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FIESTA OF THE RAINS & COLORFUL BANNERS
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.
means that whatever water evaporates from this rain forest and this lake must
generally fall on us.
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.
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.
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.!
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.
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
this parade, the Ginabangan Festival offered a new glitter to the annual fiesta
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;
(Only Purok Malungoy-lungoy did not participate.)
Every float had a baby queen and her escort.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
awards for the Ginabangan Festival came from Bulusan Travel and Tours
Corporation c/o Madam Luz Z. Gamba.
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.
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.
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
were the jampacked revelers and dancers of the vespera ball.
The ambiance was just too tempting and irresistible!
Iba kasi, eh!
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.
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.
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.
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.
the mass, Bishop Varela blessed the marker of the newly rehabilitated
Marcos-type building, the two covered walks, the three gates and the renovated
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
new officers were given the chance to speak.
Oath-taking and turnover ceremonies being scheduled to take place soon.
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.
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.
Scarlett O’Hara, speaking of Tara, the place she loves, we also say,
“Tomorrow is but another day.”
(Sim E. Gamba)
Vol. XV No.8 (June - August 2003)
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