Ceres Busa Musings
Essays forwarded to the ZambalesForum
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Clouds kissing the mountains of Paite
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The Reeds and
Beams of Sunset
in Paite and Balangaging
----- Forwarded by Gaylord Ugalde
on 06/20/01 07:50 AM -----
(bcc: Gaylord Ugalde/N13/N10/NDept/NSWCDD)
Subject: [ZambalesForum] The reeds and beams of sunset in Paite and
03/22/01 05:35 PM
Please respond to ZambalesForum
Dear Friends from Afar,
Early one morning when I heard of the new high school in Paite, I
said to Cleo, "can we drive and take a look at the
place?". We took the National Road to San Felipe, turned right
at the Health Center and passed a few houses and shrubs. The road
from that point is the only way there. It is long and quite
lonesome. There were plenty of cows. It got more isolated nearing
the foot of the sloping hills but soon an arch welcomes the
transient traveler as you enter Barangay Balangigang. There were
more cows mixed with the sight of men at work and children playing.
After seeing smoke coming out from the thicket the barrio comes to
life. Passing the bridge and right after the huge mango tree, the
newly constructed school stands out. It looks impressive and with
already a real basketball court in the yard.
The one story, newly-painted high school is an adjunct to the
elementary school. The children of Balangaging and Paite will now be
a stone away from their homes. Gone are the days when they have to
walk 12 (it seemed like forever) or more kilometers one way and do
it again in the afternoon to go to school like most of us had to do
when going to Zambales Academy, MMC, ZCI or Columban High.
When people say there are NPAs there, I say perhaps. Nobody knows
how many. It is a barrio too far off the town and road was recently
built. How was it 20 years ago? It was (or is it still) a neglected
barrio. Had I lived there when I was in high school, what would have
been my choices? The reasons for turning to social radicalism of the
desperate hearts of the barrio are too many to list.
It was getting late on our way home. As we drove from the foot of
the mountain, I could see the setting sun. It was now very hot. The
talahib are dry and the reeds are brown and quite brittle. "Let
us stop for a moment", I said and watched the setting sun. The
last beams of the big, red sun slowly disappeared between the
swaying reeds. Before our sight, with the mountain behind us, a new
page of life in the barrios of Balangaging and Paite just turned.
With that, the school will be a hope to many children.
The school was the project of Congressman Antonio Diaz (I heard),
better known by the "common pobres" ( and I say, common
pobres with endearment) as the "Congressman's scholarship
Sent: Tuesday, July 24, 2001 5:56 PM
Subject: [ZambalesForum] Memories of our Past I
Friends From Afar,
Kumusta na po kayong lahat. Ano ang balitang kutsero ngayon?
week end was a blast of Zambales experience for me and two other
friends. We drove to endless points in towns unknown to me. it was
for example, my first time to come close to Masinloc town proper.
"I want to take the boat to San Salvador", I said to a
young boatman. "Where are you from?" he asked. I am from
San Narciso. My Uncle told me wonderful stories about that island
(pointing to San Salvador) and I want to visit it. Who is your
Uncle, he asked. He was a school teacher. He died long time ago.
What was his name? This man looked like a harmless person, and so I
entertained his queries. Mr.Acay. Mr. Lutero Acay was his name but
perhaps you were not even born when he was here. He looked at me
with those piercing almond eyes. Pale, frail - looking and quite
lacking the robust, persona of a fisherman. No. you cannot go today.
Perhaps next time, it is a little too late and the waves choppy to
sail. Well then, I said as I looked up around the nebulous clouds,
perhaps next time when the sun is out and the waves are more gentle.
But wait he said, I know your Uncle. He is my godfather. I was
stunned to disbelief. Come to my house, my father is inside. Yes,
Friends From Afar, the world is small. In the presence of an old
man, the life of my Uncle came alive.
was half past two when we reached Palauig. We passed the rice
paddies. A group of farmers were planting rice. They were joyful.
The soil was dark and sun was mild to the skin. A group of perhaps
12 farmers all with varying hats were all bent to the ground
planting rice. They waved as we took aim of shooting. They were not
shy. To make them feel more at ease I opened the trunk and waved
them two bottles of red wine. The old man came to receive and had
them planted in the paddies. They laughed some more. They continued
talking in Zambal. I lightly enjoyed their conversation and then
finally said "mogali kayi hana". (Goodbye Amigos).
perhaps the most exciting that happened this weekend was our climb
to Mt Kimmalogong and Mt Carampoan. Sebastian came to pick me up at
0600 in the morning and had a hearty breakfast with two other
friends. To climb a mountain is no easy task. From the road, as we
aproached the foothills of the mountain, the hat-shaped Mt.
Kimalogong looked majestic and friendly, like a secret shelter.
Sebastian talked some more as we climbed. He seemed to sustain that
excitement to his new found guests. There were 725+ steps to reach
the top. Looking down the rice paddies below, the farmers are
getting ready to plant the rice seedlings. Farther out passed the
Macolcol Bridge , is the Capones island. I was in awe. What smooth
I looked were seedlings of trees. There were coconut seedlings
spread in the sloping hills. There were narra, firetree and guava
trees. The climbing passion fruits twining a trellies. There are
land orchids to admire. "There are papaya, saba, piña ken manga.
Naimas da a bubungbunga. Kanin ti ubing ti agsapa, tapno pumigsa da".
exactly what I was looking for was the "Tugot ni Ang-ngalo".
In a silent moment, one can hear the singing of the birds, and the
gentle breeze. The rustling of the stream can be heard from
somewhere. " Let our memories never fade and our adventures
Ceres CB Alusiis