Eid Ul Fitr in Tacurong City

The Celebration of Eid Ul Fitr in Tacurong City

by Apolinario Villalobos

 

The Eid Ul Fitr in Tacurong City was celebrated on the grounds of the City Hall in front of the city gym…the faithful did not mind the moist grass in the early morning of June 15, 2018…

 

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Ang Huwarang de Guzman Family ng Tacurong City

Ang Huwarang de Guzman Family ng Tacurong City
….Notre Damean ang mga anak
ni Apolinario Villalobos
 
Sa kinainan kong maliit na karinderya sa tabi ng highway papuntang Gansing ay nagpahinga pa ako ng matagal at tama lang pala ang ginawa ko dahil sa lugay na yon ay makakakuha ako ng magandang materyal na pang-blog tungkol sa nakaka-inspire na pagsisikap ng mga tao.
 
Napag-alaman kong ang nagluluto ng mga ulam ay si Mon na asawa ni Nene. Maraming putahe ang naka-display kaya siguradong madaling araw pa lang ay nagluluto na ito sa bahay nilang hindi kalayuan sa karinderya. Maya-maya ay may dumating na dalagita at walang sali-salitang ibinaba lang ang backpack at naghugas na agad ng mga naipong pinagkainang pinggan at kubyertos. Nang humarap siya sa akin ay nagulat ako dahil sa ganda ng mukha niya at may tindig pa. Siya si CLARISSE anak ng mag-asawang nag-aaral sa NOTRE DAME OF TACURONG BOYS DEPARTMENT..
 
Panay din ang ngiti niya sa mga kostumer na kumakain – mga drayber ng tricycle na ang biyahe ay papuntang Lambayong. Maya-maya ay dumating naman ang isang lalaki na nagsabit lang ng gamit sa loob ng karinderya at kumuha na ng dalawang timba na lalagyan pala ng mga yelong bibilhin sa isang bahay. Tuluy-tuloy ang kanilang mga kilos at kahit maliit ang puwesto ay parang hindi masikip sa kanila…kung sa English, “orchestrated” ang kanilang mga galaw.
 
May isa pang kapatid pa si Clarise, si Daphe na nag-aaral din. Ang pantustos sa kanila ay galing sa kinikita ng karinderya at pagta-traysikel ng kanilang tatay. Nang makiusap ako kay Clarise na baka pwede kong i-blog upang maging inspirasyon sila sa iba ay ngumiti pang nagsabi ng, “sige po”. Ang tatay at nanay niya ay panay lang din ang ngiti.
 
Hindi nakakahiyang magdala ng mga bisita sa karinderya nila kung uri ng pagkain lang ang pag-uusapan, kaya siguradong kapag dumating ang mga ka-batch ko ay dadalhin ko sila sa kainang ito.Ang hindi makakaupo ay pwedeng tumayo habang kumakain.
 
YAN ANG NAKAKABILIB NA PAMILYANG DE GUZMAN….MABUHAY KAYO!

The Propagation of Catholicism in Tacurong and How it Became the Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria Parish

The Propagation of Catholicism in Tacurong

And How It Became the Nuestra Seῆora de La Candelaria Parish

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Before Tacurong became a parish, the Mass held at the makeshift chapel was celebrated by priests from Marbel (today, Koronadal City) and Cotabato City. The propagation of Catholcism in the struggling town whose political development began as a sitio of Buluan, was hastened by the opening of the Notre Dame campus for boys by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) and girls by the Dominican (OP) nuns. The church stood between the mentioned campuses. The priests’ convent doubled as office and quarters for the Director of the Notre Dame for boys and the parish priest. On the other side of the church was the convent of the Dominican nuns. The Mass for the boys and girls was celebrated separately. Much later, when the Oblates of Notre Dame (OND) arrived, a convent for them was built beside the stage of the the Boys’ department.

 

The Nuestra Seῆora de la Candelaria became the patroness of Tacurong upon the recommendation of Mrs. Josefina Lechonsito who was enthralled and impressed by the Virgin’s image at Jaro, Iloilo. Mrs. Josefina Lechonsito was among the pioneer and well-loved teachers of the Notre Dame Boys’ and later, the College Department. Her suggestion was considered and soon as if on cue, prominent families, such as the Montillas, Lapuzes, Tulios, Velascos, Talmadges, French, Jarrels, Garcias, Espinosas, Lechonsitos,  and many others pitched in their resources for the establishment of the parish foundation and the transformation of the church into what it is today.  The bell was donated by Don Vicente and Doῆa Salud Garcia, Don Juan Garcia and his wife, Mrs. Maria Montilla, and Mrs. And Mrs. Roberto Tulio. The four massive posts for the bell tower were donated by Mr. Menandro Lapuz. A little later, other families joined the enthusiastic movement that led to the formation of civic and religious organizations.

 

The Knights of Columbus, Jaycees, Cursillo-Samaria, Legion of Mary were organized, as well as, their counterparts for the youth and students such as Student Catholic Action (SCA), CHIRO, The Encounterers’, and Columbian Squires. To ensure the consistency of the effort, senior high school students of the Notre Dame Girls Department were required to conduct catechism at the Tacurong Pilot Elementary School. The catechism was conducted even during school breaks and to encourage the attendance of the children, free cookies were given them, as provided by the Garcias who owned the first bakery in Tacurong. Much later, the PREX was also organized and whose effort was felt even in other parts of the province. Today, church groups are organized for specific purposes such as those for the family and youth, in accordance with the Vatican’s direction.

 

The early activities that involved seminars for the recruits of the SAMARIA and CURSILLO were alternately held at vacant rooms of the Boys and Girls Department. When enough fund was collected, a SAMARIA HOUSE was built at the back of the church. It was later used by Theology students of the College department for some of their activities. The other activities of the groups were held at Tamontaka in Cotabato City. During seminars, the “working committee” was always led by Mrs. Dominga Espaῆa who did the budgeting for the food and Mrs. Bonoc Cajandig who led the prayer before meals and taking care of the utensils.

 

The Girls Department of Notre Dame had their own organist during their Mass while the Boys Department had Ms. Tan, a pretty teacher as its own. When the Training Department (Elementary) was opened, separate Masses were also held for the pupils and their singing was conducted by Ernesto Cajandig. On the other hand, convent assistants, Agustin Carvajal, Romeo Balinas, Noel Niervo, and two other colleagues, as well as, members of the Knights of the Altar assisted the parish priest or his assistant in celebrating the Mass in the barrios. They were driven on the hardy jeep by a certain de los Reyes who also tinkered with the noisy generator every time it conked down. Agustin Carvajal also served as the soloist of the parish choir during the time, providing accompaniment with his guitar if the organist was not around.

 

During the fiesta for the patroness, “live” personification of the Virgin Mary enlivened the procession. Among those who played the role of the Virgin Mary were a certain Mojado, one of the pretty Tarrosa sisters who are known for their long hair, Concepcion Betita (Cainglet). The Notre Dame band with its few instruments provided the solemn processional hymns.

 

The feast for the patroness is held every February 2 and Tacurongnons are wishing that it should be consistently held without much fanfare and less expenses that would definitely come from their pockets. For the procession, simply decorated float for the image of patroness should be enough, with the CHURCH ACTIVITIES REVOLVING around her, and the feast not taking several days to celebrate to maintain solemnity that veils her.

 

IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT WHAT IS BEING CELEBRATED, IS THE GLORY OF THE RECOGNITION GIVEN TO THE PATRONESS AS THE BEARER OF THE CANDLE THAT SYMBOLIZES THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD AND THOSE WHO ARE SEEKING THE PATH THAT LEADS TO SALVATION…NOT ANY DELICACY, FLOWER, BIRD, MUSIC, ETC. IF SOME SECTORS WOULD LIKE TO RIDE ON THE POPULARITY OF THE PATRONESS, THEY SHOULD DO THEIR CELEBRATION OUTSIDE THE CHURCH PREMISES, SO AS NOT TO TAINT THE RELIGIOSITY OF THE FEAST.

 

The Exotic Deep-fried Locust

The Exotic Deep-fried Locust

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Locusts (apan in Bisaya; balang in Tagalog) contain a high level of chemicals known as phytosterols that could control heart-related diseases. The chemicals block the absorption of cholesterol, a chemical which increases one’s risk of getting cardiovascular diseases. This exotic delicacy is also loaded with fatty acids, minerals that boost immunity, fights cancer and prevent the onset of inflammation in body organs, aside from protein.

 

These insects are patiently caught in the evening during which they rest on the ground. The gatherers use flashlight to light their way around, practically, picking up the sleeping locusts from grassy fields.

 

The first step in cooking is by killing them through suffocation in sacks after which they are cooked in tamarind leaves enhanced with a little vinegar, after which they are sun-dried. When they are thoroughly dry, deep-frying follows which takes from forty minutes to an hour, to ensure crispiness.

 

The locusts thrive on leaves. Woe then, to bamboo groves, trees, rice and corn fields that they spot along their path as they darken the sky with their vast number. Interestingly, the locust is mentioned in the Bible as part of the diet of the Chosen People.

 

A small plastic pack of deep-fried locusts costs Php20 in the public market when it is in season. In southern and central Mindanao, the sources of this exotic delicacy are Polomolok, General Santos and Isulan.

 

 

Ang “Pagsabog” sa Tacurong City noong December 31, 2017…isang paliwanag

Ang “pagsabog” sa Tacurong City

…isang paliwanag

Ni Apolinario Villalobos

 

Entrance lang ng HAPPY videoke bar na katabi ng EN-joy ang nasabugan ng granada noong gabi ng 31December sa Tacurong City, HINDI MGA BEERHOUSE tulad ng napaulat sa isang newscast sa TV at sa ilang radio stations. Ayon sa mga kaibigan kong nasa site, ang dahilan ay isang tipikal na hindi pagkakaunawaan ng mga kostumer. Nang gabing yon ay dalawang waitress lang ang nagsisilbi sa mga kostumer at ang isang grupo ay nagpilit na sila lang ang pagsilbihan ng isa sa dalawang waitress na ikinasama ng loob ng isang grupo. Tumawag ng CVO ang establisimyento upang mamagitan at napakalma naman daw. Subalit, umalis sandali ang isang kasama ng grupong sumama ang loob at pagbalik ay may dala na palang granada na pinasabog na naging sanhi ng sumunod na kaguluhan at kamatayan ng ilan at pagkasugat ng marami.

 

HINDI ISANG ACT OF TERRORISM ANG NANGYARI KUNDI ISANG PANGYAYARI NA SANHI NG HINDI PAGKAKAUNAWAAN DAHIL SA KAKULANGAN NG WAITRESS NA MAGSISILBI AT UUPO UPANG MAG-ENTERTAIN. HINDI IMPROVIZED BOMB ANG SUMABOG NA TRADE MARK NG MGA TERORISTA. HUWAG MAMILOSOPO SA PAGTANONG NG BAKIT “NAKALUSOT” ANG GRANADA DAHIL ANG AKALA NG LAHAT NANG GABING YON AY OKEY NA ANG NAG-AALITANG MGA GRUPO KAYA WALANG NAGHINALANG KUMUHA NG GRANADA ANG ISA SA KANILA. DAPAT UNAWAIN NA SANDALING NAWAWALAN NG KATINUAN NG PAG-IISIP ANG ILANG NAKAINOM NA ANG ALKOHOL AY NAPUPUNTA SA UTAK, SA HALIP NA TIYAN KAYA NAWAWALAN SILA NG HIYA AT TAKOT….ANG TAWAG NIYAN SA BISAYA AY “MAOY”.

 

DAPAT AY ITIGIL NA ANG SPECULATION TUNGKOL SA TERORISMO NA PILIT PINAPAKALAT NG NG ILANG SEKTOR UPANG MASIRA ANG ADMINISTRASYON NG LUNSOD NG TACURONG, ANG KAPULISAN NITO….AT, LALO NA NG ADMINISTRASYON NI GOBERNADOR PAX MANGUDADATU NA LAHAT AY GINAGAWA UPANG MAWALA ANG BANTA NG TERORISMO SA PROBINSIYA NG SULTAN KUDARAT.

The Bright Prospect and Development of Shopping Malls and Supermarkets in Tacurong City

The Bright Prospect and Development of Shopping Malls and Supermarkets

In Tacurong City

By Mark Abeto Dionesio

 

The City of Tacurong is is located at the center of SOCCSKSARGEN. It is 92 kilometres (57 mi) from General Santos City, 96 kilometres (60 mi) from Cotabato City and 178 kilometres (111 mi) from Davao City. It is situated at the crossroads of the Davao-General Santos-Cotabato highways, and is the financial, commercial, education, and recreation center of the area. It serves the needs of 15 neighboring municipalities. People from these areas go to Tacurong to sell their products, purchase their needs, pursue education, avail of medical and health services, and seek recreation. As an important hub of the Mindanao transport grid, Tacurong is visited by numerous passengers and transients on their way to the cities of Davao, Cotabato, General Santos and even Cagayan de Oro.

 

It is the catch basin of economic development in the province of Sultan Kudarat, aside from being the center of commerce with a captured market from other municipalities of the province including the provinces of South Cotabato and Maguindanao. In the newly legislated Comprehensive Land Use Plan, there is a need for more viable business areas, and a more business-friendly and streamlined processing of permits and licenses to make the city more favorable to the investing party. The absence of big shopping malls and supermarkets in the City of Tacurong have many residents to go to the shopping malls of Koronadal and General Santos cities even with all the inconveniences attendant to it.

 

Investing in the establishment of shopping malls and supermarkets in this city will assure a profitable return of investment (ROI) and huge economic payback. The potential market demand for shopping malls is big, based on the growing population of the city which was pegged at 101, 081 residents as of 2015. The city being strategically located at the center or at the crossroads of neighboring municipalities in the western part of Sultan Kudarat and the nearby province of Maguindanao, the demand for the aforementioned facilities is invariably much higher.

 

A big fraction of the populations of the neighboring municipalities that would cater to the shopping malls and supermarkets, such as, Isulan (90,682), Bagumbayan (63,700), Esperanza (63,207), Sen. Ninoy Aquino (43,508), Norala (44,635), Tantangan (40,461), Lambayong(77,013), President Quirino(41,408), Buluan, Maguindanao(50,088), Datu Paglas,Maguindanao (28,387), Tulunan, North Cotabato (56,513) and Mlang, North Cotabato (95,070) could add up to the fast growing of Tacurong’s own population.

 

For the current year of 2017, it would be safe to assume that the combined population would be nearing half a million – a significant consumer base that will make the establishment of shopping malls and supermarkets in Tacurong an attractive investment. The southern towns of Maguindanao composed of Datu Sangki Ampatuan, Maganoy, and northeastern, such as, Buluan and Datu Paglas can also be a captured market for the said venture.

 

To date, Tacurong City boasts of the internationally-renown Monte Vicenteaux Resort located at Barangay New Passi, as well as, the equally-popular resorts in Barangays Baras and Buenaflor, such as, the Jarrell Resort and Bonbon Resort, respectively. Add to that the Baras Bird Sanctuary of the Malana family, and of course, the colorful, Kalimudan Festival of Isulan and the city’s own, the Talakudong Festival …and, what an investor gets is one whole interesting package!

 

The Tough Career of Yolie and John Patrick Aggabao…police officers and parents

The Tough Career of Yolie and John Patrick Aggabao

…police officers and parents

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

Yolie and John Patrick met in the year 2000 when they were classmates at the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) and got married when they were in their third year, as 2nd class cadets. It was not a whirlwind love affair or a so-called “love at first sight”, but rather, one which was carefully nurtured resulting to a tightly bound commitment.

 

While Yolie is assigned at the Directorate for Logistics of the PNP National Headquarters at Camp Crame, as Assistant Division Chief for Supply Management, John Patrick is in central Mindanao, particularly, Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat. He is the Officer In-Charge of the local PNP Force and his calm countenance contradicts the negative expectation on what it is to be assigned in Mindanao…which many Manila-based policemen dread. This is the reason why there was much grumbling from the ranks of Mindanao policemen when the national leadership of the PNP treated the region as a dumping ground for the scalawag policemen from Manila, and who need to be reformed as the move had an impression of being a threat.

 

John Patrick starts the day at the Tacurong PNP HQ with the formation of his Force during which a review of the previous day’s rounds is made, aside from his tireless giving of reminders on courtesy and honesty. Reports from the different units are given way for every one’s information, and if it is a Thursday, those with Islamic faith are reminded about their spiritual obligation the following day, Friday. After the formation, those on off duty stretch their muscles for several minutes of calisthenics.

 

With the onset of the Christian Advent season, he sees to it that those assigned at areas where the Misa de Gallo is held, are already in their posts not later than 2:30AM. And, as the PNP Headquarters is open 24/7, he has “quartered” himself in his meagerly furnished office. In so short a time, he has gained the reputation as a “soft spoken and a gentleman in uniform”. Effortlessly, in his very affable manner, he is changing the image of the police from “not so good” to “very good”.

 

Behind the gentle countenance is a disciplinarian father…that is according to Yolie. His love to their children, Kirsten (13 years old, Grade 8), Elianai (10 years old, Grade 4), and Kaithlyn ( 4 years old and in Nursery) is hinged on discipline. When he was yet with them, prior to his assignment in Tacurong City, he saw to it that the attention they got from him was not tinged with coddling.

 

On the other hand, Yolie is having a tough time as she is left with their three children. But being a woman with resilient character, she is able to properly divide her time between her career and motherly responsibilities. She tries her best to spend the best quality time with their children, aside from showing her equally best diligence as a career woman so that her bosses will not hesitate to grant her requests for emergency leaves as the needs would arise. This “compromise” more than makes Yolie a contented mother, wife, and a satisfied “lady cop”.

 

Finally, she confided that she and her husband were aware of the complications, especially, during holidays, that they would encounter while raising a family….they, being both in the uniformed service of the government.

 

Tough and  ideal couple, indeed, ….P/Supt. Yolie and P/Supt. John Patrick Aggabao, worthy of emulation!