Fu Siagon's wishes


   "Bahalag buta ko basta ma feel nako na naglupad ang eroplano,” said Fu Siagon M. Calatao, the multi-skilled and talented Blaan elder from Sapu Masla, Malapatan Sarangani Province. 

   Fu Siagon was able to share her story and wishes through the help of her granddaughter Jackerel Estoon Log who served as an interpreter in our conversation. 

   At the age of 105 (she's turning 106 this September), she still dreams to travel by airplane to go to Cotabato and Manila. Her idea of traveling by airplane stemmed from an encounter with Mr. Zalde (I suspected it was Manuel Elizalde Jr.) during the 70s in Tboli, South Cotabato. She also wants to see Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao in this coming Blaan Day celebration (as part of the 2017 Pakaradyan Festival of the Municipality of Malapatan). 

   "Unta madunggan ka ana ni Mayor Singcoy arong madala niya si Sen. Manny sa Blaan Day," I said to Fu Siagon, with the hope that she would understand what I have said.

  Despite her condition, she still able to weave mat and lawa (fish net) as well as play Blaan musical instruments like sluray (Blaan Bamboo Harp) and slale (Blaan Bamboo Flute). In her age, she has sharp memory and can tell many stories about Malapatan. 

   “Diba naa may madawat inig abot og edad na 100?” I asked Jackerel. “Centennial benefits banang tawag ana?”

   “Oo Sir. Naa namay naabot na taga {DSWD} region. Giubanan tu sila sa taga munisipiyo arong i-validate si Lola. Nag ingon tu sila na karong bulana muabot tung binipisyo. Gapaabot ra man pud mi ba,” said Jackerel. 

   “Ungya pila man sad madawat ni Fu Siagon?” I asked.

   “Makadawat man siya og P100, 000,” Jackerel said.

   “Ungya naa bay monitoring and evaluation ana inig madawat ang kwarta? Common baya ang case na magka gubot ang pamilya inig maka dawat nag kwarta ang benipisyaryo. Daghan muduol na paryente sa tigulang og mag pabida bida. Naa na moy pamaagi ana arong dili mo magka yagaw,” I said. 

   “Kabalo mana sila na kami jud ang nag atiman sa iya. Maski naa man nang benipisyo o wala, gina asikaso man namo ang tigulang,” said Jackerel. 

   In my brief visitation of Fu Siagon, I have a glimpsed of the poor condition of our elders/senior citizens that need serious attention from our government. Although there are programs that cater to them, Fu Siagon's case (and similar cases) is in the periphery since she lives in far flung sitio.

   "Kung flexible ra akong schedule run, gusto nako mag immersion sa ila didto sa bukid sa Sapu Masla," I said to my friend Francisco Japhet Moralde, the one who introduced Fu Siagon to me. 

   "Sige! Kanus-a man?" He said.

   "Parehas nata na weekend ra available. Dili naman gud parehas dati na maka puyo kog pila ka adlaw sa akong adtuan na lugar," I said.

   So we went to GenSan to take our late lunch, bringing the hope that our simple Social Media posts would spark awareness about her condition.

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This is the blog of G.V. Alfasain (or popularly known as Yadu Karu) where he shares his thoughts about current events, sustainable development and pop culture. He also shares success stories of modern day heroes to inspire his readers. The author hopes that this blog may contribute change in the (Philippine) society.

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Yadu Karu's Blog: Fu Siagon's wishes
Fu Siagon's wishes
Yadu Karu's Blog
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