Sunday, November 7, 2010

Buenavista - Ready for Positive Change Now

(The municipal building of Buenavista)

Buenavista: 4th class municipality located in southern Marinduque, bounded on the north by Gasan and Boac, on the east by Torrijos. Total land area: 78.6 square kilometers and politically subdivided into 15 barangays.

Population as of 2007: 21,018.

(Contestants in "Vistans Got Talent" as they await the annoucement of the winners)

This year’s celebration of Buenavista’s 92nd Founding Anniversary started last night with the holding of “Vistans Got Talent”, a talent competition obviously inspired by the popular “Pilipinas Got Talent” nationwide search for performing artists.


(The former President Manuel L. Quezon became a principal guest in Buenavista during his incumbency)

Organized by the municipal government of Buenavista under the leadership of newly-elected Mayor, Russel Sarmiento Madrigal, the town’s cultural activity organizers, Dennis Villavicencio and Ian Sotto readily helped to promote the event. While only eight signed up for the competition, the event held at the town’s multi-purpose covered court attracted a huge crowd. Declared winner was a couple of kids in slippers and borrowed T-shirts who named themselves Human Beat Boxers who kept the crowd roaring and simply amazed with the duos prowess in rap, impersonations and beatbox sounds.

Dennis and Ian hosted the show, while Celo Salvacion of Gasan, school teachers Mamie Preclaro of Yook and Vivian Lozada of BNHS, and this blogger as chair, judged the contestants. In his remarks during the program, Madrigal confessed to the audience that having been addressed for a long time only as “Talahib” or “Jing” or “Lolo Jing”, he still felt uneasy about being introduced, like that evening as “Kagalang-galang”, honorable, which probably could not be avoided, he said, based on local practice. But, he’s bent on making positive changes in the island-province’s poorest municipality to really deserve the title, he said.

(Buenavista's newly-elected mayor, Russel Sarmiento Madrigal)

Madrigal actually had a hand and strong influence as former head of the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) in Buenavista, in gradually changing the landscape of this quiet municipality. The relocation of the old public market by the seaside that rendered the beach area polluted with all types of garbage was initially met with emotional protests by the local residents, people not being ready for the introduction of changes, as is probably the case most anywhere.

(Local residents undertake regular coastal clean-ups)

The public market was eventually relocated in a suitable space in barangay Malbog and had gained public acceptance. In 2007, with the election as Mayor of Jing’s mother, Ofelia S. Madrigal, a well-appropriated coastal park with playground for children, kiosks, a stage, a meeting hall and a dike with appropriate street lights soon rose in the entire area where the market used to be, thanks to the strong determination of the local officials. That necessarily included Mayor Ofelia and ABC president Jing, now mayor of Buenavista.

(Young boys now enjoy frolickin on the beach)

We now see the young and the old swimming on the beach rendered safer from pollution and waste. Evening strolls at the park by people coming down from far-away barangays soon became a habit and are now a common sight.

(Backdrop for a stage presentation being installed by Teatro Balangaw group in one of its presentations at the coastal park)

Young people are organizing parties and events in the park now and then, with so little restraint from town officials concerned only with keeping the coastal park secure.

Stylish houses are rising one after another and at least two restaurants catering to locals and tourists were established last year. The establishment of Bellarocca Resort and Spa in an island south of Buenavista is expected to gradually open up a string of enormous possibilities for the town at present with increased number of tourists and felt need for all types of allied services in place.

Recent video of the town of Buenavista by Canadian visitor, Rob Trent.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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