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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5th Community Exposure Activities

  • 2nd Medical Screening and Consultation

Last January 24, 2019, the team conducted 2nd Medical Screening and consultation in barangay Pugwan in partnership with the RHU– Mahayag headed by Dr. Wilson Lumapas.  There were a total of 98 individuals catered, 36 of them are diagnosed with hypertension and enrolled to Hypertension Club.  As of now,  a total of 71 out of 116 hypertensive individuals were given free medications and enrolled to the program. The RHU also brought with them a medical technologist with a microscope for free urinalysis screening.




The team  initiated a one day BP Measurement Training to the 3P’s Monitoring Team, which solely composed of Barangay Health Workers.  It started with data presentation of hypertension, programs and activities and followed by guidelines to proper blood pressure taking. Each participant was given pre-test and post-test examination. A demo-return demo was used to evaluate the skills of the members. In the end, 2 blood pressure apparatus with stethoscope was turnover to them together with the monitoring logbook for monitoring of BP.




The team in partnership with the Municipal Disater Risk Reduction Management Council  (BDDRMC) was successfully installed the 8 visual markers consisting of Human Flood Level, evacuation to do list, types and description of flood. The visual markers was installed at Purok 6 and Purok 1 which can readily be seen by the community residents.2


With the help of Barangay Council, Pugwan Outlook Team and  the CVO,  the 8 visual markers were able to stand to its location and installed successfully. Everyone is working hand in hand despite the heat of the sun and huge work load. The community’s willingness and commitment for improvement of their barangay has given them the inspiration to do more. Surely, in Pugwan, they are definitely as one.




Coordinated with the animal bite center of Mahayag. Dr. Jerald o Ramos lecturing on the treatment of dog bite cases with emphasis on wound treatment , management and the importance of anti-rabies vaccine

Coordinating with the Mahayag Department of Agriculture for a mass dog vaccination for barangay Pugwan along with the team San Jose.  As of now, no vaccine was available but the DA however is doing its best to gain new supply of vaccine.


The Solid Waste Management team composed of medical student representatives from Dalaguete, Tuburan, Balanan, Manguiles, San Jose and Pugwan collaborates to form a unified barangay ordinance to propose and amend on SWM.



A week-long celebration of Solid Waste Management Awareness with the theme “Save Mother Earth: Basura atong pagamyan.” was conducted last January 21-25, 2019. This was preceded by a lecture conducted on every class in Pugwan Elementary School regarding the importance of the three Rs: Reduce, reuse and recycle.



The SWM team meets with Engr.  Romeo Soria, Head of Municipal Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Office (MDRRMO), and Mr. Ponciano Solatorio, Head of Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) to coordinate with garbage collection in the respective barangays.



The young artists of Pugwan grades 4-6 children had their opportunity to showcase their talent on the 22nd of January 2019 by creating posters of their interpretation on the mentioned theme. Within three hours, the students have created their masterpiece.



The team is brought for ocular inspection to the Municipal Landfill in Panagaan.



January 21, 2019 – A Slogan Writing Activity jumpstarts the SWM Awareness Week.



January 25, 2019 capped off the SWM Awareness Week. The Pugwanderers held the program after the every-Friday Zumba at the Pugwan Elementary School. Games were enjoyed by the kids, with themes integrating the values of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. The highlights of the activity included the role playing of the Bisaya-translated Basura Monster and the awarding of the winners of the Slogan Writing, Poster Making, Recreated Recyclables, and the Best Class in Solid Waste Management



Three collection points, the temporary mini-Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) in Pugwan were formed. This was in preparation for the garbage collection. This was also a contest with two awards: Best Collection Point and Best in Segregation.




Collection Point 2 (Purok 4 and 5) bagged these titles which were awarded during the Pugwan Variety Show on January 29, 2019.



RHU Mahayag comes to Pugwan



It was on July 10, 2018, as early as 6:00AM, point-person for hypertension Adeev was already awake and preparing for the general assembly regarding hypertension.

This was the first assembly for this year’s exposure and the team was anxious and excited to see the people who will attend.

At first, there were only few, but little by little, the people arrived and the venue became more crowded. The team conducted health education regarding hypertension, its chronic effects, its prevention, and control.




Dr. Lumapas along with his team from the RHU-Mahayag, conducted a free general consultation and mass screening for hypertension.



The residents of Pugwan were given free medications!


We are happy and honored from all the love and support we received from the various organizations who continues to support our cause. Thank you RHU-Mahayag!



In preparation for the Waste Analysis and Characterization Study (WACS), day before we finally start to segregate, we decided to practice on ways to be efficient in segregating the 90 trash bags into biodegradable waste, recyclable waste, residual waste, and special wastes.




It was 7:00 AM in the morning, everybody from the team is prepared early for the conduction of WACS. After breakfast, each one of us had special task to accomplish and to perform. This was spearheaded by Kim, Eunice, and Lester.



It was fun, tiring, and really dirty load of work. Nevertheless, we had successfully finished earlier than we expected.

Later on, a group of personnel from MDRRMC of Mahayag arrived and collected the segregated waste. Afterwards, we invited them into our house for a simple merienda (Biko with ice cold coke!). Thank you LGU-Mahayag, Thank you SK! Thank you Pugwan!



Our Return


It was on the 22nd of June, 2018 when our group left Zamboanga City at 10:00 AM and arrived at Pugwan at around 5:00 PM. It was a long and tiring travel and the group had a dilemma on which house to lodge as we were given two options.

At the end of the day, we decided to choose the Barangay Captain’s recommendation because of safety  and near distance from the center of the barangay.

We went to first visit the re-elected Barangay Captain, Hon. Antonio U. Cuevas, to show our presence and inform him of our choice.

We are grateful for the accommodation of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Horwood, whose home provided us with comfort for the rest of our stay.

General Assembly

With all the sun-baked surveying escaped that we had and unaccounted sleepless nights, the culmination of our efforts lead us to this successful event.



Attendance was facilitated by Maureen. People all over from Pugwan went to the General Assembly to be able to take part in our problem prioritization; moreover, data presentation from our survey was also one of the main part of this event.



Faridah spearheaded the discussion on the prioritization of problems and having Kim by her side, the discussion went well.

Food was later served shortly after the discussion and the success of this event was achieved by the group effort everyone gave.



  • 1 whole chicken, dressed and chopped into 10 pieces
  • 1/2 unripe papaya, sliced to cubes
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minces; and 1 whole onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 part of a medium size ginger, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lots of love


A day to remember! On January 28, 2018 Pugwan held its second motocross challenge with participants coming from different Barangays around Mahayag. Not minding the heat wave of the whole afternoon, the participants gave their best in riding. There are 4 categories namely; beginner, novice, expert and mixed. Winners of each racing category won a total of 1 thousand in cash and of course the fame of being the first in line.

An Awakening by Maureen

Most of them are farmers, earning twice a year. Per cropping they only earned 5,000 to 10,000 php which is as they say is not enough for their daily living. That’s when reality strikes. That’s when my eager to helped them has been stronger than ever.

Written by Maureen Jaafar Tadan

An Astounding Glee by Kim

Second week has passed, and by what a great feeling it is. Well we’re not yet done, there’s still so much things to do, but hey! At least, at least we’re making progress, right?

Written by Kimberly Astaca-an

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