Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Trying a Quickie

I am in a hurry to post this entry for we are going to Brgy. Central in about fifteen minutes or so. We have a consultation with the residents of Sitio Putol (now known as Sitio Kasoy) on the 2D Seismic Survey to be conducted by Pitkin Petroleum Ltd. in line with Service Contract No. 53 of the Department of Energy or DOE. The residents whose farm lands are previously identified as part of the activity will have a meeting on Friday. Their village officials have already issued a Resolution favoring the project despite the opposition of the residents and the Parish Pastoral Council or PPC headed by their Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Giovanni “Jojo” M. Gatdula. The residents believe that the project will pose danger to the environment specifically to their water sources. What they are pushing is the use of renewable source of energy specifically biofuel. The 2D Seismic Survey is expected to commence next year while San Jose is commemorating its 100th Founding Anniversary. The present San Jose officials favor Service Contract No. 53, we were told.

Quickly, I just would like to say this with all humility: “Let us keep the flame of our centennial spirit alive even beyond 2010!” What I expect is the creation of a local historical group that would analyze issues as vital importance to our situation and to the future by means of initiating municipal-wide dialogues among different sectors to critically re-examine our historical past, the present socio-economic priorities of our townspeople. We need something that would stir up discussions and lead to ways of empowering the communities and organizations for renewed politics and governance. Remember, our centennial celebration will coincide with the 2010 local elections. We need a “total history” and a celebration that would emphasize structures over development, culture and society over politics, collective behavior and attitudes of every citizen (especially the basic sector), over ideas of individuals and few academicians.

I am not a historian nor from the academe. I just love reading history books while drinking gin during my college days at OMNC. I am a "renewed" Church-worker now. By the way, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), through its Pastoral Statement last July 12, 2009, have committed us, Church personnel, to the “… indispensible task of raising social awareness and forming social consciousness through political education.” This is our main focus in 2010. I am just a lowly activist or social advocate and I have never been a publicist or PR man of a politician in my whole life, much more involved in any partisan political campaign in the past. Therefore, I am speaking from my limited view point and background.

I told you I'm in a hurry but this won't take long. Without the intention of exaggerating the issue, I would like to cite this historical fact: On March 16, 1942, Japanese troops invaded San Jose Sugar Hacienda, yes,.. that was in Barangay Central, and imprisoned the entire San Jose municipal government. According to an account of Volker Schult in page 104 of his book "Mindoro : A Social History", the Japanese organized festivities and celebrations, specially on Tenno Hirohito’s birthday that year. A big party with meals for all inhabitants, complete with boxing and other competitions, dancing and other performances were organized. Those celebrations were intended to seek and improve cooperation of the ‘sacadas’ and the rural folks to the Japanese-sponsored new municipal (puppet)leadership. The author concluded by emphasizing : “Yet, these celebrations became a futile attempt to cover the brutal reality of war.”

Similarly, if the San Jose Centennial Celebration is seen as just a one-year affair and totally no hairline connection to poverty and other social problems of the majority of the Pandurucan people, we would only be attempting to cover brutal reality of the 21st Century San Jose, brought about by the absence of care for the environment and lack of political will, to name a few.

We will be going to Central not for any historical find or researches but to rock the boat,- if necessary, and make a historic action by siding with the people in opposing DOE Service Contract No. 53 in Occidental Mindoro.

My companions are already honking me. I'm coming,- I mean, I got to go…

(Photo of the Philippine Sugar Mill in Brgy. Central, San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, from Flickr posted by Ronet Santos. Original photo courtesy of Rodolfo M. Acebes and Rudy A. Candelario)


  1. Tama ka cousin.our clan were among the first inhabitants of Pandurucan and central. in fact if not for our grandfather, the population of central and pandurucan would be wiped out of Malaria.
    What you are doing now is a start of remaking a "total history".
    Though we can formalize that :)


  2. Dear Eunice:

    Thank you for reminding me of Papang's role in pre-war Central where our clan is rooted. FYI, there was a proposal from Brgy. Kag. Rogelio S. Fallorina to name one of the streets there as "Pantaleon S. Novio, Sr. St.". I do not know what happened to said Resolution...

  3. Mas mabilis pang maapurbahan kung ang panukala ay ang pagpapangalan sa isang kalye sa Central bilang "Norman Novio Street."
    Pero, alam kung di magpapahuli ang barangay Bubog. Hehehe. (MS)

  4. My knowledge is limited to the history of the province, most of the time, i was away with the fairies doing what a normal 'probinsyano' in San Jose.

    I remember Liza David's e-mail... 'ano na ang nangyari sa San Jose?'

    Ano pa ang mangyayari sa San Jose after the centennial celebration? I could relate to the thoughts of Norman.

    I was requested to help in promoting the centennial celebration due to the 'online social network' that i moderate. I have no issues with that.

    I am boldly putting forward awareness through
    Some politicians view it as destroying the image of the province, others appreciate the interest for a REAL DEVELOPMENT or at least improve the quality of public service and ameneties.

    After centennial celebration, have a thought of this...

    Here's a biblical passage (Ecc 10: 1-5)

    'A sagacious ruler educates his people
    and he makes his subjects understand order

    As the magistrate is, so will his officials be, as the governor is, so will be the inhabitants of his city

    An undisciplined king will be the ruin of his people, a city owes its prosperity to the intelligence of its leading men

    The government of the earth is in the hands of the Lord, he sets the right leader over it at the right time

    Human success is in the hands of the Lord, He invests the scribe with honour'

  5. Sana ma-approve. through ka Bisi's effort, our grandfather's critical role in the development was recognized (but of course mamang too must be recognized). Follow up kailangan kay Kag. Fallorina.

  6. To MS:

    Sa mga taong dedo na ipinapangalan ang mga daan. May araw ka rin!! he,he,he...

    To Dines:

    Salamat sa komento at sa gabay sa pagninilay. God bless...

  7. Parang gusto ka nang i-chugi ni MS ah. follow up mo naman cousin. siya nga pala,how about the women of pandurucan? my thesis is about the women of Occ. Mindoro and I can't dig anything except for a few sentences in Mindoro sa Kamay ng Kaaway. do we have church records on the role/s of women in Mindoro? For sure the centennial celebration will again glorify the patriarchs and the elite! that's one of a hell celebration!