“Gamay nalang Ting, hapit na gyud matuman imo pangandoy.”
So said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to 14-year-old Vicente “Titing” Mulato as they met again for the second time in the upland Sitio Taguini, Barangay Caurasan in the northern town of Carmen on a Sunday noon, October 11.
Mulato was then 13 years old when he met the governor for the first time in Sitio Siotes, Barangay Caurasan in October 2019 during her return to the upland barangay almost 15 years since she planted an acacia tree together with the late Carmen Mayor Virginio “Benyung” Villamor in November 4, 2004.
In their first meeting, “Titing” as how he is fondly called by locals, told the governor his wish that she will fix the narrow and unpaved road in the area so he can go to school with less difficulty.
Titing, who is now a Gade 9 student and resident of neighboring Sitio Tuburan, walks for two hours in order to reach Sitio Siotes where Caurasan National High School is located.
On a rainy period, school children of Barangay Caurasan and neighboring barangays brave through dangerous, muddy tire paths in order to go to school.
Upon seeing him, Garcia warmly welcomed the boy and told him, “Dako naman ka Ting. Karon na gipalapdan naman ni, sunod ako na ning ipa-semento.”
Titing shyly approached Gov. Garcia and gave her a stem of rose as his token of appreciation for the governor’s promise.
“Salamat kay iyang gituman ang iyang gisaad namo diri nga taga Taguini nga nausab na gyud ang karsada diri nga sauna lisod, karon sayon na gyud,” Mulato smiled shyly.
As the young boy joined the governor during the inspection, the public official assured him that soon he will no longer need to walk but may soon ride a motorbike to go to school.
Mayor Carlo Villamor, who was celebrating his birthday on the same day, expressed his gratitude to the governor for her full support to the town and for fulfilling her promise to the people of Barangay Caurasan and Carmen town.
He said aside from the road projects, Garcia also helped realize Carmen town’s long-held aspirations of having unimpeded water supply as they can now tap water supply from the Cebu Metropolitan Water District.
“Nagpasalamat sad mi ni Gov Gwen, kay nakita man gyud ninyo nalapad na gyud ang dalan didto. Not just that, nagsaad sad si Gov, kay nilapad naman ang dalan, iya sad pa-semento-on. So hopefully next year basin 3 kilometers ma-semento na,” the mayor said.
On the same day, Garcia did a ceremonial cutting of the ribbon for the new Taboan Public Market in Sitio Taguini. She was joined by her daughter Carissa, Mayor Villamor, Mulato and barangay officials.
The Taboan market is a regular market fair for farmers and traders in all of Barangay Caurasan and neighboring barangays every Saturday.
Jocelyn Barasan, 52 from Barangay Liboron, walked 30 minutes in order to bring her camote harvest that was ordered and bought for the occasion. She gingerly approached the governor and safely stood at a distance and watched her in awe.
“Mapasalamaton kay ko ni Gov kay iyang nabuhat ang dugay na namong gipangandoy,” Barasan said smiling.
She said now that the road has been widened she is hopeful that it will soon be paved for her to easily transport her farm produce.
“Sayon na kaayo among kaagian labina gyud nga naa na maintenance og (kun) naa mga guba-guba. Kay pareha ana ang among pangabuhian diri naa raman sa panguma (unya) lisud, layo ang among paglakaw ngari, lisud pa gyud ang dalan. Mas sayon na namo (karon),” she said.
Caurasan Barangay Captain Venancio Duran expressed his gratitude to the governor for the road improvement and the public market which will not only benefit Barangay Caurasan residents but also those from other barangays.
“Dako kaayo akong kalipay nga gibati kay kining mga project nga gihatag ni Gov ngari sa Taguini kami mismo nga mga taga Kaorasan Tuburan makapahimus niini kay kada Sabado kami naa niini nga tabuana,” he said. (Vanessa L. Almeda)