Pride is on the Line in the Philippines

CULMINATION ACTIVITY cum AWARDS NIGHT 2014

I have no idea what the title of this weekend’s activities really means, but I believe it is a special event designed to fill the void between the last village celebration and the upcoming Christmas holidays. Every barangay village has their regularly occurring annual fiesta along with a host of other “village created” activities, or as I call them, opportunities to celebrate (party). Our village is definitely no exception. I don’t mind all the ruckus actually, because it seems to contribute towards harmonious civil relations, keeping residents in a happy and festive mood. And I’m fine with all that. 

While I don’t remember any special event or activity happening in October of last year, this year is different. It seems our new Barangay Kapitan, the honorable Bernardo Gal, has decided to take his village responsibilities seriously, and personally, using a different approach – through education. Last spring, my wife and I had the privilege of entertaining Mr. Gal and a village Kagawad in our home. During our casual conversation, one of the items we discussed was pollution in the community, and while on this topic, I took the opportunity to suggest that on the whole, as a fishing village, there seemed to be a high level of disrespect for the environment and the very ocean that furnished the many residents with their livelihoods here…not to mention their main source of food. The discussion turned somewhat proactive and, with all in agreeance, the conversation ended with the confirmation that it all begins with education. Now, our brgy. Kapitan seems to have outlined his village improvement plan, which addresses the littering problem, and is well on his way with its implementation. Recently, he issued a formal challenge to the village – for each Purok to construct their own learning center where the children could congregate, read, and learn. Hence, the “Reading Center” challenge was born.

Purok 7 Reading Center

Purok 7 Reading Center

Purok 3 Reading Center

Purok 3 Reading Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycle it!

Recycle it!

So over the course of the last month, the seven Puroks of Tomaligues have risen to the challenge and have been working fervently, each to be the best in the competition of designing and building their own “Reading Center” – they seemed to have pulled out all the stops. Not only has each Purok gone the extra mile to make their own project look the best, they have all added a trash recycling center as part of the overall message of community pride. Our purok added a garden annex, complete with signs on the plants. The Grand Prize? The simple joy and excitement of beating their friends and neighbors and the added privilege of ‘Gloating’ of course! Most people who are familiar with Filipino culture know it doesn’t take much of a challenge to get them to put their talents and pride on display for a chance to be recognized. Everyone here lives for their 5 minutes of fame…as often as they can get it. Pride is probably one of the strongest motivations in all of Filipino culture, next to money of course.

Welcome To Tomaligues

Welcome To Tomaligues

In my book, our honorable barangay Chairman should be lauded for his efforts that have instilled obvious pride to the people of our village. Big change doesn’t happen overnight here in the Philippines, but when education is the key to making positive change, it doesn’t hurt to have a retired school superintendent in charge. The litter and trash collection problems are constantly being addressed, and there is obvious cohesion shown between neighbors-helping-neighbors…fixing things, sprucing up the village, doing home repairs, etc. Even a new village welcome sign has been constructed and installed. One thing I remember the U.S. Navy always impressed upon its members seems to have gone universal these days – if it doesn’t work and can’t be fixed, paint it…at least it will look good! These days, there is a lot of fixing and painting going on in our village and tonight is the big celebration!

Speaker Delivery Truck

Speaker Delivery Truck

It’s All in the Name of Pride and Recognition

Yesterday and today, boys basketball games and girls volleyball games are being played. Tonight, all the Reading Center and Sports Fest winners will be announced. The speaker delivery truck is here and I can assure you there will be loud music and dancing. All we can hope is that this project message and great community effort remain in focus…not to get lost in the name of pride and recognition…and muddled with yet another hangover. The food, beer, and brandy will be flowing. We have table reservations as special guests (we donated paint for our Reading Center and that elevates us to “special” category) and I won’t be late. Of course I will have to probably buy my own drink, but that’s okay…it’s just another day in paradise!

Purok 1 Reading Center

Purok 1 Reading Center

Purok 4 Reading Center

Purok 4 Reading Center

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purok 2 Reading Center

Purok 2 Reading Center

Purok 5 Reading Center

Purok 5 Reading Center

7 thoughts on “Pride is on the Line in the Philippines

  1. For those that are curious…the competition results for the Reading Centers are in and Purok 3 was awarded the Grand Prize the overall category. The judges decision is final….well, maybe with a small donation, they could change their minds! lol The party lasted into all hours of the night, or at least until 3am anyway. I will need all day today to recover from the after effects of that bottomless mug that seemed to never go dry!

  2. Hello I have been following your blog for sometime, my wife and I visit taft eastern samar every year I am going to get a visa for the 59 day stay but being medically retire I want to stay for 70 days, once getting here I have to reapply for another 59 days and there is only one way to do this for over 60 days, my friend who you have answered questions of his before is in borongan and has told me of what he has gone thru, and the corruption to obtain legal status there. sounds like a nightmare, and very anti tourist. As you know traveling thru tacloban because of the typhoon its not easy to get around , we were there a month after the typhoon during the holidays and from what I understand fixing things back to normal has been very slow process. so my question is, is there any way to stay for 70 days without having to travel back to manila or Cebu to stay for the extra 11 days, the consulate in Chicago said something about going to the airport for the visa extention . I am a 10 year navy vet been visiting for 40 years but have not ever stayed this long so I have very little knowledge of this subject, I’m partial blind and deaf because of a genetic kidney and have had a transplant so every thing becomes a little difficult. I have good resources there with family and homes in cavite and taft . I would to stay for the full 70 days if possible I enjoy it so much please advice me thank you and I love you articles they remind me of all the things you have experienced that I have also gone thru 39 years of a cultural marriage teaches us a lot again thank you and I look forward to your advice

    • Thanks for visiting and commenting Timothy. You can only obtain a Visa extension at an Immigration office. There is one in Calbayog or you will need to go to Tacloban or Cebu. Tacloban is much better than it was last year as we have been there twice and had no problems getting around. Of course, you could always just pay the penalty at the airport for an overstay, which in some cases could be cheaper than the total expense to travel to somewhere (travel, lodging, meals, etc.) to get the extension. Safe travels and I hope to get to the other side of the island some day.

  3. Hi Randy,

    Rules about Tourist Visa Extensions have been changed dramatically. In the 1st place when you enter the PI an American can stay for up to 30 days without an extension. Then we can get a 1 month, a 2 month or a 6 month extension, but only there at the main office in Intrmuros (Manilla). I don’t remember the exact cost, but I believe it was just over P7000 (I think 7030) AND an American at least can now stay for up to 36 months without leaving.

    • You’re right Jerry. That is why I try not to provide “Immigration” policies on this site. I can explain what I go through as related to me being a permanent resident, but as much as the rules seemingly change, I cannot provide advice other than refer folks to the source…the government Immigration Web Site. And sometimes that can lead to bigger frustrations as updating that site is never a sure or timely thing.

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