Category Archives: Uncategorized

18 Days at the River Banks

The search operations for the missing teenagers of Lower Wangal La Trinidad has reached Day 18 on Monday, September 02, 2019 where one of the two was found. I had Mixed emotions of Joy and Fear upon learning the discovery of the volunteer groups later that day. I was thankful but not to celebrate yet, as many things has to be considered to manage the dead in the lens of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management.

But first, remember that before day 18 was August 29 and 30, 2019 when our responders, led by Elgin Bulcio, LDRRMO I of La Trinidad, went down as far as Bagulin, La Union to conduct the Search operations there. This strategy was employed and implemented because after Sablan, the Balili River connects to Bagulin River. The conduct of Search operations there will also clear out speculations of possibility that those missing teens are there. All responders checked-in for that mission stayed overnight at the Municipal Hall of Baguilin, courtesy of Bagulin Mayor Virgilio Flor and the People of Bagulin. Salamat Apo.

On August 30, 2019, we accompanied Mayor Romeo K. Salda who wanted to visit his IMT and operatives at Bagulin. Upon our arrival, a courtesy meeting was conducted between the two chief executives. Really, the Municipality of Bagulin was eager to extend all possible help they could provide for this mission. When we met our search operations IMT and volunteers in their Incident Command Post (ICP), we observed that they are already exhausted, given the conditions of hot temperature, even the K9-s seems to show stress levels at that point. So, Immediately, after all objectives was met, the Responsible Official for this operation, Mayor Romeo Salda, immediately ordered demobilization of La Trinidad Resources and everyone returned to La Trinidad base.

So there were at least two-day rest days for our search operations volunteers. And on Monday, day 18, one of the missing persons was found. It was actually 4:00 PM on that day, the time of pull-out, when a volunteer from the Talingguroy group saw a hand where he thought was just a part of the garbage found therein. Perhaps due to fatigue and low morale, he forgot about possibilities. But after a moment, he went back with his buddy and confirmed it to be a human body part, covered with a lot Garbage, through a touch. All efforts were then concentrated on that area and the garbage was removed, thus, revealing the body which is unidentifiable. No marks, No clothes, just bare.

Management of the Dead and Missing comes to play. After the body was extricated, it was placed in a body bag and brought to Benguet General Hospital Morgue. The discovered body cannot be identified by their relatives because both missing teens were allegedly of the same weight and height. Just to make sure that the body is correctly identified, the services of the Crime Lab of the Philippine National Police was requested. The Results, however, needs to be processed and will be available after some time.

The discovery of the body on Day 18 was like a gas poured onto the fire of dedication in wanting to find the other missing teen. It enhanced the eagerness of our volunteers after an 18-day heartbreaks. I personally witnessed them losing hope in the same way I almost lost mine. Now I know better; that search operations of this duration requires a lot more than just a morale booster – it requires a lot of support.

DRRM MEANS SEARCHING

The Habagat has brought us pain. Aside from damages in the farms, two teenagers went missing. A worst situation in a community that we don’t want to happen-and as much as we want to find them quickly after they were reported as missing, the circumstances warrant otherwise. The Waters in the river was violent and turbid – a sign of danger to our rescue teams.

It hurts us the way it hurts their relatives and the community because the only possible action is to wait until the river subsides. But waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing. In this period, the La Trinidad Accredited Community Disaster Volunteers (LTACDV) are with the employees of the La Trinidad LGU doing the necessary plans. Not everyone knows this which makes them derive the assumption that their government is not doing anything. But this action is the important part of the search operation after all.

The earlier days of operations was under the responsibility of the Local Government Unit of Barangay Wangal. The La Trinidad MDRRMC won’t go anywhere far as they are still in-charge of Logistics and Safety. This is part of the strategies and tactics because these kind of search operations on rivers with rocks and boulders may extend as long as the missing persons are found. The locals went on to the option of water contact to search inside the waters. At one point, they were requesting for scuba gears. We have available gears, however, our safety officer said no. Technicalities revealed that using such gear would increase risk because the river might just easily pull them in.

As the search goes down below Barangay Wangal, political boundary suggests the use of area command mechanism. Barangay Bineng Officials offered their capacity and services to augment search operations efforts within their area of responsibility. They even took the responsibility to coordinate with their neighboring Barangay Banengbeng in the Municipality of Sablan for the next schedule of the operation soon. A commendable act of helping a fellow LGU in need.

While the operations are on-going, help were coming. City DRRM of Baguio came when they were requested by the relatives to help. K9 teams of the BFP and PNP were also utilized. Donations from various organizations and Agencies were received. And community volunteers are continuously coming in.

There is hope! And part of our job is to keep it burning and make it happen! Just Before Tropical Depression Jenny comes in, the search teams are working at Barangay Kamog, Sablan. The plan has to be implemented before Jenny changes the course of the river just yet.

Commendation is due to all those who continuously support the DRRM Search Operations for our missing brothers from Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet. Barangay Wangal and Barangay Bineng Officials, tanods, and community members in particular, displayed best example of helping one another which I will never forget. May their example inspire other Local Government Units to do the same, not just during disasters, but in everyday living.

To the relatives and friends of our dear missing brothers, your Municipal DRRM will always support you in all possible and safe means, to find them. Let’s help each other, and together, we shall succeed.

Meeting of the Originals for the First Time

The originals have finally met. This time, at the home of their greatest ancestor named Bangka, where his Remains is laid, at Tikey, Bokod.

Yes. The first BANGKA CLAN reunion was successfully conducted today. And here are some of its highlights.

The affair started with the traditional tayao representation for Bangka and Tongkok, followed by their children Kowena, then Solen.

After their tayaw, the first offering was delivered.

The next batch who danced the tayaw, for representation, was Sehna and her children. Albas, Salona, Salero, Saljamey, Dabonay, Maning and Cosna-ey.

Same was done using the second offering after their Tayaw.

When all was set, presentation of clan members commenced. Everyone was presented.

My heart was joyful as they were introduced. Aside from Uncles and Kaanakans, mostly here are all my third degree cousins. I hope they were happy as I am.

Much to my delight, the cassava is overflowing and tasty here, in different styles, especially with original home brewed Benguet Coffee on a Bamboo cup!

At the end of the day, after stories, is socials time. Games for children and Senior Citizens were the favorites, such as trip to jerusalem, stop dance, baloon popping, needle hole threading, tissue paper transfers, etc.

The Live band took over for some great music for social dancing, afterwhich, dinner was served.

The actual event is much more enjoyable to attend. We look forward to celebrating it again next time with you. Experience the hardwork of the e-Tikeys in the physical preparations and the food. Salamat aakhi. (etikey a, not entikey) ✌

Thank you also to all our cash and in-kind donors, including those who rendered their services free of charge for the success of this meeting of the originals. I will publish your names soon after the list is finalized and released.

Diteng e isubalit apo bangka sun ckatajon emin!

Bangka is not in the water

Bangka is not a Boat. While others think it is, imagangan knows otherwise. It is a name.

We will be having the First Bangka Clan Reunion on December01, 2018 at Tikey Proper, Bokod, Benguet. I am a member of this Clan as the Grandson of Salona and Demja-en. I got some list on which I will be updating after the reunion which I would want to share.

Our great grandfather named Bangka is the son of Kayman and Oreyao. His First wife was Seh-na who is the daughter of Magsial and Kayapan. His second wife is Tongkok who is the sister of Colas and Gorinto.

Bangka and Seh-na’s children are as follows (arrangement to be updated):

  • ALBAS – The first wife of Albas is Soyep fromTikey. When Soyep was deceased, he married Chomingao who is from Kabayan. Albas’children are Miting, Dolan, Manaca, Saropa, Barton, Samuela, & Felimon.
  • SALONA – Salona married the son of Bobodo named Demja-en Matias, their children are Sadpina, Bucasan, Sopja, Palina, Kayman, Monmon, Dangbay, Bareng, and Ew-ew.
  • SALERO –  Salero is married to Nening who is among the Lintan Family of Palo, Tublay. Their children are Deb-ang, Jacob, Teresita or Tekbeb, Soda, Benita, Bensay and Tel-ay.
  • DABONAY – The wife of Dabonay is Maro who is also from Tikey. Their children are Julian, Acusan, Penja, and Tadjango.
  • SALJAMEY – Saljamey married Digmayo who is claimed to be also from Tikey. Their children are Jagaw, Mesdag, Pettong, & Dominga.
  • COSNA-EY – Cosna-ey married Mirante, another ansector raised in Tikey. Their children are Jose who is also known as Otot, Kebatuy, Ba Git, Sagay, Onsing, Dambeb and Clarita.
  • MANING – Esong who is from the Emilio Family is the wife of Maning. Their Children are Dicanay, Mason, Morgan, Anjuban, Sikney, Damok who is also known as Kopig.
  • KOWENA – Kowena married Joaquin who is from the Caparas Family of Bunagan, Daklan. Their Children are Maria and Lilia.
  • SOLEN –  Solen was not able to marry.

Find the following initial list for your ready reference. Don’t forget to Comment corrections and queries here for future corrections.

Initial List of the Clan. (for corrections and updating)

The Incident Command System (ICS)

I am among the team of instructors discussing modules of Basic Incident Command System Training to the ARESCOM of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) today and I thought I should share some to you too.

Incident Command System, or ICS, is a standard on-scene management concept that can be used by everyone in any event or incident, especially by response groups in case of Disasters. It works well by organizing functions of each member of teams who wants to help respond to a certain situation.

The basic process starts with having an Incident Commander by authority of the Responsible Official in the area. In cases of quick rescue response, the First person doing the rescue operation is automatically the IC until the arrival of the authorized Commander.

The Incident Commander will now select his staff composition consisting of 3 to 7 individuals. These individuals will help him Implement his Objectives, guided by what the Responsible Official likes to happen. When more manpower is needed, each of these selected staff of the Incident Commander can also employ maximum of 7 staffs as their personnel for the job assigned to them until the mission is completed.

There’s a lot more that happens after this. Its what participants learn in this kind of course. In fact, there are four courses to finish before you will be an Incident Management Team (IMT) Member. 1-Basic ICS, 2-Integrated Planning, 3-All Positions & 4-All Hazards IMT. All are implemented by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) of the Region. 😉