keep their small photos with short prayers in their wallet, and the more enterprising even come up with prayers and novenas for them to be sold in the sidewalks outside the Catholic churches.

With all those, the Catholic church just look the other way, although, some priests have become vocal in calling the attention of the devotees about their idolatrous practices, just like what they did during the fiesta of the Black Nazarene.

But, can the devotees be blamed for their action after they have exhausted all means for the alleviation of their lives? The only one thing that they forgot is to call on God…although, some did, but in so doing, blame Him for their misfortune, instead of thanking Him for the received blessings!