Tacurong then, and today…
By Apolinario Villalobos
When I was born in Tacurong in 1954, the most popular area was the plaza with a swimming pool, a skating rink and a multi-purpose court in front of a stage. 80% of the streets were not cemented. The public market was dilapidated. The whole town was not completely lighted despite the presence of the cooperative power supplier. There were only 3 clinics. There was no rotunda where the traffic from Marbel, Davao, Lambayong, and Isulan converged. Notre Dame College was lighted in the evening by an age-old generator at the back of the old wood-structured convent. The Catholic church was not filled with wooden benches. There was a lone mosque at the Apilado subdivision. The only reputable resort was the Lacson Resort at Calian. The only decent barbecue outlet was the Mauring’s (Pernato). There were 4 dilapidated movie houses, Real, Nonoy, Ideal, and Prince.
Today, there may be no movie theaters but the Tacurongnons are not bored because of hi-tech entertainment gadgets. I went around the city and found that only a few of short streets are not cemented, and which may not take a long time to be covered with concrete. Big canals are being constructed. There are malls so that the locals need not go to Gensan or Davao or Marbel, although there is a slight difference in prices. Decent restos have mushroomed all over the city, even at unexpected corners of barangays. Hospitals and clinics including derma, ortho and dental have likewise mushroomed. The Notre Dame College has developed tremendously and additionally, there are now plenty of colleges, both public and private, as well as, high-end prep schools.
Today, the young Tacurongnons are updated in their fashionable outlook. The city plaza has assumed an exotic image. There are a number of resorts, foremost of which is the Monte Vicenteaux Resort….plus, a nature reserve, the Baras Bird Sanctuary. Fashion parlors are everywhere. Food items in the market are cheap and plenty due to the influx of commodities from neighboring cities and towns.
The local government is lenient in its policies which is an advantage to small entrepreneurs, resulting to the mushrooming of small and medium businesses. Market marshals who are on guard 24/7 are very helpful to shoppers. The fish and meat sections of the wet market do not stink.
One can have a decent lunch of pastil or patil and boiled egg, with free soup – all for Php20. The dirty ice cream sold around the city has at least four flavors to choose from including durian. Four scoops on a small cone is Php5…served in a bread as sandwich is Php10.
The Tacurongnons are multi-lingual so that strangers need not worry about miscommunication, as even vendors can speak good English and Tagalog.
What more can a Tacurongnon ask? Why not just help in making the city become more lively and exude with a warmer goodwill. Let us not ask for the moon in view of the small budget that the local government is trying to make use to the fullest in realizing the most needed and relevant projects.
SA HALIP NA BUMATIKOS….TUMULONG!….KUNG HINDI MO KAYA, TUMAHIMIK KA!…HUWAG MAGING TRILLANES SA SARILING BAYAN!