The Municipality of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr.(SNA)
Could Be More Appropriately Named as “KULAMAN”
By Apolinario Villalobos
First of all, the Honorable Governor of Sultan Kudarat, Pax Mangudadatu should be accredited for the highway that has connected the area of Kulaman to the lowlands. The naming of the town after the dead husband of the late president Corazon Aquino did nothing good for the residents – Christians, Muslims and Lumads. Those responsible for the naming of the new town as such could be wringing their hands in remorse for their unfair decision.
When Sultan Pax Mangudadatu became governor of Sultan Kudarat, among his first acts for the province was lobby for the construction of a highway from the lowlands to the Kulaman area as it has been grossly neglected for several decades despite the promise of opportunities. Nothing happened to his effort under the two presidents – Gloria Arroyo and even Pnoy Aquino. The governor confided that he even told Pnoy, “para naman sa bayan na nakapangalan sa tatay mo ang highway”…nothing happened.
When Duterte became president, he tried again to lobby although he was at the brink of desperation. He told the DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, “yong ibang bayan, nagpapa- widening na ng mga highway nila, pero ang iba tulad ng Kulaman wala pa maski kapirasong kalsadang sementado…”. He succeeded in his persistence. Today, Kulaman area is connected to the lowlands with a highway and extensions for connection with neighboring municipalities are afoot. Farmers living on the slope of Mt. Dagoma can now bring their produce to the city of Tacurong, Isulan and Esperanza with ease and comfort….and Kulaman is showing signs of fast development although, it is just a barangay of the SNA. The provincial government has also implemented several livelihood programs spearheaded by the livestock dispersal that include carabao, goats and hogs.
Back to the issue of name….the municipality of Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino is more known by its contracted reference as “SNA” that stands for Senator Ninoy Aquino. My question is why adopt the said name when the dead guy has got nothing to do with the area?…just because he was the killed husband of the then, sitting president, Corazon Aquino? This is a blatant act of “paninipsip”! ….ash licking to the maximum!…or is it an attempt to perpetuate the name “Aquino” in Mindanao?….what a shame!
Kulaman has been known for so many years among the people of Cotabato, and in fact used by the Oblate Fathers or Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), as their center for evangelization activities around the area, hence, the establishment of Notre Dame therein that preceded other Notre Dames in the lowlands. When scientific researchers mention archaeological finds in the whole area, they refer to Kulaman. When lowlanders mention organic vegetables and special highland coffee, they refer to Kulaman. Despite the official name for the town, many people still thought that Kulaman is the town. Whoever thought of coming up with another town should have just converted Kulaman into such, with area expanded by the additional barangays mentioned in the list below, some of which having been sliced from Kalamansig and Bagumbayan.
The administration of President Duterte could do the residents of the area a favor by changing the name of the municipality of Senator Ninoy Aquino into KULAMAN…if he is committed to rectifying what has been done unfairly in the past. The precedent in the case of the renaming of the Mariano Marcos, back into its former name, Lambayong, could be cited.
(Quotation marks before and after the write-up below, indicate that it has been copy-pasted by this writer from Wikipedia in the internet.)
It brought Barangays Buenaflores, Bugso, Kiadsam, Kadi, Kulaman, Malegdeg and Sewod in the Municipality of Kalamansig and Langgal in the Municipality of Bagumbayan to constitute into an independent municipality. The seat of government of the municipality is situated in Barangay Kulaman.
Senator Ninoy Aquino is politically subdivided into 20 barangays.