A Surprise Visit to NDTC Molders of Youth
…Ms. Norma Rafael and Mr. Morito Parcon (Davao City)
By Apolinario Villalobos
It was an unholy hour in the morning of Thursday, around 7AM when I trudged my way toward the gate of Ruby Subdivision to search for the home of the noted teachers of Notre Dame of Tacurong, the former Norma Rafael and Morito Parcon, but now lovey dovey partners for life. I took a tri-sikad (foot-pedaled pedicab) whose driver fortunately knew them, as Mr Parcon also served as a president of the homeowners association. When I knocked at their gate, it was their eldest, Toto, who answered my call and told me that his parents were attending that day’s Mass. I learned that they never miss a single Mass every day of the week.
The imposing Mt. Apo at 10,311 feet above sea level, practically loomed behind their home at the western dead-end portion of their “village”. The medicinal herbs that practically surround their home were a delight to the eyes. Due to the abundance of turmeric, they have ventured into packing of its powder form in capsules which at Php6 each could be considered the cheapest in the market. But one has to knock at their gate to make a purchase as their “business” is home-based and was originally intended to “kill” boredom and time to keep Mr. Parcon busy after having been hospitalized for a long time.
Our talk dwelt on the good old days in Notre Dame of Tacurong when Mr. Parcon was teaching Political Science in college while Ms. Norma Rafael was molding young girls at the former Girls Department which was under the administration of the Dominican Sisters (Order of Preachers). The college and Boys High School departments were, on the other hand, under the wings of the Oblate priests (Oblates of Mary Immaculate) with the assistance of the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND) Sisters.
Mr. Morito Parcon could well be considered as the historian of our city, for coming out with an extensively-researched book on her political history that covered the days when Buluan served as the “Mother Town” until the administration of Jose Escribano, the controversial mayor who got involved in a murder case. It took Mr. Parcon some time and loads of patient interview of pioneer leaders and settlers who came from the Visayas and Luzon, as well as hectic days of poring over filed records of early local government offices.
We mentioned names of his other students, some of whom were Ruel Lucentales, who was an Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) at the time of his death, Jaime Bides who was a tour planning officer of the Marsman Travel and Tours, and later a businessman and resource person on spiritual matters, Renato Hingco who was connected with the Department of the Budget and Management (DBM) and Felizardo Lazado who was also with the DSWD before occupying an important position in the Ministry of Human Settlements later on. On the side of the Girls’ Department, names such as, Esther Bagsic, Talama Makilala-Saavedra, Rodina Ballena-Marasigan, Virgie Paragas, Esther Bagsic, Elma Darjan-Bides who is the current Tacurong City Accountant, and many more were mentioned. It was a meeting of quick reminiscences to the delight of my former teachers who, I had to help recall important moments in the past. For the photo opportunities, I asked them to pose in front of the tall and thickly growing wild sugar cane, crawling medicinal herbs, as well as, big pomelo look-alike and cure-all “magic fruits”. Some photos were taken with their eldest son, Toto.
I am sharing this experience to give an idea to viewers that even a simple visit can make important people in our life very happy…they who helped us grow into responsible citizens of the country. That is why, I smiled when, Mr. Parcon proudly declared, “I made them all”, referring to us, his students. Indeed, he did his best and I can attest to that!