There is a Holy Mass
but sans reading of the Epistles and the Gospel. The Mass ends with
the Consecration and the Holy Communion, followed by a procession of
the Santo Entierro (the Dead Christ as taken off the Cross)
around the town, and back to the church. This starts at about 5:30
By 7 p.m., Eliacim
tenders supper for the Twelve Apostles, at his home in Sulod. This
hosting has been a yearly self-assumed responsibility continued by him
from a worthy practice by his father, Juan Cabuquit, Samar’s only
sculptor of wooden icons of saints until he joined his Creator. The
movers of the carrozas or carros (wooden floats) join
the Twelve Apostles during this activity.
Two hours later, the
Soledad (the icon of Virgin Mary) is led outside of the church, in a
procession. This is carefully managed so as not to chance upon the
Santo Entierro that is already returning to the church from an
earlier procession. The procession of the Soledad symbolizes the
solitary search by Saint Mary for her Son whose body vanished from His
The Good Friday
procession has the following sequence of the carros: San Juan
(St. John the Baptist), San Pedro (St. Peter, the Apostle), First
Station: Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane (last year, the carro
for this was being prepared by Eliacim when chanced upon by this
writer), Sixth Station: St. Veronica wiping the face of Jesus Christ,
Siete Palabra (the Seventh Last Word): Jesus Christ hanging on the
cross with Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist at the foot of His
Cross, Tinanggal (the Pieta), Santo Entierro, and
A taped music, a song
sang by a choir of which Eliacim was then a member, is played behind
the Siete Palabra carro. The Samaracha band provides the band
music behind the Tinanggal carro.
Black Saturday or
Sabado Santo opens at
5 a.m. with the conduct of the Stations of the Cross by the general
public. Fifteen kalye (street) corners in the poblacion are
designated one Station each. At each stop, the religious say
prayers. A family or a cofradia is usually pre-designated to
prepare the site for one Station of the Cross. At brgy. Sulod,
Eliacim, his younger sister Sarah (a public school teacher), and his
nephews, as in the past years, will once again help put up the Sixth
Station. The Station is a estampa (framed illustration of the
Station described) on a decorated altar.
(floats) are conducted in procession at this time are the following:
Jesus in the
Garden of Gethsemane, Nazarene (Jesus carrying a wooden cross on His
shoulder), Dolorosa, Tinanggal (or the Pieta), and Santo
By 9 p.m., church
bells will peal. The Basaynon faithful gather at the church yard for
the “Pagbabag-o han Kalayo” and then inside the church for the
“Pagbabag-o han Tubig”. These are symbolic rituals. As for the first
ritual, the parish priest will bless the tap-ong hin sungo (few
firewood that is enkindled). Inside the church, after that, he will
bless the water that is placed inside the banga, one of the
oldest porcelain wares owned by the church, that is known to the
religious as the taberna.
This will be followed
by the Litania Heneral, a long litany, led by Fr. Calderon, and
a Holy Mass said by him, then by a procession for the Sugat,
which re-enacts the moment when Virgin Mary finally found her Son.
The Virgin Mary icon,
called the Sugat Virgen, is covered with a wide black veil.
The icon is conducted out of the church to the sugat
(encounter) site, in front of the residence of the sugat hermano
(borther or host for this event). (This year’s hermano is a child of
the late Liga ng mga Barangay president Esperato “Pepeng” Palomino and
of Mrs. Agus Palomino, in Sulod. The Palomino family owns the
prestigious computer school in Basey.)
The icon of the
Resurreccion (the Risen Christ in Resurrection) takes another
route from the same church and heads for the sugat site.
Says Eliacim, the
Virgin Mary and her Son should not meet until the Sugat moment.
At the Sugat, when the
two icons finally meet – each standing high up on its own carro,
and with the carros almost head-on to each other – an “angel”
moves down from somewhere and takes off the black veil to show the
brightened up face of Virgin Mary. (For sometime in the past, the
“angel” was a human being, a girl, dressed like an angel with wings,
who would recite a himno [hymn] for the Sugat – as what
happened with this writer’s younger sister, Ma. Nenita, in the
Sugat at Buscada many decades ago.)
From the Sugat,
the two carros go together in procession back to the church,
led by the carro carrying the Resurreccion and followed
by the Sugat Virgen. At the church, the Resurrection
goes to the altar. It will be enshrined there by Mansueto Delovino,
provincial environment and natural resources officer of
Samar, to whose family the ownership icon of the Resurreccion
passed from its original owner, the Tabunda family in brgy. Sulod,
Basey, particularly through “Lola Merced”, whose house stands next to
where Eliacim’s family lives.
The Sunday after that
is called in Basey the Domingo Resurreccion. The day opens
with a Holy Mass for Easter Sunday, followed by a regular mass and a
hunt for Easter Eggs in the vicinity of the church.
* * * * * * *
This depicts the Holy
Week celebration in Basey, that is markedly of its own translation,
continuing to attract tourists from various parts of the country and
CKC tops Samar private
schools’ nursing exam passing rate
By GINA SUELLO-SORILO
CALBAYOG CITY, Samar
– Christ the King College (CKC) has achieved the highest passing
percentage of examinees among private nursing schools in Samar
provinces in the December 2007 Nursing Licensure Examination conducted
by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).
Twenty-seven out of 54
first batch of examinees from CKC passed, giving the Catholic
Franciscan educational institution a passing rate of 50 percent. The
national passing percentage is forty-three percent.
Other private nursing
schools in Samar like Colegio de San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila in
Catarman, Northern Samar has 41 percent passing rate followed by Our Lady of Mercy
College in Borongan
Eastern Samar with 29 percent then Eastern Visayas Central College
also in Catarman with 4 percent passing rate.
Only 26 board passers
were presented to the media in the press conference held recently at
the school’s audio-visual room.
The school’s nursing
department dean Robelita Negradas-Varona said there are supposed to be
27 passers as published but there could be another one whose name was
not just printed so she will formally communicate to the Board of
Nursing to clarify this matter.
Those who successfully
hurdled the exams are: Norman Balen, Blas Bartolome, Eustaquio Rente
Biliran, Murphy Manlapaz, Roger Rostata, Elias Tomnob Jr., Marchelle
Advincula, Lady Daryl Alandino, Ida Vanessa Bartolome, Mary Joy
Kristine Bulan, Lovely Celada, Ruby May Copada, Liza Decenilla,
Roxanne Guande, Lucille Icalina, Marilyn Omayon, Gale Orlansa, Roxanne
Jane Perola, Cristina Jane Sandajan, Mia Suzette Sevallos, Glorimae
Solano, Sharon Talahiban, Francia Mariz Tarrayo, Neloa Tarrayo, Joanna
Kristine Torculas and Joy Thea Uyloan.
Nursing board passer
Francia Mariz Tarrayo attributes the students’ success to the quality
of education that their instructors have taught them apart from the
lot of hard work and prayers.
“These batch here are
very good students because with all the difficulties that we have they
have done their best. First year, they have difficulty of the program
like curriculum; second year, they don’t have dean and third year,
they don’t have base hospital… kahirapan din ng buhay because college
of nursing is more expensive than other colleges,” College President
Fr. Prisco Cajes said.
Dean Varona pointed
out that if only the curriculum was followed well, they will not only
have a 50 percent passing percentage.
“When I came here, we
had many problems especially on the curriculum. During their first two
years, they really did not follow the Commission on Higher Education’s
(CHED) standard curriculum,” she said adding that the subjects were
disorganized. Some major subjects that were supposed to be offered in
the third year were already being offered in the first year. However,
it was already corrected and revised when the students were already in
their third year of nursing.
The dean added that
the preparation for the board examination actually did not start at
the time when they are about to take it but when the students started
their study as a first year nursing student in CKC. She said she
really made it a point that all needed subject matters and topics were
discussed so that once they will have the review it will not be a
first view rather a review because they had already encountered it in
The students had a
three-month review in CKC before they went for a formal review in
Iloilo. Fr. Cajes said the administration is hoping that CHED-8 will
approve their application for the Our Lady of Porziuncola Hospital,
Inc. (OLPHI), the only tertiary hospital in Calbayog to be the base
hospital for their college of nursing so that the parents will not
spend more in sending their children to Western Visayas Medical Center
He added that they
still have to improve the college of nursing as to its polices,
curriculum, library and laboratory facilities as well as the faculty
members. A dormitory for the fourth year students is set to be built
aimed to help students concentrate on their study and review.
“My immediate concern
here is that next year we were anticipating that our college of
nursing first year will be like 200 students so we will need more
room,” Fr. Cajes said.
He however said that
they have to improve their admission process because they need not
only students but good students who really focus on their study like
the first batch.
Faculty member Elma
Magoncia said it was not hard for CKC to attract enrollees in nursing
because the community has been longing for the opening of its nursing
Asked if the target
improvements will affect the tuition fee, the Father President said he
has no plan to increase the tuition fee unless there is a mandatory
increase of teachers and employees’ salary because the tuition is
always connected with the salary.
Fr. Cajes also vowed
to support the plan for those who did not pass the examination. The
dean, who already met the non-passers said that some of them will go
back to Iloilo for review while others who cannot financially afford
are planning for a self-review which she will assist until they apply
for the board examination in the PRC. She is proud that CKC hired a
reviewer in nursing for the national board examination coming from
“To be one step ahead
of other schools, I think it needs a lot of effort on our part as
instructors or as faculty members. In order for quality education to
be achieved it is not only the faculty members’ responsibility but we
also need the support of the administration especially in terms of the
facilities,” Varona said.
CKC has been
working to be a university and one of the qualifications is to have an
accredited program. Fr. Cajes said they have applied for accreditation
of College of Education, College of Arts and Sciences, College of
Business Education and College of Nursing. He stressed that they are
working very hard because to be accredited means to upgrade everything
not only the facilities but also the faculty.
Take the “swim along”
with whale sharks challenge
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
Leyte – Move over, “sing-along”, because the “in” thing in this town
is “swim along.”
Leisure and pleasure
seekers, amateur or veteran adventurers, or the plain curious
sight-seeing guests can have the challenge of a lifetime when they
swim and get up-close with a menacing, giant whale shark in the
seawaters of this municipality – exactly a swim along spectacle to
Moncher Bardos, the
Tourism Operations Officer of Pintuyan, described the world’s largest
mammal which they called “Tiki-Tiki” as six to nine meters long, and
the mouth opening is about one meter wide.
Its round body
cartilage is about 18 inches thick, so strong barnacles have stuck for
all their lives.
In an extremely lucky
day, some eight “Tiki-Tki” will be frolicking with a determined
swimmer, Bardos said.
Now, if that kind of a
whale shark interaction is not adventure-challenge for you, might as
well stay in the boat and enjoy the passing scene just the same.
A lone Tiki-Tiki, or a
school of them can be seen in a distance of 50 meters away to the sea
from the Pintuyan shoreline.
Bardos, who is also
the President of the Southern Leyte Association of Tourism Officers (SLATO),
disclosed that Greeg Bloom of “Lonely Planet”, an international travel
magazine has been calling him twice already to relay his desire to
come to shoot.
The swim-along whale
shark interaction takes three hours, from 5:30 to 8:30 in the morning,
with three tourists riding in one boat, plus the tour guide and
Boat rental for one
trip is P500 with a maximum of three persons as passengers, a
spotter’s fee of P400, naturalist guide of P300, and a conservation
fee of P250, which is to be charged per individual.
A homestay program on
board and lodging for those who want to stay is being offered, in
which P400.00 is the cost of the food consisting of three meals, two
snacks and mineral water, and the accommodation for the night is P200,
for a total of P600 per person per day.
This modest business
operation is being managed by a People’s organization, the “KASAKA”,
or the Kapunungang Sun-okanon alang sa Kalambuan, Bardos said.
Swim along with whale
sharks is best undertaken during the months of November up to April
for maximum exposure.
For two years in a
row, this natural sight with sea creatures had attracted quite a
number of foreign tourists, the number one visitors of which were from
Germany. In 2006, some 215 German nationals had a swim along, but this
decreased to 176 last year, 2007.
Next in number were
the Chinese nationals, where there were only three visitors in 2006
but this shot up to 117 in 2007. The third largest group were the
British citizens, numbering 38 in 2006, and 96 in 2007.
But domestic visitors,
or Filipinos from various parts of the country going in the area, were
not to be outdone: in 2006, some 308 Pinoys experienced swim along,
and this number increased to 341 in 2007.
Those who are
interested are advised to contact Bardos first at the Municipal
Office, telephone number (053)587-2015.
Whale watching and
diving boosts tourism in Southern Leyte
By ERNA S. GORNE (PIA Southern
MAASIN CITY, Southern
Leyte – One among the remotest barangays in the province, Barangay
Son-ok in Pintuyan, has become the haven of the biggest and friendly
fish in the sea, the whale sharks, which draws hundreds of foreigners
last year, Provincial Tourism Officer Nedgar Garvez disclosed in an
interview with PIA Southern Leyte recently.
Whale sharks are known
as harmless fish as they don't present a threat to either man or the
fish that school around them. Whale sharks can weigh over nine tons
and grow up to 12 meters in length. They can generally be found in the
entire Indian Ocean in depths of up to 130 meters.
organization, KASAKA, based in the locality also facilitates for an
enjoyable dive with the whale sharks aside from the packaged tour in
whale watching since two years ago. They also managed the marine
sanctuary in the same barangay.
Tourism potentials in
the locality generate job opportunities among the local residents. In
the whale watching or diving requires spotters, banca operators, food
servers, and fees for the tour operators to manage the packaged tours.
Accommodation in the barangay for those who would like to stay longer
will be taken care of the local residents identified to extend home
stay for the tourists.
With the pristine and
crystal seas in the barangay as it sits on a coral bed, whale watching
could glimpse clearly of the friendly mammals underwater. The pet
sharks were usually spotted during the early hours in the morning and
late afternoons, however, diving with the whale sharks could be best
enjoyed anytime of the day.
While in diving, some
people are intimidated by its size. The whale shark is actually a
gentle giant keen to avoid confrontations and generally trusting of
humans. As for etiquette when diving with a whale shark, it is said
that passive interaction is the best policy.
In fact, aggressive
behavior can drive them away - so no touching, or swimming after them
if you're hoping for one to hang around you. They can be quite
The tourists were
advised to provide for their own paraphernalia should they opt for
swimming with the whale sharks.
Garvez reported that their office accounted whale watching and diving
as top tourist drawers mostly attracting foreigners to the province.
That last year, a dive shop based in Bohol province also visited the
area, he further disclosed.
Pilgrim relic of St.
Therese of the Child Jesus visits Naval town
By FLOR JACKSON (PIA Biliran)
NAVAL, Biliran –
Over a thousand devotees from Naval, the capital town of Biliran
province, and from other municipalities in the province welcome the
Pilgrim Relic of St. Therese of the Child Jesus when it visited the
town Saturday en route to the Diocesan Shrine built in her honor which
is located in Barangay Obispo in Calubian, of the 41 municipalities
in the province of Leyte just across the island province of Biliran.
The pilgrim that came
all the way from Lisieux, France arrived in Palo, Leyte on February 21
where a concelebrated mass was said and was attended by a huge crowd
of devotees not only from Palo but also from the nearby
The pilgrim visited
the Sto. Niño Church in Tacloban and other churches in the city.
Concelebrated masses were also said and a procession around the city
joined in by devotees of St. Therese was conducted.
On February 23, the
pilgrim left Tacloban at
8:30 in the morning and arrived Naval shortly before lunchtime.
up the streets from Biliran town to Naval waving flaglets with blue
and white color combination to welcome the Pilgrim Relic of St.
Therese of the Child Jesus and her entourage.
Naval Mayor Susan
Parilla, Vice Mayor Vicente Curso, Naval Institute of Technology (NIT)
President Edita Genson, Msgr. Filomeno Bactol, Bishop of Naval and the
clergy of the Diocese of Naval, the religious sisters, and other
local officials led the in welcoming the Pilgrim Relic of St. Therese
of the Child Jesus at the gate of the Cathedral Church of Naval.
The arrival ceremony
was followed by a mass with Msgr. Bactol as the main celebrant
together with the clergy of the Diocese of Naval.
In his homily, Bishop
Bactol urged the devotees in the area to offer their pains to God
through St. Therese because according to him this would bring
happiness to everyone. “Anything we do must be done with love”.
As Msgr. Bactol
continued with his homily, he informed that St. Therese who is the
Patroness of Priests and also the Saint of Flowers was a simple child
before God who died at a very young age of 24.
“She has high union
with God, and even as she was sick, she offered everything to God”, he
“We are very grateful
to St. Therese for coming over to the
of Biliran,” he added.
It was learned that in
the year 2000, the first time the Pilgrim Relic of St. Therese of the
Child Jesus came to visit the islands of
Leyte and Biliran,
a Diocesan Shrine was built in her honor in Barangay Obispo, Calubian,
also one of the municipalities of Leyte.
Msgr. Bactol announced
that Archbishop Jose Palma of the Archdiocese of Palo would have
come to join the pilgrimage but since he was scheduled to fly to
Manila yesterday en route to Italy to attend an international
symposium, he sent a letter instead to the Diocese of Naval to greet
the devotees for the occasion which was read after the mass.
The devotees were
given a few minutes of veneration and to touch the Relic of St.
Therese at the main altar of the church. A land procession from the
church going to the port of Naval immediately followed, afterwhich, a
fluvial procession was held from the Naval port to Calubian town for a
mass at the Calubian Catholic church with Msgr. Bactol also as the
The Relic of St.
Therese stayed overnight in the Diocesan Shrine to give ample time for
the devotees to make a vigil and offer prayers for their own personal
Today, the Pilgrim
went back to Tacloban for its trip to
en route to France.
preparations to the Miraculous Pilgrim Relic of St. Therese of the
Child Jesus was coordinated by NIT being the host college through its
President Edita Genson in cooperation with the religious groups, other
government agencies and the Dioceses of Naval.
Anything in excess…but
By ALICE ENCINAS-NICART (PIA Eastern
BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar – Anything in excess, even rain is unpleasant and undesirable,
but who are we to question the wisdom of the Lord?
As if to remind man’s
unwise utilization of natural resources, heavy rainfall has
befallen Eastern Samar rendering millions in agricultural damage,
displaced families, helpless children in evacuation centers, diarrhea
outbreak and food crisis among others.
Some folks recall of
no similar sad occurrence at least in two decades despite similar
volumes of rainfall. The past week or so of continued pouring
resulted in a number of landslides along the highways (Quinapondan,
Giporlos, Taft, Borongan) submerged in water; McArthur bridge
collapsed, school buildings with only the rooftop remaining afloat and
sports centers became swimming pools.
“What wrong have we
ever done as a province to be castigated with such unwanted waters?”
an elderly barangay official anxiously asked himself.
In his report today at
the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council Meeting (PDCC) Jesus Agda,
the province’s Agriculturist said that some P30M damage in rice
plantation had been accounted partially as a result of the unwanted
rain. Add to this he said, the same destruction in high-valued fruits
and crops estimated to be at P11M.
Panlalawigan (SP) Member Thelma Nicart, who has farmed in San
Policarpo hectares of Mango trees for her sideline, could only sigh at
her fruits which according to her, in a huddle at the PDCC were
beginning to show in heavy bunches of young green fruits.
“February is the time
when we spray insecticides to our Mangoes in preparation for summer
harvest. Young fruits were already ready for the job, but because of
the continued heavy rain, most if not all of them were destroyed,”
Nicart who estimated about two million loss in Mango harvest said.
Questions may now play
in each inquisitive mind; why did the rivers burst with heavy thick
soils? Where did Borongan’s
get its heavy loads of coconut fruits, an undetermined number of
debris last Friday, February 15? Why is the flood happening
simultaneously in several hinterlands of the province?
Because of the flood,
Dolores Jicontol Valley of rice plantation looked like Pacific Ocean,
Mayor Ewit Villacarillo reported. While conducting relief operation
this time in the mountains of Jicontol, her group was surprised to
spot a boat which carried people from Maslog, when they were not
supposed to pass by Dolores area. She learned later that the boat got
lost of its way.
Mayor Toytoy Germino
of Can-avid has the same sad story, his farmers lost some 20 heads of
carabao; Mayor Jojie Montallana’s (Jipapad) several infrastructures
were damaged and Mercedes town representative feared of one barangay
in their town to sink due to a big crack which quickly absorbs flood
Governor Ben Evardone
in a TV interview stressed however that there is no commercial logging
at least to his knowledge in the area, from which denuded forests
would have caused the cascading rushing waters that overflowed the
rivers and highways.
What specific reason
then could we point at, heavy rains setting aside? Nobody talks about
it either in the offices, in the streets, maybe for the moment when
each scramble for the day’s survival.
Perhaps, the reason is
simple which can be revealed in the furniture and wallings of some big
beautiful houses in the entire province. We are not sure of our lumber
dealers, because they are limited to log on specific volumes, the rest
are imported in nearby forested provinces.
damage caused by either nature’s toll or man’s insensitivity to the
greater needs of a much greater number of people, one thing is surer,
everybody now gets the prize. The recent natural calamity rendered
five casualties and three missing persons. There must not be
more than this, or even a worse occurrence of this in the future…No…we
cannot afford. We just simply cannot.
Have you tried
By DIANA RAGUB
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Do you want to know one of the big secrets of Pinoy boxing champ
Manny ‘Pacman’ Pacquiao’s winning streak? Of course apart from the
rigorous trainings and work outs, like most boxers and athletes,
Pacman has a well-maintained diet. He has to keep that in order to be
in tip-top shape and keep his ideal weight. And do you know what his
favorite dish is? It’s tinolang manok. But Pacman’s tinola –
usually prepared for him by boxing trainer Nonoy Neri – must be
garnished with malunggay. For Pacman, if Popeye has his
spinach, he has his malunggay.