TALAKAG - the etymology of which came from the Bisayan dialect LAKAG meaning "to go after” or
“follow in pursuit” and the prefix TA denoting “fondness in doing such”.
In other words, Talakag means “fondness in giving pursuit”.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Knocked-Out Pacquiao Shocked Fans in Talakag

Bukidnon 1st District Congressman Jess Paras and his wife didn’t disappoint the Talakagnons when he and his caravan comprising a giant TV screen, complete with a generator managed to cross the temporary bridge at Ugiaban and arrived Talakag this morning intent on showing (via satellite) the rematch between Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez in Las Vegas.

Shocked fans witnessed Pacquiao as he got knocked-out by Marquez on the 6th Round. It may have been a disappointing result for the fans here in Talakag but nonetheless they were grateful for Congressman Paras’ generosity.  For them, the show was still a welcomed diversion (even if just for the day) from the recent crisis and inconveniences brought about by Typhoon Pablo.

Talakag to Cagayan de Oro – A Bridge Too Far!

This post is an account of life in Talakag when Uguiaban Bridge got washed away by Typhoon Pablo.

We have been expecting Typhoon Pablo as there was so much publicity about it in the papers, radio, TV and the internet.  We thought we better prepare for it.  We bought extra supplies (i.e. food, mineral water, gas, etc), in case we get trapped in the mountains for some time – like what happened during Typhoon Sendong last year.

And then it started.  The rains came Monday night and turned to very heavy downpour by Tuesday, accompanied by strong winds.  Bang on time as forecasted.  We were concerned that with such amount of rainfall, there’s bound to be landslides somewhere.

By 3:00 pm, the rain stopped.  People started to come out of their houses, checking for any damages. We came out onto the streets, as others in the neighbourhood, exchanging stories and experiences.

Then came the shocking news that Uguiaban Bridge has been washed away totally.  We saw people’s OMG facial expression of disbelief!  There was panic everywhere.  Everyone started talking all at the same time.  As they say “seeing is believing”.  So off to Uguiaban we went to see the damage for ourselves.  The whole bridge was gone, washed a few meters downstream and was now lying by the riverbank on the Cagayan de Oro side. The river was still swelling with force.  The scene was worrisome.  People and vehicles cannot get across anymore. We’re trapped!

Ah but the abandoned old bridge that was built in the late 1950s is still standing.  Yeah, we were relieved.  In fact, people were able to use it as a footbridge to get across that late afternoon.  It’s not too bad after all.  How wrong we were!  The rain continued throughout the night and as a result, the strong current eroded the ground around the post of the old bridge on the Talakag side.  By Wednesday morning, the gap has widened that the safety of the old bridge was now under threat.  Oh no!

People were desperate to get across.  So a makeshift linkbridge was laid for the day just to cover the gap.  This comprised THREE round timber poles laid horizontally – imagine the very ones MORESCO uses for electric poles?  You have to be really brave and desperate to get across the other side to walk on those.  The faint hearted either crawled their way over, whilst others postponed their crossing to another day.  The only consolation we had was that Bukidnon Governor Calingasan visited that day to check the situation and conferred with DPWH people to put in place what’s necessary.

Thursday was an experience!  Yeah, I was getting desperate too that I went across to attend to some urgent business in the city – can’t be helped.  Fortunately, the DPWH people worked overtime laying some steel platform on the old bridge.  The only snag is that it’s a foot high, so we have to use timber planks (flat and wider this time) as a ramp.  At least, they were more reliable than the THREE poles used the previous day.  By the way, people on each side of the river have to take turns in crossing.  And you also have to endure a kilometer hike from the van/jeepney drop-off  point by the big Balite tree, walk to the bridge, get across the bridge, then walk on the other side to the van/jeepney pick-up point by the Langaon slip road.  The whole Talakag to Cagayan trip actually took me 2 hours in total - this also included the waiting time for the vans/jeepneys which operated on “alas puno” schedule.  If you have baggages, the porters were making a living charging 10 pesos per bag or 20 pesos per box.  So price increase of goods, etc is inevitable.

Friday and Saturday activities were pretty much the same.  DPWH people were working overtime on the steel ramps to make it passable for light vehicles.

Sunday is the big day.  People in Talakag were able to see the the Pacquiao-Marquez rematch at the Plaza.  This was made possible by Bukidnon 1st District Congressman Paras’ mobile facility which was among the first to get through.  YES! The old bridge finally opened for light vehicles to go across.  Passengers have to get out and into the vans/jeepneys and the trucks have to unload and load their cargoes at the foot of the bridge before crossing. It’s still inconvenient but hey, look on the bright side.  There's a way out and we’re not stranded anymore!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Talakag After Typhoon Pablo

These are random shots taken in Talakag after Typhoon Pablo.
People walking around the Plaza, checking for obvious damages.
Fallen leaves and billboards lying on the road.
Cornfield flattened like it has been run over by a giant roller.
Fallen coconut trees and debris washed out from the river.
Uguiaban Bridge washed away downstream.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Christmas Lights In Talakag Are On

It’s definitely the twinkle of bright-coloured lights that sets the scene for Christmas.  I’ve just taken these pictures tonight from the Talakag Plaza and the Talakag Central School.

This year’s Christmas lights theme around the Plaza is what I would describe as minimalist – but I like it.  It’s simple, uncluttered and practical.

On the other hand, the Christmas lights display at the Central School is indeed some work of art.  It should be!  As for the very first time, teams of students from Bukidnon State University (Talakag Campus) are competing for prizes!  Each team is assigned a tree to decorate with Christmas lights, glitters and any other material they fancy.

P.S.  -  I heard that Dole in San Isidro (just outside their gate) have their own Christmas lights display too,.  I will add their pictures here later.

Monday, 8 October 2012

May 2013 Election: List of Candidates for the Municipality of Talakag

Today, I visited the COMELEC Office of Talakag to obtain the names of candidates seeking election come May 2013:

Name of Candidate  -  Political Party

For Mayor
1.      Macapayag, Nestor  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
2.      Sulatan, Renato Roa  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
3.      Tinoy, Rodnie Lupiahan  -  DPP

For Vice Mayor
1.      Factura, Vergito Ociones  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
2.      Sansanan, Rosenio Samontao  -  Aksyon Demokratiko

For Councilors (in alphabetical order)
1.      Aguda Sr, Oscar Dacuycuy  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
2.      Amatiaga, Aileen Balones  -  Independent
3.      Asilan, Geonoro Luminda  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
4.      Co, Dionecio Tambeling  -  Independent
5.      Dalman, Sargenio Ganohon  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
6.      Dayanan, Gerry Matulac  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
7.      Gayonan, Susan Bustillo  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
8.      Gomez, Fernando Andamon  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
9.      Haguingan, Fidel Yacapin  -  Independent
10.  Lladas, Raul Naveses  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
11.  Macapayag, Ryan Noble  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
12.  Madrigal, Lito Mapano  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
13.  Mercado, Jonathan Caballero  -  Independent
14.  Monje, Angelo Obod  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
15.  Murillo, Reynaldo Yanez  -  Independent
16.  Nanolan, Edgar Tiguman  -  Independent
17.  Neri, Samuel Maandig  -  Independent
18.  Noble Jr, Amado Zayas  -  Independent
19.  Omriso, Aurelio Albano  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
20.  Onda, Junna Molinas  -  Independent
21.  Pacuno, Abdon Villanueva  -  Independent
22.  Sabang, Yolanda Sotelo  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
23.  Seno, Wilfredo Deveza  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
24.  Sindalan, Delilah Orcajada  -  Aksyon Demokratiko
25.  Sungkitan, Junice Baclay  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
26.  Taqueban, Carlos de Castro  -  Bukidnon Paglaum
27.  Tianzon, Romeo Blanco  -  Independent

For a list of candidates for various Bukidnon provincial seats, please check Bukidnon Online.  For Talakagnons, the ones to watch out for are:
·         1st District Congressman Jess Paras who is seeking re-election.
·         Vice Governor Zubiri who is keen to be Governor again.
·         Fellow Talakagnon Allan Bigcas aka ALBIGS (the new politician on the block) who is running for Governor against Zubiri.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Fun Run in Talakag

It has been very quiet around Talakag since my last post in June and nothing much to write about really. However, today is different. There’s been a lot of activity around the town since the crack of dawn. Well, nothing beats writing a perfect comeback post that hits the ground (literally) running! I’m referring to the “Saint Joseph High School: First Fun Run”. See details below.
This event was organised by the SJHS Senior students. According to their President, Edsel R. Yasol, the proceeds will go towards the buying new instruments for the SJHS Band. Being an SJHS alumni, I was very keen to support this project. Since this was my very first Fun Run (or walk), I opted for the 3K category to Landing instead of the 5K to San Isidro. I also managed to convince my husband Jim, even my dog Maya, my brother Leo, my nephew Spharkie, my niece Van-van and my cousin/fellow alumni Portia to join in – the more, the merrier!

The Starting Line was from the SJHS Quadrangle and there must have been around 300 students and 200 alumni and visitors, mostly first-timers, who registered for the Fun Run. We got lucky with the Sunday weather as it was dry but still cool at 5:00 in the morning. While the Fun Run started half an hour later than scheduled, all went well. There were several water and banana stations along the way. The PNP were around for security/crowd control and the Ambulance on standby for first aid or any emergency.

Overall, the atmosphere was very lively. It was nice to see the students with their families and some old faces too which made it a kind of mini SJHS reunion! It was good to get together and catch up with breathless but still cheerful friends and fellow alumni at the Finish Line. Prizes for the fastest students comprised of assorted school supplies, while the fastest alumni and visitors got grocery hampers.

What an enjoyable experience! Everyone seemed to be looking forward to the next Fun Run. 5K, bring it on :-)

See photos below.
Serious runners for the 5K
Jim on his way back to the Finish Line
More runners
Runners from the Yellow Team
Here comes the sun

Mt Kitanglad on the Horizon
Me and Portia smiling our way to the Finsh Line
Water and Bananas available at the Finish Line
Jim at the Finish Line
Me at the Finish Line
Leo at the Finish Line
Jim, Maya and the Doc next door
Leo and the two Allans
My dog Maya

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Barangay 5 to Sto Nino Road Concreting Update

For those who have travelled this stretch of road many, many years ago, you may remember how bad the road was.  It was full of potholes and, either, muddy during the rainy season or dusty during the dry season.
Roadwork in Progress
The latest on the road concreting project between Barangay 5 and Sto Nino is well underway.  The photos below show that the Bethany section is already finished.
From Bethany facing Poblacion Talakag Direction
From Bethany facing Sto Nino Direction
Personally, I have welcomed this much needed improvement as I, currently, travel this road once a week to do some voluntary work at Bethany.  For the past 3 years, whenever I get to the point between the San Roque turnoff and Bethany, I had to hang on tight to the motorela just to avoid being thrown about and to keep myself from being bruised. I’m glad that I don’t have to endure all that inconvenience anymore. 

For those who haven’t ventured along this road lately, you’ll now find your trip quicker and the ride far from bumpy.  Come and visit soon!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Where Has Half the Year Gone?

I’ve been very busy since the start of this year, what with:
  • Returning from a UK trip
  • Dahilayan Trip with SJHS Batch 74 Reunion
  • Celebrating my birthday at La Gracia Resort
  • Linggo ng Talakag Celebrations
  • Trip to Malaybalay to see the Rodeo Show at the Kaamulan Festival
  • Attending various Graduation Ceremonies around Talakag
  • Coordinating the SJHS Batch 75 Reunion at La Gracia Resort
  • Another trip back to the UK to attend my son’s wedding
Finally, I’m back . . . . . and getting used to my usual routine.

I really missed keeping this Blog updated - my last post was March! Now I’m looking forward to uploading a backlog of photos and stories to share. Better late than never. Cheers!

Monday, 19 March 2012

All Set for Linggo Ng Talakag 2012

It’s that time of the year again and the Linggo Ng Talakag preparations are all set.  The usual funfare are in place and the motocross race tracks have been graded.

If you’re thinking of a good time to visit Talakag, then make it this week.  You can check out the Schedule of Activities below.  However, you’ll find that the top crowd-drawers, the Beauty Pageant and the Cultural Show, will be missing in this year’s activities.

The Colourful Buntings and Festival Banners are up.  The Exhibitor's Stalls are in position.  The Food Stalls are open for business.  The Ukay-ukay Stalls are in place.  Popcorn and Cotton Candy Carts are dotted all around the Plaza and so with the Angry Bird Balloons.

 Have Fun Everyone!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Clearing the Road between Talakag and CDO after Sendong

It  has been 3 months since Sendong struck Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Bukidnon and left devastation along its path. Our very own Talakag got cut-off from CDO due to several landslides. I counted 8 landslides in total between this stretch of road.  Lorries carrying agricultural products got stuck.  Jeepneys and vans carrying passengers couldn't get through.  People, who found it necessary to travel, had to walk in knee-deep mud for half a kilometer in some areas just to get over the other side.    It took 10 days to make the roads barely passable again for vehicles.

As I passed the road from Talakag to CDO today, the clearing operation of the landslides is still ongoing.  See photos below:

Heavy Machines at Work

Landslides between Ugiaban Bridge and Tigahon Areas

 Landslides between San Isidro and Balaon Areas

Yet last week, another landslide occurred in roughly the same areas.  It wasn’t even raining!  I didn’t realise that if the soil is too dry, the ground breaks and can result in landslides too.  What’s happening here is that the clearing operation only concentrated on scraping and pushing the mud aside.  What’s left of the eroded area (or the drop) is still unattended.  Unless these areas are planted with grass, shrubs and trees immediately, the threat of more landslides will always be there.  I hope this will be addressed very soon before the rainy season comes, otherwise there will be no roots to hold the soil together.

The big question is “whose responsibility is it to replant the eroded areas?”  The owners (if it's a private property)?  Any government agency (as its their duty to implement preventative measures)?  Or any volunteer eco-warriors (just because they care)?