Lorna at Vanni Quimpo…magpuputo at magtuturon ng Tacurong

Lorna at Vanni Quimpo

…magpuputo at magtuturon ng Tacurong

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Nakilala ko sina Vanni at Lorna nang minsang kumain ako ng puto na tinitinda nila, napakamura sa halagang Php5 bawa’t isa. Tinikman ko rin ang turon na Php5 ang dalawang piraso. Dahil nasarapan ako, nakakahiya mang i-reveal, nakaubos ako ng 7 puto at 8 turon! Nang time na yon ay napilitan akong uminom ng softdrink na ang halaga naman ay Php10 dahil wala silang mineral water at ayokong mabulunan sa harap nila, dahil lalong nakakahiya. Sa pagkain ko nga lang ng marami nilang paninda ay manghang-mangha sila. Tanghalian ko na ang nilantakan kong pagkain dahil feeling bundat na ako.

 

Ang puto na natikman ko ay talagang gawa sa purong bigas, hindi malagkit. Tama lang din ang tamis kaya siguro hindi ako naumay, tuloy nakabubos ako ng 7 piraso. Ang turon naman ay may halong langka at ang wrapper ay napakalutong! Ang nakakatuwa pa ay hantad ang ginagawang pagluto ng mag-asawa, mula sa pagtimpla ng giniling sa bigas para ilutong puto, at ang deep-fry ng turon. Wala silang trade secret. Pati nga ang tulugan nila ay hantad din kaya na-touch ako sa pagsisikap nila. Tiyempo namang may natanggap akong donation mula sa isang viewer na taga-Koronadal, at para sana sa mga kaibigan ko sa Baseco Compound (Tondo), pero pinagamit ko na muna sa kanila para pambili ng dagdag na trapal para sa “kusina” nila dahil magtatag-ulan na.

 

Sa kuwentuhan namin, nalaman kong naigagapang ng mag-asawa ang pag-aaral ng kanilang mga anak sa pagtinda ng turon at puto sa loob ng mahigit sampung taon mula nang dumating sila mula sa Iloilo. Dahil sa hindi mabawasan at nadadagdagan pang obligasyon, hindi sila nagkaroon ng pagkakataong makapagpundar ng tirahan o nakakapamasyal man lang.

 

Ang puwesto nila ay inamin nilang “iskwat” lamang at alam nilang ano mang oras ay mapapaalis sila kaya ang mga materyales na ginamit nila ay pang-temporary lamang upang madaling baklasin. Bumilib ako sa kanila dahil may dangal sila kahit nang-iiskwat lamang upang kumita, hindi tulad ng ibang iskwater na kailangan pang pakiusapan upang umalis sa iniskwatang lupa…at hihingi pa ng pera!

 

Dalawang anak nila ang may trabaho na, subalit ang dalawang nakakabata ay nag-aaral pa. Tabi-tabi sila sa pagtulog sa isang papag na ang dingding ay pinagtagpi-tagping yero at trapal. Ang lutuan nilang kawa ay nakapatong sa isang lutuan na ginagatungan ng mga hininging basurang papel sa isang opisina. Kung minsan ay nakakabili si Vanni ng ilang sakong bao ng niyog (coconut shell) sa palengke.

 

Si Lorna ay hindi puwedeng magluto dahil operado ang kanyang mga mata kaya hanggang sa pagtinda na lamang siya. Si Vanni ang namimili ng mga iluluto, madaling araw pa lang. Inamin ng mag-asawa na kahit mahigit sampung taon na sila sa lunsod ay hindi sila gaanong nakakapamasyal dahil ang buong panahon nila ay ginugugol sa pagtitinda. Ayon kay Vanni, napakalaking kawalan nila kapag hindi sila nakapagtinda sa loob ng isang araw.

 

Kahit hirap sila sa buhay, pinipilit ng mag-asawang mapagtapos ang dalawa pa nilang anak ng senior high school man lang dahil edukasyon lamang daw ang kaya nilang maipamana sa kanilang mga anak.

 

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Lagrimas Pamposa…the Unsung Intellectual of Tacurong City

Lagrimas Pamposa….the unsung

Intellectual of Tacurong City

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

Her family arrived from Passi Iloilo to settle in Tacurong city in 1951, particularly in a corner lot of what is Malvar St. today, but which was sold not long after they settled for good in what is now the barangay of New Passi. She finished her Grades 1 to 4 in Tacurong Elementary School, today, Tacurong Pilot School. She was in Grade 5 when they transferred to New Passi Elementary School, today, Elisa P. Bernardo Elementary School, and which during the time had a 10-room building including the office of the principal who was Pio Sustiguer at the time. When she graduated (1955-56), she was the class valedictorian. As she could recall, when Mr. Sustiguer was transferred to the Rajah Muda Elementary School, Mr. Aguacity took over his post as Head Teacher. Those who spearheaded the school later were Elsa Bernardo and her husband, Jaime Tolentino. Ms. Pamposa also recalled Mrs. Emma Bernardo, as among the teachers during her time.

 

In high school she entered the then, parochial school of Notre Dame for Girls where she graduated also, as valedictorian, while their salutatorian was Azucena Hojilla. Their honorable mention was Florinda Pabunsan, who is now the College Dean of the Quezon Colleges of Tacurong City.

 

For her college education, Ms. Pamposa entered the Notre Dame of Marbel, today, Notre Dame of Marbel University. She took Bachelor of Sciend in Elementary Education and was again the class valedictorian when she graduated in 1966. The salutatorian was Leonor Palabrica Arzagon-Pagunsan, and who later taught at Notre Dame of Tacurong Boys’ Department, and during the latter part of her career, went back to Notre Dame of Marbel as President.

 

After her graduation, Ms. Pamposa went back home to New Passi in 1966 to teach Grade Four in her alma mater and later transferred to Baras Elementary School. Before her retirement age, she tried her luck in Cavite where she found job as Principal of the Basic Education at Southern Luzon College which has been integrated later into the AMA Education System. She left the school in April 16, 2016.

 

After a short rest, she was urged by their class salutatorian, Florinda Pabustan to join the Quezon Colleges of Tacurong City, formerly, Lyceum of Southern Philippines, and where she was the College Dean. Ms. Pamposa was given a post as BSEEd Chairperson.

 

Today, Ms. Pamposa lives with a niece in her home along the main road of New Passi. She commutes every day from her home to Quezon Colleges in the city, early in the morning and back home late in the afternoon. When I met her for an interview, she doesn’t look her age of 71 as she spritely moves around. Amazingly, she still receives an invitation or two from educational institutions to be part of their teaching force, an indication that to date, those who know her still acknowledge her intelligence. She confided that she never stops her learning endeavor every time there is an opportunity that comes her way….despite her being in a barrio and her age!

Lagrimas

 

The Muslim Filipino Pastil/Patil and the Japanese Sushi

The Muslim Filipino Pastil/Patil and the Japanese Sushi

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The pastil/patil is a one-dish meal wrapped in banana leaf. It is topped with shredded chicken cooked in soy sauce and plenty of vegetable oil. A variation is the use of fresh water fish such as dalag (mud fish) and tilapia as topping. It is a popular meal ni southern Mindanao, particulary, Cotabato provinces, Zamboanga and Jolo. Today, however, the indication of the presence of a Muslim community in any place around the Philippines are the stacks of this banana leaf- wrapped meal in a store. High grade white rice is used in this dish and the shredded chicken is cooked for hours. What is nice about this dish is the cheap price per wrap at Phpq10 which has not been “updated” for more than 10 years, making it the popular poor Mindanaoan’s meal.

 

Similar in appearance is the Japanese sushi, although, much smaller in size and requires an intricate  preparation. The price of each sushi depends on the variety – the kind of food wrapped and put on top of the rolled Japanese rice. Unlike the pastil/patil, only the rich Filipinos can afford the Japanese sushi, for the cost of the cheapest piece is equivalent to the price of one kilo high grade rice.

The Problems with Some Filipino Entrepreneurs

The Problems with Some Filipino Entrepreneurs

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

First of all, many Filipino entrepreneurs are copycats. Their attitude is such that if they have observed the success of a certain business, they get envious and start their own, thinking that they would attain similar success. That is how the long line of bibingka stands along the highway of Digos in Davao came about, as well as roadside eateries all over the Philippines.

The copycat syndrome also brings about the proliferation of “fad businesses” that eventually, dies a natural death.

 

Many Filipino entrepreneurs forget one most important factor which is very necessary in putting up a business…the personal conviction or determination founded on personal interest. This factor is determined by the character of the person who is putting up a business. Simply put, an investor will definitely not succeed in selling a product that he does not use. How can a vegetarian for instance, be successful in selling meat products? How can a person sell herbal products if he does not even drink coffee?

 

Filipino entrepreneurs expect overnight success of their investment. They want an immediate return of their investment and lose heart in proceeding at the sign of any loss. They forgot that any investment that involves money is risky and may take years for the initial capital to be recovered. Meanwhile, recovery of investment may even be impossible if the Filipino entrepreneur spends not only the profit but the capital itself which should be used as a revolving fund.

 

Finally, one reason why many of these entrepreneurs always depend on the “5/6 loans” from enterprising Indian nationals, the so-called “Bombay” is their failure to save even a small portion of their profit that can be used as revolving fund later on. This attitude is an offshoot of the “Bahala na System”…a very negative aspect of the Filipino culture that seems so difficult to eliminate or at least, minimize.

 

If we want to move up, we should change our attitude!