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VOL. XV No. 8
June - August 2003

  LGU-Bulusan Applies For P 15-M Worth of Environmental Project

  Big Crowd Welcomes Ex-Sec Roco

  "Pista" A Hit Despite Heavy Rains

  Buluseños Celebrate Town Fiesta & 372nd Foundation Anniversary  

  PCSO Allots Medicines to LGU

  BRWSAI Board Re-organized

  Tribu Bulusanon Conducts Tree Planting and Information Campaign Programs

 Scholars' Sponsors Honored

  Martin G. Halum is the Anonymous Sponsor

  Appeal For Support To X'mas Drive 2003

  Fiesta of the Rains & Colorful Banners

 Barangay San Antonio Fiesta Celebration





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            Pursuant to its mission of saving, protecting and maintaining the rich natural environment of Bulusan and the willingness of its members headed by its officers to pay tribute in return to the abundant resources that Bulusan is still experiencing, Tribu Bulusanon implements the first priority project on information campaign through establishment of information billboard promoting clean and green.  This project is implemented in key areas such as: Bulusan Lake, Agingay Lake and an additional proposed site, the Bulusan River (source and banks). These sites were chosen with appropriate considerations and pursuance to the local government campaign in promoting ecosystem in Bulusan and also to inform tourists, mountaineers, and hikers on the potential hazard of improper garbage disposal. 

                Likewise, due to increasing demand on saving our watershed areas and to limit forest denudation, the organization, with some technical support from the Municipal Agriculture Office and the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (which also provide the planting materials), conducted a massive tree planting activity within the vicinity of Bulusan Lake last February 15, 2003.  170 seedlings of mahogany and 15 seedlings of pili were planted considering their versatility and adaptability to the topographical conditions of the selected areas.  The organization believes that this minor undertaking, although limited to some extent due to the group’s current financial status, is yet another step forward in realizing its dream and vision of promoting awareness and responsiveness among fellow Buluseños especially on environment-related issues. (TRIBU) 


 Mr. Reynaldo Labrador receiving the plaque from Mr. Fuentes


Mr. Reynaldo Labrador

 The sponsors of the four scholars of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc who have graduated in college this year received awards during the Pista sa Maynila celebration last July 13 at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse.

The awardees were: Mr. Reynaldo F. Labrador, the sponsor of Cesar Gacosta who graduated in Computer Science; Retired Maj. Gen. Cesar F. Fortuno who sponsored Marlon Rabulan who finished Electrical Engineering; former Mabitac, Laguna Mayor Bernardo R. Sayarot, the benefactor of Lea Balderama, a graduate in Architectural Drafting; and Mr. Martin G. Halum, the sponsor of Salvacion Gardon who graduated in Elementary Education.

The awards were in recognition of their wholehearted support to the Scholarship Program of the association thereby giving the Buluseño youths the opportunity to acquire higher level of education and hope for a brighter future.  It also states that their benevolence is very laudable and worthy of emulation by others so that more professionals can emerge from the ranks of the poor.

While all the scholars and their guardians were there to present the plaques to their sponsors, only Mr. Labrador and Gen. Fortuno were around.  The members of the late Mayor Sayarot’s family who were invited to receive the Posthumous Award for him were not present.  But, according to DBI President Rogelio F. Fuentes, it is understandable that they may not come as the family was still still extra cautious in going to places for the prime suspects in the murder of the late Mayor and his trusted man, Gabriel “Gamby’ Fuentes, a Buluseño, are still at large.  The plaque was personally delivered by Mr. Fuentes to the Sayarot home at Valle Verde in Pasig City.

Mr. Halum could not come; he resides in the United States.



At last the Buluseños now know the identity of the sponsor of college scholar, Salvacion Gardon who graduated last March from the Bicol University in Legaspi City.  The sponsor who has been kept a secret for four years by Damayan-Buluseño President, Rogelio F. Fuentes – is his childhood friend, former classmate (Class ’51) and “Igsoon’, Mr. Martin G. Halum.

Mr. Halum is a member of the very prominent Halum family of Barangay Dancalan, Bulusan who is now based with his family in New Jersey, USA.

The revelation was made by Mr. Fuentes before the huge crowd of Buluseños before presenting the Plaque of Recognition in the presence of the scholar and her guardian, Ms. Rosario Futalan during the organization’s Pista sa Maynila celebration at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse in Intramuros, Manila last July 13.

Mr. Fuentes recalled the events that led to the offer of Mr. Halum of sponsoring the scholarship of Salvacion.  According to him, it was one evening in 1999 when Mr. Halum called him up from the Philippine Village Hotel in Parañaque City where he was billeted prior to his departure for the US early the following day.

Mr. Fuentes said he was elated to hear from Mr. Halum that he enjoyed very much reading the Damayan-Buluseño Gazette which he received regularly.  In fact, he told Mr. Fuentes, it’s the only newspaper which he reads over and over again as it reminds him of his youth in Bulusan.

When asked what assistance Mr. Fuentes would want him to extend to the association, Mr. Fuentes asked him to sponsor the scholarship in college of a bright high school graduate who belong to a poor family.  Mr. Halum agreed but on the condition that his identity would remain confidential.  For four years, except for his wife, Ester, Mr. Fuentes kept his identity to himself.

But, a few months before graduation, he asked Mr. Halum to whom shall the Plaque of Recognition be addressed when it is presented at the Pista sa Maynila celebration.  It was then, that Mr. Halum consented that his name be revealed and be engraved on the Plaque.

 He also pledged to sponsor the last year in mechanical engineering at the Bicol University of Randy Labong.  Randy, whose appeal for support to his studies was published in this Gazette several months ago, was in his fourth year in his course when his father passed away forcing him to quit his studies and work as service crew in a fast food restaurant.

Before finally reading his name and the text of the Plaque, Mr. Fuentes appealed to his fellow Buluseños to pray for the quick recovery of Mr. Halum from a serious illness, lung cancer.

To Mr. Martin G. Halum from Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. and the people of Bulusan: Don't lose hope.  We will pray hard and ask God to restore good health to you and free your family from anxiety so that peace will reign in  your home.


Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. is again appealing for support to the Damayan-Buluseño Christmas Drive ’03 for the benefit of the poor families in Bulusan.  This is a yearly joint project of the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Bulusan under the administration of Mayor Juan G. Guysayko and the local residents and Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. in Metro-Manila in their desire to bring cheer to the homes of the less fortunate during the Christmas season.

            In this project, DBI solicits donations of food items and used clothings and other personal effects to be sent to Bulusan in time for Christmas.  These items will be supplemented with rice coming from the LGU and civic-minded Buluseños. 

            Last year, a jeepney load of various food items and personal effects was sent to Bulusan by the association while 30 sacks of rice were donated by the LGU and the local residents.  Hundreds of indigent families were benefited.

            With the present economic hardships when many are living in poverty, DBI expects more Buluseños and friends in Metro-Manila and elsewhere would be induced to give their share in the spirit of Christmas.

            Those who wish to be a part of this project, they may bring or send their donations to the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse in Intramuros, Manila where the mass and Christmas party of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. will be held on December 14, 2003 at 2:00 P.M.

            For more details, please inquire from DBI President, Rogelio Fuentes at telephone no. 929-5277.


August is the month of the monsoon rains.  In Barangay San Roque this is exacerbated by the fact that we sit on top of a plateau some 300 ft above sea level and we are at the fringes of a rain forest with its 17-hectare mountain lake. 

This means that whatever water evaporates from this rain forest and this lake must generally fall on us.  As rain.  So that it may be safe in fact to say that when Sorsogon is called “la orinola del mundo”, the label specifically refers to Barangay San Roque.  No other place else.

As early as the first week of August this year, to be safe therefore, we already made the offering of eggs at the Poor Clares Monastery praying for a favorable weather during the forthcoming 4 days of celebration. 

During this time, too, colorful banners 2.5 meters long and an assortment of buntings began to grow on some 150 bamboo poles planted along the main road.  Hitsura man san Roxas Blvd.!

It rained on August 14th.  The following day, a low pressure area was estimated to be at 1,050 kms east of Northern Luzon.  On the 16th, it came nearer to 600 kms; on the 17th at 500 kms.  Until it became a typhoon and was eventually baptized Lakay, the rains came avisiting all this time.

On the 15th, however, the sun came out bright behind an overcast sky.  The parade spritely made its way along the main barangay road, first to Purok Malungoy-lungoy, then to Purok Tiris and back to the elementary school grounds.  In this parade, the Ginabangan Festival offered a new glitter to the annual fiesta activity.  Eight floats representing 8 of the 9 puroks showed off the motif of the puroks they represented: Villamor I-Pili ; Villamor II-Burak; Quinajon-Produkto sa kadlagan; Ilawod-Anahaw; Central-Abaka; Bacolod-Lubi; Tiris-Solihon; Iraya-Karagumoy.  (Only Purok Malungoy-lungoy did not participate.)  Every float had a baby queen and her escort.

At the end of the parade was the street dancing, to express thanksgiving to God for his continued blessing and beneficence through Señor San Roque.  Fifteen pairs of village girls, with baskets made of coco fiber, bearing flowers, fruits and ibos, danced to the tribal music of the drums.  Behind them were five pairs of manangs and manongs dancing the novena as an elderly woman parades and elevates the statue of Señor San Roque.

Mrs. Cecilia Duran, Chairman of the Provincial Tourism Council, who came with her husband Mr. Fernando Duran, former Mayor of Sorsogon, and with Mr. Reynaldo Jamoralin, Secretary of the PTC, historian, writer, and head of Sorsogon Arts Council – had accolades heaped on this novel tourism attraction.  Also on hand were Dr. Lorenzo de Castro and some members of his staff at the DepEd District Office in Bulusan.

Judging the contest of the floats were: SB Kgd. Aloi Bañares as chair and members Mrs. Rosie Frando, Mr. Alex Fulminar, Mr. Ricardo Galve and Mrs. Alita Geñorga.

In all, the outcome of the festival was way beyond our expectations. The artistic presentation and the use of indigenous materials depicting their motif could only speak of the long strides Barangay San Roque had taken all these years.  Purok Bacolod specifically did us proud with the innovative rendition of a gown worn by their Baby Queen – it was a paste up of squares made of gusot, that jute-like material from up the coconut tree.

What surprised everyone was the Grand Prize winner – the float of Purok Iraya with its karagumoy motif – that received a cash award of P 5,000. Kontodo de Bulusan Volcano with its dadiangaw-smelling smoke! Also the generous use of the motif included the attire for the Baby Queen and her escort and that of the Mascot – all made of banig from karagumoy.  The 2nd prize of P 3,000 went to Purok Bacolod while the 3rd prize of P 2,000 went to Purok Central.  The remaining five other entries received a consolation prize of P 1,000 each.  Cash awards for the Ginabangan Festival came from Bulusan Travel and Tours Corporation c/o Madam Luz Z. Gamba.

Earlier in the week, the Clean and Green contest by Purok was also conducted.  Panel of judges included: Mrs. Evelyn de Mesa, Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Officer, Chair, and her members: Mr. Tanoy Bailon of the DepEd District Office, Mr. Tony Emberga of the Municipal Agriculture Office and Mrs. Elsa Fulo, Office of the Sanitary Inspector of the Rural Health Unit.

Again, it was Purok Iraya that romped off with the Grand Prize, another P 5,000.  The 2nd prize of P 3,000 went to Purok Villamor II while the 3rd prize of P 2,000 went to Purok Tiris.  Cash awards this time came from the Honorable Mayor Johnny Guysayko.  Whereas a few months back, no motorcycle would dare tread the trail to the Purok, this time even an owner jeep can!  This trail has been widened, the protruding rocks and roots of giant trees disappeared and the trail moderately leveled.  How they in Purok Iraya did it, no other person can explain better than the Kagawad-in-Charge, Cecil Olan.

In the evening of the 15th, there was no trace of cloud in the sky.  The SORECO poles we borrowed towered at the center of the school grounds and from its top were lines of fluttering banderitas like gaily-painted spokes of a giant colorful umbrella covering the green lawn of the elementary school.  Underneath were the jampacked revelers and dancers of the vespera ball.  The ambiance was just too tempting and irresistible!  Iba kasi, eh!

At four of the early morning of the 16th, when the last of the night revelers started for home, the rains started falling again.  After the 9 AM concelebrated mass officiated by the Vicar General, Msgr. Francisco P. Monje, it rained hard we could hardly hear our conversations in the little convento we have.  But it stopped quickly as it came.

In the evening of the 16th, before the Barangay Ball started, former DAR Undersecretary Danilo L. Encinas, gave the awards to the Ginabangan Festival and Clean/Green Contest winners.  He was to be present again on the 17th  -- the Grand Alumni Homecoming Day.

Just like the 15th, this day opened with a parade – this time of the Batch Kings and Queens.  At 7 AM, some of the retirees and former teachers/head teachers of San Roque Elementary School started to arrive:  Mr. Juan G. Galindes, Mrs. Remedios F. Galindes, Mrs. Josefina B. Fulo (to represent also Inoy Maxi), Mrs. Cleta Batalla, Mrs. Delia G. Diamante, Mrs. Raquel Grabador (who also stood for Mrs. Cleofe Gallano-Gacosta), and the retirees from San Roque: Mrs. Fay Fresado, Mrs. Matilde Gamba, etc. Like St. Peter’s entourage, they stood at the main gates to receive the Batches as they were introduced and acknowledged by the Emcee and entered the grounds to settle in their selected booths.

At 10:20 AM the procession started.  Marching towards the altar on the SRES covered stage were Rev. Fr. Nap Fumera, Rev. Fr. Bert Traballo, and the main celebrant, the Most Rev. Jesus Y. Varela, retired Bishop of Sorsogon, for the Alumni Homecoming Thanksgiving Mass.  In his homily, Bishop Varela expounded on the theme: Alumni – Pillars of the Community.

After the mass, Bishop Varela blessed the marker of the newly rehabilitated Marcos-type building, the two covered walks, the three gates and the renovated fence. 

A simple lunch was tendered at the Marcos-type building.  Bishop Varela sat with the two concelebrating priests, USEC Danny Encinas, Atty. Jess Fumera, and other guests.

Meanwhile, lacking sleep from the fiesta celebrations and tired from the morning parade, the alumni rested in the afternoon. Activities for the day resumed in the evening with the call for the last canvassing of the Homecoming Kings and Queens.

But first came the awarding of plaques of recognition and appreciation: the SRESAAI to the retired teachers and the set of Barangay Officials, SRES PTA officers and generous donors during the year 1996, three of them posthumously – to the late Honorable Señor Don Teodoro de Vera, the late Genaro Ferreras and the late Conrada B. Jao – and the SRES PTCA to the incumbent SRESAAI officers, both local and Manila chapters.

Then came the symbolic turn-over of the rehabilitated Marcos-type building and the other school improvements from the SRESAAI President Ms. Luz Z. Gamba to the DepEd in the person of PSDS Dr. Lorenzo F. de Castro.

To maximize the time, while the canvassing was going on, the election of the incoming officers was also conducted.  The results: New President: Nerio Beltran, VP-Local: Matilde Fortajada-Gamba, VP-Manila: Delia Palero-Aguilar, Secretary-Local-Fe F. Fumera, Secretary-Manila: Nida S. Dineros, Treasurer-Local: Flory Grefaldeo, Treasurer-Manila: Sol F. Adeza, Buss. Managers: Local – Prudencio Bo/Salome J. Fortes, BM-Manila: Rufino Balbalosa, PRO-Local: Santiago Forneloza, PRO-Manila: Esperanza Gapas-Masagca, Auditor-Local: Myla Ferreras, Auditor-Manila: Eden Abad-Seve.

Other members of the new Board of Trustees: Esteban Ete/Thelma Escopete/Nelly Ferreras/Natividad Lavarez/Freddie Luterte/Alma Berba/Roque Gabito/Buenaventura Ferreras/Lorna Forneloza/Domingo Balasta/Shirly Olayres/Salvacion Fuentes/Salvacion Perez.

The new officers were given the chance to speak.  Oath-taking and turnover ceremonies being scheduled to take place soon.

Final tally of the Homecoming King and Queen shows the following results: forty (40) batches turned in a total of P 87, 080 votes, with the following batches in their rank of First to Tenth places: Batch 65, Batch 62, Batch 54, Batch 64, Batch 93, Batch 51, Batch 58, Batch 46, Batch 60, and Batch 98.

The rains finally poured when Lakay intensified and the colorful banners had clung tight to the poles.  By then, we have had our fill. ‘T was perfect time to tuck in bed and sleep and dream.

Like Scarlett O’Hara, speaking of Tara, the place she loves, we also say, “Tomorrow is but another day.”  (Sim E. Gamba)


                The quaint south-easternmost barangay of San Antonio (Balete) celebrated its fiesta in honor of St. Anthony of Padua last June 26-27, 2003.  The occasion was one of thanksgiving, of worship and of merrymaking.

                The activities kicked off with a parade for the 1st Alumni Homecoming on the vesper day.  It included all classes from 1953 to 2003. The Drum & Lyre Corps of the Talaonga National High School had been invited through the joint efforts of the affair’s organizers, the teachers, and barangay officials.

                A benefit dance followed in the evening sponsored by the San Antonio Capilla Council officers.  The proceeds, which amounted to around P 12,000 – will go to the repair of the barrio chapel. 

                In the morning of the 27th was a mass at 5:30 and a high mass at 9:00, followed by baptismal rites.  Officiating priest was Fr. Ninoy Lagarde.  The night’s dance was briefly interrupted for the election of a new set of officers for next year’s General Alumni Homecoming.  Following are the names of those elected:

President -    Salvacion Giuero
Vice-President -    Antonio Fuentes
Secretary -    Imelda Fuentes
Asst. Secretary -    Maricon Avila
Treasurer -    Nerie Fuentes
Auditor -    Beata Gojar
Buss. Manager -    Mirasol Gaton

                Another association and its officers and members were likewise introduced.  SAMMA or San Antonio Metro Manila Association is composed of people who came from this barrio but whose work or residency is based in Metro Manila.  It is the members’ objective to help their barriomates especially the needy.  Under the leadership of SAMMA President Eltam Fulong, various other activities were conducted such as raffle draws and the Pantomina dance.  In the latter, the money collected was given to a family who lost their house to a recent fire incident.

                Indeed, fiesta is not just about revelry.  It is also so much about friendship, brotherhood and goodwill. (Atanasia F. Frivaldo)




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Viva Señor Santiago El Mayor!