Tacurong then, and today…

Tacurong then, and today…

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

When I was born in Tacurong in 1954, the most popular area was the plaza with a swimming pool, a skating rink and a multi-purpose court in front of a stage. 80% of the streets were not cemented. The public market was dilapidated. The whole town was not completely lighted despite the presence of the cooperative power supplier. There were only 3 clinics. There was no rotunda where the traffic from Marbel, Davao, Lambayong, and Isulan converged. Notre Dame College was lighted in the evening by an age-old generator at the back of the old wood-structured convent. The Catholic church was not filled with wooden benches. There was a lone mosque at the Apilado subdivision. The only reputable resort was the Lacson Resort at Calian. The only decent barbecue outlet was the Mauring’s (Pernato). There were 4 dilapidated movie houses, Real, Nonoy, Ideal, and Prince.

 

Today, there may be no movie theaters but the Tacurongnons are not bored because of hi-tech entertainment gadgets. I went around the city and found that only a few of short streets are not cemented, and which may not take a long time to be covered with concrete. Big canals are being constructed. There are malls so that the locals need not go to Gensan or Davao or Marbel, although there is a slight difference in prices. Decent restos have mushroomed all over the city, even at unexpected corners of barangays. Hospitals and clinics including derma, ortho and dental have likewise mushroomed. The Notre Dame College has developed tremendously and additionally, there are now plenty of colleges, both public and private, as well as, high-end prep schools.

 

Today, the young Tacurongnons are updated in their fashionable outlook. The city plaza has assumed an exotic image. There are a number of resorts, foremost of which is the Monte Vicenteaux Resort….plus, a nature reserve, the Baras Bird Sanctuary. Fashion parlors are everywhere. Food items in the market are cheap and plenty due to the influx of commodities from neighboring cities and towns.

 

The local government is lenient in its policies which is an advantage to small entrepreneurs, resulting to the mushrooming of small and medium businesses. Market marshals who are on guard 24/7 are very helpful to shoppers. The fish and meat sections of the wet market do not stink.

 

One can have a decent lunch of pastil or patil and boiled egg, with free soup – all for Php20. The dirty ice cream sold around the city has at least four flavors to choose from including durian. Four scoops on a small cone is Php5…served in a bread as sandwich is Php10.

 

The Tacurongnons are multi-lingual so that strangers need not worry about miscommunication, as even vendors can speak good English and Tagalog.

 

What more can a Tacurongnon ask? Why not just help in making the city become more lively and exude with a warmer goodwill. Let us not ask for the moon in view of the small budget that the local government is trying to make use to the fullest in realizing the most needed and relevant projects.

 

SA HALIP NA BUMATIKOS….TUMULONG!….KUNG HINDI MO KAYA, TUMAHIMIK KA!…HUWAG MAGING TRILLANES SA SARILING BAYAN!

Baras Bird Sanctuary Revisited (Barangay Baras, Tacurong City, Mindanao)

Baras Bird Sanctuary Revisited

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The last time I visited the Baras Bird Sanctuary was during the successful celebration of the Bird Festival 2017 last May. Lately, I visited it again but it was some kind of a reunion with college buddies, Rey Malana, the owner of the avian reservation park and Charles del Campo who was with his second wife, Neneng. When we arrived, the park wardens were busy with the laying down of new tiles for the pathway that wound around the bamboo and “kakawate” grove. Mr. Malana, himself, showed as around while pointing to interesting birds, some of which belong to very rare species. While going around, we had to cover our head with salakot to protect us from bird droppings.

 

Overhead, branches of trees and leaning bamboos lush with foliage and twigs were dotted with nests. Birds of various species were oblivious of our presence. Egrets were either on the ground while the rest were minding their nest. Fallen bamboos were left to rot to maintain an ambience akin to a forest. Meanwhile, a few feet away from the pathway, the brownish Upper Katungal or Kapingkong River continued rushing toward the Ala River.

 

After our tour, Rey treated us to a film showing that featured a documentary about the sanctuary. I was personally amazed at how the city and Baras with its Bird sanctuary were beautifully presented, especially, from the bird’s eye view.

 

Rey confided that he has been a nature lover ever since he observed the regular homing of egrets to the bamboo grove of their farm. To keep the avian park well-maintained, the city government has granted it a subsidy. Working in tandem with Rey in keeping the birding hobby and nature awareness in Tacurong alive is Ms. Emelie P. Jamorabon of the city tourism office. She surprised me with her thorough knowledge of the birds that have found home in the swamps around the city, as well as, the Bird Sanctuary itself. When I paid her a visit, she excitedly opened a site in the internet about the birds of Tacurong posted by avid birdwatchers who regularly visit the city.

 

Both Mr. Malana and Ms. Jamorabon are hoping that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) could further help the city government in preserving the identified homing areas of endemic and migratory birds, especially, the almost three hectares Baras Bird Sanctuary. Another identified area is a swamp within a private land in Carmen, which according to Ms. Jamorabon will be developed into a subdivision.

 

Those who are interested to visit Tacurong, the gateways are Davao, General Santos and Cotabato cities. The staff of the City Tourism Office on the second floor of the City Hall, and the receptionists, as well as, the park wardens of the Baras Bird Sanctuary are more than willing to assist for quick tours.

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.

Magsaysay Park of Tacurong City

Magsaysay Park of Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

The park of the city has metamorphosed into what it is today with panoramic landscape accentuated by manicured hedges and shaded by the old acacia trees and palmettos. During the 60’s, the park had a skating rink as its landmark and a few meters away, fronting the west was the stage with basketball court in front. Both the skating rink and the basketball court were used by the farming residents to dry their palay and corn. Free movies were also shown at the plaza, sponsored by the drug merchants, almost one every two months.

 

During the time of the late mayor Jose Escribano, weekends were for amateur singing contests. To add life to the young town which was newly-weaned from Buluan, the vocational schools such as  Aumentado Fashion School, later renamed Grimaldo Fashion School and Parisienne Academy were encouraged to hold fashion shows to showcase the creations of their students who took up dressmaking. Among the favorite models were Didith Ulangkaya, Daisy Villalobos and Charlie del Campo.

 

Jose Escribano later built a swimming pool, the first in the area that covered Isulan, Esperanza, Lambayong and Koronadal, to encourage the influx of weekend picnickers. To make Tacurong more lively, a musical band, Firebrand, was put up, composed of the local firemen to make use of their free time. The band which was permanently quartered at the back of the stage hired a singer from Manila, Lito, whose signature songs were those of the Bee Gees.

 

For easy accessibility to his constituents, Escribano held office at the town plaza, beside the swimming pool which occupied a quarter of the total space of the plaza. It was then called, “Tacurong Resort” which helped in making the town popular in the province.

 

The swimming pool was the first touristic landmark of Tacurong. Today the whole area of what used to be “Tacurong Resort” is the home base of the military Task Force assigned to protect the city.

 

Ang Makabagong Anyo ng Tacurong na Pinatingkad ng Pagtutulungan

Speech delivered during the June 12/Independence Day celebration of Tacurong at the grounds of the City Hall….

 

ANG MAKABAGONG ANYO NG TACURONG

NA PINATINGKAD NG PAGTUTULUNGAN

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Ang Tacurong na dating baryo ng Buluan at may pangalang “Pamangsang” ay mabilis ang pagpaimbulog tungo sa pag-unlad. Animo, siya ay isang taong nagmamadali sa paghakbang tungo sa isang inaasam na layunin…at hindi naman nabigo dahil ngayon ay kitang-kita ang mga resulta ng kaunlaran na tinatamasa. Kabi-kabila ang mga itinatayong mga gusali upang maging mall at paupahan. Lahat nang yan ay dahil sa pagtutulungan ng mga residente at mga dumadayong mangangalakal na galing pa sa ibang bayan na nakapaligid sa lunsod.

 

Nakatulong din ang pagpupunyagi ni Ms. Emilie Pasaporte Jamorabon ng City Tourism Office na sa kabila ng maliit na pondo ay nagawang makapag-conceptualize ng Bird Festival, and ikatlong festival ng lunsod. Walang maipagmamalaking tradisyonal na tourist spots ang Tacurong, maliban sa Bird Sanctuary ng Baras, Monte Vicenteaux Resort ng New Passi, iba pang maliliit na resorts na nakakalat sa iba’t ibang purok at barangay, at mga specialty restaurants. Ang kakulangan ng mga likas na atraksiyon ay napunuan naman, at sobra-sobra pa ng likas na magandang ugali na pinapakita ng mga Tacurongnon sa mga dumadayo…yan ang “goodwill”.

 

Hindi mapag-imbot o selfish ang Tacurong, at walang ibang dapat pasalamatan diyan kundi ang butihing mayor, si Lina Montilla, sampu ng iba pang mga opisyal – vice mayor, Dr. Joseph George Lechonsito at mga City Coucilors.  Patas ang mga ordinansang ginagawa. Walang pinipili sa mga binibigyan ng pagkakataon upang mabuhay nang maayos….yan ang diwa ng sama-samang pagbalikat ng mga gampanin tungo sa pag-unlad.

 

Mababaw ang katagang “pagbabago” para sa Tacurong dahil kung tutuusin ay walang dapat baguhin, sa halip ay dapat paunlarin pa, dahil maunlad na . Kailangan lang naman kasi ang pagbabago ng isang bagay kung ito ay masama o hindi kaaya-aya…na wala sa imahe ng lunsod kahit katiting man lang. At, yan ang “nakakabilib”, kung gagamitin ko ang salitang makabago….at, yan pa rin, ay dahil sa masugid na pagtutulungan ng mga Tacurongnon.

 

Hindi lang iisa ang kulturang umiiral sa buong lunsod ng Tacurong. Ang Ilokano, Ilonggo, Cebuano, Pangasinense, Maranao, Iranum, Maguindanaoan, Bikol, Waray, at Tagalog ay iba’t ibang kulturang maituturing subalit nasa hanay na pangrehiyon o regional…at lahat ay nag-uunawaan…walang hidwaan o kontrahan. Dito lang sa atin may subdivision na sa gitna at hindi kalayuan sa mga bahay ng mga Kristiyano ay may mosque. Dito lang sa atin may simbahang Katoliko na may mga estudyanteng Muslim. Dito sa atin ang mga Ilokano, Bikol, Waray at Tagalog na animo ay mga Ilonggo kung magsalita ng Bisaya. Ang pinag-uusapan natin dito ay iba’t ibang tradisyon, na sa kabila ng pagkakaiba ay may pagkakaisang nakatuntong sa pundasyon ng magandang samahan. Bihira ang kalagayan natin dito sa Tacurong na dapat ay ating ipagmalaki…na guto kong tawaging “cosmopolitan” o “sophisticated”.

 

Hindi tayo dapat mangamba o matakot sa anumang banta na pilit nagpapadiskaril ng direksyon na tinatahak ng lunsod. Ang bantang yan ay dapat pang magpaigting ng ating magandang samahan. At, dahil ito ang huling term ni mayor Lina at iba pang mga Konsehal, ang panawagan ko ay magtulungan tayo sa pagbalikat ng mga gampanin ng mga papalit sa kanila. Huwag nating pairalin ang pulitika na nagsisilbing salot na sumisira ng magandang samahan pati ng magkakapamilya.

 

Magkaisa tayo tungo sa pag-unlad pa ng ating lunsod na nag-iisa lang!…ipagmalaki natin na tayo ay mayroong Tacurong, na ang pangalan ay hinango sa “talakudong”, isang malapad na katutubong sombrerong nagsisimbolo ng proteksiyon sa lahat na handang makipagtulungan at walang mapag-imbot na hangarin.

 

Magbuklod-buklod tayo at sa iisang boses ay sumigaw ng SULONG TACURONG!

 

 

 

 

Ms. Flor de la Rosa: Untold Story of a Sacrificing Woman of Tacurong City

Ms. Flor de la Rosa: Untold Story of a Sacrificing Woman of Tacurong City

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Despite her advancing age, beauty could still be discerned on her calm face. After more than fifty years, not only was I fortunate to meet her but had an intimate conversation with her at close range after a hearty breakfast hosted by Nita and Nito Bernardo at their home, and to whom I am so gratified for such opportunity. It was my first time to hear her speak with the typical melodious Visayan tone and delicate voice.

 

Her family used to live in New Iloilo, a sitio of Tantangan which was then part of Tacurong. Today, it is occupied by Jaime, a younger brother, and his second family.  The late mayor of Tacurong,  Jose Escribano was always around when there were affairs in Tantangan. During the time, Flor, who at 19 was a student and about to finish a course in education. It was during one of the occasions in Tantangan that the mayor could have noticed the pretty Flor who was always invited during public occasions. While she was studying in Cotabato city, a bodyguard of Escribano discreetly followd her to make sure that no guy would attempt to court her. The mayor also resorted to “courtin” Flor’s mother and enticed her to put up a business in Tacurong. She was a dressmaker in New Iloilo, then and her husband was managing the logging company of a rich relative in Parang, but on a meager wage.

 

A building was put up then in Tacurong with the ground floor occupied by the Dainty Refreshment which Flor’s parents managed and the second floor was allotted for the whole family. The establishment became famous for its halo-halo and cake which competed with those of the Angelita’s. And, to ensure that it would earn much as expected, the bus terminal was relocated in the vicinity, from its former location in front of the Tacurong Pilot School. For 24 hours, the Dainty Refreshment was open and that was how the de la Rosa family was able to earn substantially.

 

The late mayor had the reputation of getting what he wanted by all means, but not in the case of Flor, for it took him 4 long years to finally get what he wanted. Courting went as far as Manila where Flor continued her studies. When she finally graduated, she taught at the New Iloilo Elementary School, moving on to Tantangan, and when the Dainty Refreshment was opened, she was transferred to Tacurong with the instigation of the late mayor. The principal then of the Tacurong Pilot School was Mr. Abadilla and the District Supervisor was Mr. Llavore. At the Tacurong Pilot School she taught Science and Pilipino subjects. Out of gratitude, Escribano built a building that was later used by the Home Economics pupils.

 

Flor confided that due to emotional pressure, she resigned from her job and went to Manila, although, she feared for the safety of her family who might earn the ire of the late mayor. But as she could not stop him from courting her, she finally softened a bit and accepted her fate…finally, going back to Tacurong to be with her family. While in Tacurong, she would occasionally show herself up in public to assist the mayor during special occasions. That was how she got to be known as the “mayor’s secretary”.

 

When she went back to Manila again, she finally told Escribano once and for all, that she wanted to end their affair and threatened to enter the convent if he won’t concede. It was at this juncture that she saw the good side of the brusque mayor…who begged her not to proceed with her plan, but for them to maintain a platonic relationship. She agreed and the arrangement encouraged her to be with her family in Tacurong again to help manage the Dainty Refreshements, the earnings from which practically sent her siblings to school.

 

During one of her trips to Manila, she met Gregorio Aragona but who used the family name, “Soncuya”. They eventually got married and settled in his hometown, Sara (Iloilo). At one time, her sister, Bernardita who was living in the United States, had a need for a trusted caretaker of her child. Flor viewed it as an opportunity to visit the United States, so she asked Bernardita to let her do the job. In no time, she flew to the States as a tourist and took care of her niece. When she was no longer needed to take for her niece, she took jobs discreetly as she had no legal papers. For 18 years of her stay in the United States, her status did not change as she declined to bite the options to become an American citizen, beside her passport indicated her status as “married”.

 

Meanwhile, her husband took in a lover which came to the attention of Flor only much later. What triggered their separation was the reply of her husband to one of her queries if he had been missing her to which he replied, “please come home and bring the bacon”. Such blatant reply immediately made Flor decide not to go home, as she felt that her husband was just after her earned dollars. Despite her decision, she could not hold herself from sending money to him when he got sick.

 

In year 2000, she went back to the Philippines but dropped by Iloilo to visit relatives and also surprised her late husband’s lover. As she did not harbor any hatred in her heart, she even gave the widowed lover of her husband, three thousand pesos…her gift to their two children. She then, proceeded to New Iloilo in South Cotabato to be with her mother. But not long after, she decided to buy a house in Tacurong City where she now lives with a trusted aide.

 

While in the city, she faithfully attended the early morning Mass every day. Later, she was enticed to join the Marian Movement of Priests (MMP) which prays the Holy Rosary after the Mass. She was in the middle of this hectic devotion when she met a friend who introduced her to another spiritual passion, and this time, as a member of the Servants of the Holy Trinity, a healing ministry and prayer group whose main base is in Negros Occidental. She joined her friends, Lina Lacanafrancia and Margie Calansag during their pilgrimage to the movement’s base on what the pilgrims consider as the “holy mountain” of Escalante where a “prayer house” is located, and where an image of the Holy Child Jesus in enshrined. She was also brought to the “holy mountain” of Calinog to visit another shrine. From then on, her small group would make an almost monthly visit to Escalante, while that for Calinog, they do during the Holy Week. The two shrines have become beneficiaries of her benevolence, as with the shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Candle in Tacurong.

 

Ms. de la Rosa is the eldest in the family raised by hardworking couple, Salvador and Fe. Her siblings are Elsie, Salvador, Jr., Manuel, Rodolfo, Aurea, Bernardita, Corazon, Jaime, Ricardo, and Lorena. Their grandfather on their mother side had a German blood, while their grandmother had Chinese. On their father side, their grandfather was an Ilocano who married a mestiza, and who belongs to the Navarro clan.

 

She has no regrets for not having a child of her own, for she presumes that her being in such situation prepared her for motherly missions – for her family and other people. Before we parted our ways, she confided that during her high school days in Notre Dame of Marbel, she was often chosen to play the role of the Virgin Mary during Marian processions.

 

Up to the time that I was writing this blog, I could not believe that I had been talking to Ms. Flor de la Rosa and even kissed her check…..she, who was the misunderstood woman in my youth, although, with a celebrated status, and whose life today is devoted to Jesus and Mary.

 

 

Reynaldo Torrecampo: Madiskarteng Mekaniko at ang Pag-ibig niya kay Elvira

Reynaldo Torrecampo: Madiskarteng Mekaniko

at ang Pag-ibig niya kay Elvira

 

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Nang pasyalan ko si manong Naldo ay nalaman kong halos malabo na ang kanyang mga mata at tulad ng dati ay mahina pa rin ang kanyang boses kapag nagsalita. Sa pag-uusap namin ay nabanggit niyang una siyang nagtrabaho bilang driver sa Davao City bago kinuha ni Serafin Bernardo na noon ay Vice-Mayor ng Tacurong. Lumipat siya sa pamilya nina Upeng Paciente at Leoncio Yap at dahil hindi naman araw-araw ang kanyang pagmaneho para mag-asawa, siya ibinili ng tricycle. Natuto siyang magkumpuni ng motorcycle kaya tuwing nakakaluwag siya ay umiistambay siya sa mga gasolinahan upang magkumpuni ng mga motorcycle, at ang kita ay iniintriga naman sa mag-asawang employer niya.

 

Mula sa pagkalinga ng mag-asawang Upeng at Leoncio, nalipat naman siya sa pamilya Biῆas na ang negosyo ay pagba-buy and sell ng mais at palay. Tumagal din siya ng ilang taon sa pamilya subalit nang dumating sa Tacurong si Po Ban o mas kilala sa pangalang “Pedro” na kaibigan ng mag-asawang Biῆas, napakiusapan siyang alalayan ito dahil ng nagtayo ng negosyong pagawaan ng commercial vinegar na ang tatak ay “Panay Vinegar”,  at nagdi-distribute din ng mga produkto ng London Biscuit Co. (LONBISCO).

 

Nang mamatay si Po Ban, umalalay muna si manong Naldo sa naiwang pamilya at nagpatuloy sa pagmaneho para sa pamilya na ipinagpatuloy ang negosyo. Subalit dahil mas nakahiligan niya ang bagong natutuhang pagkumpuni ng mga makina ng motorcycle, siya ay nag-resign at nag-full time sa ganitong gawain. Umistambay siya sa isang bahagi ng plaza araw-araw para mag-abang ng mga magpapagawa hanggang sa naging tanyag siya sa buong bayan. Isang pulis ang nagpayo sa kanya na kumuha na ng puwesto kahit maliit upang magkaroon siya ng matatawag na permanenteng “motor shop”, kaya napilitang kumuha ng isang home lot sa Apilado subdivision.

 

Dahil kinilala ang kanyang galling sa pagkumpuni, sinundan siya ng kanyang mga kostumer na lalo pang dumami. Kalaunan ay nakabili na rin siya ng mga makinang kailangan sa uri ng kanyang trabaho, mga sophisticated at imported pa. Bukod sa mga makina, nakabili pa rin siya ng isang kotse. Sa ipinundar na bahay namatay ang una niyang asawa na si Letty. Samantalang ang ibang mga anak na natuto na ring magkumpuni ay nakatulong sa shop.

 

Sa gulang na 73 nang mabiyudo, napagpasyahan niyang mag-asawa uli at ang nagbigay sa kanya ng pagkakataon ay isang teacher na si Elvira Beligan, na 60 years old nang sila ay magpakasal. Nagtatrabaho si Elvira bilang District Planning Officer ng Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) at nakatalaga sa Datu Paglas (Maguindanao).  Masayang nagsasama ngayon sina manong Naldo at Elvira na nakitaan ng sipag kaya kung nasa bahay ay halos hindi tumitigil sa pag-asikaso ng iba’t ibang uri ng halaman. Mayroon din silang mga gold fish na pang-good luck.

 

Pinatunayan nina manong Naldo at Elvira na ang pag-ibig ay walang pinipiling gulang o edad. Hindi nakayang hadlangan ng panahon ang pag-usbong ng pag-ibig sa isa’t isa…“harangan man ng mga sibat ang kanilang mga landas patungo sa isa’t isa”….yan ang misteryo ng pag-ibig.