BULUAN…MAKASAYSAYANG KABISERA NG MAGUINDANAO ni Apolinario Villalobos

BULUAN…MAKASAYSAYANG KABISERA NG  MAGUINDANAO

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

Nasa  gitna ng kalakalan noon pang unang panahon

Na makikitid na kalsada ang nag-uugnay sa mga nayon

Mga nakatira sa baybaying dagat ng Timog Cotabato

Lumalakbay sa mga palanas makarating lang sa bayang ito.

Sambolawan na dating pangalan ng President Quirino

Naging bahagi ng makasaysayang bayan bilang baryo

Ganoon din ang Tacurong na dati ay halos lubog sa latian

Ngayon ay maunlad dahil nasa gitna ng masiglang kalakalan.

Mula sa isa pang bahagi’y nabuo ang bayan ng Columbio

Sinundan ng Lutayan na karamihang tumira’y mga Ilocano

Nabuo rin ang General Salipada K. Pendatun, hilagang bayan

At bandang huli, nabuo ang Pandag at Mangudadatu naman.

Ang umaagos na tubig mula sa lawa nito at ng Lutayan

Mga naglalakbay patungong Cotabato, ito ang “daluyan”

Nagmistulang “ugat” na dinadaluyan ng dugo ng buhay

Dahil sa mga isda, igi at kangkong na sagana nitong taglay.

Unang tinirhan ng mga taong sa Visayas at Luzon nanggaling

Naging kapamilya ng mga Maguindanao,  Pinoy na magigiting

Hindi pinagkait ang kulturang ibinahagi sa mga bagong kaibigan

Kaya natuto silang kumain ng tapay, tinagtag, bolibed at panyalam.

Kabisera  ngayon ng lalawigan ng Maguindanao, simbolo’y agila…

Ibong may angking tapang, liksi, matalas na kuko at mga mata

Umangkop sa namumunong masipag, trabaho’y sa tahimik na paraan

Matalas ang pakiramdam sa mga pangangailangan…at si ay si BAI MARIAM.

Makasaysayang Buluan ay nasa pangangalaga ng batang liderato

Maliksing kumilos,  palangiting si BABYDATS MANGUDADATU

Sa murang gulang ay nakaunawa na ng kalagayan ng mga kababayan

Kaya natanim sa puso at isip na sila ay hinding-hindi niya pababayaan.

Maraming hadlang ang sa landas ng Buluan ay nagsisilbing balakid

Subalit mga Buluanon, sa pagsagupa ng mga ito’y malakas ang dibdib

Hawak-kamay silang lahat, nagpipilit na sumulong patungo sa kaunlaran

Hangad ay maaliwalas at masaganang kinabukasan ng BAGONG BULUAN!

Note:

igi-small freshwater snail that thrives in rivers and lakes

Mangudadatu – formerly Tombao

FOODS FOR RAMADAN 2019….by Apolinario Villalobos

The foods for Ramadan 2019 being sold at the public market of Buluan, a town of Maguindanao Province of the Philippines….

The BBGM Hotel and Coffee Shop in Buluan (Maguindanao, Philippines)…by Apolinario Villalobos

The BBGM that looks cool from the highway may just be perceived as just a simple structure but it proves to be a big surprise as one steps inside the hotel that offers bed and breakfast and the coffee shop beside the water refilling station. I consider the four-letters as a pride of Buluan, Maguindanao….

Buluan Lake…smiles and homes on stilts (Buluan, Maguindanao, Philippines)

Buluan Lake…smiles and homes on stilts

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

The lake is a few minutes from the town of Buluan in Maguindanao province in the Philippines.

 

Fascinating Buluan Lake (Buluan, Maguindanao, Philippines)

FASCINATING BULUAN LAKE

(Buluan, Maguindanao)

 

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

My jaunt to Buluan Lake yesterday, December 12,  was decided when a blackout cut short my blogging on the patronal fiesta of President Quirino (Sultan Kudarat). Rather than sit it out for the return of the power to keep me going again, I decided to go somewhere else, despite the scorching heat of the high noon sun. I finally I contracted Dagul who at the time was driving a single “habal-habal” motorbike to bring me to the fish port of Buluan. I was lucky to have been driven by Dagul because I found out that he was familiar with the area as he told me that he used to deliver bamboo poles to clients within the vicinity.

 

On our way to the lake, Dagul was narrating his adventures around the area as far as Tulunan where he met new hospitable friends. He told me about the friendly residents of Maslabing and he was right as those we met along the way, returned the smile I gave them and waved back to me as we drove on along the concrete road that sliced through the African palm plantation. What made me more interested about the area was how the locals are making use of solar panels to light their homes. And, what  caught my attention are the clean yards, some with flowers and shrubs.

 

I knew that we were approaching the lake when I could only see the empty horizon ahead of us. And, when we finally reached our destination, I was surprised by its expanse with portions dotted by colonies of water lily. The homes on stilts brought back memories of Taluksangay in Zamboanga that I visited decades ago. What delighted me were the friendliness of the locals. Every time I asked permission to take their photos and their home, they readily agreed after listening to my explanation that I was promoting Buluan and that I would like to spread the news that their place is nice. I added that during the INAUL FESTIVAL, visitors could visit their place to see the lake and have snacks in their convenient stores or sari-sari store.  I told those who owned small carinderias that they should maintain cleanliness to the best they can so that visitors would come back for more of their deep-fried taruk and tilapia.

 

I found half-finished slim and long bancas in some homes, aside from fish traps and black fish nets. Some resourceful residents cook “binignet” a kind of powdered rice porridge with banana. In another home, I found a mother with her  purple-colored cake to be peddled at the wharf.  I was told that in a few hours the first batch of harvested tilapia would be coming in which could be the reason why I saw styro boxes and obvious traders, regretfully, I could wait for it because I still had two places to visit….but definitely I will be back.

BULUAN (tula or Filipino poem)

BULUAN

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Sinapupunan ng kulturang Magindanaw

Emperyong maharlika na malawak ang saklaw

Kutabato na sa kasaysayan ay malalim ang tatak

Dahil katapangan ng mga ninuno ay ‘di mahahamak.

 

Magandang buhay, bigay ng lawa at ilog

Mga dalag, tilapia, bagtis, taruk na malulusog

Mga biyaya na bigay ni Allah, hindi ipinagdamot

Pinapasalamatan kahit minsan, huli’y kakarampot.

 

Mayamang kulturang sa INAUL ay ipinakita

‘Di lang ang bansang Pilipinas dito’y humanga

Kahit sa ibang sulok ng mundo ito ay napansin din

Napagtagumpayan na sa katagalan ay isang hangarin.

 

Naging tahanan ng mga Ilokano at Bisaya

Sinundan ng ibang may hangaring guminhawa

Hindi naman pinagkaitan ng mga ninunong datu

Pagkakataon na nakita rin ng mga dumayong Tsino.

 

“Ina” na maituturing ng Tacurong at Quirino

Malawak na bayang nagbigay-buhay sa mga ito

Katotohanang kinikilala ng mga mamayan ngayon

Hindi kalilimutan sa lahat ng pagkakataon at panahon.

 

Oh, Buluan, sa iyo kami ay nagbibigay-pugay

Ang masambit ka, nagpapasigla sa aming buhay

Napadako man kami sa iba’t ibang lunsod at bayan

Ugat ka pa ring maituturing na aming pinanggalingan!

 

The Touching Courtesy Call of Prep Kids to the Honorable Governor, Sultan Pax Mangudadatu

The Touching Courtesy Call of Prep Kids

To the Honorable Governor, Sultan Pax Mangudadatu

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

What I like with the ambience of the Sultan Kudarat Capitol is that the Honorable Governor, Sultan Pax Mangudadatu is such a fatherly guy that even while having a meeting for as long as it is not a matter of life and death, he can be interrupted, especially, if the unannounced visitors are kids. It happened when I was having a meeting with him. When one of his staff whispered that there were kids who would like to have their photos taken with him, he smilingly obliged.

 

The pupils of a Methodist Prep school in Esperanza were having an educational tour in the Capitol Building with their parents and a teacher/coordinator, the morning of January 19, 2018. When they learned that the kind-hearted Governor was in his office, the pretty staff who was guiding them around brought them to his office. The governor immediately stood up when the door opened wide and the kids without much ado went to him to put his right hand to their forehead as a sign of a blessing from him. The kids were all well-behaved, while Sultan Pax exuded a picture of a happy grandfather! The group gave him a certificate of appreciation for being a great Patriarch of the province and a gift. As his habit, he read aloud what is printed in the certificate.

 

With the kids around him, some already having claimed a space on which to slump on the floor in front of his desk, he began his pep talk, as if addressing professionals. He expertly condensed his historical speech into one that fit his audience. And, he did it on the spot without much effort, as if he was speaking to a friend. He even advised the teacher to teach the kids the basic rudiments of physical hygiene such as brushing of teeth.

 

The scenes that I witnessed that morning were just emotionally touching…inspiring!

 

 

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.

Ang Kuwento ng Buhay ni Mariam

Ang Kuwento ng Buhay ni Mariam

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Una kong nakilala ang kapatid ni Mariam na si Den dahil traysikel niya ang ginamit ko nang bumili ako ng kahoy panggatong sa Datu Paglas. Silang dalawa ay lubusang naulila sa murang edad na parehong wala pang sampung taon. Palipat-lipat sila sa iba’t ibang kamag-anak na ang iba ay napilitang umampon sa kanila kahit sa maikling panahon. May narinig pa silang kuwentuhan ng matatanda nilang kamag-anak na huwag na silang pag-aralin, at sa halip ay gawing utusan na lamang. Habang si Den ay pinag-araro ng bukid kahit wala pang sampung taong gulang, ang kanyang ate na si Mariam ay bugbog naman sa gawaing bahay, at talagang bugbog literally kaya nagkaroon siya ng peklat sa mukha na hindi nawala hanggang ngayon dahil sa sobrang pagmamalupit ng tinirhang kamag-anak.

 

Dahil umabot sa puntong halos wala nang kamag-anak na mag-aampon sa kanila, nagkahiwalay silang dalawa. Naiwan si Mariam sa Buluan at si Den naman, sa murgang edad na halos tin-edyer pa lang ay nakipagsapalaran na sa iba’t ibang bayan. Nagkita lamang silang dalawa nang si Den ay may asawa na at umuwi sa sinilangang bayan kung saan siya ay nagtatraysikel at si Marian naman ay domestic help sa Qatar.

 

Naiwan sa pangangalaga ng kanyang pinsan ang 15 years old na panganay ni Mariam at nag-aaral sa isang pampublikong high school sa katabing bayan ng Buluan, ang President Quirino. Ayon kay Mariam na nakausap ko sa cellphone dahil nasa Qatar siya, matalino ang kanyang anak na lalaki, lalo na sa Mathematics kaya ang pangarap niya para dito ay maging engineer. Sa pag-uusap namin nabanggit niyang ang gross niyang kinikita sa Qatar ay hindi lumalampas sa Php16,000 kada buwan at binabawas niya ng budget para sa pagkain niya. Siya kasi ay empleyado ng isang agency na nangongontrata ng paglilinis ng bahay at per hour ang bayad.

 

Ang pinsang nag-aalaga sa kanyang panganay ay binibigyan niya ng Php1,000 kada buwan para sa pagkain nito. Nagpapadala din siya ng pera para sa kanyang anak na babae na nasa pangangalaga ng asawang hiniwalayan niya. Ang allowance ng kanyang anak na panganay ay Php2,000 kada buwan, at sa halagang iyan kinukuha ang pamasahe at tanghalian kung lunch break sa eskwela. Nagbabaon ang bata ng kanin upang makatipid at dahil maliit lang budget para sa pagkain, bumibili siya ng ginisang alamang na bagoong sa halagang Php5 na pang-ulam.

 

Parehong matalino ang dalawang anak ni Mariam. Kung ang panganay na lalaki ay magaling sa mathematics, ang pangalawa naman na babae ay magaling sa English at Science, at consistent honor student mula pa noong nagsimula itong mag-aral kaya ang pangarap niya para dito ay maging Nurse. Walang hilig makipagbarkada ang dalawa dahil pagkatapos ng klase, diretso daw sila sa bahay upang mag-aral. Nakakarating kay Mariam ang magandang feedback tungkol sa kanyang mga anak sa pamamagitan ng kanyang pinsan. Dahil sa kabaitan ng kanyang mga anak, nagsilbi silang inspirasyon sa kanya.

 

Binanggit ni Mariam na noong bata pa siya,  kahit once a week lang ang pag-aral niya ng Arabic sa Madrasa o Islamic school, at sa loob lang ng isang buwan, pinilit niya ang sariling matuto kaya panay ang self-study niya kapag nasa bahay na. Ang English naman ay sa regular na public school niya natutuhan. Ngayon, parehong magaling na siyang magbasa at magsulat ng English, ganoon din sa Arabic.

 

Tulad ni Den, sinabi sa akin ni Mariam na ayaw niyang matulad sa kanya ang kanyang mga anak kaya hangga’t maaari ay ayaw niyang magkasakit o umabsent sa trabaho dahil ang patakaran ng agency nila “no work, no pay”. Nang huli silang mag-usap ng kanyang panganay, humihingi ito ng dagdag na pera para magamit sa project sa eskwela dahil ang natitirang perang hawak niya ay Php400 na lang. Masakit man sa kalooban niya ay napakiusapan ni Mariam ang anak na pagkasyahin ang pera hanggang sa second week ng July kung kaylan siya makakakuha pa lang ng sahod. Habang sinusulat ko itong blog, hindi ko alam kung nakagawa ng paraan ang anak niya.

 

Naisip ko na ang halagang Php400 pesos ay pinapang-Jollibee lang ng iba, pero para sa anak ni Mariam, kayamanan na itong maituturing na kailangang pagkasyahin sa loob ng dalawang linggo.