“CAN WE JUST STOP AND TALK AWHILE AT SANTIAGO COVE, ILOCOS SUR?” (a travelogue)

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The road seemed endless, but the destiny was met. As life began anew, scrutiny and bad tags were left unanswered. What mattered most now, a gift was taken. AND LOVE PREVAILED.

Humans can never be angels. Human beings will always have faults. Because they are only humans, after all.

If others will still take the credit, so let it be.

But the journey was already met, and two souls, alongside with their friends- bonded together all throughout a journey of lightness, serenity and smiles.

It was “clearing”, a celebration of wonder and life, a LEGACY. AND AN ASSURANCE.

A person may be different as you meet him along the way. He may carefree, tactless and transparent. He may be crazy, too. But what matters most is, he sees things in a different way and his heart is TRUE.

It was a journey destined to be. A hideaway of friends in an open sea- that was posted in a cove of sea- at the Santiago Cove in Santiago, Ilocos Sur (near Candon). No one could have seen it. But one soul did.

Thank you for the people who got “them” there. As the pictures below would reveal it, it was a very happy journey. A merging of life and heaven, and humans, with their kindness and generosity, made it all worthwhile.

A blogger continues from hereon. His soul recharged. His spirits are high. And his heart continues to glitter with happiness and shine.

Mr. Martin Martin, thank you for your kindness.

Jao Viola, thank you for the warmth and sincerity….

Mr. Chad Malit, for the opportunity.

Mr. Marlon Habon and his wife, thank you for the love.

Mr. Santy Etrata, for the laughs.

And all the other Ilocanos in Santiago, Ilocos Sur, especially the very friendly crew and staff of Vitalis Resort & Spa in Santiago Cove, Ilocos Sur- who all made our three-days stay at their place very relaxing and calm.

It was one of the best journeys for a blogger, a very meaningful one.

As the sea became the backdrop of a magnificent setting…

YES, WE CAN SAY BY NOW…

LIFE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN-

 

JUST LIKE FOREVER.

 

(AS THE WORDS WERE WRITTEN, APRIL 26, 2015, BY ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO. GUIDED BY HIS OWN GUARDIAN ANGELS, IN THE FIELDS OF ETERNITY).***

PHOTOS COURTESY OF: MR. MARTIN MARTIN AND JAO VIOLA

 

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philippine stagers foundation’s journey to vigan (in photos)!

 

Tama nga ang sinabi ng showbiz genius na si Julio Cinco Nigado: “The Philippine Stagers Foundation is like a community theater na unang in-establish ng grupo nina Christopher Marlowe (an English poet) nuong panahon pa ni Shakespeare. Pero ngayon, I can say, ang PSF ay isa na ring travelling caravan theater group na nagta-travel all-over the Philippines. Sila lamang ang nakakagawa nito among all the theater groups sa bansang Pilipinas.”

 

At mas mainam iyon, dahil ang pag-reach-out na ginagawa ng PSF all over the country- to spread the beauty and arts of a theater production- para sa mahihirap at mga nasa liblib na lugar ng mga probinsya, AY SADYA NAMANG KAHANGA-HANGA. This is one great advocacy on their part. Isang napakalaking sakripisyo at pag-uukol ng panahon para lamang mapasaya, ma-educate at maipahayag nila ang kanilang pagmamahal sa mga kabataang naninirahan sa mga probinsya.

 

Minsan nang nasaksihan ng blogger na ito ang malaking kaganapan at tagumpay ng adhikain na ito ng PSF na maglibot sa mga probinsya. Nu’ng minsang sumama siya sa Bayawan, Negros Occidental, nasaksihan niya ang pagdating ng mga truckloads of students and youths makapanood lamang ng kanilang dula sa main city proper ng Bayawan. Nakasakay ang mga ito sa mga wide-open trucks na ginagamit ng munisipyo ng probinsya sa pagkolekta ng mga basura, ipinahiram muna sandali sa mga kababayan nila para mapanood ang dula ng PSF. Mga sampung truck ata ‘yun. At halos mapaiyak ang isang blogger sa kanyang nakita. Naroo’t nakasakay nga sa mga dumptrucks ang mga estudyante!!! Mula sila sa mga remote barangays ng Bayawan, Negros Occidental na walang ibang means of transportation kundi ang sumakay sa mga dumptrucks na iyon. Grabe po talaga.

 

Kaya naman ang pagsuporta sa Philippine Stagers Foundation ay isang nakakataba-sa-pusong adhikain na ng isang blogger. What they’re doing is all a worthwhile cause. Via their great theater productions and performances, natuturuan nila ang mga kabataan, napapasaya at nai-a-uplift pa nila ang “spirit of nationalism” para sa bansang PILIPINAS.

 

Buti na lamang at may isang VINCE TANADA na walang pagod na gumagawa nito at nagli-lead. Salamat.

 

Nasa ibaba ang pinaka-huling out-of-town adventure ng PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION sa Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Enjoy and cherish.

 

EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS BY: MR. VINO ORIARTE

(WORDS BY ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO)

 

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“can we just stop and talk awhile?” at general tinio, nueva ecija?

WELCOME TO NUEVA ECIJA!
WELCOME TO NUEVA ECIJA!
A COUNTRYSIDE IN GEN. TINIO, NUEVA ECIJA.
A COUNTRYSIDE IN GEN. TINIO, NUEVA ECIJA.
THE CITY STREETS OF GEN. TINIO, N.E.
THE CITY STREETS OF CABANATUAN, N.E.
GREAT NATURE IN N.E.
GREAT NATURE IN N.E. (NUEVA ECIJA).
VICE MAYOR FERDINAND BOTE OF GENERAL TINIO, NUEVA ECIJA, TOGETHER WITH HIS SONS
VICE MAYOR FERDINAND BOTE OF GENERAL TINIO, NUEVA ECIJA, TOGETHER WITH HIS SONS
A YOUNG MAN VIEWING A SCENERY COUNTRYSIDE IN GEN. TINIO
A YOUNG MAN VIEWING A SCENERY COUNTRYSIDE IN GEN. TINIO
MR. DAVE MACARIOLA & FRIENDS EDEL TEMPLENUEVO (R.I.P.), RODRIGO IBASCO & DIREK SOXY TOPACIO
MR. DAVE MACARIOLA (THE BLOGGER’S HOST IN GEN. TINIO, N.E.), & FRIENDS EDEL TEMPLENUEVO (R.I.P.), RODRIGO IBASCO & DIREK SOXY TOPACIO
THE "BLOGGER" WITH MR. DAVE MACARIOLA IN A DRESS SHOP GENERAL TINIO
THE “BLOGGER” WITH MR. DAVE MACARIOLA IN A DRESS SHOP GENERAL TINIO
MRS. MAYVELINE P. BOTE & HUSBAND VICE MAYOR FERDINAND BOTE & FAMILY
MRS. MAYVELINE P. BOTE & HUSBAND VICE MAYOR FERDINAND BOTE & FAMILY
THE REAL GENERAL TINIO OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY, HIS NAME WAS DERIVED FROM GENERAL TINIO PLACE IN NUEVA ECIJA.
THE REAL GENERAL TINIO OF PHILIPPINE HISTORY, HIS NAME WAS DERIVED FROM GENERAL TINIO PLACE IN NUEVA ECIJA.

It was a safe haven, and a very memorable one… Where people smile when you met them across the street… when the sun’s rays seemed to be tickling at it touches your skin… and wherein you could suddenly breathe-in some fresh and clean air- unpolluted and unharmed. When summer comes in less than a month, better save a penny or two- ‘coz you’ll  be needing them for a great vacation awaiting to all the young and the weary.  The countryside offers a lot more and new clean thrills… away from the hassles and bustles  of the city life, the rushes and conflicts of a modern society and the boredom of being a  “selfie”. As I boarded the air-conditioned bus going to Gapan, Nueva Ecija (the only bus route that would lead you to General Tinio in Nueva Ecija), I knew something worthwhile was going to happen. I badly needed to go-away that Saturday morning and feel a break from the monotony of my daily existence. Escaping people’s egos that harms me much… The journey was enjoyable and safe. The bus toured along the cities of Bulacan- like San Rafael and San Miguel, before reaching Gapan City, Nueva Ecija.  The scenery, the ordinary lives of people living in a countryside, the simplicity and lightness of the human spirit, the little joys and touching moments- overwhelmed my feeling as I viewed them by the bus window- outside of it, as it happened. Suddenly, my energy was recharged at once. From a mellow, self-sacrificing man in his late 40’s, I felt a sudden rush of being a young kid again wanting to run across the street, eat ice cream or get delighted by meeting new friends and dine with them. I felt I did the right decision. It was upon the warm invitation of Mr. Dave Leodones Macariola that I decided to go to General Tinio in N.E. (Nueva Ecija) that day. We’ve been planning for a long time to finally meet each other, after a few years of being Facebook friends. And the timing was PERFECT. I never knew that the town of General Tinio could be that big and wide! The streets were clean and vibrant, people were courteous (you’d feel so safe travelling in a tricycle because the tricycle drivers here are smiling and kind), and with no traffic at all. You could be overjoyed by the utmost simplicity of the people here. But you see them united, friendly, charming… papaya I finally met with Mr. Macariola as the tricycle I was riding-in finally landed at the front of his house in Barangay Papaya, General Tinio. Even from far-afar, Mr. Macariola was already smiling at me. He was wearing an electric green shirt and an overwhelming red pants as he instructed himself to wear for our first meeting. Upon arrival, I saw the people involved in Grace Family Helper project, a NGO in which Mr. Macariola was involved in. Its  home base is in Tondo, Manila, and it’s Dave who coordinated a charitable project of distributing goods for the victims of Santi typhoon last year to General Tinio’s affected residents. It’s part of the United Sates Emergency relief for the typhoon victims. Every month, they distribute relief goods to different places like General Tinio, San Isidro, San Antonio, to name some. The executive director of this project is Mrs. Ofelia Viray. After chatting briefly with Dave and Mrs. Viray, Dave invited me at once to have lunch with the charming and pretty wife of the Vice Mayor of General Tinio- Mrs. Mayvelyn Javier Bote, at the Vice Mayor’s (Vice Mayor Ferdinand Bote) residence in General Tinio. Oh, my, The lunch was superbly fabulous. We ate fried meat of a baboy ramo, grilled pork chops, a fantastic vegetable flower dish, et. al., with delicacies like sweet ube, leche flan and fruits. Gosh, my stomach bloated at once. But more than the lunch itself, it was the very friendly and sincere approach of Mrs. Bote that touched the heart of a blogger. She’s very down-to-earth, warm and kind. His handsome son, Mikko, a very appealing young guy also entertained us. It was so great. Dave later on toured me to the streets and social hall of General Tinio. He also introduced me to some other friends there, like the owner of a flower shop named Deo. Having an entirely different setting of life and meeting new people truly fascinated us. It was, indeed, again I say, A SAFE HAVEN. For me and my hidden “angel-friends”? I somehow said to myself at that time. People here were not rich, they live so simply and humbly. But they are rich by the heart, wealthy by the deep friendships they all shared together, and glittering in warm hospitality and camaraderie… And the night CAME IN. It’s our TIME to be “altogether”. Dave again, tagged me along to the birthday dinner of the mom of the Vice Mayor. She’s still so elegant and trendy despite her age. I met the rest of the family and friends of the Vice Mayor (VM Ferdinand P. Bote) that evening. His two other handsome sons, relatives and brothers. The dinner meal was fantastic! Big crabs, prawns, salads, fruits, palabok, dinuguan, etcetera, etcetera… Again, I bloated. Haha. AND NOW, “BED TIME”. I saw a rare big brown grasshopper (more than 8″ inches long, I think), with great big horns and a pleasant appearance- that’s almost stationary clinging there upon the wall, beside the door entrance of Dave’s sister’s house. I knew. It looked like as if  it was guarding the house, and I felt somewhat safe. As I slept, I saw good  visions. But I’d rather not share. But what electrified me most was the lingering invisible presence of a young male (I knew he was male based on his lingering sweet smell and odor) that walked-in and out of the room, climbed down and up the stairs of the room I was sleeping-in. And suddenly, it appeared. Yes, indeed, it was a young male. But it wasn’t one among my “friends”. He was a different young man. And he was wearing a white polo shirt. That’s all I saw. But he was really handsome. I didn’t feel afraid because I knew he was a good spirit. I could feel it because the aura was so enlightening, light, calming…When he smiled, he vanished into thin air.   FAST-CUT TO: THE MORNING AFTER.   Dave fetched me early in the morning to attend their services in a Christian church (we will have a separate blog feature on this, we promise). But before the church services started, I managed to interview the Vice Mayor- VM Ferdinand P. Bote, as he sat there on his living room reading some papers. (The church was just at the front street location of his house). But hey, the VM didn’t want any kind of interviews, we retract. He simply chatted with the blogger and discussed some things about politics. He was really “publicity-shy”, but very caring, kind… and undeniably handsome. Haha. “Let’s just stop and talk awhile”, the Vice Mayor told this blogger. After the chat with the Vice Mayor, the church services started and the whole Bote family attended it, including the kids- grand nieces, cousins, nephews, etcetera. the experience was very spiritual and redeeming for the blogger, though, he promised to himself to remain a Catholic. But he felt something so different. As if, he belonged to “another new family” aside from his own’s…. As another late lunch with Mr. Dave Macariola ended after the church services, it was time to go home and ride a bus back to Manila… I looked all-over the wide place of General Tinio. It was heaven itself. Briefly I felt. Briefly I experienced.   Because heaven is not made-up of silver and gold decors and material invites… Heaven is SIMPLICITY.   And heaven could still be HERE.     (as the words were written: by robert manuguid silverio, February 10, 2014, together with the “angels”? Haha.) 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 plus 🙂 me-and-aj.jpg

ang psf stagers sa bayawan, negros oriental…

ANG MGA STAGERS SA HARAP NG MUNISIPYO NG BAYAWAN NU'NG MAG-COURTESY CALL SILA KAY MAYOR GERMAN P. SERNA, JR., ANG HONORABLE MAYOR NG BAYAWAN CITY SA NEGROS ORIENTAL
ANG MGA STAGERS SA HARAP NG MUNISIPYO NG BAYAWAN NU’NG MAG-COURTESY CALL SILA KAY MAYOR GERMAN P. SERNA, JR., ANG HONORABLE MAYOR NG BAYAWAN CITY SA NEGROS ORIENTAL

BAYAWAN2

ANG MGA KABATAAN AT ESTUDYANTE NG BAYAWAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL
ANG MGA KABATAAN AT ESTUDYANTE NG BAYAWAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL, HABANG NAGHIHIYAWAN SA PANONOOD NG DULA NG MGA STAGERS.

TRUCK

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Kamakailan lamang ay nagkaroon ng matinding kalamidad at trahedya sa bayan ng Bayawan, Negros Oriental.

Pero hindi naging hadlang iyon para ituloy ng Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) ang kanilang naka-iskedyul nang pagtatanghal sa nasabing lugar.  

Dahil sa kabila ng nangyaring trahedya (isang malaking pagbaha sa bayan ng Bayawan sanhi ng isang malakas na bagyo at marami ang namatay), marami pa rin ang humiling na ituloy pa rin doon ang pagtatanghal ng dulang “Bonifacio: isang Sarsuwela”.

 

Naisip din ng mga taga-PSF at ng mga taong nangangasiwa sa sa DepEd Bayawan (ang nag-sponsor sa pagtatanghal ng PSF doon), makakatulong ang pagpapalabas ng dula para ma-uplift ang morale at spirits ng mga taga-Bayawan pagkatapos ng unos. And this, we believe, is a very noble act from educators and artists who immersed themselves to bring back the zest and the energy of the people in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental.

 

At ito ang masasabi naming “tunay na misyon at hamon” para sa mga miyembro ng PSF. Para sa mga Stagers na pinamumunuan ni Atty. Vince Tanada.

 

Ang Bayawan ay isang hindi maunlad na bayan ng Negros. Ito ay malayo sa kabihasnan at sa modernong mga siyudad. Tatlong oras ka pang bibiyahe mula sa Dumaguete City para marating mo ang liblib na lugar na ito ng Negros. Wala kang makikita kundi mga farm lands, pasteur lands at mga cows sa paligid- na siyang kabuhayan ng karamihan ng mga naninirahan sa Bayawan.

 

Napakatahimik na lugar, para bagang walang ka-tao-tao.

Naikuwento nga ni Ma’m Ofelia Remolino Hermosa, ang Superintendent ng DepEd Bayawan City sa blogger na ito:

“Nu’ng una ngang makarating dito si Mr. Vince Tanada, nagulat siya habang tinatanaw ang malalawak naming farm lands na walang katao-tao at tila nahiwalay na sa mundo”, kuwento pa ni Mrs. Hermosa. “Nakasakay siya noon sa sasakyan namin. At sabi niya: May mga tao ba sa lugar na ito? Sino ang mga manonood sa amin dito? Wala yata akong maisip na audience namin dito? … yan, iyan ang mga katagang sinambit ni Attorney Vince sa akin. Akala niya, wala talagang tao dito sa lugar namin sa Bayawan.”

Nangyari ‘yun nu’ng nagdaang taon pa. pero laking gulat ni Papa Vince, nu’ng magtanghal sila sa lugar na iyon ng Bayawan City a year ago, libo-libong mga tao ang nanood sa kanila. Sa maniwala kayo’t sa hindi.

“Truckloads and truckloads of people came to watch our play here last year, laking gulat naming lahat!”, pagsabat naman ni Papa Vince habang kinakapanayam ng blogger na ito si Mrs. Hermosa. “Nakasakay sila sa mga dumptrucks, literally! Nangggagaling sila sa mga bundok, at pawang mga estudyante’t kabataan. Halos maiyak ako, sobrang tumusok sa puso ko ang nakita ko na siyang mauuulit muli sa taong ito!”

Tunay ka at totoo ka.

 

Maski ang mga tao sa Bayawan City ay pawang mga mapagkumbaba lamang at karamihan ay naninirahan lamang sa mga bundok at sa mga bukirin, marunong silang magpahalaga sa edukasyon, kultura at sining. At isang malaking bagay para sa kanilang lahat ang makapanood ng isang dulang tulad ng Joe: The Rocksical at Andres Bonifacio: Isang Sarsuwela. Sabik sila sa sining. Uhaw sila sa edukasyon at kultura. Dahil maski mapagkumbaba man sila, naramdaman ng blogger na ito na sila’y malalalalim na tao na marunong tumingin at mag-appreciate sa ARTS.

Maitanong nga natin si Superintendent Ofelia Hermosa, paano ba nagsimula ang lahat ng ito?

“Actually nagsimula lahat iyan ng panoorin ko ang dula nilang Cory Ng Edsa sa Dumaguete City two years ago”, sagot ni Mrs. Hermosa. “Sobrang nagandahan ako sa play na iyon. At pagkatapos ng kanilang pagtatanghal ay ipinakilala ako ni Superintendent Ramir Uytico ng DepEd Dumaguete kay Atty. Vince. Ipinangako ko sa kanya na next year ay dadalhin ko sila sa lugar namin sa Bayawan. Na siyang ginawa ko nga. Pero maski ako, namangha din, at hindi ko inaasahan na magiging ganu’n katindi ang reception ng mga tao sa mga dula nila. Libo-libo talaga ang mga nanood. Nakakamangha!”

 

Kaya naman sa taon na ito ng 2013, kung saan naka-iskedyul na ang pagtatanghal ng PSF sa bayan ng Bayawan, tunay na ipinaglaban din ni Mrs. Hermosa na matuloy ang pagtatanghal ng dulang Bonifacio: isang Sarsuwela sa kanilang lugar. Marami kasi ang pumuna at bumatikos, may ilan na gustong ipahinto ang pagtatanghal dahil sa nangyaring kalamidad. Pero mas umiral ang hiling at “clamor” ng mga kabataan at estudyante na mapanood ang dula, dahil ito ang magpapa-uplift sa morale nila dahil sa nangyaring kalamidad. At ‘yun nga, “the show must go on”.

“Kasabik-sabi kasi sa amin dito sa Bayawan ang makapanood ng isang world-class play”, sey pa muli ni Mrs. Hermosa. “Muling sisilay ang pagasa at pagbubunyi sa aming lahat.”

 

FAST CUT TO:

OKTUBRE 11, 2013.  BIYERNES. AKTUWAL NA PETSA NG PAGTATANGHAL NG MGA STAGERS NG PSF SA BAYAWAN CITY.

Maka-ilang beses na patagong lumuha ang isang blogger sa kanyang nasaksihan. Minsan, nagtatago pa siya sa isang kubling lugar ng Munisipyo ng Bayawan para lamang umiyak. Dahil nakita niya ang katotohanan ng buhay.

Totoo nga ang sinabi nina Mrs. Hermosa at Papa Vince. Hayun ang mga dumptrucks na galing pa sa mga bulubunduking mga barangays ng Bayawan. At sakay-sakay doon ang mga tao- mga bata, matatanda, estudyante, mister at misis… Lahat!

 

Maya-maya ay may mga dumptrucks na dumarating upang ihatid ang mga tao sa multi-purpose gym ng Bayawan City na naga-accomodate ng libo-libong tao para makapanood. Ito ang malaking tulong at serbisyo ng bawat barangay sa mga tao ng Bayawan. Mahirap kasi ang transportasyon doon at isinasakay nila sa mga dumptrucks ang mga tao.

Nakaka-touch talaga ng puso!

“Kaya sino ba naman ang hindi gaganahan na mag-perform at magbigay ng ibayong kahusayan sa pagganap kapag naramdaman mo’t nakita ang paghihirap ng mga tao sa Bayawan makapanood lang ng play namin?”, tanong pa ni Papa Vince sa blogger na ito. “Sino ang hindi iiyak?”

At hindi na napigilan ng isang blogger ang pagtulo ng kanyang luha habang naroon siya’t kapiling ang mga tao ng Bayawan, Negros Oriental, habang nanonood ng play. Damang-dama niya ang tunay na kahulugan ng sining, at ng buhay….

 

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Sa naging tatlong ulit na pagtatanghal ng Stagers sa multi-purpose gym ng Bayawan City, punong-puno talaga ng mga tao. Ang mga magulang rin ng mga kabataang nanood ay pawang naroon at sumuporta sa kanilang mga anak na mag-aaral. Kapag iyong nasaksihan ng personal, mapapaiyak ka.

Ganun nila kamahal ang kani-kanilang mga anak. Sila ang bumibili ng mga pagkain sa mga ito habang nanonood at inaalalayan ang mga anak nila. Sila rin ang nagtuturo sa mga nagaganap na eksena sa dula.

Mahalaga nga ang edukasyon para sa mga magulang ng Bayawan. Ang kanilang mga anak ang kani-kanilang PAGASA.

Maraming salamat din kay German P. Serana, Jr.- ang Honorable Mayor ng Bayawan City, dahil sa matinding suportang ibinigay nito sa mga taga-DepEd Bayawan at sa PSF sa araw ng kanilang pagtatanghal. Kaya naman nagbigay din courtesy call ang “Stagers” sa Honorable Mayor nung araw na iyon.

 

“THE WORKERS ARE FEW, BUT THE HARVEST ARE MANY.”

Iyan ang nasambit ng isang blogger sa kanyang sarili. Iilan lang ang mga maka-sining na nilalang ang handang maglingkod sa mga tao. Oo, iilan lang sila.

Pero sa araw na iyon, nakita ng isang blogger at ng dalawa pa niyang ‘kaibigan’ ang tunay na HARVEST ng mga maka-sining na nilalang na ito. At napakarami ng ani na iyon…

At sa mui,

Iiyak ang isang blogger. Hindi iyak ng kalungkutan. Kundi iyak ng sobrang…

KALIGAYAHAN.

 

 

(SINULAT NI ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO)

MGA LARAWANG KUHA, COURTESY OF: MS. CHIN ORTEGA

 

 

THE SHELL (ANG KABIBE)

 

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Mula sa baybay dagat ng Dumaguete City bay ay nakita ko siya… Kumikinang sa bayshore at sa sand, pinatingkad ng sikat ng araw. Maliit lang siya, pero kay gandang pagmasdan. Kasabay ng isang malakas na hampas ng hangin, na parang itinuro siya sa akin ay tila ginto itong nang-akit sa aking mga mata. Mga banayad na bulong ng hangin ang nagsabing damputin ko siya… Sa isang di-kalayuang panaginip, sinabi sa akin ng isang kaibigan, na makikita ko siya sa loob ng isang kabibe. At marahil, ito na nga ‘yun… Marahil ay makikita ko na siya.

Dinampot ko ang kabibe na bahagyang nakabaon sa sand. Kulay brown siya. Pero nag-iisa lang… Sa gitna ng maraming batong pebbles at glass forms na nabuo sa dagat, nag-iisa lang ang kabibeng ito sa inihaba-haba ng dalampasigan ng Dumaguete City bay.

“Ang suwerte ko naman”, wika ko sa aking sarili, sabay dampot sa kabibeng yaon. Hinawakan ko ito ng mahigpit. Ang singaw ng pintuan ng maliit na kabibe ay itinapat ko sa aking tenga. At doon, sa mahina at mahinahong tunog, narinig ko ang musika ng dagat. At alam ko, dito nananatili ang isang kong “kaibigan”.

Patuloy akong naglakad at naglakbay sa deretsong landasin ng Dumaguete City bay. Hawak-hawak ko ang kabibe. Isang napakagandang umaga iyon sa sentrong kapital ng bayan ng Dumaguete, malapit sa historical Cathedral nila ay lalakad ka lang patungo sa may bayshore. Gusto kong makita na ng personal ang “panaginip” ko.

Tinanaw ko ang mga ulap sa itaas, mula doon ay lumitaw ang napakagandang sunrise. Ito ang tinatawag na “Dumaguete Bay City Sunrise”. Kaya naman pala, kakaiba ang sunrise na ito sa Dumaguete Bay. Ang araw ay kulay “silver”. Kumikinang, napaka-kintab, nang-aakit…

Hanggang sa marating ko ang dulong tagong lokasyon ng bay. Doon na ako tumigil. Doon ko tinanaw ang dalawang kaibigan ko na laging laman ng aking mga panaginip. At sa aking mga panaginip, kami ay tatlong batang naglalaro at tumatanaw sa baybay-dagat.

Kumuha ako ng tatlong maliliit na bato. At tatlong beses ko ‘yung initsa sa dagat… Isang aksyon na ang kahulugan ay pasasalamat, pagpapahalaga, pagmamahal at pakikipag-usap sa DAGAT.

Ang kabibeng napulot ko ay ang tanging bagay na meron na ako ngayon. It’s the only thing I’ve got now. And it’s the only thing that I have…

Buong maghapon kong hawak ang kabibe. Kapag pinakikinggan ko ang nakatagong musika na nakulong sa loob ng kabibe, nakadarama ako ng katiwasayan at kapanatagan sa aking kalooban. Para akong dinuduyan ng dagat, parang nagpaparamdam ng pagmamahal…

Ito na nga siguro ang pinakamagandang alay ng buhay.

 

Marahil, minsan sa isang panahon, kami ay naglakbay na rin sa bay na ito. Kami ay naglaro, nagtakbukhan, nagkulitan…

 

BALIK SA TUNAY NA PANAHON:

 

Sa isang pangyayari, may isa namang buhay na binata na marahil ay nakadama at nakakita sa tunay na pagkatao ko. Kay tagal na ring panahon magmula nung may mangyaring muli na ganito sa aking buhay. Yun bang pagmalasakitan ka ng isang tao, maski hindi mo naman siya ka-ano-ano. Yun bang habulin ka niya sa gitna ng isang madilim na kalye at makiusap na bumalik na sa isang pagtitipon. Yun bang tipong hindi ka niya iniiwan, lagi siyang nagmamasid, nag-uunawa, nag-aalay.

 

Naramdaman ko lamang iyon sa dalawang kaibigan kong sa panaginip ko lamang nakikita’t nakakalaro. Pero ang isang ito ay totoo, isang buhay na tao, isang maka-sining na nilalang… At, hindi kathang-isip lamang,.

Oo, ngayon lang nga nangyari ito. Sa tinagal-tagal ng paglalakbay ko at paghahanap. Kahit papa’no may isang binata pa rin palang “makakakita” sa akin.

 

Sa loobin ng aking puso, sobra kong pinahalagaan ang kanyang mga nagawa. Pero hindi ko pinahalata.

 

Hanggang sa huling gabi. ANG PANAGINIP. Oo, isa na namang panaginip. Isang panaginip na napaka-lalim, napaka-“vague”. Halos malula ako sa lawak ng aking paglalakbay sa panaginip na iyon at parang may humahatak sa aking kaluluwa. Bigla, napadilat ang mga mata ko. At nakita ko “siya”. Nakatayo sa harapan ko, nakatitig sa akin mula sa madilim na harapan ng aking kama…

 

Nagulat ako at parang medyo yata napasigaw ako. Pero sa isang mabilis na saglit, nalaman kong isang buhay na anghel pala ang nakita ko, isang buhay na tao.

 

Buo na sana ang pangarap ko. Pero bigla nakita ko, may kasama pala siya. Sa dilim ng silid, naramdaman ko ang pagmamahalan nila. Ang mga mahihina’t banayad nilang pag-uusap. Naramdaman ko, nagmamahalan sila.

 

Kaya IPINIKIT KO NA LANG MULI ANG AKING MGA MATA.

 

Kapag nakapikit ang mga mata ko, tila mas masaya ako. Kasi, doon ko nakikita ang mga kaibigan ko. Sa buhay na realidad, tila nasasaktan lang ako…

 

Minsan ay naaamoy ko pa rin ‘yun strange smells ng mga kaibigan ko. Maski nagigising na ako sa umaga, nananatili ‘yung smell. Nakakakita ako ng kulay-maroon na bagay, parang kulay dugo na natuyo na. Kasabay nu’ng smell na naaamoy ko lamang kapag napapadaan ako sa morgue ng mga ospital.

 

Strange, isn’t it? Pero sabi nila, doon daw talaga ang tahanan ko…

 

Sabi ko sa sarili ko, hindi na ako iiyak kapag nasasaktan ako. Kasi kung anu’t-anuman, ang pagmamahal na ibinibigay ko sa mga tao ay hanggang doon lang. Masaya na ako kapag masaya sila sa piling ng mga mahal nila, maski hindi naman nila ako mahal. Masaya na ako kapag malaya sila, at kung saan sila masaya, ay masaya na rin ako…

 

 

CUT TO:

 

Tanging ang kabibe na napulot ko ang siyang naging constant companion ko all-throughout our Dumaguete City trip. Hindi ako nito iniiwan. Kapag mali ang nakikita sa akin, ako’y pipikit na lamang at pakikinggan ko ang musika sa loob ng maliit na kabibeng iyon. Masaya na ako. Labis kong pinahalagaan ang kabibeng iyon.

 

Pero isang umaga, naramdaman kong dapat kong ibigay ang kabibeng iyon sa isang buhay na binata.

 

Nu’ng nagdaang gabi kasi, sa unang pagkakataon ng buhay ko, may isang batang binata ang humiling sa akin. “Puwede ko bang hingin ang kabibe mo, sir Robert? Akin na lang siya, ibigay mo sa akin.”

 

Sa isang pagtanggap sa katotohan na ang buhay ay sadyang hindi kumpleto, natuklasan kong maipadarama ko lamang ang pagmamahal ko kapag nagbigay ako.

 

At ibinigay ko ang kabibe sa kanya. Natutulog pa siya, itinabi ko sa kanya ang maliit na kabibe. Masaya na ako nu’n. At hindi na ako aasa pa ng anumang pagmamahal mula sa kanya. Dahil alam kong mayroon naman siyang ibang minamahal.

 

 

FAST CUT TO:

 

Ewan ko ba kung bakit kay saya-saya ko nu’ng araw na iyon na papauwi na kami sa Maynila. Ilang minuto na lang ay mararating na namin ang Dumaguete City airport. Tapos na ang pitong araw naming pagtatanghal sa Dumaguete, kasama ang Philippine Stagers Foundation members ni Papa Vince Tanada. Bilib na bilib ako sa sarili ko dahil pawang mga magagaling na mga aktor at aktres sa teatro ang mga nakasama ko sa pitong araw na iyon. At ako ang NAG-IISANG guest nila.

 

Ganun pala ‘yun, no? Kapag nagmahal ka, walang magiging bitterness sa loob ng puso mo. Magiging masaya ka anuman ang mangyari. Maski kapos ka sa mga materyal na bagay. Basta masaya ka, gano’n…

 

Kahit papa’no, hindi lang naman sa mga namayapa nang tao ako nakakakuha ng inspirasyon. May iniaalay ring ‘konswuelo’ ang buhay. At sa paglalakbay namin papunta sa Dumaguete City airport habang sakay-sakay sa isang tourist bus dahil galing pa kami sa isang malayong lugar ng Negros Oriental nung araw na iyon, muling nabuhay ang isang PUSO.

 

Isang bagong pagibig. Isang bagong buhay.

 

Maunsyami man o muling maudlot ang bagong pagibig na ito ay okey pa rin. Tanggap ko naman palagi ang katotohanan. Basta ang mahalaga, nung mga oras na iyon sa loob ng tourist bus ay katabi ko siya’t kapiling. Pinagmasdan ko ang kanyang mukha habang natutulog siya. Hinawakan ko ang kanyang buhok, ang kanyang batok at mukha ng banayad. At sumandal ako sa balikat niya.

 

Bago kami tuluyang sumakay ng eroplano, sa may depature area ng airport, tiningnan niya ako. Tumitig at ngumiti. Sapat na iyon…

Para mabuhay  MULI ako.

 

 

SALAMAT, MR. VINCE TANADA AT SA LAHAT NG STAGERS NG PHILIPPINE STAGERS FOUNDATION SA ISANG LIBRENG PAGLALAKBAY NA ITO. SA KAIBUTURAN NG AKING PUSO…. SALAMAT.

 

 

 

(ISANG PERSONAL STORY NA SINULAT NI ROBERT MANUGUID SILVERIO, ISINALAYSAY SA PETSANG OKTUBRE 14, 2013).

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isang manunulat kasama ang Stager na si jayson bulanghagui habang nasa naia airport papuntang dumaguete city
isang manunulat kasama ang Stager na si jayson bulanhagui habang nasa naia airport papuntang dumaguete city

hacienda isabella on my mind… (a short ‘memoir’ by robert manuguid silverio)

 

a short memoir by robert manuguid silverio

(with photos by MRS. CONNIE SY UY, with her two lovely daughters and mom)

 

 

“We don’t have instant coffee here, only brewed”, Miss Malo Cruz, the over-all managing director of famous singer Kuh Ledesma’s production events and businesses, said to this blogger upon the waiter served me with a cup of very nicely-presented brewed coffee.

I asked for an instant coffee a while ago, thinking it would be ‘asking too much’ if I did asked for coffee. So I said, “Instant coffee only, if it’s ok?”

But Malo smiled. She knew I am really a coffee drinker, maybe. So she said earlier: “I’ll let them prepare one for you”.

Then,  she immediately went to the kitchen area, which was  hidden from the very high-ceiling main house of the Hacienda Isabella.

Afterwards, she came back, smiling. The waiter was coming at once in my front, holding a tray of nicely-done, boiling coffee in a white porcelain mug.

As I tasted the nicely-done coffee, it felt like HEAVEN. The best brewed coffee I’ve ever tasted,indeed. Better than Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s. Haha…

(ISABELLA’S MUSIC VIDEO WITH HACIENDA ISABELLA AS THE SETTING)

the hacienda isabella's main building house.
mrs. sy, the mom of mrs. connie uy poses at receiving table of hacienda isabella, with the frames.
connie sy uy with hacienda isabella's backdrop

We arrived at the luxurious facade of Hacienda Isabella only minutes ago.

Ms. Pie Murillo, Hacienda Isabella’s sales director, fetched me at Urdaneta Condo in Makati where we met halfway so I could hitch a ride going to the Hacienda. It was upon the invitation of Malo Cruz for me to go there and so I could cover the concert event at the Hacienda Isabella at night. The pre-Valentine concert of Miss Kuh Ledesma last February 11, 2012.

And there I was now. Sitting in an antique chair with a long antique table infront of me as I sipped the coffee. A perfect ambience for a writer like me, indeed.

I viewed the Paradise infront of me as I continued to sip my brewed coffee. It was so relaxing. The majestic Santol tree, so high, so glamorous and so magnificent couldn’t get-away from my eyes. I kept on staring at it. It was as if telling me something. It was as if welcoming me. And it was entertaining me.

I knew that NATURE speaks. Even the falling of the leaves at the Hacienda Isabella told me something. It got a ‘soul’, a spirit… Maybe, Miss Kuh Ledesma’s soul speaking to me at that very moment?

I just saw Miss Kuh Ledesma a while ago.  As I was looking at the nice antique frames that decored the main receiving area lounge of the Hacienda at the main house. I was reading some passages on love that was framed and was put upon a huge round antigue and wooden table. It was so beautifully arranged.

Kuh went beside me and smiled. Her face was like an angel, a vision of Eternity. She welcomed me with utmost sincerity, but warned me: “Don’t write about the mess we’re having right now as we prepare for tonight’s concert, ha”, she said half-jokingly. “Just feel at home. We’re all too busy and stressful right now. Stay put. I’ll get back at you later.”

Kuh was personally attending to everything. Even the arrangements of the chairs and tables outside the garden. She personally supervised them. Every little detail, every assorted problems. And the more I was so impressed to this lady celebrity-singer.

But before anything else, let me first describe the Hacienda:

THE QUEEN OF HACIENDA ISABELLA, MS. KUH LEDESMA.
mrs. sy and the hacienda at her back.

The architecture and landscape of this place was so fabulous. Once you entered  upon it, you would feel like you’re in a Magical Place or “Alice In Wonderland”. It got a wide open-space for the garden, with assorted trees perfectly lined-up at the side. There were other ‘little buildings’ or cottages which were nicely hidden all-over. You won’t know that they were there… A perfect place for refuge, for privacy, for solitude…

“Kuh already held two concerts here”, Malo said to me as she entertained me furthermore for coffee. “And the third one is this pre-Valentine concert tonight. By the month of March, we’ll be having a festival here. The Organic Food Festival, in which we will cook and showcase organic foods for our clients here. Something healthy, something good, isn’t it?

“The previous months and until recently, some teleseryes of channel 2 are taping here”, Malo continued. “Like Maria La Del Barrio which stars Enchong Dee and Erich Gonzales. Also the Christine teleserye of Christine Reyes. In their new teleserye Walang Hanggan, some parts of the show were also shot here. Like Richard Gomez’ house in that teleserye, it’s one of the houses here.”

As I looked around the very wide place in a bird’s eyeview, I got more fascinated. It was as if an invisible hand of God sculpted and created this place. Like a canvass painting. Like a glorious song.

“It’s Kuh’s hand entirely”, Malo revealed to this blogger. “It was all her. What you see in this hacienda, it’s all Kuh. Every little detail, she’s the one who made it, who created it.”

And I looked upon the trees, as Malo pointed them.

“See those trees that are perfctly aligned and lined-up at the walkway?”, Malo asked me, then continued. “Those trees, it was Kuh who planted them. It was Kuh who aligned them that way. It’s all her creativity working here.”

I was mystified. Eversince, I felt it. That Miss Kuh Ledesma is one mystifying person. A goddess of Nature. Of Songs. Of Art.

ms. uy's daughter poses with kuh ledesma's antique and old collection of things at the background.

Malo took a break and did her chores with Miss Ledesma afterwards. It was an old friend of Miss Ledesma who so graciously accompanied me for a tour alongside the 5 hectares of land in the Hacienda.

Her name: Mrs. Jhie Elevazo.

Me and Jhie first went to an open cottage with many antique things all over. There were huge paintings at the second floor of it. And inside the cabinets were old antique radios, ancient typewriters, frames, iron machines, blowers, and many others. What a nice collection of ancient things, oh my…

At the other side were big “bauls” (treasure chests) which were so old and wooden. Amazing.

“Kuh loved to collect them”, Jhie said.

Then me and Jhie went further into the olympic-sized swimming pool at the other side. I saw more cottages. The water was so blue and so clean. I felt like I wanted to swim, but hesitated for a moment ‘coz of the concert that’s going to happen at night time.

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FAST-FORWARD:

People started to flock the Hacienda Isabella by dusk. The perfectly-designed gardens, with flowers hanging at the top of it, flickered at the moon skies. The lighting was so romantic. The feeling was somehow nostalgic. The ambience was perfect.

And Mrs. Connie Sy Uy, one of Miss Ledesma’s friends came. I stayed with her and her mom plus her two kids for the great dinner menu at the Hacienda:

The chef, I understood, was Miss Ledesma’s real sister: Miss Mavic Ledesma. She’s Chef Victoria Ybierna of Ybierna’s catering services. And the five-course set of dinner was absolutely wonderful.

the fish menu
the mango madness
the salad menu

For soup, we had Gazpacho Cold Soup. For Salad, we had Hacienda Isabella House Salad and Broccoli Salad Delight. For Pasta: Penne Pasta with Spareribs.

The main entree was the most delicious of all: Roast Chicken and White Fish in Meuniere Sauce or White Sauce with Capers and Lemon. Fantastic!

The side dish? Twice baked Potato and Rice Pilaf.

And the dessert: Mango Madness.

Ask me if I were able to eat them all, the answer was YES. I did got bloat. Because Mrs. Uy’s youngest daughter who was so kind enough not to eat her food because she preferred to eat at Pizza Hut in Tagaytay City gave me all her dinner course. Hahahayyyy!!! Aside from mine, of course. Weh!

And the concert started. The magic began to swell. But, that was a different story to tell.

Hacienda Isabella on my mind.

after the concert at the hacienda, this blogger (with bag straps and a jersey white shirt) looks further on...

ALAY-LAKAD (A PILGRIMAGE OF OUR LADY OF GOOD VOYAGE) FROM QUIAPO TO ANTIPOLO, WITH THE RAHAS!

free counters

mr. ronan li (far left) and other RAHAS

(Thanks to Mr. Ronan Li of RAHA Volunteers Fire Department for this pics.The pilgrims of this Alay-Lakad were so ecstatic after they finished the journey, as they revealed to this blogger. This blogger is a devotee of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, and The Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo (where this blogger resides) is our patron. Real-life heroes (the RAHAS) in action!–
sssip*)

the event -streamer and sponsors of the alay lakad posted on a van.

Our Lady of Good Voyage coming from Quiapo which She visited, going back home to her sanctuary in Antipolo church.


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the gathering, starting point of pilgrims in Quiapo, will start walking miles going to Antipolo church . whew!

the antipolo municipal hall and the raha's firetruck

Our Lady Of Good Voyage finally arriving at her home in Antipolo Church.

The moraculous Our Lady Of Good Voyage image on a poster/streamer.

two handsome RAHAS.