9/28/08



Padre Ochoa, Padre Inciong and The Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes in Baao


Fr. Aquilino De la Torre Ochoa was assigned as Coadjutor to Padre Inciong in Baao for four and a half years and was responsible for giving the town our own Lady of Lourdes Grotto. How it came to be he recounts in his “Talambuhay”, an autobiography written in Tagalog verse. He was born in Indan, now Vinzons, Camarines Norte this is why his tagalog is sprinkled with Bikol words. When he was ordained priest his first assignment was in Baao and was here during the waning years of the 1930's. Baao's Lourdes Grotto became the first of many of his accomplishments.


“ COADJUTOR SA BAAO SI PADRE OCHOA”

Ang kura sa Baao si Padre Florencio Gonzales
Balitang-balita mga coadjutor hindi makatiis
Mahaba na ang isang taon, coadjutor agad na aalis
Hindi magkaunawaan, pagsasama hindi matiis

Sa aking pagdating matapos sa kura ay mag-pugay,
ang kanyang ugali at hilig aking pinag-aralan,
nang mamasdan kong sa ahedres mahilig makilaban,
magkakasundo kami larong ahedres muli at muling naglalaban

Kaya sa tuwi-tuwina matapos ang hapunan
Ang tablero ng Ahedres dinadala sa aming harapan
Tinatalo ko siya, tinatalo din niya ako.
Pagdating sa hatinggabi saka kami naghihiwalay

Isang ping-pong table ang aking ipinagawa
Upang mapaglibangan ng mga kabataan
Nang Makita ni Padre Gonzales, siya ay natuwa
Kaya’t nagpaturo sa akin sa bola ng ping-pong pagpatama

Hindi naman mahirap si Padre Inciong Gonzales turuan
Hindi nagtagal ibig niyang palaging may kalaro
Kahit sa mga kabataan at sa mga kapaparian
Kaya’t liban sa Ahedres, ping-pong kanyang nauyunan

Nabalitaan ko araw ng kanyang kapanganakan
Hinding-hindi pa siya nagdiwang ng kanyang kapanganakan
Sa aming inasalto, kaarawan ng kanyang pag silang
Isang banda ng orkestra kasama ng taong bayan

May mga dalang pagkain, alak, litson at pulutan,
Maikling palatuntunan, talumpati, tula, awit at sayaw
Si Padre Florencio Gonzales, katuwaan nag-uumapaw,
Napilitan siyang mag-tapat na si Padre Ochoa ang may kagagawan

Nang makuha ko ang tiwala ng Paring Kura
Ano man sabihin ko sinusunod niya pag-daka
Sa tabi ng patio, may nakatambak na bato lumang asoteya
Kung ibig mong malinisan, papatayuan natin ng Groto

Sabi niya kung kaya mo ikaw ang bahala, gawin mo na
Kaya ako nagpasimulang usapin ang maga Hijas de Maria
nang aking balak, magpatayo ng Groto
Wala naming sumasalungat, lahat ay sang-ayon

Kailangan ng isang arketekto, gagawa ng plano
Bantog noon si Barcenas at eskultor Neglerio
Subalit ang mga ito, mga propesyonal eskultor-arketekto
Mahal ang kanilang bayad, sa dyaryo at honorario

Naghanap ako ng larawan ng Groto sa Lourdes
Sinikap kong puntahan mga simbahan may Groto ng Lourdes
Sa Naga, Iriga, Guinobatan, Quezon City hanggang Baguio City
Inisa-isa kong puntahan at ako ay gumawa ng plano

Sapagkat kailangan ng pera upang makagawa
Isang “Fund Raising” kailangan isimula
Naisipan kong isang Velada makapaghanda
Upang sa fiesta ng bayan ipakita sa madla

Upang maging magaan humanap ako ng kasama
Si Guinoong Jorge Barlin, mahilig sa musika at kanyang “Sabrina”
Isang melo-drama at komedya, kumuha ng mga artista
Sa bahay ni Tomas Guevara inihanda ang numero sa kaarawan

Dumating ang kapistahan ng Patron ng Baao
Maraming dumalo galing sa ibang bayan
Punong-puno ang liwasan na pag-bibeladahan
Kaya’t sa kahilingan ng marami, inulit sa kaarawan

Sa awa ng Diyos, ang “Fund Raising” naging matagumpay
Nabili ko kaagad ang kasangkapan sa Groto’y ilalagay
Mga semento, hollow blocks, kabilya at iba pang kailangan
Punto ng lumang asoteya aking pinalinisan

Nag-hanap ako ng isang panday-kantero
Marunong gumawa sa kahoy at semento
Sa awa ng Diyos nakatagpo din ako
Naging katulong siya nina Barcenas at Neglerio

Ang aking plano sa Groto ay susundin
Ako ang arketekto at artista paman din
Ang kantero na upahan ko ako ang susundin
Hindi ang sino paman dahil sa Mahal na Birhen

Sapagkat ang pera hindi magkakasya
Kailangan ng donasyon ng larawan ni Birhen Maria
Kaya’t si Guinoong Julian Barrameda pinakiusapan ko
Na kay Neglerio magpagawa ng Lourdes at Bernardita

Maganda ang larawan na gawa ni Guinoong Neglerio
Nang Birhen de Lourdes at Bernardita de cemento
Si Neglerio ang nagayos ng larawan, sa Groto itinayo
Gayon din si Bernardita nakaluhod sa malayo

Sa apat na kanto nitong “Asoteyang Groto”
Pinalagyan ko ng parola tigta-tatlong ilaw
May mga donantes din na mga Maestro at mga Maestra
Kaya’t ang Groto sa Baao, ay naku kay ganda

Wala akong panahon sabihin sa inyo lahat
Ang Groto ng Lourdes sa Baao, tunay na nakakagulat
Kung kayo may panahon sa kabikolan maglakad
Tumigil sa Baao, Groto ng Lourdes inyong mamalas

Apat at kalahati din ako sa Baao
Sa tabi ng Kura na mahirap na kasamahin
Sa Naga ako dinala, Coadjutor sa katedral
Kura si Mons. Penilla at Vicario Heneral.

9/27/08

THE CHARGE OF THE HORSEMEN
AT THE BATTLE OF AGDANGAN
P.B.Robosa


Ahead! Down the hill the horses led
to rise again on another hillock
lit by the morning light the sun bled
and revealed to the enemy our attack.

Ahead! The blue shirts advanced
and came the sound of rifles readied
disturbing the silence of the ground
drowning the charge of our steeds.

Charge! And we headed to the center
and fifty muzzles pointed to the riders
and the horsemen rode as if unaware
the guns loaded, fingers at the triggers.

Crack! And a screen of smoke erupts
and our chests heaved with scarlet
we steadied, legs steeled to the stirrup
and then rolled down, giving in, death.

Like leaves we fall on desolate ground
plucked from flowers to be transplanted
no glory, no monuments to be found
amidst faith and longings unrewarded.

I was born into the love of a happy home
and heart gladdened by the wakening land,
rearing to be free to trace its destiny alone,
to draw paradise on earth with my hand.

To ends that God, History point the way,
the way of peace, and pride, and purpose,
ends songs are wrought and heroes made,
ends where lives are gave and joys repose.

I, to boundless hope these ends followed
bearing honor, life, and my soul unafraid
bearing it for all the countless tomorrows,
for my end, my home and sweet tender grave.

9/26/08

Our SMA Days
P.B. Robosa

We were young and we were free
we'd walk the gate and into the end
it looked old and bare but it was cheery
crawl through a hole, smelled the floor
cracked the old desk covered with scrawls

We're proud but we knew how to have fun
brave the horrors of the grotto under the moon
plant crops in the morn or haul sand in the sun
we'd jump the high window and bang the bell
stole fried bananas on sticks and cursed like hell

We pretend joy and we pretend sorrow
liked a storm on occasion but during summer
hated math and physics but the ballyhoo
said “Good Morning Miss”to a sour face
eyes strained reading but quick for a little lace

We were all yours as we were all there
said goodbye in the end but never lost touch
We return and sing “Hail, Dear Alma Mater”
Passed the make shift gate and the gray halls
We've had laughter, light and loved in these walls

9/25/08

Baao Church and "Convento" Before the Fire of 1971


Some readers were wondering if I have a good photo
of the Church and "Convento" before it was permanently
altered by fire and the subsequent rehabilitation.
This I think was how "Padre Inciong" envisioned
the church and the patio when it was being
rebuilt during his time.

9/24/08

The Baaoeño talents behind the SMA Alma Mater Song

During my college years and I was away from Baao for years, one song that stirs up nostalgia in me is the SMA Alma Mater which I sang for years in school with my classmates. Later, I would hear it either being played briskly or sonorously by the school band or sung during alumni homecomings. The lyrics are so simple but elegant and the melody so catchy that I had no problem memorizing it in Grade two. A fellow alumni revealed in later years that he was using it in other schools which did not have a graduation song as a kind generic alma mater song, all he had to do was replace SMA's with the name of the school.

The lyrics of the song was written by Baao's poet laureate Luis G. Dato on the occasion of the graduation of SMA's first graduates, among whom, my mother, Lourdes Esplana Bucela-Robosa was a member. The words were set to music by one of Bicol's foremost musician's of the time, the famous Marcial L. Briones of the King's Orchestra fame.



Luis G. Dato and Marcial L. Briones

SMA Alma Mater Song
Hail dear Alma Mater, thee we honor
Proudly in the dawn we raise thy banner
Santa Monica, Sweet Alma Mater
With thy praise thy loyal sons and daughters
Fills the land wherever they may roam
Alma Mater, Alma Mater never
Shall thy glory wane but shine forever,
Joyous to thy call we come and rally,
Far or near, from mountain, shore or valley,
For in thee our spirits finds its home
Chorus:
Santa Monica, O Santa Monica
In thy fold a true and valiant band
Through the years whatever time may bring us,
Alma Mater, we shall ever stand.
L.D.

SMA's 70th Birthday

In 2010, the SMA community plans to celebrate the school's Diamond Jubilee, five years shy of the costumary 75 years. The reasoning behind is that it is common practice now and perhaps there is truth in in the maxim that "a good idea now is better than a great idea tomorrow" and everyone seems to be enthusiastically behind it. I myself could have waited for the beatification of Mo. Consuelo Barcelo, who in 1939 along with a sister companion went to the Bicol Region looking for a place to put up a school. SMA would have been blessed with a co-founder with title of "Blessed" before her name. The other hero of the founding of SMA is Rev. Fr. Florencio Gonzalez or fondly, "Padre Inciong" who did not let the chance to slip of having the Augustinian Sister's first school in the Bicol Region put up in Baao. He started the school on his own expense at the then huge sum of P18,000.00 so it could open immediately the next school year of 1940.


Padre Inciong at the time of SMA's opening and as a young priest.
The school's main building being built by Vicente Fernandez
and workers. The name of the school was "Colegio of Baao"
Padre Inciong (far left in eyeglasses), his Coadjutor
Padre Ochoa and the pioneer Sisters pose with
SMA pupils. The school's name, "Escuala Parroqial
de Baao"(the school building still lacked its window panes)


Rare Photo of the Pioneer Sisters

The SMA building during its glory days

This photo of SMA students and pupils was taken
November 30, 1941, 15 days before the Japanese entered
Baao.

9/23/08

25th Anniversary Picture of Feliz & Rosario Guevara

Row 1: Rosario Barlin Guevara, Rosario Serrano Guevara, Felix Guevara, Gregoria Guevara
Row 2: ______, Angelina Serrano
Row 3: Conching Luzentales, Amparo Guevara Bernas, Cleotilde Guevara Martires, Rosario Obias Serrano, Nena Baesa?
Row 4: Maricoy Bernas?, Agustina Barlin Gumabao, Jose Serrano.

This picture was posted originally on the Barlin Yahoo group webpage by Angel G. Martires.

9/7/08

Resuene Vibrante



"Himno a la Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia" composed by Maximo Heguera CM in 1924; supplemented with Bikol lyrics by Bp. Timoteo Pacis CM, Jesus Esplana and Sohl Saez; sung by the Schola Cantorum of the Holy Rosary Major Seminary in Naga City; choral arrangement by Lorenzo Jarcia III; recorded and published by the Caceres Music Ministry in 1989. Video images of the Traslacion and Fluvial Processions.