Monday, January 16, 2006

Pulong Mindanao

Pulong Mindanao

At around 8:30 am, we embarked to one of the sitio of Barangay Tungkod. We traveled for 30 minutes in a rough road by the car and started to walk in a stony path passing through seven rivers for almost half an hour to reach the chapel of Pulong Mindanao. The sitio is on the boundary of Sta. Maria Laguna and Tanay Rizal. It has a population of 80 voters. It has two classroms for grade level that houses all the elementary classes. Families who could afford to pay for their children to go for high school education go to Tanay for schooling. Conversing with the people, they told me that they opted for their children to send their children to Tanay instead for Sta. Maria because they need not to traverse the rivers which sometimes too deep to cross with. There is only one river but the path going to the town proper requires them to cross it seven times, There are no existing bridges not even a wooden one or made of bamboo.

It is not surprising that many of the populace have not even to visit the barrios of Sta. Maria. One companion, Manel Bondad, told me that he saw and visited many places but not this place though he was born and reared here in Sta. Maria. My company consists of the choir namely Jonathan Bondad, Kenneth Grajo, Joseph Andaya, Loyd Merabueno, Michael Umali, Kristian Sunggalang, John Javier and some women, Maria Lagonoy Celia Dimaano and Margie Real. Sis Maring Lagonoy who aged aboyt 62 decide to join the turf have accidentally slipped while crossing the river, she slipped facing down hurting her face. There is no such damaged but of course it hurts. I reprimanded my male companions to assists the ladies especially while crossing the rivers.

Reaching the chapel, the parishioner of the place offered a buco juice for the great delight of the group. I have to rest for more than fifteen (15) minutes before celebrating the Mass in honor of the Patron, Sto. Nino. They have to moved one day after because they could not find any priest along the adjacent parishes to attend for the fiesta. After the mass, I baptized three children. A simple meal followed afterwards. In this place it is a luxury to have a cold water to drink because until now there is no electricity. The basis form of transportation is walking and by the horse. After several minutes, we started going home. We reach the convent at 3:15 in the afternoon. I am too tired.

While resting, I tried to access the internet to post this blog but as usual, telephone lines and services is not as effective as in other parts of the province. We even experience electric power interruption in the late afternoon for less than an hour, These things are normal in my parish. Before, I got crazy when these things happen because I am not used to it. But for more than three years in this parish, it is one of the fact that you have to accept it or else you will really become crazy.

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