June is ending and I haven’t tell you yet about how my month went through. Well, I want to start to where I should start. So let me delve into storytelling once again. LOL.
Earlier June, I let myself travel southern for new explorations. This time, opportunities brought me in Lanao del Norte. Even though a lot of negative rumors and incidents reported in the news back then were reiterated to be by my friends, I didn’t let those discouraged me because what happened has already happened, and I guess everyone has moved on (hugot line?). Seriously, I just brushed smooth worries away and hopped on the van. I understand that Lanao del Norte is one of the conflict-affected areas back then but it has its own richness and beauty as well that I have to spread. Lanao del Norte is actually a peaceful place. It just have its part of challenging times.
You won’t believe it but whenever I travel, I wake up 2am because I still have a long way to go from Jasaan to Cagayan de Oro City. It is not a burden for me because the effort reminds me of an exciting travel I will be having ahead.
We left Cagayan de Oro City for Tubod, Lanao del Norte six in the morning, and it is sooo cold, but as the same, I am too excited to be bothered. It truly thrilled me to explore and know more about this place. Yeah, as you see, I am too addicted to learning.
We actually went there for a 2-day Listahanan tour which main event is the kick off of Department of Social Welfare and Development – Region 10’s second round assessment for Listahanan in Lanao del Norte. Listahanan, also known as National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), is an information management system that identifies who are the poor in the country and the places they are in. This information system will be then available to other national agencies, non-government organizations, private institutions, civil society groups and other social protection stakeholders in identifying potential beneficiaries for their social protection programs. The conduct of the assessment is to gather data and ensure the substantiation of their system.
In there, we interviewed staff from DSWD such as enumerators, coordinators and supervisors, and residents coming from a coastal and identified poor village of Pigcarangan, and inquire how the assessment has been done and see if people involved are participative enough in order for this project to be successful. See, everyone should participate because Listahanan is a very important thing. I hope you too support it and please do not be indifferent to report if there is something wrong with assessment processes in your areas. It must our own way to participate in the success of the program that aim to elevate lives. It should be our avenue to contribute something essential in building this nation.
Thus, I really thanked DSWD – 10 for this exposure. Because of their and other agencies’ programs, I have already learned to love community works. Going down in the grassroots is not just like climbing the houses of poorest of the poor and ask them on how they are. It is about learning their stories, helping them through whatever you can do and learning from their stories. For me, their stories are inspiration, are blessings. Those make me realize what I am blessed with that I should be thankful and know what I have and use it for them to see life in its clearer, prettier view. I do not something much but doing things, for one, sharing about their stories makes me happy. I remember one time when I was still an intern of Philippine Information Agency back in my senior college, I was exposed in an area where most indigent people live. It is somewhere in Kalabugao, Bukidnon. We went there with my bosses for an event tagged as “Bantulaay”, a peace and development convergence program for the Kalabugao Plain. The plain has been nestled by a number of Indigent People in all sorts, and by seeing their situation, I ponder that there are still a lot of people our government and those generous groups individuals have to reach out. It just take a right amount of effort to address their situation and be their bridge. It has been an aim for me to do the same. I do know that there are only a fine few number of readers this blog has, and though our newspapers reach beyond Mindanao, perhaps I can still count by fingers those entities who could remember important thought of my articles, but at least, I have gotten to share it, and I know, your hearts too, dear readers, have the heart for them.
Our courtesy calls to Gov. Khalid Dimaporo, municipality mayors, barangay chairmen, and councils and resident interviews in there went more than good and productive so after that, we were finally given time to rest and checked in at Mindanao Civic Center Hotel. MCC Hotel is not a typical five to six-storey we used to see in Oro Metropolis but a type of one main building having its rooms that extends to two to three floors upwards, and the rest are rest houses sort. The hotel has its own restaurant, pool, bar, garden and kids playground, and many more. Its name say basically about its location because it sat beside Mindanao Civic Center in Sagadan, Tubod.
During dinner, a local band entertained us, but we didn’t stay quite long time because the temperature is already dropping.
But yeah, we ended up at the pool. There is one happy family having a good time in there, and it was nice to watch them in that.
I ended my first day watching Pangako Sa ‘Yo (LOL, ‘can’t get enough!) and having hard time to sleep remembering scary stuff my colleagues told me during dinner. Uggggh. The perks of being the youngest in the group is to be used to the idea of being the sole one to be bullied at all times!
The morning of second day is full of picture-taking led by yours truly. LOL.
That is Ma’am Behua of RPN-DxKO. I’ve been with here in the entire tour. There are two of us from our outlet that were sent. Unfortunately, Ate Candy can’t come.
Naaaaah! Forgive my face and “bulingit” being there. ‘Not prepared for a photoshoot by a pro photographer (Hi Sir Erwin)! Gowns left at CDO. Hahaha.
And yeah, after documenting about MCC (LOL!), we were toured in some admirable places in Lanao del Norte. The main event, as planned, is just actually for one and a half day, but the LGU offered for an immediate, short tour. We went to Kapatagan, Brgy. Waterfalls [The name? Yes!] (Kapatagan), Maranding, Lala, and Darumawang Bucana (Lala). I know, everything to be said would not give enough definition about these places, so let the following photo blog serve the purpose. Enjoy the photos!
This the MCC Sports Complex. It is so wide that it can accomodate 3,500 fixed plastic chairs during provincial events. Fronting the sports center (I failed to take photos! Huhu.) is a very wide, elevated motorcross race track that can cater an international race track!
This is their main stadium which main bleacher has 5,000 estimated capacity. The stadium has also a lot of rooms in all kinds and facilities. More about the place here: lanaodelnorte.gov.ph
When we went there also, participants for Ms. Lanao del Norte are rehearsing! Such beauties and I don’t have photos. Sorry! ‘Hope you made it during their Araw ng Lanao!
Their Fitness Gym is complete with modern fitness facilities as well!
The painting! You can take a pic on it like you are part of the village in that painting. Just remove your shoes! (Because I was told after taking a pic. Huehuehue. ‘Sooorry!)
A landscape shot of Cathedral Falls located at Barangay Waterfalls, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. In an interview with Barangay Chairman Abelita Tongco, she said that the potential tourism site is eyed for development, to be started this year. The Cathedral Falls was named such because of its rock formation that look like a physique of cathedral.
That’s owned by Coast Guard, by the way.
Look at that smiling face of Irene! Behind that is a shout that was never unleashed. Pump boating is an enjoying activity, and I already traveled one during our visits in Agutayan Island back in Jasaan, but Darumawang’s is quite challenging! The view of the sea and the nearest province of Misamis Occidental is truly heavenly and the pumpboat is in good condition and our polite driver assured us that all are fine because he is on it, but my mind keep on replaying that “that water down there is so deep! I don’t know how to swim!” (LOL! Don’t mind me. Visit Darumawang Bucana everybody and ride a pump boat!)
The two beautiful people at our back are Ma’am Mitzie and Ma’am Jam of DSWD-Region 10.
Darumawang Bucana is a village included in the vicinity of Lala town in Lanao del Norte. It is a coastal area where people live in fishing and other means of living as waters as the source. Their means of transportation to connect with the rest of Lala town and other places is pump boat.
The nearest province to Lanao del Norte from here is Misamis Occidental. That one right there!
I saw a lot of this there!
Finally! We arrived at Darumawang Bucana! It is not actually an island. Path by land is just hard to make in area like this.
Kids in his age helped our boat be on steady. I guess, based on their expertise, they are trained enough and has adapt the life in a coastal area. This kid could do what I can’t! (Swim in deep waters, I mean. LOL.) Goodness!
The village is improved compared to few years back that its foot pathway are still made on bamboo. KALAHI-CIDSS project of DSWD reached them last year and they were constructed with concreted foot path (See that path above. There’s lengthy of that there). During my interview with their Barangay Captain, all is well in the village, but there are still a lot blank spaces for development in their area especially in livelihood section.
Seafoods are rich in the place. My favorite is the big “Pansat” or Shrimp or whatever. Crabs are also nomnom! My goodness!
After that breath-taking tour in the village (In where I happen to befriend one of the villagers I interviewed. ‘So sad to leave!), we bravely made our way back. It is a smooth-sailing ride, but full of sudden shouts and “eeks!”. Hahaha. That was unforgettable over-30-minute ride.
Right after we got our feet on the ground we went to a hut near the docking area where seafoods are sorted before being delivered to market and all of the clients. Lucky us, we were with the (handsome) Kagawad of Lala and he asked the manager of the site which happen to be the Barangay Captain to give us discounts. Tadaaaaaah! But still, it’s expensive. Huhu! I bought half a kilo then of “Pansat” (Shrimp).
Thereafter, we went to Pasalubong Center of Lala. Thanks to Kagawad again. He gave us Kalamansi Juice Made of Lala Town for free! It is there One Town, One Product produce.
Then, we made our way off home (I won’t share details anymore because I didn’t feel well while on the ride). But Yay! Such an unforgettable experience!
Lanao del Norte is such an awesome place. Its government is doing great in implementing the programs they have there for the people. Norte has a lot to offer. They also have their share of natural resources and tourism sites to be proud of. Governor Dimaporo admitted that promoting tourism in the province is quite challenging as of now, but he wanted to tell everyone that Lanao del Norte is safe. Each of us can still visit Tubod, Maria Cristina Falls, Cathedral Falls in Kapatagan, Timuga Pools in Iligan and a lot more. Their people are so generous and hospitable. You know, when we made our town visits, people are so warm and welcoming. True, several awesome things await you in Lanao del Norte! Everything I have here in this blog might not be detailed enough to summarize all the things I gained there and surely, will never describe the experience once you get there. So, visit Lanao Norte sometime. For me, my effort of going there paid off and even beyond money can pay. That travel was full of fun, learning and excitement. Thanks! Thanks!
(Text and Photos: IreneJBD/MDN/itsirenedayo.wordpress.com)