A Touch of Davao

Manila Bulletin, January 15, 2004 | Go to article overview

A Touch of Davao


MRS. Herminia Borromeos passing away brought many back to Davao to pay tribute to an extraordinarily generous person who touched many lives in Davao. Together with her husband Rosauro, she was a critical force in the building of St. Pauls church in Davao not only by their contributions but in monitoring and weekly reporting of the finances of the construction.

The church was filled with people for the funeral Mass last Tuesday, including over 60 priests and two bishops. Efficient no non-sense persons, the Borromeos run the Valderama Lumber in Compostela Valley, a model for replanting and conservation of the timber resources of the nation.

Unfortunately with the discovery of gold in the area and the inability of the government to control the gold miners and cutting off of timber cutting permits, the whole operation had to be closed down. It is a pity that the system of renewable source of lumber had to be abandoned. Its small community was complete with hospital, church, schools and even a grade school run by the Ateneo de Davao deep in forest.

The atmosphere of Davao allows people to be innovative and active. New this year is the prohibition by the Mayor and City Council of firecrackers and fireworks during Christmas and New Years celebration. Most of its citizens are happy at the results of no death or injuries from explosions or firing of guns. It should be the model for the rest of the country against senseless injuries of the New Year celebration.

Thirty years ago, a remarkable sight was young boys and girls dismissed from school walking home at nine in the evening. Then the NPA disturbances came and the streets became unsafe. Today the students and their parents feel safe again to walk the streets at night. They used to say at the time that four out of five persons you meet in the streets of Davao would not have been born in Davao. …

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