Buluan (Maguindanao)…taking leaps and bounds towards progress

Buluan (Maguindanao)…taking leaps and bounds towards progress

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Buluan is cruising the fast lane towards progress. Practically, development is in full swing. The first to be developed are the once grassy depressions on both sides of the highway. The once grassy lands have been converted into beautifully landscaped walkways or “boulevard”. The highway is literally swept clean of debris as early as 6AM. A sidewalk café outside a business establishment has also added sophistication to the once rock-littered sidewalk.

 

A little further up northeast is the Buluan bridge from which a refreshing view of the chocolate-colored swift Buluan river can be had. The river was the major commercial artery then, of the town used by the Visayans, Ilocanos and Tagalogs when they came as early as the 1930s to settle in Sambolawan (today, President Quirino), Mangelen, San Emmanuel, and Tacurong.

 

Buluan could very well be tagged as the most sliced municipality of the Philippines as it used to be an enormous piece of land surrounding Lake Buluan, also among those that comprised “old” Cotabato province. It became a town when President Manuel Roxas signed the Executive Order 82 on August 8, 1947. The first to get “weaned” from her is Tacurong which became a separate town on August 3, 1951. Columbio followed suit, as it became a town in 1961, and then, by Lutayan.

 

Buluan was made part of Maguindanao on November 22, 1973, during which President Quirino was sliced off the western coast of the lake, with the latter made part of the province of Sultan Kudarat. On April 7, 1991, Buluan’s northern portion was further sliced, out of which the municipality of Gen. S. K. Pendatun was formed. On December 30, 2006, the municipalities of Mangudadatu and Pandag were formed out of the 16 barangays…the two new towns getting 8 barangays each.

 

Buluan became the capital of the province of Maguindanao necessitating the building of a capitol which is still under construction as of this writing. The current municipal mayor, Lorena D.  Mangudadatu holds office at the Municipal Hall, while the governor, Toto Mangudadatu holds his own temporarily at the Rajah Buayan Silongan Peace Center.

 

Buluan, together with Lutayan, supplies the neighboring towns and the city of Tacurong with fresh water fishes such as mudfish, tilapia, gourami, taruk, bagtis, and shrimp. The excess of these fishes, especially, mudfish are filleted and dried under the sun. As for delicacies, Buluan is known for its “tinagtag” and “panyalam”.

 

From Davao City  and Cotabato City, Buluan can be reached on buses and aircon vans, while those coming from General Santos city can take similar conveyances for Tacurong city from which they could transfer to tricycles for the 15-minute ride.

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John Patrick Aggabao…the tireless OIC of the Tacurong PNP

John Patrick Aggabao…the tireless OIC

Of the Tacurong PNP

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The OIC of the Tacurong PNP starts the day of his Team with a formation during which he tirelessly briefs them about their obligations and responsibilities to the public. As the members of the Police Force stands at ease, he reminds them about their obligations and responsibilities as maintainers and preventers of crimes. And, to be effective in these duties, they should be vigilant and must take note of the unusual observed activities which may not require apprehension. Along this line, those assigned to patrol cars should not close the windows and avoid playing music on their cellphone during their cruise. Extra care should be observed in making apprehensions to avoid the accusation of being brutal. To make the serving of warrants to their subjects, all members of the Force shall be deputized to carry out such responsibility, instead of such being confined to a “warrant officer”. Those are just a few of the reminders that he tirelessly mentions during their formation so that they shall be deeply entrenched in the consciousness of his colleagues.

 

The briefing also includes reports by the heads of the different administrative units, including the custodian of the blotter. The formation culminates with the physical exercise of the scheduled members for the day.

 

Before the arrival of OIC Aggabao, many have been apprehensive on the kind of guy that would be assigned in the city, especially, because it was learned that he was young…not yet forty. But when he finally reported for duty, those who were apprehensive were relieved because they found him to be affable… friendly and with an easy smile.  He is so trusting that there are some days when he could be seen walking alone, as his own way of contributing to the foot patrolling effort of his contingent.

 

During our early morning meeting over a cup of coffee, thanks, to Bogz Jamorabon, he mentioned his commitment to really do his best in assisting the likewise, young mayor, Lina Montilla. He must have been aware of the early apprehensions before his arrival so that he made a resolve to really prove his worth as a “people’s police” and his colleagues’ “partner” in their endeavor to maintain peace and security in the city. The clear manifestation of the latter’s desire is his sharing of his knowledge and experience as regards their dangerous profession.

 

 

 

John Patrick Aggabao…the tireless OIC of the Tacurong PNP

John Patrick Aggabao…the tireless OIC

Of the Tacurong PNP

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The OIC of the Tacurong PNP starts the day of his Team with a formation during which he tirelessly briefs them about their obligations and responsibilities to the public. As the members of the Police Force stands at ease, he reminds them about their obligations and responsibilities as maintainers and preventers of crimes. And, to be effective in these duties, they should be vigilant and must take note of the unusual observed activities which may not require apprehension. Along this line, those assigned to patrol cars should not close the windows and avoid playing music on their cellphone during their cruise. Extra care should be observed in making apprehensions to avoid the accusation of being brutal. To make the serving of warrants to their subjects, all members of the Force shall be deputized to carry out such responsibility, instead of such being confined to a “warrant officer”. Those are just a few of the reminders that he tirelessly mentions during their formation so that they shall be deeply entrenched in the consciousness of his colleagues.

 

The briefing also includes reports by the heads of the different administrative units, including the custodian of the blotter. The formation culminates with the physical exercise of the scheduled members for the day.

 

Before the arrival of OIC Aggabao, many have been apprehensive on the kind of guy that would be assigned in the city, especially, because it was learned that he was young…not yet forty. But when he finally reported for duty, those who were apprehensive were relieved because they found him to be affable… friendly and with an easy smile.  He is so trusting that there are some days when he could be seen walking alone, as his own way of contributing to the foot patrolling effort of his contingent.

 

During our early morning meeting over a cup of coffee, thanks, to Bogz Jamorabon, he mentioned his commitment to really do his best in assisting the likewise, young mayor, Lina Montilla. He must have been aware of the early apprehensions before his arrival so that he made a resolve to really prove his worth as a “people’s police” and his colleagues’ “partner” in their endeavor to maintain peace and security in the city. The clear manifestation of the latter’s desire is his sharing of his knowledge and experience as regards their dangerous profession.

 

 

Poem

This poem is dedicated to those who are exerting effort to maintain peace, unity, and understanding among the Filipino people, as well as, the sanctity of their heritage as one nation, despite diversities in religion and culture and in the face of the current adversities.

 

Pilipinas

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

 

Mga luntiang islang magkakahiwalay

Mga katutubong iba-ibang pananalita

Iyan ang Pilipinas, watak-watak sa paningin

Subali’t iisa ang adhikain, iisa ang damdamin.

 

Halos gutayin ng pabago-bagong panahon

Kasama na diyan ang mga pag-uga ng lindol

Nguni’t buong tapang na iniinda ng mga Pilipino

Animo’y kawayan, sumasaliw sa hagupit ng bagyo.

 

Mula sa Batanes, hanggang Tawi-tawi

Mga katutubo’y nagbubuklod- iisang lipi

May isang kulay, matingkad, hinog sa panahon

Nagkaisa-  magkaiba man ang damit, salita at relihiyon.

 

Mayabong na sining at mayamang kultura

Taas-noong maipamamalaki, saan mang bansa

Hindi nagpapahuli, lumalaban, hindi nagpapaiwan

Sa ano mang uri ng patas na paligsahan o tunggalian.

 

Inang Pilipinas, mahal nating bayan

Huwag nating hayaang siya’y tapak-tapakan

Huwag hayaang mayurakan, iniingatang dangal –

Nang kung sino – Pilipino man o banyagang hangal!

 

Mga Pilipino tayo, kailangang magbuklod

Nang sa unos ng buhay matatag, ating pagsugod

Walang kinikiling na pag-imbot sa puso ng bawa’t isa

Nag-uunawaan, nagkakaisa – sa buong mundo, ating ipakita.

 

Mapalad tayo sa pagkakaroon nitong bansa

Na kung wariin, mahirap pag-ugnayin at mapag-isa

Subali’t ito ang itinadhana sa atin ng Poong Maykapal

Kaya’t buong puso nating arugain ng masidhing pagmamahal.

 

 

Francis Lama Torres…blazing his way to the top

FRANCIS LAMA TORRES…blazing his way to the top

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Here’s the story of a country boy, born of a big family at the foot of the Dagoma mountain range and raised by struggling parents who depended on the earnings of their father as a photographer. He is practically blazing his way to the top without let up.

 

I had my first glimpse of Francis Lama Torres, the guy whom many Notre Dameans and Tacurongnons have been mentioning as an excellent event host. That was during the first institutional reunion of the Notre Dame of Tacurong College several years ago, during which I was the “voice” of the college alumni, Carlo Romero for the high school, and City Mayor Lina Montilla, for the elementary. I was very much impressed by his fluency in English and local version of Hiligaynon.

 

Several months ago, during the birthday party of a cousin, Hazel, her close friend, Bing told me that she found somebody whom she found to be an excellent host. The guy whom I mentioned earlier and the one whom Bing mentioned were, I found out, to be the same.

 

The next time our paths crossed was when I visited a restaurant known for its indigenous dishes, the FUDZ RESTO, along the highway fronting the Notre Dame of Tacurong College. He was manning the cashier’s drawer. I learned from Cathy, the supervisor of the food outlet that Francis and her son Daryll are business partners and the resto is their first venture. I learned later still, from Cathy that some of their offerings are cooked at home by Francis, himself, early in the morning and which he brings to the restaurants on his way to his nearby office, the Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SUKELCO). And, most admirable is his lending a hand at the FUDZ Resto during his lunch break!

 

Francis currently holds the position of Manager of Area 2 Services Department, but previously, was the entity’s Administrative Services Manager. Still, previous to those jobs, he also taught at the NDTC for 4 years. As an Area 2 Manager of SUKELCO, Francis covers Bagumbayan, Isulan, Esperanza, as well as, Lambayong and its 4 barangays, Matiompong, Katitisan, Kapingkong, and Tambak.

 

 

He shared that he is from the beautiful barangay of Masiag, Babumbayan, having been born there in September 18, 1978. He finished his elementary  at the Masiag Central School and high school at the Notre Dame of Masiag, but finished his college at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College.  His father, Francisco E. Torres, Sr., is a photographer who started his craft as a teen-ager while his mother, Candelaria Dapitan Lama, is a typical housewife and a doting mother to him and his 8 siblings. He is next to the eldest, a priest  assigned in Thailand,  while their youngest is taking up Social Work at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College. Francis and his brothers fittingly accorded their parents with a special gift by jointly hosting their Ruby wedding anniversary.

 

While in high school, he has developed his skill in public speaking and when he studied at the Notre Dame of Tacurong College, it was further honed by Felizardo Lazado, one of the faculties who used to administer the school museum and a writer in his own right who continues to express himself through blogs in the internet today. From then on, he has been tapped to host events and his popularity as such spread even after his graduation. While with the SUKELCO, he kept on hosting various events, both of local and national level.

 

Our short conversation revealed his long-ranged vision for Tacurong, his adopted home. He shared his bright ideas on how the tourism industry of the city could be further developed by utilizing what are already on hand, hence, all doable. His vision goes beyond his course, Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Banking and Finance) enhanced by his Masters in Business Administration, as clearly, his mind is also set on community development, as well.

 

I could surmise that the guy could go further, having proved that one need not graduate from a big university to be an achiever, especially, because he loves challenges, as he admitted that he prefers field work to that of an office-confined one.

 

Kabuluhan ng Buhay (para kay Teddy Lapuz)

Kabuluhan ng Buhay

(…para kay Teddy Lapuz)

Ni Apolinario B. Villalobos

 

Nang tayo ay ginawa ng Diyos

Mula sa lupang kanyang hinubog

Sa palad nati’y ginuhit ang kapalaran –

Nakatalagang tuparin, mula sa sinapupunan.

 

Landas ng buhay, ating tinatahak

Batbat ng pagsubok, Kanyang itinadhana

Dahil  Kanyang layunin at gustong makita

Kung bawa’t  isa, karapat-dapat sa Kanyang biyaya.

 

Bawa’t buhay ay may kabuluhan

May landas na tinatahak at sinusundan

Habang binabagtas, nakatuon tayo sa layunin –

Layuning bigay Niya, kailangang nating tuparin.

 

Lahat tayong nilalang, dapat sumunod

Ano mang sa atin, itinadhana dito sa mundo

Iyan ang kabuluhan ng buhay, guhit sa ating palad –

Na buong mapagpakumbaba, dapat nating matupad.

 

Kasiyahan ang dapat nating madama

Kung bago natin marating ang dulo ng landas

Marami tayong nagawa, kabutihan sa ating kapwa –

Kaya sa mga pagkakataon, magpasalamat tayo sa Kanya.

 

Tayo’y dapat maging handa sa paglisan –

Sa mundong ginagalawan, sa ano mang panahon

Kung narating na natin ang dulo, landas ng ating buhay

Malugod na harapin, lalo’t sa mundo’y nagkaroon ng saysay.

 

 

Yes, I Can!

Yes, I Can!

…dedicated to Persons with Disability (PWDs )

By Apolinario B Villalobos

 

I may be lacking a foot or both

That will make it hard for me to stand,

 

I may be lacking an arm or both

That will make it hard for me to touch,

 

I may be lacking an eye or both

That will make it hard for me to clearly see,

 

I may not have a voice nor hear

That will make it hard for me to feel the crowd,

 

But God gave me a spirit, strong and bold

That can make me soar to heights – up there

It can bring me where I want – everywhere

It is my spirit that makes me say to anyone:

“That, as God made you, so am I,

and, what you can do,

Verily, I can do, too!

Proudly, to every one

I say, yes, I can…..!”