Remembering Mt. Manunggal & Magsaysay – Part 2

This is a long post, so I decided to break this post into two series. Hope you get to read the first part. This is part 2 of the post on Remembering Mt. Manunggal and Magsaysay.

To reach Tabunan, we have to rent a military 6×6 truck, with some soldier escorts as well. The place wasn’t that peaceful during that time – but there was indeed a very amazing experience I had with the NPA rebels and the soldiers. Got to tell this story in my subsequent posts.

Mt. ManunggalAt times, we have to walk for 4 hours to reach Tabunan, from the farthest point where an ordinary transport can take us – I forgot the name of that small barangay, when we can’t get a military truck to take us there. And from Tabunan, we have to cross a river and climb following the mountain trail for another 2 hours.

So what the hell we were doing there and we have to endure such hardship? I was President of an engineering organization at that time, and our school, University of San Jose-Recoletos included the area (Mt. Manunggal and Brgy. Magsaysay) as part of its adopted communities in its outreach program. Our group volunteered and adopted Mt. Manunggal and Brgy. Magsaysay as our outreach program project.

During our first ocular visit – we immediately decided on what to do:

    1. Repair some parts of the Chapel constructed at the crash site. Inside the Chapel you could see some parts of the plane displayed.
    2. Put some cement on the spring well – the only source of water a few feet below the chapel.
    3. Cleanup the memorial shrine and statue and put some cement and paint the flooring with white enamel paint.
    4. Train local folks on some livelihood activities such as candle and soap making.
    5. Pledge chairs and benches on Brgy. Magsaysay school. We saw children having class outside the classrooms under the shade of trees.
    6. Do some volunteer catechism and tutorial class in the school on weekends.

We raised some amounts for the project, we sold t-shirts during school intramurals, sponsored concerts and made some rounds of solicitations on different companies. Then on weekends, we go back to Mt. Manunggal, endure the long walks and climb the mountain for over two hours with cement sacks (for the chapel, the well and the monument) and several lumbers (for the school benches) on our backs. And we assembled the benches right there in the school.

We spent the whole year on this undertaking, we didn’t mind how difficult and tiresome it was. We were young then, full of ideals. Seeing those soldiers and some known rebels helping us carry the materials for our project was an awesome experience.

We completed the project – successfully as we assessed it – plus the fact that our organization was awarded that year in our school’s “Search for Outstanding Student Organizations Involved in Community Outreach Program“. We received a plaque of appreciation. I still have it – the other guys can borrow it if they wanted to. LOL

That was in 1991-1992. Haven’t been there since then. After traveling around the Philippines and in several countries abroad, going back to Mt. Manunggal is a dream. Perhaps I can get in touch with the ERTA guys who helped me out and do another round of outreach program there. Perhaps the best time is this coming March, coinciding Pres. Magsaysay’s death memorial.

To some former Engineering Researchers for Technological Advancement (ERTA), JPIA and USJR IE members who were part of the project – you may contact me here by leaving a comment or email me at roel (at) bloggista (dot) com. We can raise some funds as well.

(Thanks to Mr. Candido Wenceslao for the photo above).

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3 Comments

  1. […] mountain, a place named Brgy. Magsaysay. I have written some nice stories about this project in my rebellious blog, check it […]

  2. You made a history and the biggest difference was, the history has been engraved on those people who benefited from your kind-hearted acts..

  3. Good day! ako po si bien Olierio, 41 yrs old. gusto ko lang ibahagi sa inyo ang kwento ng aking ama tungkol sa pag bagsak ng areplano sa MT. Manunggal. Isa po ang tatay ko sa nag ligtas sa Journalist na si Mata… siya po ang nag karga kay Mr. Mata palabas ng bundok. ayun po sa tatay ko grabe ang hirap na dinanas nila sa pag rescue doon.. pero ni minsan hindi pinahalagahan ng gobyerno ang tulong nila… alam nyo ayun sa tatay ko naka pulot ca ng bag na ma lamang maraming pera at ma 45 na armas… dinampot na sana nya pero aaw pumayag ng Lolo ko daw dahil sabi nga daw ng lolo ko huwag mung galawin yan dahil sa mahal nating presidente yan… kaya binalik na sa kinalalagyan. ngunit pag dating nang mga sundalo kinuha lahat at pinag tawanan lang sila… at inutusan pa silang mag linis sa nabagsakan ng areplano at lahat na makuhang pera ay agad agd kunin ng mga sundalong nag inuman at pinag tawanan lang daw sila sabi ignorante daw sila.. kaya sana po mabigyan ng konting parangal ang tatay ko sa kanyang pag rescue at pag sauli at sa hindi pag galaw ng mga bagay na sa presidente.. matanda na sya ngayun.. nasa mindanao na kami at doon na rin ako ipinanganak.. sanan po ma e post no ito.. dahil kaligayahan ko rin na mabigyan ang papa ko ng kabayanihang ginawa noon.. habang buhay pa sya… salamat po.. bienvinido L. Oliverio 091592023427


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