The Municipalality of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. (SNA) Could Be More Appropriately Named as KULAMAN

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.)

 

“The municipality was created by virtue of Republic Act No. 06712 on February 17, 1989,[4] and is named after senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.

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.

  • Banali
  • Basag
  • Buenaflores
  • Bugso
  • Buklod
  • Gapok
  • Kadi
  • Kapatagan
  • Kiadsam
  • Kuden
  • KULAMAN
  • Lagubang
  • Langgal
  • Limuhay
  • Malegdeg
  • Midtungok
  • Nati
  • Sewod
  • Tacupis
  • Tinalon”

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Huwag Batikusin si Gov. Pax Mangudadatu Dahil sa Ginawang Kasalanan ng Anak

Huwag Batikusin si Gov. Pax Mangudadatu Dahil sa Ginawang Kasalanan ng Anak

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

 

Simula nang pumutok ang balitang may pinatay ang isang anak ni Governor Pax ay nagtanung-tanong ako tungkol sa anak niyang ito. Lahat ng mga taga-Lutayang lehitimong taga-roon na mga Muslim ay nagsabing hindi daw talaga maganda ang ugali ng anak ni Governor Pax, kaya hindi na sila nagulat sa nagawa nitong krimen. Pinuntahan ng nakakatandang anak ni Governor Pax ang namatayang pamilya at ayon sa kuwento ng kasama niyang malapit sa akin, wala raw tigil ito sa pag-iyak dahil sa awa sa mga namatayan. Ang payo ko sa iba, hintayin na lang ang resulta ng ginawang aksiyon laban sa anak na ito ni Governor Pax….na maaaring ikakabigla natin.

 

Hindi maiiwasang magkaroon ng isa o mas higit pang “black sheep” sa isang pamilya. Ang mga magulang ay halos mabuwang sa pag-isip ng paraan upang sila ay mapagbago. Posible ring may mga magulang na naging pabaya kaya naka-develop ng masamang ugali o nagkaroon ng masamang bisyo ang ilang anak nila.

 

Kahit sa isang samahan ay mayroon ding “black sheep” at ang pinakasikat na samahang mayroon nito ay ang kay Hesus. Si Hudas ang itinuturing na tupang itim dahil sa pagkakanulo niya kay Hesus, kapalit ng ilang pirasong pilak.

 

Simula nang magdesisyon akong magsulat tungkol kay Gov. Pax Mangudadatu kahit noong sa Manila ako at hindi ko siya kilala ay nagsaliksik na ako tungkol sa kanya at mula nang maging magkaibigan na kami ay lalo ko pa siyang nasubaybayan. Nakakagulat ang mga sinasabi niya, tulad ng mga sumusunod:

 

  • Sinabihan niya ang isang opisyal sa Capitol na nag papirma ng dokumento para sa isang project ng “….ayaw ko niyan kung walang makikinabang na Christians diyan…dapat pantay ang turing sa mga makikinabang na mga Muslim at Christians….pakipalitan mo yan”.

 

  • Sa mga kinder pupils ng isang Methodist Prep School ng Esperanza, “kayong mga bata…simulan na ninyong gumawa ng mabuti dahil kung matanda na kayo, mahirap nang baguhin ang masamang ugali…”

 

  • Sa lumapit na isang Muslim na gustong tumakbong barangay Chairman at bumulong na kailangan “sana” niya ng financial na tulong, sinabi niyang, “…kung tatakbo kang opisyal, huwag kang mamigay ng pera, dahil kung matatalo ka magsisisi ka….at kung manalo ka ay siguradong magnanakaw ka ng pera sa gobyerno para mabawi ang nagasto mo…”

 

  • Sa isa pang opisyal na may papapirmahang dokumento tungkol sa expense, pinaalalahanan niyang, “…sa mga bagay na ito dapat ay maging transparent dahil ang ginagastos ay pera ng tao…kaya, lahat ay dapat totoo…”.

 

Narinig ko ang lahat ng mga sinabi niya dahil halos magkatabi kami…nasa harap din niya ang ilang pang naghihintay ng kanilang pagkakataon upang makausap siya at magpapirma. Ang hindi ko makalimutan ay ang hindi niya pagkain ng kanyang tanghalian hangga’t hindi nabigyan ang lahat ng nasa loob ng Capitol Gym ng Jollibee lunch pack…saka pa lang siya bumalik sa presidential table sa stage upang kainin ang simple niyang lunch. Nagsalita pa siya noon sa microphone upang pakiusapan ang mga Jollibee representatives na nagdi-distribute ng packed lunches na, “please lang….baka pwedeng bilisan lang ang pamimigay ng pagkain dahil pasado tanghali na at siguradong gutom na ang mga kasama natin….”. Nangyari yan noong Kalimudan Festival.

 

May popular ding kuwento tungkol sa pagiging matulungin ni Governor Pax. May dumating daw na constituent sa kanyang opisina at humihingi ng tulong panggastos sa ospital. Walang pera si Governor Pax noon kaya ang ginawa ay hinubad ang suot niyang mamahaling relo at sinabihan ang humihingi ng tulong na isangla niya ito pero ibigay sa kanya ang resibo para matubos niya pag may pera na siya.

 

Bilang panghuli, pinapakiusap ko na sana ay huwag batikusin si Governor Pax dahil sa kagagawan ng anak. Nasa Bibliya yata nanggaling ang kasabihang, “ang kasalanan ng ama ay hindi kasalanan ng anak” …ibig sabihin, ang kasalanan ng isang miyembro ng pamilya ay hindi dapat ituring na kasalanan ng buong pamilya.

 

Marami pang anecdotes akong ilalabas tungkol sa magandang ugali ni Governor Pax….

 

 

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!

 

 

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!

 

 

Two Incidents that Made Me Have an Utmost Respect to Governor Pax Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat

Two Incidents that Made Me Have an Utmost Respect

To Governor Pax Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat Province

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I do not know the guy personally, except as  being a well-loved governor of Sultan Kudarat based on the stories that I have heard. But two incidents that I personally encountered confirmed the stories about his benevolence and fatherly character.

 

During the Kalimudan Festival 2017, I attended the Rural Health Workers’ Day at the Capitol Gym after missing the Children’s Day, the day before. I needed to have something to blog about the festival that I have missed for several years. I took photos of the different groups that took turns in showing their patiently-rehearsed numbers at the center of the basketball court. On the stage was the presidential table where officials including the honorable Pax Mangudadatu were seated. Later, I sat two paces away from him and had a chance to observe him.

 

When lunch was served, he did not touch his food while the rest were enjoying theirs. He was looking at the Rural Workers from the different municipalities of the province, and who were occupying the bleachers and it dawned on me that he was also observing the Jollibee reps who were distributing packed lunches. After awhile, he stood up and took the microphone through which he asked the Jollibee reps to say, “please, pakibigyan ang lahat ng mga tao ng pagkain… at baka pwedeng bilisan lang…”. He did not return to his seat, until everybody had their lunch in styro box.

 

Just recently, I dropped by his office but found him surrounded with staff and visitors. His secretary made take a seat not far from him, so that we could immediately talk after the last staff with documents for signature would have left. What caught my attention was his softly- spoken remark to a staff who explained to him about a project that was intended for Muslims. He said, “ayaw ko ng ganyan….gusto ko para sa Christians at Muslims….hindi lang Muslims”. The staff withdrew the documents. When he noticed me, he smiled and shook my hands and before he stood up for a meeting in another room, we had a comparably lengthy talk.

 

For those who are not familiar with the province of Sultan Kudarat, Muslims and Christians inhabit its lowlands and the highlands are by the Lumads. The province used to be part of North Cotabato when the original Cotabato Province was divided into two – North and South. Later, North Cotabato was further divided resulting to the creation of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao. Isulan is the capital town of Sultan Kudarat.

Pax Mangudadatu

MUTYA NG SULTAN KUDARAT 2017 and KALIMUDAN FESTIVAL by Apolinario Villalobos

13TH of November is KALIMUDAN FEST 2017’s day for the Job and Business Fair, Women’s Congress and the presentation of the candidates from the different municipalities vying for the MUTYA NG SULTAN KUDARAT 2017. The Honorable Governor, PAX MANGUNDADATU, was the keynote speaker that marked the start of the whole day affair.

The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu and the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu

And the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I almost missed my chance to meet Sultan Kudarat Governor, Pax Mangudadatu when my schedule on November 9 got mixed up. Had Lotlot Espinosa, not called me about my promise to join her for the Barangay Health Workers’ (BHW) Day at the Capitol Gym, I could have opted for  two other appointments. The celebration was among those lined up for the more than one month celebration of the Kalimudan Festival 2017…the 19th year.

 

Inside the imposing Capitol Gym, the BHWs of the different municipalities including those of Tacurong City represented by the Baras Sanctuary, were already jam-packed on the lower level of the bleachers. The groups were colorfully distinguished by the color of their t-shirts. The honorable governor was already almost halfway from finishing his speech when we entered and considered myself lucky to have caught up with his speech filled with historic details about the province. The portion of his speech that first caught my attention was his declaration of utmost GRATITUDE to the Christians for coming during the 1900’s and helped a lot in educating the indigenous inhabitants, especially, the Muslims.

 

He called on the Sultan Kudaratnons to be TOLERANT in view of the multi-cultured character of the populace. He was practically appealing for UNITY despite differences in religion. He unabashedly mentioned his humble beginnings, practically, struggling to be where he is now, but adding that what he is today, including the political mandates, he owed to God. He underlined his hatred of illegal drugs, thankful that the nation has Duterte as President. But what made his speech very remarkable was his emphasis on the Oneness of God, whatever He is called in various religions which practically struck me. Later, when I sat beside him at the presidential table on stage, I noticed his Masonic ring.

 

While those seated at the presidential table started to enjoy their lunch, the governor kept on looking around until he stood up, went to the lectern and over the microphone, asked the Jollibee representatives to see to it that everybody was given a packed lunch. I heard a story about his giving his portion of lunch to the guy seated not far from him when he noticed that he has not gotten enough on his plate. With what I have personally witnessed that lunchtime inside the gym, the story about his benevolence has been confirmed.

 

Before he left the building, he approached the different groups, and that was when I saw how close he is to his constituents. Despite his little more than 70 years of age, he spritely shook hands and gamely allowed himself to be photographed in their company…the sight was overwhelming! For me, he should be appropriately called, the “Bapa of the Masses” (uncle of the masses).

 

The smile never left his serene face which made him more close to his Rural Health Workers. While looking at him obviously enjoying their company, his soft voice as we conversed a few minutes back, lingered in my mind. I contented myself taking occasional photos and from a short distance, let ecstatic health workers/volunteers savor the special moment with him as for the others to come are for his other constituents…the elders and PWEDs, the artists, etc.

 

I am praying for your health, Bapa Gov Pax!…More power to you!