September 6 marks my one year as a lingkod barangay.

I remember how Kaps fought the council, threatening them with dereliction of duty for non-concurrence to his appointed replacement of a resigned kagawad. The appointee’s records of educational attainment and experience were reduced to just one qualification: not insane. I wonder if that one still holds true to this lingkod barangay a year after.

My baptism-of-fire was the campaign for the Basketball Court in Cableway Road as the site of the Covered Court. On the warfront, Kaps and I stood our grounds fending off accusations and tirades that almost went personal. On the war room, I wrote series of articles, explaining why the Cableway Road is the best site compared to the Pritil favored by 7 kagawads. We created a blog to post these articles, e-mailed to friends, sent to Sangguniang Bayan, and distributed to kabarangays for reading. Kaps and I were the kontabidas in this telenovela which ended happily to our favor. Thanks to the enlightenment of kabarangays and Governor Ito Ynares.

It’s because of my image- masungit, mataray, laging marunong, ma-epal and outspoken. My pangungulit would embarrass maid Miriam. But just to drive home the message, although a bit hard sell, – I am here, with you, one of you, for you in this common ground called Calumpang Kong Hirang.

I should have hired a public relations outfit to do image building. But kunat as this one is, she prepares to do her make-over, block-by- block beginning with the Barangay Tanod. Almost every Saturday night, I am with them, settling cases, being a mediator, but most of the time, an executioner. I break bread and sip coffee with the guys, even accompany them to sitios na mabato, maputik, matarik na  ako ay  naka two-inches heels!  Who could beat that? Half a year, I seemed to be the undisputed Reyna ng mga Barangay Tanod. With a younger Hepe on my right  and an elder Lupon on my left . Kaps must be dying in laughter and envy! hahaha!

Kaps is my balance. At times he would caution me “I am afraid of what you are doing” “ Then, back me up!”. And if it’s he who is not sure of the outcome, “Then I am behind you, ready to run away at the first instance ha-ha”. Kaps and I would be a perfect tandem in the likes of Batman & Robin, Boy & Kris, Pooh & Pokwang, and this one I dread most, Manny & Aling Dionesia Pacquiao. Huh!

One or two do not have the monopoly of good intention but others must be prodded into the belief that money is not the solution in (or the reason for) doing things. It’s the passion, relentless pursuit of the one great cause, no matter what it takes. Begin with the little causes that would make a difference in other people’s lives. I know every public servant harbors that sentiment, only it is beclouded by other interests. I am naïve, perhaps, I am being influenced by May Bukas Pa dictum, maybe. But that is the bedrock of my paglilingkod.

Sa paglilibot sa barangay nakita ko ang mga istoryang akala ko’y nasa komiks lang. Little boys, 5 to 8 years old, eking out a living by bote- garapa – kariton, traversing the streets barefooted. A wife who, at 30, looks like my older sister and has six mouths to feed, asking the Barangay to require her husband to support the children. An old woman residing in an abode that is no better than a dog’s house. Of course, she is a squatter, and would you believe, there are about 500 families who have no land of their own in this barangay? A battered kinakasama who could not leave her man because she has no one but him. Or a magdaragat who could hardly make both ends meet because maramot na ang lawa.

I would write their stories, the nakakasurot, nakakakurot, nakakapaluha, nakakapangiti. For people to know. Bahala na sila kung anong gusto nilang reaction duon.

I would bundle the stories under the title “Para kay lol”, out of sheer madness! But then, knowing how things would be just a laughing out loud, I delete and instead type “ Para sa Calumpang Kong Hirang”.

As an appointed lingkod barangay, I did not make explicit promises of what I would do. But in my mind I outlined them in areas where I am good at. The write ups – there is the mini-dyaryo on its third issue. The exposures – the d2sacalumpang blog, the facebook, the Calumpang Kong Hirang exhibit. The examples – programs, organization, training people. If I am to be weighed now, in my heart, I know I would not be found wanting.

Is this a swan song? A note of leaving? The Great Scriptwriter in the sky has yet to give me a new assignment. And I have to consult the stars in my constellation, if they would gravitate towards my next orbit.

Meanwhile, it’s September, it’s raining and reminiscing a year after I started serving a cause greater than the self.



5 thoughts on “JUST BECAUSE!!

  1. Reyana ng BT:
    so sorry i missed this. whenever i open the site, my instinct bring my eyes to the comments, i forgot really nakaisang taon ka na pala. sa akin kasi, feeling ko ten years ka ng kagawad: sa dami ng napuntahan mong lugar, sa dami ng kasong nakaharap mo, sa dami ng kinonsulta mo, sa dami ng perang lumabas sa masikip mong bulsa ( hek hek hek), sa dami ng hits ng d2sacalumpang, sa dami ng newsletter na naipamudmod,sa dami ng naiinis sa yo (at sa akin).. who would have thought ONE YEAR ka pa lang. i am excited for the years to come… given that very small time you have done wonders for the barangay and taga calumpang and you have made us proud (lalo na ako. i can always look back at my decision to appoint you, and with my head held high.. tama ako.. guided ako ni bro ng panahong isugal ko ang appointment mo) .
    i hate to even think that this is your swan song.. wag naman.. marami pa tayong babakahin.. may ipapagawa pa tayong kalsada..
    thank you for your dedication and the level of professionalism and efficiency that you have shown.. you gave people reason to respect people in public service.. from the bottom of my heart.. salamat at kasama kitang naglilingkod, kasama ka naming mangangarap at isasakatuparan ang mga mithiin ng ating mga INDAY (at ng di-Inday).
    sorry for missing this nung mainit init pa.. anyway.. namasamasa pa rin ang aking mata (misty-eyed by ito sa ingles).. damang dama ko ang kadalisayan ng iyong hangaring maglingkod.. there might be more things in store for you.. the pieces of the puzzle will fall in its proper places..just like ng maging Kagawad ka, it was never planned.. because it is meant to be.
    kasama mo akong mananalangin for discernment so that God in His Infinite Wisdom will lead you to where you should be and not where you want to be. Congratulations on your anniversary.. parang di ka nagpakain.. yun ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit nalimutan ko… he he he

  2. Hi Bill:

    thanks.. it is a delight getting rave reviews from people like you.. hope to hear from you in the future.

    kap Jolan

  3. Rowena,

    Simple life is an understatement. Complicated is more like it. Yakapin ba naman ang brotherhood ng barangay, kasama ang kakontra at intriga?

    Ala psychiatrist is muy esposo’s forte. “ Why be serious when most of your colleagues are taking it lightly?” Di ba sabi ko na para yatang sumpa itong paniniwala na “if we push hard and write strongly enough, the people will rise as a body and do something?”

    Sinumang nakatikim ng bolyak ng tadhana ay hihinto at mag-iisip: anong leksiyon ba ang dapat matutunan? And must be given a time to grieve.

    Sure, I’ll stay focused. Kapjo would like you to join the comradeship of Quixotic midset – paglilingkod ng walang halong pag-iimbot, pagbibigay ng walang hinihintay na kapalit, pagsintang labis at makapangyarihan hindi sa isang tao kundi sa Calumpang Kong Hirang. (Super korny!)

    Salamat din, Kaibigan. Hindi na kailangan ang paumanhin. A chuckle will do.

    d mo ba nakita yung application ko sa quixotic ek ek.. yung nawala kong posts ay about doon sa kelan sobra at kelan kulang..
    nung galing ako sa meeting ng Youth Empowerment Soc Philippines Chapter (with my favorite chef), d bat ako nga ay d sadyang nasa gitna ng sitwasyong me taga-calumpang na nakakulong na kailangang ipakiusap sa mga napagkasalahang tanod ng kabilang barangay.. inabot ako ng 530 am sa pag shuttle sa barangay at munisipyo… 630 am eto na naman yung mga kaanak at akoy ginigising (d pa man nakatulog) at sa dahilang ako daw ang susi upang mapaglubag loob ng kapitan ng kabilang barangay… before 930 am ay ating naayos sabay rinig ng kantyaw ng kapulisan na “mabuti nayaya nyo si kap jo..d mahilig makiusap yan sa mga ganyang kaso ng indirect assault”
    i went home.. tried to sleep (na medyo elusive). ang aking tinulungang makalabas ay isang taong bumastos sa akin ng walang dahilan.. wala lang.. type lang mambastos (it was a good thing i was no0t there.. alimuom na lang ang nakarating s akin).. naawa ako sa mga kaanak nyang halos magsikip ang dibdib sa kahihiyang ginawa ng kanilang kadugo.. in fairness, nakiusap din namn yong sangkot.. yong sangkot na sya ring nakulong that fateful sunday morn..
    tama b ang ginawa ko? ang totoo d ko alam.. nagpatianod lang ako sa daloy ng pakiusap.. tulak ng konsyensyang sumisigaw ng pabulong.. basta taga-calumpang.. tulungan mo… ewan ko.. d ko pa rin alam..

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