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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.


Vol. XV No.8 (June - August 2003)

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