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SEC. LINA LAUDS DBI
Inc. was lauded by former
Secretary Jose D. Lina, Jr. of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
for the association’s various civic, religious and
humanitarian activities for the past twenty years.
This has been the gist of his inspirational
message to the big crowd of Buluseños who attended the Pista
sa Maynila celebration
last July 11 at the Knights of Columbus Clubhouse where
he was the Guest of Honor and Speaker.
His compliments were based on the list of
accomplishments of DBI which was published in one of the
previous issues of the Damayan-Buluseño Gazette. What
impressed him more is the regular monthly mass since
1981 which has not yet been done by any other town
organization, and the various forms of service the
association extends to the community especially the
He urged the officers and members of DBI to
continue with its mission for the glory of God.
In response to his very inspiring message,
Rogelio F. Fuentes, DBI president, appreciated the very
kind gesture shown by the former secretary for honoring
their invitation despite his very hectic schedule.
Former Sec. Lina won the admiration of the Buluseños
because of his eloquence in public speaking and his
sterling record as public servant of national stature
which remains unmatched by most of our leaders today.
From being an active street parliamentarian at
the age of 17 during the martial law days, he rose to
become the Governor of Metro-Manila and General Manager
of Metro-Manila Commission under the administration of
then President Corazon Aquino.
In the election that followed, he was elected the
youngest senator. For
two terms, he served in the Senate and earned for him
the honor of being the Number Two in terms of
accomplishments by the Senate Policy Review and Research
He became the top local government chief
executive when he served as Governor of Laguna.
Under his administration, Laguna was catapulted
to the honor of being the most outstanding province in
the entire country.
When President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took over
the presidency after EDSA II in 2001, he was appointed
as Secretary of the DILG – the most powerful agency of
the national government wherein he made several
accomplishments foremost of which being the dismantling
of illegal drug laboratories in Metro-Manila and other
When Mr. Fuentes invited him as Guest of Honor
and Speaker in the affair, the former secretary was
still in his post.
His being in control of the different law
enforcement agencies and local officials under him gave
Mr. Fuentes the idea that he coud be the most
appropriate official in the national government from
whom the Buluseños could hear on the agency’s program
on how it will address the prevailing peace and order
problem in the Province of Sorsogon which has become a
big hindrance to the promotion of tourism particularly
in the town of Bulusan where most of the tourist
attractions could be found.
Unfortunately, a few days before the affair of
DBI, Sec. Lina tendered his resignation from his post.
But, being the true gentleman that he is, Sec.
Lina fulfilled his commitment to DBI and went on to
become this year’s Pista sa Maynila Guest of
Honor and Speaker.
SA MAYNILA: ANOTHER BIG HIT
The officers of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. and the Buluseños
who attended the Pista sa Maynila celebration last July 11
all agree it was a big success.
This yearly affair in honor of Bulusan’s patron saint,
St. James the Greater, was held at the Knights of Columbus
Clubhouse, Intramuros, Manila.
As usual, the activities kicked off with a holy mass at
2:00 P.M. with two Buluseño priests close to DBI as celebrants
– Rev. Fr. Domingo A. France and Rev. Fr. Rex F. Fortes.
For more than a year, Fr. France celebrated the DBI’s
monthly mass when he was chaplain at the San Juan de Dios hospital
where he was then under medical treatment.
Fr. Fortes used to be an altar boy during the Manila
Cathedral masses of the association when he was still a kid
together with his elder brother.
program that followed was opened with the very touching invocation
by Ms. Luz Z. Gamba, 1st vice-president of DBI which
was made even more touching with the solemn singing by the choir
of the spiritual song, Come Holy Spirit in the background.
Mr. Melchor A. Hasta led the singing of the national anthem
while Mr. Andy D. Espedido led the singing of the association’s
official hymn, the Himno ng Damayan-Buluseño.
Engr. Pablito R. Freo, the 2nd vice-president,
delivered the welcome address . This was followed by a song from Ms. Marissa D. Frando, a
scholar of the Damayan-Buluseño Foundation, Inc.
Two important personalities gave their messages: retired
Maj. Gen. Cesar F. Fortuno and former DILG Secretary Jose D. Lina,
the Guest of Honor & Speaker.
Two native dances were likewise presented by the Pasigyaw,
the dance troupe of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Pasig whose
attendance was made possible by Mrs. Marichu F. Arellano, a dance
directress at the said university.
The musical number that drew excitement and applause from
the audience was the Bicol medley rendered by the Damayan-Buluseño
Choir led by Mr. Andy D. Espedido.
Other features of the program were the awarding of plaques
of recognition to the two sponsors of the scholars of the
association who have just graduated from college.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Fuentes expressed his gratitude
to all those who attended the celebration most particularly those
who gave their share of involvement that made the occasion another
big hit for the Damayan-Buluseño, Inc.
FOR THE FIESTA BACK HOME...
This year’s fiesta has
been a huge success with the preparations starting as early
as the month of May with the two-month long Community Clean
& Green Drive. From
July 16-24, the usual novena/mass/procession tradition was
The gay group held their activities in three dates with the
Search for Miss Gay on July 19th, the Karantahan
Contest of July 20th, and the Dance Contest of July 21st.
July 22 was a treat for boxing aficionados
with the Bakbakan sa Bulusan
held at the new municipal auditorium.
Ruelle Ferreras of Sitio Lubas, San Rafael emerged winner
in the 6-round fight. In the 3-round category, the following gave
the best of their punches (from first to ninth places
respectively):: Bernardo Ferreras (Sitio Lubas, San Rafael), Alvin
Fusieran (Sitio Lubas, San Rafael), Junie Fuga (San Jose), Jose
Tigao (San Roque), Daniel Ferreras (Sitio Lubas, San Rafael),
Gilbert Sesbreño (Sapngan), Mercorio Gacos (San Jose), Darwin
Gacos (San Jose), and Miguel Gacos (San Jose)..
At around 6 AM of July 23rd
was a Bikathon. Winners were: Ian
Cielo (1st), Eddie Refugio (2nd), Jomar
Gacosta (3rd), Junnel Blasquiño (4th), and
Alex Fragio (5th).
A consolation prize of P400 each was given to all the
others who finished the lap.
At 8 AM, the civic parade around the poblacion commenced.
At 8 PM, the Beer Plaza featuring the KAKTOOZ
Band back-to-back with the Royal
Band officially opened
During the vespera,
July 24th, was a Drum & Lyre Competition
wherein the venerable group from the Jose S. Reyes Memorial
Foundation captured the top prize of P4,000.
Other winners were: Bulusan High School (2nd –
P3,000), San Roque National High School (3rd –
P2,000), and Buhang National High School (4th –
P2,000).. There was
an exhibit featuring the biggest suman
ever made in town, of which Barangay Salvacion emerged the
culinary expert of them all.
In the evening, the coronation ceremony for the reigning
beauties took place. Her
Majesty Queen Ruby Din headed the line of beauties followed by her
ladies in waiting - 1st Princess Anna Marie Gallinera, 2nd
Princess Aileen Joy Gamil, 3rd Princess Christine
Firmanes, and 4th Princess Sarah Gonzales.
The traditional high mass on the feast day, July 25th,
finished off the religious activities.
At 8 in the evening was the Barangay
Night held at the municipal auditorium.
Awarding ceremony & raffle draws capped the activities.
reports from Binoescañoespaño 7/04 and J. G. G.)
HAS THREE SCHOLARS THIS YEAR
After its first humanitarian undertaking in Bulusan, the
successful civic action last April 10 wherein 648 indigents were
the beneficiaries, the Damayan-Buluseño Foundation, Inc. is now
on its main objective: to grant scholarships in college and
vocational courses to deserving children of poor Buluseño
families. This is the continuation of the scholarship program of
Damayan-Buluseño, Inc., the umbrella organization of the
foundation, which has already produced twenty-seven professionals
and is currently supporting two remaining scholars in college.
This school year DBFI has three scholars in engineering and
education courses in different schools in Manila and Sorsogon
City. Taking up
Mechanical Engineering at the Sorsogon State College is John
Anthony G. Balancio. Sponsored
by a Buluseño based abroad who requested anonymity, John Anthony
graduated 2nd Honorable Mention from the Jose S. Reyes
Memorial Foundation, Inc. (JSRMFI) in Bulusan.
He is the son of Antonio Balancio, a balut vendor, and Ruth
Galon of Barangay Sabang.
Enrolled at the Technological University of the Philippines
(TUP) is Jenielyn D. Furo, a salutatorian, also from JSRMFI.
She is taking up education.
She is the daughter of Roman Furo, a carpenter and Luz
Dematera of Barangay Madlawon.
Her sponsor is Ms. Nenita Somatiza of Laguna but who is now
based in Pasig City.
Also taking up education at the Philippine Normal
University (PNU) is Marissa D. Frando, a 4th Honorable
Mention graduate from the Paradise Farm National High School in
San Jose del Monte where she had been the editor-in-chief of their
school organ. A
daughter of Abner Frando and Leonora Dollosa of Barangay San
Francisco, Marissa is now a regular member of the PNU Chorale.
Her sponsor is Mr. Francisco Fernandez, Jr. of Mandaluyong
Before they were taken in as scholars, together with their
parents/guardians they were interviewed and screened thoroughly by
the board of trustees composed of Mr. Rogelio Fuentes, the
chairman; Ms. Luz Gamba, the vice chairman; Engr. Pablito Freo,
the treasurer; Mr. Ulpiano Sorra, the secretary; and retired Maj.
Gen. Cesar Fortuno, the auditor.
Both scholars and their parents were reminded of their
responsibilities and were further advised by Gen. Fortuno to
maintain humility at all times.
In its meeting immediately after the interview with the
scholars, the board of trustees decided that starting next school
year, only graduates from the four high schools in Bulusan will be
taken in as scholars namely: Jose S. Reyes Memorial Foundation,
Inc., Bulusan High School, San Roque National High School, and
Buhang National High School.
The applicants must belong to the poorest family among the
top seven graduates (from the valedictorian down to the fifth
honorable mention). They
have to be recommended by the school authorities concerned to the
foundation for evaluation and approval, and shall enroll in a
state university or college in Metro-Manila, Legaspi City, or
They Foundation may also sponsor next school year
scholarships in vocational courses at the Bulusan National
Vocational and Technical School in Bulusan.
The Foundation would like to remind the applicants for
scholarship particularly in college that unlike before when
Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. was very lenient on their studies, this
time, their grades would be strictly monitored.
They have to maintain a general average of not lower than
2.00 at the end of the semester. Their scholarship grants will be terminated the moment they
fail to maintain the required grades of them in three semesters.
Also, their allowance for the whole semester will be given
in three installments so that the family will not be tempted to
spend the money on something else.
All these and others are stipulated in the Memorandum of
Agreement, which will be entered into, by the scholars and their
parents/guardians and the Foundation.
SCHOLAR NOW TEACHES AT IHMS
Salvacion Gardon, a former scholar of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. is now
teaching in the second grade offering of the Immaculate Heart of
Mary School in Bulusan, a Catholic school run by Franciscan
Miss Gardon graduated last year in Education from the Bicol
University in Legaspi City with high scholastic records.
In 1999, she graduated high school valedictorian from then
Jose S. Reyes Memorial Institute (JSRMI) in Bulusan.
A daughter of a poor family in Barangay Poctol, Bulusan,
she was taken in as a scholar of Damayan-Buluseño, Inc. in its
Scholarship Through Sponsorship Program.
Her four-year scholarship was sponsored by Mr. Martin G.
Halum, a kindhearted Buluseño businessman based in New Jersey,
Inspired by reports of her high grades in school which he
received regularly after every semester, Mr. Halum sent an
additional amount, aside from her regular allowance – for her