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Independence and What It Means For Us World War II Veterans

For us and in behalf of those who are no longer alive that risked their lives because we wanted our neighbors and families safe and free from the brutal Japanese occupation, see the transformation of Catanduanes into what she is now compared to conditions before Virac was bombed in the morning of December 12, 1941. We thank GOD and guerillas from Virac, Viga, Baras, Bato and San Miguel who captured the Japanese headquarters in what used to be the Virac municipal building without the participation of American ground forces. We believe we have earned the privilege of sharing our concerns with the living, particularly the high school and college graduates, and the people’s elected leaders.


Catanduanes is our birthplace and we love her as intensely as anyone and want to see her and those who reside and work to provide food and home for their loved ones. It has a small land mass and generally mountainous and, therefore, needs a huge forest cover in order to provide water for the survival of humans, animals and plants. Thanks to those responsible for the protection and conservation of those sources of waters because our brooks and rivers seldom run out of that liquid.

Thanks to our national and local government units, we have public and private educational institutions that provide training and help so that graduates who are competent enough to warrant employment in local and foreign businesses and factories. However, we observe the decline of the English language in day-to-day conversations as if we are forgetting that it is now the universal way to understand and be understood. While we accept the notion that we must have our own national language (Pilipino), the fact is it is not understood nor needed in most foreign lands. Maybe we are forgetting what used to be our advantage in being employed overseas. That advantage is getting smaller as other nations are very aggressive in teaching English so that competition for employment has become very intense.

Nowadays it is no longer enough just to talk in English. What is needed is proficiency enough to be as good as deserving PhDs. This is a wake-up call for our administrators and faculties in educational institutions. It would be nice to see the circulation or number of readers of the Catanduanes Tribune double every year or so and to hear students speak English with one another in the corridors of schools and elsewhere.

We join the many who honestly believe that local history and names of duly constituted authorizes known universally. We are disturbed to know that teachers, barangay health workers and others cannot enumerate the names of barangay officials, on whom their security depends and are deserving of respect. Unless such data or information are known, the use and effectiveness of barangays become stale and senseless,. There can be no better incentives for our policemen to be truly of service and be regarded as protectors of the people and for barangay officials to serve with honesty and pride.

By Vicente M. Alberto
June 12,2010

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Virac, the capital of the island province of Catanduanes, started its primitive annals in pre-Spanish times when tribal chieftain Lumibao, scion of Datu Dumaguil who came to the Philippines with the 13 Malay dauts, andd his wife Milbigan settled near Vidak spring and founded the first civilized settlement with a score of servant followers and their wives. Some say Virac is a derivation of the word “Vidac” while others claim it is a contraction of the Spanish version of the word burac, meaning flower.
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