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FEATURE STORY

The dream of a road that leads to a dream

 

O

nce a upon a time, in the wilderness of Northern Luzon was a place inhabited by people of dark races with beautiful women and men that can only be described as tall, dark and handsome.  The people depends their livelihood solely in agriculture tilling the land for a living with rice as their staple food. Their mountains were carved with rice terraces with their virgin dipterocarp forest filled with trees and wild games providing them the necessary lumber and food. Their settlement area was bisected with a river that provides them fishes and other calcium-rich creatures like shells.  It was then a paradise with the inhabitants living in harmony with nature.

 

The place was now called Tanudan.

 

On the other side of the world called America, the people are pegged on their television screen to witness in awe a great event that will change the history of mankind.  Their fellow Americans are going towards the moon and to set foot on it. 

And then on the Moon…a touchdown! Neil Armstrong had his first step on the Moon and said, “That small step of man, a giant leap for Mankind”.

Going back to Tanudan, some privilege few who had radio sets heard the news of men who went to the moon.  They said, “napan ti tao ejay bulan, ngem awan pay kalsada ejay Tanudan” (“The Moon had been traversed by man yet still there is no road leading to Tanudan”).

 

A dream of a road for Tanudan seems to remain a dream.  However, with the enthusiasms and prayers of people, their leaders started clamoring and demanding for assistance from different sources and agencies of the government.  Little by little, one step at a time, the dream started to turned into a reality.  Inch by inch, a road is now being lead to Tanudan.  There’s no going back, not even an inch, a road must go to Tanudan.

 

At present, an all-weather road had already reached the four barangays of Lower Tanudan.  Another semi-seasonal road reached Upper Tanudan and a seasonal road is geared towards middle Tanudan that includes the settlement area of the tribe of Taloctoc and Mangali.

 

With the entry of CHARMP2, the hope of an extended and an all-weather road to the coverage area of Anggacan and Anggacan Sur was reflected in the PPIP.  The road to Anggacan is the key to the entry of road to the five barangays of the tribe of Mangali.  This is even the first step for a road that will meet the Upper Tanudan road in the barangay of Lubo.  Once the road will meet, it will now be a circumferential road connecting literally all barangays of Tanudan. 

 

So, the dream continued.  An elder said that Tanudan was once a paradise without a road. He added saying, “I believe that Paradise is now modernized crisscrossed with roads, we dream of same roads in Tanudan”.

 

While the Anggacan and Anggacan Sur finally expressed the need of a road, it seems it does not qualify to the criteria set by the CHARMP2.  The road they are referring to is a new opening and CHARMP wants at least a proposal for a repair or rehabilitation of an existing road.  The barangay officials of both barangays now seem to face a blank wall of empty solutions picking nothing for possible remedies.  All of a sudden, a weird idea came from a divine source conveyed to another elder’s mind suggesting that the road will be open first by any volunteer philanthropist. Possible philanthropists were listed and among targets included the provincial government and the congressional district office.

 

The barangay officials then marched in caravan to the Provincial Office carrying the packet of request to their target.  After hopping-in in the office of the Provincial Governor with Governor Jocel C. Baac ready to hear their outcry, the officials started talking in synchrony using their rehearsed conversation.  As it was carefully planned, the officials talks with the best of their persuasive styles to ensure a positive reply from the Governor.  Then, a moment of silence filled the room when waiting for the response.  After probably 15 seconds of the deafening silence, the governor suddenly said, “let’s see”.

 

After calls after calls, the Governor then again faced his audience and concluded saying, “ok let’s open the road to make it qualify for a CHARMP intervention”.  The officials then roared in astonishment producing various sounds coming from the throat and mouth as a sign of satisfaction.  Faces of delight and gladness occupied the room each one flashing smiles showing moma-painted teeth though others are toothless. 

 

The Governor’s commitment was not blown in the wind.  After two months, bulldozers and other equipment came roaring into the cliffs between barangay Taloctoc and Anggacan.  A road is now on its way of being engraved along the mountainsides to the delight of children watching.  The sounds of the equipment were so strange to the place that the sound of roaring engines kept echoing along the stretch of the Tanudan River below the construction. P7 Million was spent on it.

 

Last summer, on the on-set of the election, the road going to Anggacan Sur lead the first ever passenger vehicles going to the territory of the Mangali Tribe.  It was the first in the history of the place that a passenger vehicle rests on the area.  Other vehicles started to pour-in especially to adventurers using motorcycles.  The time going to Mangali has been cut-short of more or less six hours.

 

On the drawing room at the Provincial Eng’g Office, engineers started their task of producing the designs and estimates of the road leading to Tanudan entitled Rehabilitation of Dalnacan-Taloctoc-Anggacan FMR.  On the part of the CMO, meetings after meetings were also being conducted for the social preparation and finding solutions to the Right-Of-Way.  For the Municipal Counterparts, the MPDC is also cramming making the Feasibility Study and other needed documents.

 

The documents were then packed, compiled and submitted to the PSO-CHARMP2.  After thorough scrutiny of the documents and series of back and forth and forth and back from PCO to PSO, the project was finally approved. The approved budget was P20 Million Pesos with CHARMP2 handling P12Million, DA-USEC handling P6Million while the PLGU will handle P2Million.

 

However, like all other interventions, there are also some controversies that erupted after the project approval and after the project had just started.  Some different notions came concluding that the road project is not actually benefiting the CHARMP2 coverage but intended for Taloctoc.  This was concluded since the budget is really intended from Dalnacan until Taloctoc only.  Most of all, there is a portion in Taloctoc in which the section called Bukay is so severe that it is the most problematic section.  It is clayish and muddy that all kinds of vehicle will be stuck to its spell. After the first attempt to rehabilitate, the section was still the same.  No vehicle can still passed through it.  Pressure on the social concern builds up at the CHARMP2 and PEO staff.

Through the PMET and barangay officials of the two barangays, the issue was raised to the PMG level and the PMG recommended the Provincial Infra Committee (PIC) to look into the detail.  The group was then invited during the PIC meeting expressing their notions.  With the wisdom of the PIC Chairperson Eng’r Domingo A. Bakilan, the PA of Kalinga, and the members of PEO Staff, they explained with inducement to the PMETs the reasons why the portion between Mangali and Taloctoc is not included in the approved budget.  They also explained the technicalities involved in the Bukay section.

 

As a bonus to the earnestness of the PMET and the barangay officials, a P3.2 Million was committed for the section of the Taloctoc- Anggacan Section to be implemented after the CHARMP2 funded road on year 2014. 

 

At present, the Rehabilitation of Dalnacan-Taloctoc-Anggacan FMR is now on-going with a physical accomplishment of 46% as of August, 2013.  The section of Bukay is strictly being monitored by the PEO so as to insure that it will function as expected. 

 

When the Governor had a confrontation with the Mangali Tribe held at the Provincial Capitol, he stressed his concerned on development on the Municipality of Tanudan saying he is very supportive to road projects.  He was quoted as saying, “the road to development is the road itself”.

 

The Municipal Mayor, Hon. Johnwell Tiggangay also provided assurance of his support to road projects and that of the CHARMP2.  During the MMG meeting at Seet attended by municipal employees and CHARMP PCO Staff, he said that he will give counterparts to Infra proposals.  He also said that we need to make dreams that will give encouragement and motivation for us to do a better work. The dream is the development of Tanudan.

 

Summing up all the dreams – of the CHARMP2, the Provincial Government, the Municipal Government, the barangay constituents – leads us to conclude that we are projecting a vision of a paradise crisscrossed with road network.  All these dreams were outputs of dreams coming true right in front of our very eyes. It seems after a dream is another dream.

It is conclusive that the vision of the Component 1 for a strong and viable PO, of the Component 2 of a green and healthy forest, AAIGA’s gainfull livelihood programs and RID’s sustainable infrastructures are all roads of achieving a paradise in Tanudan. 

An elder once expressed his taught to CHARMP saying “saan koma nga toy kalsada ti tagtagainep tayo no di ket jay epekto ti kaadda ti kalsada….agmula tayo ti mapan tayo ilako ta isu ti nayun ti pagbiag tayo” (our dream is not the road but life after the road…we need to produce crops for sale as a source of livelihood).

 

Yes, the road that was once an impossible dream is now leading us to another dream – a paradise in Tanudan. 

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