Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Concerned Citizens Council of Jose Panganiban 

Batch ’66
Michigan, USA

JUST A FEW meters away from the township boundary where we live -- that is towards the freeway I-75 South, (Inter-states Ohio-Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Virginia) -- there’s a roadside billboard that declares:" In partnership with the city government to clean-up our river banks".  -  Concerned Citizens Of Carlston.

Out of curiosity, I called Carlston's Enviroment, Parks & Recreation Department and was able to talk to its director, George Bennette.

A man with gentle understanding of the word "productive initiatives" among its residents, he told me that "no doubt in our city official's minds that Concerned Citizens Of Carlston community welfare-related project such as mentioned makes us one people towards a better end to a cleaner and eco-friendly surroundings".

Equating the situation with our nation's setting, particularly that of our hometown Jose Panganiban may seem impossible knowing that proposing the creation of a Concerned Citizens Council Of Jose Panganiban to some political pundits sounds rhetorical and tainted with same colors of selfish motives and "maybe a threat" to any, or the whole of, currently sitting municipal officials.

But the truth of the matter is that lots of us from faraway lands, in our modest thoughts, believe that regardless of other's "haka-haka", we can still make a difference in the lives of our "kababayans" by purely being involved in this “think-tank” group that would come up with ideas on how to improve the lot of our kababayan back home.

I just hope that the good office of the Mayor and the rest of elected officials of our municipal government consider such a new idea that would involve local and overseas "Mambulawenos" when they meet at their regular sessions.

My fellow JPHS Batchmate ’66, Sam Tatom gave me an idea how the town of Mercedes became the province of Camarines Norte’s “Bulungan Center" (bulk fish and seafood buy-and-sell-center) to the disadvantage of more strategic and rich fishing grounds like Jose Panganiban and Paracale.

The nautical miles of Pacific Ocean between Jomalig/Polilio islands have provided substantial livelihood to everyone ever since and as Mr Tatom said: "Dahil walang bagsakan o bulungan center sa Mambulao, ang nanagana ng bultong huli ay ang bayang Mercedes … it could have been us,” Mr Tatom continues.

Also, he said he spoke with a "basnig" owner/operator who told him that because it is only the town of Mercedes who has the "bulungan center", he has to consume another barrel of motor oil instead, costing him between P46 and P48/liter on 200 liters drum, which is between Php9,200-Php9,600, just to get there and sell his catch.

Building an ice plant and cold storage plant in JP would always be feasible.

It has potential market in local fishermen and the ‘basnigeros’ who would be calling at Parang beach to unload their catch.

In coordination with Tourism project director for the province Of Camarines Norte, Department of Education and Jose Panganiban local Government (zoning, planning and beautification office), perhaps, the magnificent view of Mambulao from the top of JP Elementary School at sunset could be develop into, and promoted as, one of Jose Panganiban's best spot.

Opened to the public, a much-awaited "mini-guided tour with kakanin" up there could be established.

Through CCCofJP, the Mambulawenos could also do something to rescue the fast-deteriorating Mambulao Bay and its beach. A beach clean-up involving school alumni who would be coming for the general homecoming next April is one step that could show to the community that we, as people, care for our environment.

For all you know, the Parang beach has deteriorated ever since because it is being used as a dumping ground for household rubbish. I could hazard a guess that the immediate guilty party could be those households living by the shoreline. But rubbish could also come from other parts of the community.

By consulting our fellow Mambulawenos across the US and Canada, as well as those in Australia, Europe, Middle-East, back home and elsewhere, I propose a continuing discussion on a possible creation of a Concerned Citizens Council of Jose Panganiban.

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