The Words of the Cadano Family
August Witnessing in Philippines
Allan C. Cadano
September 5, 2007
Manila - When I arrived last August 1, 2007 in Manila, I was blessed to be fetched at NAIA by my two spiritual sons from Ifugao and Manila, Leon and Froilan respectively. From the intl airport, we first stopped along the way, and see Manila Bay inside the Mall of Asia while refreshing with some juice amidst the hot August season.
My fist Abel-stop was the nearest from the airport Quaipo Center, offering my prayer of thanks for allowing me to step once again my "Lupang Hinirang". Although I intentionally booked that time for me to report to the Nat’l Leader, he was out of the country again. I visited to see for the first time my spiritual grandson Young Mike Allen Matbagan who was just 11 months old staying near the center in a slum area of Quiapo, Manila. He was sleepy when we arrived.
As I arrived at UM Phil HQ, I almost incidentally bumped Pres. Shirley Vergara at HQ gate rushing to proceed to UTS to greet a birthday celebrant Atty. Celso Talaba. That event made a spark of my arrival (the Filipino foods). Atty. Talaba who just recover from health problem celebrated his 47th birthday with the UTS and UM Phil affiliates and leaders. My presence in his celebration was my gift as I greeted my sp. dad happy birthday.
The Educational Input in NGIS Cavite and Bacalares Family Reunion
August 2 was my day for Cavite, Philippines as I booked to share to the New Generation Intl School my experiences and knowledge about the Japanese Educational System and programs good to be studied and taken as a challenge. I met the Board of Directors and after Mr. Bernard dela Cruz introduced me to the group, I was given a time to share what I believe is good as input for the educational needs for Philippines.
I also toured to visit the 2-year old school which now has Early Childhood Education (kindergarten) program, the Elementary Education Program and the Secondary Education Program in just two years. Congratulations to the home members of Cavite who initiated a very momentous educational institution. After that, I got a chance to meet the Bacalares family through the help of Mr. Dela Cruz. Zinc’s four kids Chie Grace, Hanna, Hazel and Lemuel are growing up quickly.
Meeting Dan and Grace Eston
August 3 at 1 a.m. was a time to meet and talk to the matching partner of my youngest sp son Dan Eston. She is Mary Grace and we share lots of things as our acquaintance. In the morning after breakfast, I went to Dau, Pampanga to meet personally for the first time my sp son Daniel. He testified that it was only during that time that he was matched and accepted her partner when he could truly smile in his life. I met Daniel only through cyberspace and the technology became my medium in witnessing him to join back after his retirement from the US military.
Bound to La Union
I proceeded to La Union after that meeting to meet Peace Ambassador and Mrs. Felix Sanchez for a family fellowship with them. It is part of my witnessing to meet the couple who still have to complete their 4PF as blessed family. My prayer condition for them pushed me to personally talk to them and our frequency were just the same. I hope and pray for their success. I spend my night at my home with my other sp son Fredie Solis, who is the caretaker of my house in Baccuit Norte, Bauang. He also shared to me his recent civil wedding held in Thailand with his spouse Orasa.
First Part of Fil Vision Business Conference
August 4 and 5 was a 2-day Business Conference of the Fil Vision company and an assembly meeting with La Union members. After a morning walk and beach swimming, we started the conference by visiting the tomb of Bro. Zinc Bacalares in San Fernando Memorial Park, who was one of the prime investors of the Fil Vision.
The Fil Vision Business Conference set the agenda on Evaluating the first 5 years of the company, restructuring and expanding. As the management is so loaded already, it was decided to hire a fulltime TP-based licensed engineer who shall be trained to be with the management in handling the construction department.
Another opportunity was seen as there is a 2-storey commercial space open for lease in-front of DMMMSU MLUC and along the highway in SanFdo. It also made a new dream of having a 21-year development plan for La Union Providence centering on the Fil Vision and the LiSO Foundation Inc.
It sets a goal of having its own real property, a lot in the first five years and have its building in the next succeeding years. This will push through with the cooperation and team work of all La Union alumni and home members.
Although Fil Vision is an economic arm of La Union, it is a private corporation set to live for the vision of the Filipinos in La union and Philippines. Moreover, the individual support and cooperation of every alumnus is a big count to build the dream. I give my commitment to this 21-year dev plan. The Sanchez, Magangat, Anin, Solis, Padasas, De Loza, Matbagan and Cadano were all in the business conference.
On the eve of August 4, Tagudin WCARP invited La Union for their Fellowship. Together with Mrs. Dulce Buyayo, Ambassador Sanchez and I were elders who meet and talked with the students and Tagudin family members. I also met Rey Leonen and his blessed family in there, and enjoy the Ilocano foods as well where most of the vegetables were from Rey’s farm.
I was so surprised on the dancing skill of a 5-year old 2nd gen child of Alma and Serge Degamo who lead Tagudin Center, based at the house of Thelma (?)
The expected arrival of Pres Nituma and VP Edmon Pacson for the Tagudin Fellowship didn’t happen. I had no choice but to be there and speak on their behalf before the Tagudin students and home members in the spirit of co-ownership.
After the Fellowship, we went back to finish the part two of the business conference focusing on the restructuring proposed by Bro Felix during our telephone talk last July.
Fil Vision Business Conference
The 2nd 5-year Dev Plan of Fil Vision becomes a part of the 21-year Dev Plan of La Union which targets the acquisition of a real property, a lot where a building can be constructed to accommodate dispensational and providential programs. The call from every La Union alumni to cooperate and help is declared on that conference. The Fil Vision commits to acquire the real property in one to 3 years while I commit to share my savings for it.
To upgrade the Fil Vision’s Design and Construction Dept, Engr Anin is strongly recommended to join the team in order to lessen the workload of Bro Felix who manages the whole firm. Part of the expansion was to open up the Fil Vision’s proposed Com-puto at Kape dot.com. Leon Magangat Jr. is tasked to plan, manage and operate it with Mr, Nuesca to join too. Investors are welcome too in this project. Other project like eatery was proposed. It was also mentioned that Mrs. Heidi Matbagan be called to help in the accounting works of Fil Vision. In this case, the staff will systematically fill in the many workloads to finish.
Bros. King, Leon and I slept at the Sanchez home that night. The following day, August 5, a Pledge ceremony was held downstairs. A more internal HDH message was talked about 4PF and Blessing Trinity roles among the attendees.
After breakfast, we proceeded to the center for the La Union Assembly and Sunday Service where a Holy Wine Ceremony was conducted for special friends and members. Mr. Nuesca, Joriz, Elvira, Joseph and Ricky were looking new but old faces to see that time.
Baguio WCARP Joint Induction
After lunch, Bro Felix brought us to Baguio to attend the Joint WCARP Induction Program held at SSS Bldg. Vice Mayor Farinas spoke in behalf of the guest speaker Mayor Ray Bautista. Pres. Aldrin Nituma, and VP Edmon Pacson of WCARP Phil were the keynote speakers together with SFP Pres. Caroline Ninonuevo. I was tasked to give a closing remark on the affair.
A dinner was hosted by the Buyayo’s at Baguio Center where most of the NW Region leaders were present including Francis Javier of Laoag Center.
A Dream with Nature
Although it was a personal dream, not after I saw one evening about 2 or 3 months age on the 2nd quarter of this year on how Japan in its TV program happily appreciates the Rice Terraces in the Philippines that I planned to fulfill that dream. Ifugao is a home to a thriving ancient culture and host to the famous rice terraces carved from the base of the mountainsides to the top, which appear to be massive green stairways reaching to the sky.
Knowing that my dear sp. son and friend Leon Magangat Jr. is from Ifugao, I plan and calendar within the Bon Holiday on August 5 to 8, 2007 our mountain climbing to reflect with the nature and see how man and nature could harmoniously be united peacefully and exist eternally. To reach the top, view the nearest angle before the Him and see the big responsibility below, whisper some words to Him and document the art of man’s traditional but majestic dealing with nature were all set as goals.
Bound to Ifugao
After the dinner in Baguio last Agust 5, Leon and I proceeded to Ifugao via Santiago, Isabela. We transit in Santiago at around 6 am the following day and reached Mayoyao almost 12 noon of August 6 where the nature is so fresh to welcome us. Loen’s mom Mrs. Magangat and his brother Randy welcome us in their house and offered us a lunch and accommodation.
My first outdoor in Mayoyao, Ifugao started at around 1:00pm in August 6, 2007. Although it was a bit showering, I told Leon that our itinerary should go on rain or shine. The first mountain we climbed was that hill where the WW II Japanese beheaded-soldiers were entombed. It was very timely to be attuned to the 62nd anniversary of the end of WWII in August 1945.
The place which was a cave-shaped is known as Mass Tomb of WWII Japanese soldiers in Mayoyao, Ifugao. My friend Leon briefed me on the history that at the last stage of combat years between the Japanese and the Allied forces during the WWII, the Japanese forces who were occupying the Mountain Provinces and Ifugao were grounded by the American and Allied Forces. Ifugao became one of the centers of warfare during the last stages of World War II in the Philippines.
It was in Ifugao, particularly in Mt. Napulawan, where General Yamashita, the known "Tiger of Malaya," decided to put his last stand against the Filipino and American forces. The Japanese have no choice but to climb the peaks of the mountains rather than be captured by the Allied Forces who were at the lower grounds. The peaks of Ifugao including Mt. Napulawan and Mayoyao became their dead-end when the Allied Forces caught them. It was said that along the way, General Yamashita hid his treasures along the way while escaping from the Allied Forces. In September 2, 1945 he informally surrendered from his hideout in Hungduan town to Captain Grisham of the 6th US Army in the Philippines, based in Kiangan, Ifugao, before he was flown to Camp John Hay where he formally surrendered.
I offered prayers in front of the mass tomb and pray for the eternal repose of the souls of the Japanese soldiers. Leon as a guide served as my photographer. There was a rocky hill nearby which is partly torn obviously by man. Some pieces of rocks from there may have been used to build the tomb for the soldiers. The hill is overlooking the valley of Mayoyao Municipality where inhabitants are growing peacefully and customarily.
The opposite mountain where a cell site was already built was taller that the first one. My guide helped me conquer it as it was challenging to reach it where you can see the terraces of rice field gold at harvest time. Noticeably, there are few houses already in the midst of the rice terraces. Layer of the rice terraces are wider and its slope is not as steep as Batad or Banaue. Some big stones are natively arranged as a sitting-bench on a hillside where one can enjoy the freshness of air, the terrace of nature and the majesty of nature as art full of beauty, harmony and purity.
Noticeably, there are rare plants along the trail, ferns on those mountains. One flower that shapely looks very similar to a man’s sexual body part has some juice in it. Leon told me to taste it as it has a mineral water. He said, when they were young boys playing after school time, it is their fun to drink it to help them go on in their youthful games. Giant ferns are so beautiful and asparagus plants as well are present. Wild flowers and birds sing in rhythm to be with you in that trail.
The 2nd day was set to a far bit mountain infamous as the site where the killed Peace Corps Volunteer Julia Campbell was found. Mt. Batad although part of Banaue is a mountain trail where going up will give you a far overview of the rice terraces is needed. To go down again a trail is needed in order to have frontal view of the nicely crafted rice terraces. It was on this down-trail where Ms Campbell was found.
Eventually, it was starting on this up-trail that I challenged myself to feel and be like a full-blooded Igorot to wear the g-string gift to me by Leon. It was a route with a prayer and meditation to engage myself with the nature and the culture of the inhabitants therein. Leon and I prayed for Julia Campbell and the forefathers who made the great architectural treasure manifesting the ownership-responsibility of dominating properly the God-made creations.
Julia, the Peace Corps was a free-lance journalist before she came to Philippines. In her blog, she said: "At the age of 38, I decided to step out of the rat race of New York, join the Peace Corps and board a plane for Manila." She lived in a nipa hut in Donsol, Sorsogon, without running water, and delighted in the care and attention of the townsfolk. Apart from her teaching, she had another project, a Marine Ecology Learning Center called Bahay Kalikasan that would teach "environmental science for children, solid waste management seminars for adults and … create livelihood programs for the local fishermen."
She was later reassigned to the big city, Legazpi, still a whole day’s drive south of Manila, where she taught English and organized English-language training seminars. She went missing in April this year in Banaue, some 10 hours north of Manila and famous for the rice terraces carved on the mountainside. At the time of her death, she was one of 167 Peace Corps volunteers assigned to the Philippines.
We took a trail going down. A steep trail was more challenging when wet slippery rocks could pull you down like what it did to me. That consumed our whole morning time for Batad.
After Batad, we proceeded to the famous Banaue Rice Terraces using a bus. Although the mountain side of the road is almost fully occupied by commercial stalls displaying souvenir items. The majesty of the rice terraces prevail as a world-class wonder. Being one of the "Eight Wonders of the World," the Banaue Rice Terraces start from the base of the mountain range and reach up to several thousand feet high.
It is said that their length, put end to end, would encircle half of the globe. From left to right and beyond 180 degrees, the ranges of mountains were fully dominated by the native skills of these Filipinos called Ifugao with their agricultural dream of having a plain land to plant their rice on the midst of high altitudinal mountain ranges and hills.
Made 2,000 years ago, these rice terraces manifest the engineering skill and ingenuity of the sturdy Ifugao. Streams and springs found in the mountains were tapped and channeled into irrigation canals that run downhill through the rice terraces. Several viewers are even attracted to go down the stream to enjoy the water bathing them.
In Banaue, the famous terraces had been inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1995 as "a continuing cultural landscape" and likewise considered by the U.S. Association of Civil Engineers as an engineering marvel built by unschooled and free men not of slave labor. A UNESCO marker proudly stands in one of the view-alleys there.
It was a credit to the inherent wisdom of the Ifugao forefathers that a forest and watershed management system was instituted to help sustain the terraces that serve as the basic food source of the sturdy Ifugaos.
The Ifugao native huts could probably be among the world’s first prefabricated houses that do not use a single nail or metal to fasten their parts.
During my time to enjoy the architectural harmony of the rice terraces, several tourists at my side appreciate and enjoy too the harmony expressed by the terraces. One of them I heard was saying, "Kawai desu ni". And I confirmed that he and his companions were Nihon-jin together with a few of his friends giving their o-bon holiday to the famous Rice Terraces in the Philippines.
According to Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Amb. Ryuchiro Yamazaki, who will soon be replaced by Amb. Makoto Katsura, "there are 400,000 Japanese tourists who come to Philippines every year to deepen their mutual understanding and enjoy the beauty of the Philippines." Aside from them, other Asian tourists were notably present. Another team of US tourists who, after enjoying Banaue, went to Mayoyao Rice Terraces but left all their admiration to the hand-made architectural treasure of the native Filipinos.
Late of August 7, after two days in Ifugao, my guide and I took a bus bound to NCR region. Eventually, as there was a typhoon coming, we stopped over at Malolos, Bulacan and visited Leon’s wife and his 2 children in there. That was about an hour before Metro Manila. We arrive there before sunrise of the following day.
As the weather was not cooperative, we stayed at home. The two blessed kids Benedict or Bench, 4 yrs old and Sunjo Matthew, 1 year old are so active and aggressive to play. After breakfast, I find time to teach the kids a few action song. But more triggering was the time I had to give a random DP lecture to the daughter of Randy named Myra T. Magangat, who was at Leon’s house at that time. It was a nice time to share to her through a one-on-one lecture the Principle of Creation focusing on the Purpose of Life, The Fall of Man and the Mission of Jesus. Myra is bound to a college study but financial difficulty limited her.
Sis. Gay Navarro, the area leader of Malolos also incidentally arrived and we had a little sharing and prayer. She is so active in her being the lay leader in their area too.
Cielo, Leon’s wife prepared a very delicious native dish of Bulacan, the Ginataang pinakbet, was so nice for a balikbayan, and other native dish like the sinigang, the paksiw and others. Lunch and diner were so nicely prepared by Cielo. Kudos to her!
I never forget the Aug 8 in the evening my meeting with the NL as he called me when I was in Ifugao. But when I arrived in HQ, I was informed that he was again in Iloilo. I have no other choice but give my time to HQ staff members at the time. I got a chance to visit Edwin Lopez with Randy in Libis, Quezon City that night instead. The following day, August 9, I have to go with Bro. Domino Bactong, the driver of NL to enable to surely have a time to talk to him.
I met Kuya Mike at the airport and we proceeded to Makati for a lunch and talk together with Ryan Ilustrisimo and Ulyssis Dafon who were both bound to USA. Our talk was more on a fellowship as we enjoy the Filipino dishes but I see to it to also bring to his attention matters that I need to report to him personally. I always put it in my heart his question on when will I go back to the frontline again for the mission.
Bound to Davao
August 10 was Kuya Mike’s schedule to go to USA for the Fil-Am Family Convention while it was also my time to proceed to my birthplace, Davao City and visit my ailing mom and some of my brothers and relatives. I stayed in Davao until early morning of the 13th as my flight back to Manila was 13th. But I really enjoy the timely arrival that Davao’s Kadayawan welcome us at the very arrival area in Davao Airport. thanks to the dance troupe who share not only their skills but a heart to welcome us back in the city.
I took a chance to visit first Davao Center since none from my brothers could fetch me at the airport. I met Prince Acosta and, Cora Ampo and have a wonderful talk with them. Cora and her husband alter invited me to a letchon lunch. After that Cora brought me to my Manong Boy’s office at the downtown of Davao.
I was so happy to see my Manong Boy, our eldest brother once again. After Sis. Cora Ampo left back to her place, my brother and I visited first my Uncle Terry and Aunt Geling Desierto in their place near Bolton Isla. I met them and my cousin Rebecca too. It was so hot that time. We proceeded to Toril at our family house then. However, Mamang was not around. Manong Boy has to go back to his work asap that time. I got a nap time after those hours of travel while waiting for my mom to arrive.
From letchon to durian, to rambutan, lansones, buko, marang and other delicious fruits in Davao to the good and nutritious vegetables and fish and you will eagerly say, Philippines is a heaven to live.
Mom and I visited the tomb of my Papang and stated words of prayers for his eternal dwelling in God’s home. After there, we visited Edgar’s house where his friend Raymundo "Mondoy" Chatto is taking care of some agricultural piggery projects. He made us a lunch for that day and as Michael came by, we proceeded to have a swim in the nearby beach. That was a nice time with nature again.
Davao Center and a renuion-testimony sharing
The following day August 12, was my schedule to give my testimony to Davao FFWPU Center. Before proceeding to the center, Michael and I dropped by at Manong Boy’s house in Farlandville, Dumoy, Toril, Davao City. We just have a few minutes of chat but I have to hurry to make sure that we reached the center timely.
Prince Acosta of Davao FFWPU Center introduced me after the HDH reading and I shared more about vision-based activities aligned to programmed mission. I also shared a summary of my 27 years being with the Unification Movement and what lessons to learn after that period of time.
One fact was, in 1980, Davao Center was a rented place and until today, although it is a different location, the center is still a rented place and not a property of its own. Perhaps from there, you can see what differs before and after 27 years. The absence of a vision and the unclear programming of its missions and activities to be aligned to its set vision appeared as a causal problem of under-development.
I mentioned the messages of HJN about strategic alignment of WCARP activities to its set vision, mission and goals or VMG and offered a testimony on how a non-popular center in La Union could stand in its difficult years even during those recent years that their leaders were called to the national frontline. Fil Vision of La Union was shared and I gave them idea on how to start even from among a few home members.
It was also my time to meet my old friend and spiritual mom Myriam Cabillon who got married and blessed to Peddie Vilbar. I met their two sons Hyojin and their autistic younger son. They hosted us to a restaurant outside named Banok’s together with Prince’s family and enjoy the lunch in there.
HW at cousin’s house
But I have to save my time and have to visit also my cousin’s house in SIR, Talomo. Raul Desierto married to a public school teacher resides in that placed owned by his brother Rolando. But they have stayed there for more than 15 years. Raul was not around. I talked to the wife and after some sharing I offered a holy wine to her in a very simple ceremony.
Michael brought me back to Toril. When we arrived, Michael’s father, Nestor invited us to go to the fruit-farm in Okoy to have some fruits from there. It was a pleasant time to be with the fruit-trees in there again, lanzones, rambutan, durian, buko, marang to name a few.
A simple family Holy Wine Ceremony and salo-salo
During the evening of August 12 was a family salo-salo that I called together with my family-members around, Manong Boy’s family came at first, Manong Florie’s family came too except him who was in Naga at the time, Dave’s 2 children also came, Frank surprised us to come with his girlfriend. Michelle, who was set to go to her office work also came and we shared her something to take in advance for that. Poe’s family could not come as he called. His schedule was just so hectic having his nursing class and has to report for his hospital duty until early morning.
Raymundo "Mondoy" Chatto, Edgar’s care-taker also came while Nestor Caalim’s family is just with us in that family house. As I have offered the holy wine last year to same group, I just invited those who were not with me last year and offered them a holy wine. Raymundo Chatto received the holy wine that night.
Back to Manila
At early morning of August 13, I was fetched by my eldest brother to go back to the airport bound for Manila. It was a very limited but wholesome 3 day-visit to my ailing mom who was schedule again that day to see her doctor for her dental care.
When arrived at Davao Airport, I tried to peep-in at Ruby and Poe's business stall inside the airport. Luckily, I met Poe who just opened up and manage the store at that very early start of the day. He looks so big and a real Cadano in terms of size. He is fat and so early to be bald being our youngest in the family. He hugged me and I felt speechless to see him. But I was just so limited to have a time with him as it was my boarding time already. A last two-minute affair with my brother Poe.
I arrived at the Manila airport and so lucky to have Bros. Domino and Ryan fetching me there to go back to UM hq.
My August 13 and 14 were more on my preparations and wrapping up as I was bound to go back to Japan early of August 15. However, I set a time for the Cavite's request for me to have another time to share with them on educational programs and system. I looked on technical matters like my documents, cd files to be sure that all the history are recorded and could be reported to the Lords.
My extra time was sharing with the brothers and sisters like Leonardo Saripa, Paul Uba and giving testimonies and guidance with them informally and during their evening meeting particularly with HQ Administrative Officer Roland Alcayaga and his staff.
I am thankful to Froilan, Leon, Domino, Ryan, Ulyssis and others who were just there behind in all these calendared activities. My heart is re-charged bound to the "lonely place" of Japan.
Thank you very much. May this sharing give you some inspirations as well.