Pugwan Hopes

Sowing possibilities for tomorrow's healthier Pugwan.

Pugwan: a Bird’s Eye View

Barangay Pugwan is one of the 29 barangays of the municipality of Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur that mark the boundaries of the municipality. On its north, it is bounded by Barangay Sta. Cruz; on its south, Barangays Daniel C. Mantos and Timonan of the Municipality of Dumingag; Barangay San Jose on its east; and Maralag, Dumingag on its west.

The barangay is located on the farther inside of the municipality. From the municipal hall located along the highway, you could get to Pugwan on a fifteen-minute ride via habal-habal or side car through a public utility access.

Rice fields, irrigation, rivers and creeks will meet you when you pass through the place. You will know Pugwan when you pass by the bridge made of wood that connects it with San Jose over Tiwalos Creek. This bridge, framed by metal bars but are slabbed by layers of wood, serve as the landmark of Pugwan entry. Passing through this bridge might scare your wits off, but habal-habal drivers already have mastered this skill that you’ll get used to the thrill in no time.

The place is dominantly lowland; its roads mostly unpaved. Rice fields mostly occupy the space for as far as your eyes can reach. Pugwan is made up of seven puroks, the center of which is at Purok 3. where the Barangay Hall Office is found. As of now, the Barangay Health Center is under renovation; therefore, the covered court is made use for activities such as prenatal consultation and immunization.

The basketball court is utilized almost every night for sports. The people are accustomed to do use this for diversionary activities and leisure. At night, the center becomes even more lively as people engage into their simple recreation and sports. Street food vendors operate at 6 pm and the famous Pinoy favorites — isaw, penoy, balot, paa ng manok, fried chicken and more; are being sold on the waiting shed.

Pugwan Elementary School and the Day Care Center are found on Purok 5. Chapels are also seen within the barangay, including the San Isidro Chapel, Assembly of God, Seventh Day Adventist, ATWOC, and United Church of Christ in the Philippines.

Apart from Puroks 2, 3, and 5, the households are already dispersed and are separated by paddy fields. Purok 1 is the farthest and most bounding with Dumingag. The Dipolo and Guitran River flow from there.

History tells that Pugwan was inhabited by Subanens way before Delfin Jamero, the first Christian in the barangay, came to live in it. The name Puguan came from the Subanen word “magpugo,” which denotes a swarming of fish that naturally happens when the creeks almost run dry during El Niño.

The waters of Dipolo River has long been nourishing the farmers’ rice crops ever since.
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11 Pugwan Basics

A month of stay in our respective communities have prompted us to get to know not just the place and the people, but also their profile as well. In a nutshell, how are they characterized? Mostly obtained from secondary data through the Community-Based Monitoring System and Municipal Planning and Development Office (CBMS-MPDO), here’s Pugwan in papers and numbers:

  1. Land area. Pugwan encompasses 333.3 hectares of land, with 87% of it as lowland. It is divided into seven puroks with 189 households.
  2. Population. As of 2007, Pugwan has 934 inhabitants with males slightly dominant in number (50.4%). Purok 5 has the most number of residents (16.4%) while Purok 5 has the most number of households (33 out of 189). The average household size is 5 members each. The population density is 2.89.
  3. Government. The Barangay Council is headed by the incumbent Barangay Captain Antonio U. Cuevas. Each Barangay Kagawads lead a specific Purok during the term of office and the following are:  Gerry D. Tik-ing (Purok 4), Porferio J. Sandot (Purok 5), Egleceria E. Payas (Purok 2), Arlyn E. Dimpas (Purok 1), Meliton G. Jamero (Purok 7), Ramil V. Abunas (Purok 6), and Arnelyn R. Jamero (Purok 3).
  4. Bodies of Water. Two rivers and a creek run within the barangay. These are Guitran and Dipolo River, and Tiwalos Creek. There was no permanent drainage system yet constructed community-wide, hence making the barangay flood-prone every time the Guitran River overflows in rainy season.
  5. Mother Tongue. 70% of the populace speak with Cebuano as their mother tongue.
  6. Employment. 56% of the working population are farmers. Next to them in percentage are the skilled workers and laborers.
  7. Agriculture. 290 hectares of the agricultural land use are riceland; 150 of which are irrigated, and the remaining are rainfed. The average yield per hectare are 240 bags a year.
  8. Livestock. In total, the most number of livestock raised are ducks. Meanwhile, most households (102) raise chicken. Hogs for fattening comes next, which help bring notable livelihood to the families.
  9. Solid Waste Management. Composting is the practice of majority, while others use burning to dispose wastes. In Purok 2, there is an existing ordinance of segregation of wastes into biodegradable, non-biodegradable and recyclable, which most households under it follow. There is no established system of waste collection and final disposal through garbage truck in the barangay yet.
  10. Water Facilities. 42.8% of the households have shared deep wells as their water source. Only 62.72% of the households have access to safe water.
  11. Road Network. The barangay road is 4 kilometers in length. The primary mode of transportation is single motor or habal-habal. (Tip: A ride towards the municipal hall costs Php 30.00; while towards Molave entails an additional of Php 20.00.  Living in Pugwan needs some really wise budgeting skills.)

These are some facts and more from Pugwan’s 2009 Barangay Development Plan. More to be updated this April! Padayon!

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Reflections of a Leader

Amidst the long road it was refreshing to reminisce my former experience in the community when I had my first work as a community nurse. Now, I am on my way to another path but definitely with the same goal in mind. A goal that has eternal reward from our Creator, it is to serve our people and in order to achieve that we have to become a better version of ourselves, to become a better physician. Leaving all our city life and exchange it with the rough roads of Barangay Pugwan, from the smoky city to the refreshing air of Mahayag, and from the busy streets of Zamboanga City to meeting new nice people in Purok 2 neighbourhood of Pugwan for 30 days exposure was a wonderful thing. I always believe in the universal divine of our Creator that everything has been planned ahead and all we need to do is adhere to do righteous things and continuously ask forgiveness for we are meant to be sinners. Part of this exposure has made me realize that we were unconsciously ungrateful of the things we had before. We forget to live with the simple pleasure of life like to laugh at simple things, to appreciate the little efforts, and to even learn so many simple things in life.

To be honest, I have experienced this life realization back when I was a community nurse in the Islands of Tabuan Lasa but this time it was/will be another set of experience. From rough road sea rides to rough road via habal habal, from fishing to farming, from crossing the sea to crossing rivers, from my own dialect to bisaya, and from being a nurse to a medical student. Truly it will continuously give me thrill in looking forward for our next community immersion in our medical years. This has also taught me to become resourceful with what we have in our community and that there are more to learn like the healing practices that exist in our barangay. It is a shame on us that we can’t even explain the properties of the herbal medicine that are commonly used. Indeed, learning is a never ending process in medicine.

As we continue our journey in this exposure and living together with 7 different personalities and characters is an addition in completing the recipe of either the taste of happiness or bitterness of our community experience. I am blessed and thankful to have these group-mates of mine with unique skills and talent. I am excited about knowing them even more and become truly brothers and sisters in medicine. That one day I can confidently refer my patient to them when we become full pledged medical doctors. As we embark in this course, the lectures and modules during the first four months of our academic year had helped us achieved our learning objectives- from Physician-to-be, Physician Clinician, Physician-Teacher-Learner, Physician Manager, and Physician Researcher.

The above courses had made me a better leader in handling and maintaining the team well-focused of what the exposure is all about. Being the team leader could not be a new thing for most of us since we consider ourselves as the best among the best during application period. How to become a leader among leaders? Now, this is tough. Surprisingly I am amazed by everyone’s full cooperation and initiative. Everyone is performing their best in what they can contribute to the team and use their potentials to become productive persons. I love it when everyone is helping one another. We are like water and glass, filling each other’s strength and weakness. I accept that fact that maybe most of the time I am so tight with rules that sometimes I highly stressed out the urgency of our work or output and I hope it’s a healthy thing for the team that there should be at least one to be like that. I volunteer to be that person.

At the end of the day, we all return to our little comfort zone and reflect all these happenings in our life. We all return to the 4th floor LRC building attend our PBL class and get nervous in our OSCEs. We all return to our home and spend happy moments with our families. At the end of this journey, in God’s Grace and Will, we will be all full-pledged doctors. This community exposure is one key to make us better doctors of this rising nation.

Written by Faridah Rasnah Sali

Sa Ikaapat na Linggo: Bakit nga ba “Pugwan?”

Pang-apat na linggo’y napuno ng halo-halong emosyon,
kahit sa kabila na ng mga selebrasyon.
Tuburan ang huling destinasyon, dito isinagawa ang huling okasyon.

Wala na akong maisip na tulain,
pakinggan na lang ang aking huling sasabihin;

Pugwan, ang bayan sa gitna ng basakan.
Saang nga ba nanggaling ang pangalan?

Pugo kung sila’y tawagin kapag nagsama-sama,
Mga isdang naiipon sa lawa-lawa.

Doon na nagsimula ang katawagan.
Nagpasa-pasa na patungong ibang kapatagan.

Mga tao dito’y marangal, basehan ay hindi ang pag-aaaral
Handang tumulong sa mga nangangailangan, ganito sa kanila ang tapat na galawan.

Malalawak na pananiman, iba’t-ibang pamilya ang namamahala
Sa bigay ng punong bathala, sila ang namahala

Malayo man sa kabihasnan, malubak man ang daanan,
Pugwan ang aking bayan na hindi ko malilimutan.

Isinulat ni Paul Albert Agunod

At Ngayo’y Pangatlo

Maraming datos sa amin ay pinakuha,
pagkauwi ito’y ipiprisinta.
Araw-gabi ito lang ang ginawa,
nais namin itong maibahagi ng tama.

Tatlong araw kaming nagpa-ZUMBA,
pagka-umaga sa ami’y maraming tumba.
Sa ami’y walang nagluto sa umaga,
kay nanay kami umasa.

Pasensya ang aming sinabi sa kaniya,
sagot niya’y “ganito ako kumalinga”.
Kainitan ng panahon ngayo’y lumalala na,
mga tubig sa basakan ay natutuyo na.

Init sa dampi ng hangin sa amin ay tumataigting,
bumabagsak na mga dahon ng punong saging.
Sa katapusan ng pangatlong lingo,
ito ang aking panapos na sasabihin;
Nais kong pagmasdam ang mga bituin,
kasama ang aking dalaginging.

Isinulat ni Paul Albert Agunod

Ang Pangalawa Naman

Panibagong araw ay sinimulan na,
walong estudyante’y lumakad na.
Sa di kalayayua’y tumulong sa pag-bakuna,
sa mga bata’y walang gusting mauna.

Mga nanay ay tinuruan,
patungkol sa mga kasakitan.
Sumonod na araw ay may nagbukas na kainan,
sa Molave kami’y nagsiliparan.

Nang maghapon kami’y nasa Tuburan,
parang mga batang nagliliguan.
Sa mga sumunod na araw ay iba naman,
hinanda ang mga sarili sa mahabang lakaran.

Mga Purok ay pinuntahan,
inisa-isa ang mga tirahan.
Nagtanong ng kani-kanilang pangalan,
huling tanong ay pang-kalusugan.

Isang linggong ginawa ang lakaran,
tinawid ang mga basakan.
Kapatagan ay nilakaran,
dama namin ang kapaguran.

Maayong buntag, ang bating sa ami’y tumatak.
Mapakapatagan, talampas man o lambak.
Maraming pinasukan na pinto,
at dito ko winawaksan ang pangalawang linggo.

Isinulat ni Paul Albert Agunod

Sa Unang Linggo

Sa unang araw ng aming pagdating,
rumami ang mga bagay na nais kong sabihin.
Nais kong marapatin na ito’y salaysayin,
sa pamamagitan ng aking sulatin.

Kami’y unang napatira sa bahay paupahan na kulang sa tauhan,
isang gusaling sa ami’y nagsibling tirahan.
Mga babae pagod at matamlay,
mga lalaki’y sa sahig humimlay.

Sa pagkakagising mula sa kani-kanilang pagkakatulog, una agad nilang napansin ang kagat ng mga lamok.
Sa pag-ligo’y kinulang sa pang-banlaw, kami’y dapat magbalat kalabaw.
Unang pagkain ay mula sa delata, sa susunod na araw ay puro kalabasa.
Ganito ang unang patikim ng buhay bukirin, lahat ng ito’y aming marapat na ranasin.

Ang daan patungo sa aming komunidad ay may kalayuan,
dito’y alam kong lahat kami’y pantay na sa katayuan.
Nang kami’y mahatid sa aming bahay na tutuluyan,
nasambit ko sa aking sarili ‘ah ang iyong loob ay dapat tibayan’.

Diniskarga namin ang aming mga bagahe,
taga-buhat ay kaming mga tatlong lalake.
Unang sumalubong ay isang nanay, Telma;
ang nagmamay-aari ng bahay.

Kasama ang kaniyang kabiyak na si tatay Jaime, kami’y tinanggap;
sa pamilya kami’y naging parte.
Maliit ang aming tutuluyan sa loob ng isang buwan,
ngunit sa ami’y hindi ito naging kawalan.

Ang sakripisyo para sa prinsipyo, ang nag-iisang rason kung bakit kami naparito.
Unang ulam ay puno ng sarap, kami’y nagsalo-salo sa hapag.
Sa kwarto’t sala kami’y humimlay,
salamat sa Diyos at sa kaniyang gabay.

Unang silip ng araw sa bintana’y natanglaw,
mga tao’y nagsimula ng gumalaw.
Molave ang lugar kung saan kami’y namili,
mga bagay na kailanga’y maingat na pinili.

Habal-habal kung sila’y tawagin,
sa konting barya’y ika’y papasakayin.
Sa bilis ng kanilang patakbo,
iyong paningin ay manlalabo.

Sa pagsapit ng gabi’y kami’y nagsalo-salo,
lakas ng samahan ng walo’y lalong tumodo.
Byernes ang araw kung saan tinipon ang may mga edad,
usapin ang kalusugang pang-komunidad.

Kami’y tinipon din sa bahay ng kapitan,
ang pinakamataas na namumunong kay daling lapitan.
Tisoy at karespe-respetong tindig,
sa kaniya’y maraming nananalig.

Sa mga sumunod na araw ay maraming ginawa,
ito’y aming ginawa ng tama.
Lunes ng kami’y ipinatawag,
sa loob ng munisipyo kami’y tinanggap.

Kinilala ang punong namamahala,
nasambit niya kami’y dapat walang ikabahala.
Buong kaba sa grupo’y nawala,
mga estudyante siya’y tiningala.

Usapin tungkol sa droga ang huling kaganapang dinaluhan,
usaping sinimulan ng mga kapulisan kasama ang kanilang mga tauhan.
Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan,
kaya’t ngayon pa lang ay mulatin na sila sa kamalayan.

At dito ko winawaksan ang aking sulatin sa unang lingo,
aking saloobin intindihin sana ninyo.

Isinulat ni Paul Albert Agunod

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