Category Archives: Society Matters

Heavy Schoolbag Woes

Parents’ heavy schoolbag woes could have been addressed by Lapid’s Senate Bill 2179. How could then DepEd Sec LaSalle Brother Armin Luistro looked down on it as trivial!

20190606_095808Lapid introduced a bill in 2010 about school bags similar to a bill filed by Pampanga 1st district Rep. Carmelo Lazatin. Lazatin’s House Bill 6644 and Lapid’s Senate Bill 2179 sought to limit the load of school bags to 15 percent of the student’s weight.

Philippine Inquirer editorial in Oct. 2011 partly stated: “The measures Lapid has filed can sometimes verge on the bizarre. Among the most unusual he has sponsored are: a bill that seeks to give left-handed Filipinos the same opportunities as right-handed Filipinos; another sets a limit on the weight of the school bags borne by Filipino schoolchildren ….”

Education Secretary Armin Luistro (PDI report in 2010): “Luistro told reporters earlier that he found Lapid’s Senate Bill No. 2179 too trivial to require enactment into law. Luistro said the problem of overloading schoolbags could easily be addressed by the school principal and the parents themselves. ‘If we pass too many laws, nobody will believe in our laws anymore. I think a simple news item on this topic is enough,’ Luistro said with a mocking laughter.”

addendum: Lapid also filed a Senate bill that would provide desks designed for the left-handed… of course, this was also ridiculed. Sad.

Realization: I should have voted for Lapid in the last election. Hayz. Good, he won.


INDONESIA: The Testimony of the Pilot of the Last Plane out of Palu before the Earthquake

This story is so inspiring that I decided to repost here for my easier access.

October 2018
(English translation)

“Today the Batik Air pilot, Captain Mafella, visited a  church in Jakarta (Duta Injil BIP) and testified why he speeded up the departure of his flight 3 minutes ahead of the Palu airport schedule set.

He told us that all day Friday he had been feeling unsettled and he didn’t know why.

To get rid of these feelings of unrest, he loudly sang worship songs the whole way from Ujung Pandang to Palu, (“Usually I only hummed, but that day I wanted to praise the Lord as best I could”, he said). Eventually his Muslim Co-Pilot jokingly suggested, that he make a CD of worship songs.

When they were about to land at the Palu Airport, the sky was clear but the wind was too strong and he “heard a voice in his heart” telling him to circle again before landing.

The Palu airport is squeezed between two mountain ranges and it reminded him of  the verse, Psalm 23:4:

“I may walk through valleys as dark as death but I wont be afraid. You are with me and your shepherd’s rod makes me feel safe.”

According to the Captain, pilots call airports situated between two mountain ranges, “valleys of death,” because they must be extra careful in landing, so Christian pilots hold on to Psalm 23:4.

A moment after landing successfully, he felt in his heart that he needed to be quick.

Because of that, he instructed his crew to just take a 20-minute break before the plane was due to return to Jakarta via Ujung Pandang.

He didn’t even leave the cockpit and requested permission from the Control Tower to depart 3 minutes ahead of schedule.

After receiving permission for take-off from the late air controller, Agung, [Anthonius Gunawan Agung] they prepared for take off.

Captain Mafella confessed that at that time he broke flight procedures because he took over the job of the Co-Pilot by speeding up the plane in the process of take off.

He didn’t know why but his hand kept holding on to the lever causing the plane to speed up as it took off.

He did not know then that an earthquake had struck Palu but he felt the plane swaying a little to left and right.

According to him if he had taken off three minutes later, he would not have been able to save the 140 passengers, because the asphalt on the landing strip was moving up and down like a curtain blowing in the wind.

Several minutes after take-off, he tried to communicate with the tower but there was no response from Agung.

He looked down and saw a strange phenomena.

The sea water on the coast was forming a very large hole “so that the foundation of the sea bed could be seen.”

When the plane arrived in Ujung Pandang, he was told that there had been an earthquake and tsunami in Palu and that the official in the control tower who had organised his plane’s take off, had died shortly after he [had stayed back and] had made sure that the plane had taken off safely.

This afternoon before he left to fly to Kuala Lumpur, Captain Mafella emphasized how important it is that we are hear the voice of God.

And whatever happens we must be calm, not in a panic, so that we can clearly hear the voice of God coming to us by the Holy Spirit – because he added that when he took over the role of the co-pilot to speed up the take off, the co-pilot looked fearful, as the body of the plane was swinging left and right.

May we take a lesson and a blessing from the testimony of Captain Mafella today.”

Another A: A Woman in Most Complicated Life Situation

There is this woman who fell in love with a guy out of her own cultural group. An out-group that is looked down by most of her in-group. Call it the hierarchy of ethnocentrism (that feeling of superiority over other groups). Her in-group truly exhibits ethnocentrism amongst all other groups with no qualms at all. They are proud of it. They show it. People know it. People  are aware of it. People can even feel it.

Now the guy lets his intent of marrying the woman, let’s call her Apeace, fly out to the direction where Apeace’s parents are. The intent reached the parents through Apeace herself. As expected, the parents verbally pronounced total rejection and dislike towards the guy. And with the continuous discouragements from the guy’s friends, the guy, let’s call him MD, lost all courage and inspiration to go meet Apeace’s parents. Unfortunately, MD lacks immediate family circle to back him up. He allegedly grew up without parents, only distant relatives. That makes matters worse because, in the traditional Philippine marriage preparations, the road to marital bliss largely involves the parents. The guy’s parents to meet and form alliance with the girl’s. Definitely, the guy’s parents strengthen and increase the guy’s chances to win the girl’s yes to a marriage.

But, with the predicament they are in, what should be done with the growing baby bump of Apeace. Yes, those who want to have a child and tried various ways fail. And, yes, there are those who simply got swayed for a night and then boom! The pregnancy is totally, completely a taboo in both of their in-group and out-group! The conservative Philippines ranks farther from these sub-groups when it comes to taboos. They are placed in the extreme scheme of things in society, be it for life or for death. Something that reason does not understand the reason at all.

In all of the few months of agony as to what to do, misfortune befall the innocent fetus! Apeace had miscarriage as she claimed it was. The bedraggled sweethearts had to attend to the whole expulsion process in the next city where the walls may lack ears and the windows may lack eyes. They may have felt relieved after all, only them would know. So they were freed from the doom of impossible marriage. They could continue to live separate lives in separate ways.

A year passed and Apeace found herself in a new web akin to a maximum security prison. I cannot blame you if you’d say Apeace seems to have not learned a lesson after all. She herself thought the same. It’s the same guy, MD, so she claimed. The problem this time – MD is not taking any responsibility whatsoever. Hala. He does not even believe it. Apeace said, again, it happened only once. And MD asked, why are you not safe at that time? Tada. You may wonder, how do I know all these. The horse mouth said it all. We had a tutorial on a course that I teach and now she takes over while I am still on study leave. That’s why. We had our first tutorial when she said she missed her regular menstrual flow. She suspected it. So I suggested she took the preg test to confirm her nightmare. When we met at a gathering a month later, she hushed to me and confirmed it.

Time flies so fast indeed for us who are super busy but even to those who would not like time to move. Time can not be stopped at all. So the months progressed and the bump grew as well. She hid it through loose clothing. She was grateful of the new classes schedule wherein workmates do not necessarily meet in a week. So the workmate-mothers do not see her and she is free from their wise and experienced vision. So, she’s able to carry the charade for five months. But, the sixth month is different. The bump would show to the world! How long can she hide it. She said one of her students, the slightly autistic one, who remarked in class, that Apeace is fatter now and looked like another faculty in another department who is proudly pregnant! Hala.

While we had our tutorial, a fraction of our time is on limbo discussion about her complicated situation. She will surely be killed by her family, she said, if ever she’s found  in such predicament. MD also would blame Apeace’s parents. So, what’s the plan? To go on a training in another city where she may successfully deliver without her clan knowing about it. Hopefully the workmates who’d go with her can assist her. So, is there Plan B? Nada. She has no idea what to do in case the training application gets disapproved. Yay. Two more workmates from her in-group had to know of her situation to supplement to her excuses of how she is not being able to do tasks expected of her.

One evening post-Valentine, one of the two workmates, let’s call her Lisa, called me seeking advice which hospital she would bring Apeace who appeared to be collapsing judging from her tone through the phone. We both agreed of the government-owned hospital to avoid high expense. We both concur that our sisters-in-law emerged from the hospital well and good, after their gynecological cases of births and the like. I told Lisa to just explain to Apeace well and make her understand so her psyche is properly set and at peace with the hospital. So off they went.

Lisa kept on updating me. The challenge of a super secret is that the ones who knew carry the burden of the world. In this case, only three knew, so far. Well, I later learned that the immediate family of Lisa and Olie (let’s call the other workmate this) knew too. While me, I’m all alone with the secret. I cannot burden any family member with it. No reason for them to know anyway. While the other two need to tell to be able to go. The update contents specified the doctor’s findings: the fetus is dead inside and it had to be evacuated out for Apeace safety. Boom.

The Caesarian section was done. Problem – the dead baby. Lisa called me about it because the hospital will give it to her. Lisa cannot accept it, and her family (sisters and in-laws) forbid her to take it lest she be the one to be accused of having bore it after all in an in-group so obsessed with taboos and where clan feuds abound. Definitely I cannot take responsibility for a dead body too. When my sister died over ten years ago, I even did not do any paper works. My spiritual brothers did it for me. It’s faster for them as they were barangay officials then. They took care of everything from death certificate to permits to bury to a grave where to bury. And am I to go through all that! No way. It is something that can not be hidden in my in-group too. Aside from the paperworks, there has to be a wake, a 9-day prayer, a burial, and 40th day prayer. I do not have words to say to anyone who am I burying. I rest my case.

Lisa had to be there all by herself as the only support Apeace could ever get. Wow, what a heroic act she did amidst rebuff from her family. She was told to get out of the maze, bringing Apeace to the hospital is enough. But, Lisa stayed through the night up to the following day when the operation was done. She even called for Apeace sister with the information that Apeace is in the hospital for an operation of some sort, as concocted by Apeace herself. Lisa went out to the city to claim the cash sent by a guy from afar. Alas, the name of the guy as reflected on the receipt does not match that of MD. The provision comes from another guy. Who is this guy now. Ambot. So the story ends here for now because Lisa and I, we do not know what happened to the dead baby now and we do not want to know too. If Apeace fears death to be inflicted upon her by her kins, what more for us?

Building the City of Golden Friendship: The Growth of Cagayan De Oro’s Zones Based on the Model of Burgess*

Authored by: Mary Ann Faller Daclan, Mindanao State University at Marawi, PH; Lilian C de la Peña, Capitol University, Cagayan de Oro City, PH; Ordem K Maglente, Caraga State University, PH; Mary Anne M Polestina, Mindanao State University at Buug, Zamboanga Sibugay, PH


                                                         “The larger, the more densely populated, and the                                                                               more heterogeneous a community, the more                                                                                    accentuated the characteristics associated                                                                                        with urbanism will be.” – Louis Wirth

This paper explores the landscape of Cagayan de Oro, a highly urbanized city in northern Mindanao, southern Philippines. Exploration is based largely on interview with key informants and the use of secondary materials. Landscape change is examined in this paper to provide an initial perspective into deeper insights of the urbanization process that enveloped the city’s social context and unique character. The urbanization perspective forwarded by Burgess (in Park et al1925) is employed in this paper.

According to Burgess (1925) the typical processes of city expansion is best illustrated by a series of concentric circles, in which the area is differentiated through five successive zones, namely,

Zone I            – central business district

Zone II           – area of transition

Zone III          – worker’s place

Zone IV           – residential area of high-class apartment buildings or of                                                             exclusive “restricted” districts of single family dwellings

Zone V            – commuters’ zone

Burgess contends that cities do not just expand but,  rather, extend radially from the epicenter of economic activity. As extension takes place, the inner zone has the tendency to extend its area by invading the next outer zone. Thus, the physical expansion of an urban area, such as the city, is a consequence of its initial population expansion.

The process of urbanization is examined with the following objectives:

1) To determine the population of Cagayan de Oro City for the intercensal period of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.

2) To illustrate the pattern of physical expansion of Cagayan de Oro City.

3) To describe the zones of Cagayan de Oro City which are created out of its own physical and population expansion.

The physical and demographic changes over time for Cagayan de Oro are examined in order to provide a deeper discussion on the evolution and the consequent social issues created out of its own unique development. Thus, the following hypotheses will be tested:


Ho1: Increase in population results in the physical expansion of the city and the addition of zones.

Ho2: Population expansion is influenced by the development of the city’s commerce and business.

Conceptual Framework


Significance of the Study

            The findings of the study would benefit sociologists and other scholars in the field of social sciences. It may contribute to understanding of the effects of urbanization and the consequences of in-migration at the macro level. It will help policy makers, particularly the local government units, in identifying areas where urbanization mechanisms may contribute positively to the development of the city.

Limitations of the Study

            The study is limited only to the urban barangays of Cagayan de Oro City. For the quantitative part, there is heavy reliance on the availability of data from government institutions (city local government and the Philippine Statistics Authority). The non-uniformity of the census years for all involved variables render to the non-computation of statistical relationships.  There is no survey conducted for lack of time. This is, however, sufficed with the exhaustive in-depth interviews with reliable key informants. Observations have been done in numerous occasions, having been roaming around the city for years.

Operational Definition of Terms

            The following are terms used throughout the paper. In understanding the discussion and arguments forwarded by the authors, these terms require definition.

            Business ventures. This refers to manufacturing, whole and retail trade, micro-finance institutions, financial cooperatives, general merchandise, entrepreneurial pursuits that earn income, government taxes, and required to apply for business permits.

            In-migration. This refers to the number of internal migrants moving to an area of destination (or from an area of origin) (Poston 2006).  In this research, in-migration pertains to the number of people settling in the city of Cagayan de Oro using data from intercensal period of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.

            Physical Expansion. The natural adaptations to new types of social organization and analyzed through the theory of concentric zones (Burgess 1925). In this research, this refers to the visible and observable progression the city of Cagayan de Oro takes as it gradually widens from its smallest and simplest physical set-up into what it is at present, as retold by key informants.

             Population Expansion. This refers to the increase in the number of people residing in the city of Cagayan de Oro, as manifested in the data from intercensal period of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.

            Zones.  These refer to concentric circles with areas, according to Burgess (1925 in Park et al., 1925) differentiated through five successive zones. The Zone I is the central business district, the Zone II is the area of transition, the Zone III is the worker’s place, the Zone IV is the residential area of high-class apartment buildings or of exclusive “restricted” districts of single family dwellings and, finally, the Zone V is the commuters’ zone.  In this research, the zones refer to the particular areas in Cagayan de Oro City where Park et al identified five zones are located, created out of its own physical expansion.


            This section presents and discusses the research design, study site, method of data collection, instrument, ethical considerations, and analysis plan.

            Research Design

            This study used the descriptive design. It primarily described Cagayan de Oro City’s geographic and demographic characteristics. The description part is a scientific observation that is careful and deliberate. Hence, scientific descriptions, typically, are more accurate and precise than are the casual ones (Babbie 2014). Description of geographic characteristics focused on the city’s physical expansion. Demographic description encompassed the city’s population expansion as described through government records.

            Study Site

            The city is a first-class, highly-urbanized city, and the capital of Misamis Oriental. Previously, or until 1932, Cagayan de Oro is the capital of Misamis Province, comprised of Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental. Dubbed as Mindanao’s gateway, Cagayan de Oro has a land area of 488.9 sq. kms. and a population of 602,088 in 2010; and a population density of 1,500/ (see Fig 2). About 44 per cent of the household population classify themselves as ethnically mixed people, 22.15 per cent Cebuano, 4.38 per cent Boholano, and 28.07 as other ethnic groups, according to the 2000 census of the NSO. A large portion or 87 per cent of the city’s residents are Roman Catholic. But the number of Protestants has increased in number in recent years. About 20 Protestant churches have nestled in the city. Cebuano is the primary language spoken in the city.

            The city was founded in 1871 and proclaimed a charter city in June 15, 1950. The city serves as the regional and economic center of Region 10; and list as one of the ten most progressive and competitive cities in the Philippines. It is also the tenth most populous city in the country. The city has 57 urban barangays and 23 rural barangays.


            Cagayan de Oro is the melting pot of Mindanao because of its accessibility and business growth. Its economy is largely based on industry, commerce, trade, service and tourism. Investment in the city for the first six months of 2012 reached 7.4 billion pesos outpacing the local government unit’s expectation to nearly 100 per cent. Investments in the city are dominated by malls, high-rise hotels, condominiums, and convention centers. The net income of the city is pegged at 2,041,036,807.89 billion pesos.

            Methods of Data Collection

            A combination of qualitative and quantitative techniques was used for data gathering. For qualitative aspect, interviews and observation were used. For the quantitative part, data mining was used to obtain pertinent information from secondary sources.

            Key Informant Interview

            Interview with key informants was employed but in different time periods. Actual interview by all authors with a key informant for this study was made with one individual, an anthropologist conducting research on the history and social anthropology of the city. The interview was conducted in the informant’s office in Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro on May 5, 2017 (for the interview guide, see Appendix A). Previous interviews made by one of the authors, de la Peña, on January 5, 2014 with two long-time residents of Balulang and Puntod are included in the paper. The data gained from these interviews provide valuable information on the development of these communities.

            Non-Participatory Observation

            The authors also made separate observations of Cagayan de Oro’s communities. De la Peña observed the barangays of Puntod and Balulang: Daclan on the barangays of Carmen and Bulua; Polestina on the barangays of Lapasan and Lumbia; and Maglente on the barangays of Cugman and Gusa.

            Data Mining

            Secondary materials and sources informed the discussion. The works of Madigan (1985), Ulack and others (1985), and Ulack (1978) on Cagayan de Oro are very helpful in understanding the spatial development and change of the city.

            The maps used in this paper were derived out of the Geographic Information System. They were taken from various sources, particularly Xavier University Engineering Resource Center (XU-ERC) and the City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) of Cagayan de Oro. These maps were used to examine the spatial variations with regards to the physical expansion of the City over the years.

            Explorations on demographic changes is largely based on secondary materials from various city and regional offices, namely, the City Planning and Development Office and the regional office of the Philippine Statistical Authority.


            For the qualitative aspect, the researchers framed guides for the interviews and observation. A question guide for the key informants was used to obtain information corresponding to the objectives of the study (Appendix A). An observation guide was used to provide focus to the researchers during the conduct of observation. That the researchers may not waste time what to look for; instead, they immediately spot on the objects they need to observe and record.

            Ethical Considerations

            Imperative in the conduct of this research is the observance of research ethics, from the conceptualization to the report-writing stage and all the more during the data collection.  An oral consent was obtained from the key informants prior to the conduct of the interviews. The key informants were duly informed of the study’s objectives and assured of confidentiality (e.g., no names to be mentioned in the report or in any medium such as paper presentation, and no taking of picture).  Prior to the start of the in-depth interviews, an expressed consent was obtained from the key informants.

            Analysis Plan

            For the qualitative part, specific responses to the questions in the recorded interviews were encoded, sorted, and categorized according to objectives of the study.  The data were integrated in the presentation of the results of the study.

            For the quantitative part, the data culled were encoded in Microsoft Excel for computations of intercensal change and graphing purposes. The unit of analysis is the city of Cagayan de Oro focusing on the physical and population expansions through the use of census in years 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010.  Five-year surveys’ trend is established and depicted in graphic forms.

Formula Used

            Intercensal Increase shows the percent increase in a demographic element (like population count) within a ten-year period. It is obtained by subtracting the percent population in present year (for instance 2010) with the percent population in past year (for instance 2000) divided by percent population of past year (2000) multiplied by one hundred to have the percentage.

intercensal increase formula.jpg

            Intercensal analysis is used for the city’s data on population involving census years 1960to 2010. Hence, calculation of five intercensal percent change was done. For clearer presentation, graphs are made based on the raw data from secondary sources, particularly the Philippine Statistics Authority census.

            Lieberson’s Index of Population Diversity is where S is the sum of squares of the proportion of the community’s population affiliated with each ethnic grouping. The result varies from 0.00 when all people come from one ethnic group, to a value very close to 1.00 when everyone is a stranger to everyone else.

            Calculation is easier when all elements for a variable (mother tongue or ethnic affiliation) are all placed on the first column. The frequency counts for each element are placed on the corresponding second column. On the third column are the P values, which are individually obtained for each element by dividing each frequency with the total frequency. On the fourth column should be the square of P (P2). The total of squared P values is the S. Formula: LIPD = 1.00 – S.


            This section presents the results of the study following the research objectives of this paper.

1) Population Expansion of Cagayan de Oro

            Based on available data from the Philippines Statistics Authority (formerly National Statistics Office), the city of Cagayan de Oro has increment population from 1960 to 2010 (Figure 3). As previously mentioned, Cagayan de Oro became a city in June 15, 1950.  But it took her 1,660 years to raise its first 1,000 settlers (CDOC PDO).  To continue the presentation of CDOC PDO, it was only after 205 years when some 9,000 people were added. And this means that in 1873 the city, then known as Cagay-an, had its first 10,000 people.

            Actual Population: 1960 – 2010

            Cagayan de Oro has a consistent and continuous increase of five-decade (1960 to 2010) actual population counts of the city (see Fig 3).  The figures for these periods are consistent to the population situation of the whole country. Census data for 1960 suggest that Cagayan de Oro had contributed about one-third of one per cent (.30%) to the country’s total population of 27 million. With each passing decade, as Cagayan de Oro’s population increased in thousands, the country’s population increased in millions. Hence, by 2010, Cagayan de Oro contributed .65% to the Philippines’ population of 92 million. This is a tiny fraction of the country’s total population, but a considerable double figure increase for the city since 1960.

cdo actual pop 1970 - 2010.jpg

            Intercensal change to Actual Population: 1960 – 2010

            Highest intercensal population is evident during the periods of 1960 and 1980 (see Fig 4). The highest upsurge of the city’s population occurred from 1960 to 1970, an all-time high of 83.31%. This was followed by still high percent increase of 77% in the next decade (1970-1980).  This explosive growth of population may be a consequence of synergistic effects of combined high fertility, low mortality, and dynamic migration.  There may have been increased gap between births and deaths.  It may be worthwhile to note that the decade 1970 to 1980 was characterized by socio-political turmoil in the whole country due to martial law. It may have affected the movements of people from chaotic and unstable neighboring communities prompting in-migration to a promising Cagayan de Oro City.

cdo actual pop 1970 - 2010 Intercensal Change.jpg

            Though there appears to be a continuous increase in the city’s population in the successive decades, the increase appears to taper into about less than half in comparison to the increase in the earlier periods. On the whole, the city’s five-period intercensal increase in its population was higher than the Philippines’ figures (in red). It seems that in this part of the country, population soared higher during these particular decades.

            New Residents: 1995 – 2005

            There may be dearth of data to explain the upsurge of population in Cagayan de Oro City from 1960 to 1990. But, in the succeeding years, there appears to be a demographic variable found to be at play in the city’s population intercensal increase.  In the following decades, particularly 2000 and 2010, census data reveal data on the specific question “where were you five years ago?” Figure 4.1 shows the number of residents in Cagayan de Oro City who admitted that they just became residents of the city in 1995 and 2005. These in-migrants totaled to 24, 376 in 1995 and 33,334 in 2005.

            Of the migration data (Figure 4.1), it appears that there were more women than men who in-migrated to, and became residents of, the city from 1995 to 2005. Predominance of women in-migrants to the city continued through these years. A scenario exemplified over half intercensal increase of men and women migrants in 2005 from ten years before (in 1995). Men migrants constituted 50.65% intercensal increase to the population. Women migrants were recorded at 56.71%.

cdo HH pop not reidents 5yrs ago by sex 2000 and 2010.jpg

            Barangay Population: 1990 – 2000

            With in-migration to the city that brought about an increase to the population, new residents add up to the existing population at the barangay level.  In which barangays these new residents prefer to live is where they consider beneficial to them factoring in their daily budget for transportation towards their jobs and at the same time saves them time in commuting. Figure 4.2 depicts the population of selected urban barangays of Cagayan de Oro City in 1990 and 2000 census. These are the urban barangays with 800 and over population count.

CDO brangays pop 1980 to 2000 with arrows.jpg

            As depicted by the line graph (Fig 4.2), the 13 urban barangays with over 800 actual population counts can be grouped into two categories when it comes to population change. The two categories nearly have equal proportions of barangays. The areas that have decreasing population are Barangays 15, 32, 31, 25, 23, and 10. And, those that show increasing population are Barangays 26, 13, 17, 22, 18, 27, and 24. When plotted on the Cagayan de Oro City’s map, what is noticeable is the proximal distance of these highly populated barangays (of over 800 actual population count) to each other, all situated within the core of the city. In Figure 4.2.1, Barangay 18 is located between Magsaysay Street and Capistrano Street, Del Pilar Street, and the Marcos Bridge area. Evident also is the decreasing population of barangays close to Barangay 1 or the city center where the city hall is located. In contrast, population has been increasing for barangays where business and commerce expanded in the 1990s, specifically Corrales Extension and Recto Avenue.

CDO map3.jpg

            Figure 4.3 depicts the intercensal change of the highly populated barangays in Cagayan de Oro City. It is Barangay 24 that has the highest intercensal change, with almost two hundred per cent (184%) population increase from 1990 to 2000. Situated at the city’s core, this barangay is at the crossroads of Sergio Osmeña and Claro M. Recto streets, which leads to Limketkai Drive. Beyond this is the location of two of the earlier big malls in the city – Limketkai Mall and Gaisano City. Next to these malls, this decade saw the establishment of two gigantic malls – Centrio Ayala in 2012 and SM Downtown Primier in 2017.  Barangay 24 may have barely a thousand population count until 2010, however, should its intercensal per cent change continues in the next decade, it is highly probable that by 2020, this barangay’s population may double up.


            Barangay 32 has decreased intercensal percent change of -.40%. This area is mostly occupied by business establishment, near Oro Rama Department Store. As what Dr Sealza (2017) mentioned, there may be many people seen in the area on a daily basis, but these people are there only for business transactions. By nighttime, these people have already gone back to their residences, in another barangays.

            Occupied Housing Units in Barangays

            There are ten barangays in Cagayan de Oro City with over 300 occupied housing units by 2010 (Fig 5). Barangay 26 has the most increase of occupied housing units since 1990 (along Recto Avenue).There were only 366 housing units in 1990 that leaped to 542 in 2000. Barangay 13 also had only 221 occupied housing units in 1990, but shoot up to 492 by 2000. Barangay 18 had 463 occupied housing units in 2000 from its 254 in 1990. These data on occupied housing support the data on increased population count in the same barangays for the same census year 2000 (Fig 4.2).

            While these barangays had increased occupied housing units, Barangays 25 and 32 had decreased occupied housing units in the same year.  These are consistent with the data on decreased population count in the same barangays for the same census year 2000 (Fig 4.2). This appears to be a good indication that the number of people in these barangays has corresponding houses to stay.  The other barangays, though there is a leaning for increase or decrease, only manifested slight change.

cdo occupied housing units Intercensal Change.jpg

            With over a hundred per cent (123%) change, Barangay 13 has the highest intercensal change in occupied housing units. This is followed by Barangay 18 with 82% intercensal change. These two barangays both have increased population in 2000 (Fig 4.2).  These barangays also are near to each other, in the northwestern part of Cagayan de Oro City, just at the edge of the core part of the city, where zone 2 also starts. Noticeable is Barangay 15 which has almost no change in its occupied housing units in ten-year period.

            There is over a quarter (-27%) intercensal decrease on the occupied housing units of Barangay 25. This is followed by Barangay 32 with -23% intercensal decrease. These two barangays are opposite each other. Barangay 25 is at the northern part of the core city while Barangay 32 is at the southern part.

CDO brangays pop intercensal change 1980 to 2000.jpg

            Lieberson’s Index of Population Diversity

            For census 2000, there are forty-two (42) different mother tongue listed (Box 1).  Following the formula learned from class (Urban Sociology), the result of the calculated proportion is 0.9024, which gives a Lieberson’s result of 0.0976.

Lieberson's Index of PD CDo 1990 box1a

2) Physical Expansion of Cagayan de Oro

            Expansion of Built Areas, 1950s-2000s

            The physical expansion of Cagayan de Oro is captured in Landsat images for the period of 1953, 1973, 1992, 2002, and 2006 (Sabines and Guanzon 2007). The Landsat images below clearly present the growth of the city’s built area, particularly concrete roads, houses, and other structures as captured through satellite imaging (see Fig 6). Likewise, based on the same images it can readily be noticed that built areas were initially developed along the banks of Cagayan de Oro River as evidenced by the 1953 satellite image. Two decades later, the same trend can be noticed as the built area expanded along the river banks and close to the seashore of Macajalar Bay. Nineteen years later, expansion continued with the creation of more built areas along the river bank and Macajalar Bay. Starting in 2002, specifically, built areas increased and were added to the upper sections of the city, notably Upper Carmer and Lumbia. The same goes with regard to expansion of areas along the other side of the Cagayan de Oro river.

            The physical expansion of Cagayan de Oro as presented by the images taken for several periods is affirmed by one informant. A key informant who has studied the history of the city and who has also conducted archaeological excavations of its first settlement, the Huluga, described the expansion of Cagayan de Oro.

            Transferring the Settlement Downstream

            The first settlement named Huluga is located on the upper portion of the city, where the barangays of Lumbia, Taguanao, and the old CDO airport, are all located. This is believed to be the first settlement prior the arrival of three Recollect friars from Caraga. The Huluga site was excavated by the National Museum in 1970 and unearthed were human bones, pottery shreds, and other household implements, such as obsidian knife, that clearly reveal a settlement before the country’s Spanish period. The Archaeology department of the University of the Philippines, however, believes that Huluga is merely a temporary shed for the early inhabitants on their way downstream of the river to trade products. The clear information coming out of these perspectives is the presence of the early inhabitants in the site.

expansion maps.jpg

            The Recollect friars, it is said, came from Butuan and visited Huluga in order to convince Datu Salangsang, the leader of the settlement, to be converted from his animist practice to Catholicism. It did not take long for the friars to get Salangsang into their religion. The conversion was facilitated by the military skill of one friar who trained Salangsang and his men how to defend themselves from the Moro raiders of Kabungsuwan. Part of imparting military skill to Salangsang’s men is the fortification of the settlement.

            In order to fortify settlement safe from the raiders, it was transferred to the lower section, today the Gaston Park. Salangsang’s men with the help of the military-friar were able to fend off the Moro raiders, and from then on never returned to Huluga. The defeat of the Moto raiders is the reason why the settlement is first called Kagayhang or the place of shame for the Muslims.

            The Start of Development

            It did not take long for the new settlement to prosper beside the river. There could be inter-island trade, possibly facilitated by the huge river that comes across the city.  Archaeological artifacts on display at the Museo de Oro at Xavier University reveal the presence of Chinese and Vietnamese porcelain jars and powder cases.

            Beside the settlement was established the Catholic church, now the San Agustin Cathedral, the office of the alcalde mayor, and the plaza. The plaza complex, so popular among Spanish-established towns in the Philippines, also guided the initial development of the city. The area became also the residence of migrants coming from the Visayas and Luzon – and these were traders such as the Roa family and the educated town administrators, such as the Corrales and Velez families.  It was also during this time that the name Kagayhang was changed to Cagayan de Misamis, capital of Misamis Province until 1932. Later on, when it became a charter city in 1950, Oro was added to mean gold, as this mineral was panned out of the river before. Moreover, almost all places in the country with big rivers are named Cagayan, such as Cagayan in the north.

            The initial commercial area of Cagayan is Casa Real, present day Burgos. Casa Real was demolished in 1910 to give way to the town hall. Commerce transferred to what is now Divisoria from Burgos. Later on, Burgos became a residential area. While the old character of Burgos can still be felt today its current state is one of houses very near each other and most in dilapidated condition.

            Beside Divisoria or at the other end of Calle Real is the town market where the amphitheatre can also be found. The predecessor of this town market could be beside the river where the first settlement was. The town market was transferred to Cogon in the mid 1980s or during the time of Mayor Justiniano “Tinying” Borja whose family owned areas there. Borja donated part of his land for the market to be transferred in 1958 to Cogon. As the place name suggests, the area before the market’s transfer is filled with cogon grass. With the transfer of the market to Cogon, the amphitheatre was also demolished.

            Xavier University, a boy’s school at first, was first established by the Jesuits beside the plaza, or beside the girl’s school Lourdes College. But the Jesuits later transferred their school to its present location beside Divisoria for lack of space for expansion in the former location. Corrales Avenue, the present location of Xavier has so much land to offer before the Second World War. The area could not have been ideal for residence and business because it had a cemetery there before owned by the PIC or by the Aglipayan Church. Houses sprouted more along Corrales later in time with the evacuation there of residents from Camiguin Island following the eruption of Hibok-hibok in 1953. The development of Divisoria as an area for commerce also created other residential settlements, particularly Macasandig.

            During the time of Mayor Tirso Neri, whose family owned the land in Divisoria, the area was always burnt down to ashes. The good mayor decided to donate his family’s land, and built the center aisle to prevent fire from spreading to both sides of the street. Tirso Neri comes from the Spanish Neri of Cagayan de Oro and of different descent from the Muslim Neri who used to own a large part of the city. The Muslim Neri are relatives to the families of Rivera, Pelaez, Marfori, and Chavez.

            The area of present-day Lim ket Kai Mall, Capitol University, and Centrio Mall during this time had very few houses. The area also was inundated every high tide or when it rained hard. There were very few houses on this area until the establishment of some business outfits, which the biggest is Coca Cola Bottling Company. Houses there before stood on stilts, similar to the few residences in Barangays Puntod and Macabalan. It was also in the 1950s the port of Cagayan de Oro was established. The establishment of the port attracted more residents, particularly the laborers of paper mills that sprouted in Puntod-Macabalan together with the port.

CDO map zones.jpg

            It is interesting to look into the establishment of major commercial outfits currently present in Cagayan de Oro (Table 1). This validates the expansion of business and, likewise, the expansion of residential areas in a radial manner.

CDo establishments.jpg

            The case of Balulang

            Upper Carmen, specifically Masterson Avenue, where one can now find Xavier Heights, SM Shoemart, and other posh subdivisions such as Xavier Heights, Pueblo came later when the Jesuits bought the grazing lands owned by the families of  Chavez, Avancena, and Roa (based on interview with one pioneering family in Balulang by de la Peña, date of interview January 19, 2014 ). There were caretakers and some few settlers up to Balulang. These pioneering settlers cultivated coconut and earned from its copra as by-product. A certain member of the Roa family built a merchandise store on what is now the center of Balulang. In this store, the enterprising Roa engaged in retail with the settlers – by buying their copra and in turn exchanged it with household stuff. At this time, Balulang was filled with trees and coconuts and the cows raised by the settlers for the three wealthy families. Nowadays, the land of Balulang is filled with residential houses inside gated subdivisions, mostly for professionals. There is also a significant population of Muslim residents in the area and a mosque is established.

            When these lands were bought by the Jesuits in the 1980s where they established their College of Agriculture, SEARSOLIN and the Xavier Science Foundation, development followed them there. The area is now becoming a residential area for middle class families. The settlers were provided residential lands inside Xavier Heights Subdivisions but only after heated engagement and negotiation.

            After the 1990s real estate development also developed to cater to the demands of the informal settlers. It is interesting to note that first generation migrants who came as laborers gave way to educated children – the second generation settlers, who demanded for better communities.   Middle class housing was made available to them in areas such as Upper Carmen, at the outskirts of the city such as Opol.

            The case of Puntod

            Puntod is a barangay located at the rim of Cagayan de Oro River and Macajalar Bay. It is an offshoot of the population expansion of nearby Macabalan. The pioneering families, particularly Beja and Dacer, of Puntod came from Macabalan. Puntod is part of the 1980s NHA project RCDP with the World Bank. Many residents of Puntod are Bol-anon and Cebuano who came in as labourers of the many factories that sprouted within the area for the period of 1950s-1960s (interview with one pioneering family member of Puntod by de la Peña, dated 2014 March 5). In the 1970s, most sections of Puntod are with water, especially during high tide. Houses there were on stilts. These watery areas were reclaimed later on, and which gave way to concrete houses. Presently, only a tiny portion of Puntod have houses on stilts.

            The warehouses are still present in Puntod but, generally, it is a residential area for first generation settlers and pink-collar workers from rural areas who seek room for rent in the area. The renting out scheme could have also been facilitated by social networks. Homeowners and renters may have come from the same areas in the neighboring rural provinces.

            Informal settlers

            The case of Cagayan de Oro’s informal settlers is an interesting discussion to look into in-migration. These urban informal settlers came to the city for social opportunities but they initially start out their residence as squatters. There were informal settlers all over the area of Puntod-Macabalan because of the port and the opportunity to earn from its daily activities. The National Housing Authority (NHA) and the city government, with loan coming from the World Bank, engaged in the RCDP a project that started in 1984 to establish communities of people and to distribute lands to settlers. These were mostly migrants to the city who came in to partake of the economic opportunities. The same arrangement was made for the informal settlers of upper Carmen.

            The work of Ulack (1978) reveals that the oldest respondents have lived in the city as early as 1949. The Recto Avenue squatter settlement is the oldest in the city.

            The Coca Cola Bottling Company found on the Recto Avenue attracted settlement for the squatters. Other more established squatter areas as found in Macabalan, the Piaping Puti and Piaping Itum. Macabalan is where the container port is found. The other recently opened squatter area during Ulack’s interview is Lapaz beside the proposed, at that time, Agora market. Out of the 241 respondents of Ulack from three established squatter areas of Cagayan de Oro in the late 1970s, the highest number of them says they are engaged in labor jobs. The table below shows the labor number employed by the CDO port. It is most likely that this labor force have found settlement in the nearby squatter areas.

CDO unskilled labor force.jpg

            The expansion of business pursuits in the city was mentioned, albeit anecdotal, b the key informants and the secondary materials. During most part of the Spanish Period or until the American Period commerce was only engaged in the Calle Real, or the present day Burgos Street, beside the political center of the city. The business area expanded to include the watery sections of the city in the 1960s.

            The data on the city’s business and commerce are mostly recent and, therefore, the significant change per decade cannot be clearly gleaned. Currently, there are 22 industrial establishments, foreign and local, listed in the inventory prepared by the City Planning and Development Office. These industrial establishments are in the categories of agriculture, pharmaceutical, and electronics. While the data are recent, it is still evident that business is booming in the city as seen on the revenue data gained from manufacturing establishments.

CDO Business data - from Lilian 1.jpg

            This growth is seen also on the increasing number of banks and financial institutions (see Fig 5). From the categories indicated in the graph below only two types of financial institutions are dwindling, namely, the finance cooperatives and rural banks. Upsurge is evident on the number of pawnshops, micro finance institutions, and finance cooperatives.

Fig 7.1 Number of Banks and Financial Institutions.jpg

            The above data are corroborated by the increasing number of business permits issued from the year 2006 to 2010 (Fig 8). Greatest increase within this period is seen for 2009-2010. In the succeeding period of 2011-2015, the same trend of increasing number of approved permits can be seen from the data.

List of Business Permits Issued by Type Cagayan de Oro City

Fig 8 List of Business Permits Issued by Type Cagayan de Oro City 2006 to 2010.jpg

Fig 8.1 Number of Business Registrations Cagayan de Oro City 2011 - 2015.jpg

            The highest number of business permits issued by the city is under the business category of wholesale and retail trade, followed by community, social and personal services. In the latter category, it is evident that entrepreneurial pursuits are significantly carried out in the city. Mining and quarrying have the lowest number.


            The history of Cagayan de Oro, including the recent past, points out to development and progress. The “city of golden friendship” which Cagayan de Oro is known for, together with another popular description “the gateway to Mindanao” projects an image of economic growth and prosperity. Indeed, in its regional context, Cagayan de Oro appears to be the most modern, that is gauged by its number of shopping malls and entertainment, in relation to another urbanized city, Iligan and other cities, such as, Ozamis, Tangub, El Salvador, Malaybalay, and Valencia. This seeming progress, however, is hosted by numerous factors, both spatial and temporal, that contribute to what the city is now.

            In this paper, the landscape of Cagayan de Oro is examined using various data on population and physical expansion. Both sets of data are important in analyzing the unique character of the city. Burgess’s model of city expansion is used. The data gathered for this paper reveal similarities to what Burgess found out in the West.

            Based on the historical account of Madigan (1995) the city of Cagayan de Oro started out a settlement along the riverbank of the Cagayan River. This settlement is a resettlement site, actually, of a community of Higaunon who inhabit Macahambus Cave, located on the upper Western portion of the city. Constant raid from the Moro and advice from a Recollect to move downstream to better protect themselves from piratical attacks moved the community to relocate. The first settlement downstream is beside the current location of Gaston Park and the Saint Augustine Cathedral.

            Spanish colonization changed the landscape into a plaza complex, and herein followed the establishment of sections categorized into commercial, political, residential for the upper class and another residential area for the lower class. From then on, the population of Cagayan de Oro has been increasing together with progress in business and commerce. The labor requirement of a city that is dependent on the service sector has resulted in the increase of population, most probably in-migrants from neighboring areas. However, the Lieberson Index of Population Diversity for Cagayan de Oro’s 2000 census data on ethnicity reveals a result of 0.0976. The result is lower than 1.0 and nearer to 0, and which indicates that Cagayan de Oro’s population is less diverse. This is congruent to the analysis of Costello and others (1982) of major cities in the country. Costello and others analyze a less ethnic diverse population because of the unique cultural migration trait of the Filipinos to migrate as a family, or to have a chain of migration coming from the same areas. It is common, for instance, to have communities in urban areas named “Little Bohol,” Little Cebu,” or “New Bohol” signifying the dominance of these ethnic groups in particular areas.

            The phenomenon of less ethnic diversity, however, in urban areas such as Cagayan de Oro does not downplay the increase in its population. Based on census data, the city has increment population from 1960 to 2010. Before this period, population increase was staggered and slow, but there was increase nevertheless. However, intercensal population is evident during the periods of 1960 and 1980. The highest upsurge of the city’s population occurred from 1960 to 1970, an all-time high of 83.31%. This was followed by still high percent increase of 77% in the next decade (1970-1980). The population of women has grown more than men during the same period. These data appear to be in consonance to what Todaro explained about predominance of women migrants from rural to urban areas. And, a bigger fraction of these women migrants to the urban areas usually join the informal sector (Todaro and Smith 2012), having lower competitiveness in terms of education and skills required for by the formal sector. Despite lesser opportunities that await in-migrants from rural areas in the city, men and women, nevertheless, opt to be in the city for better wages in comparison to what their area of origin could offer. There is also the presence of recreation areas in the city that rural areas lack, which pose attraction that beckons young men and women of adventurous nature.

            Business appears to grow also during the period of 1960-1980. The data gathered from several sources on the year of establishment of major business outfits in Cagayan de Oro reveal the building of major shopping malls during the same time, particularly Oro Rama in 1969, as well as the container port in Macabalan in 1971, the multinational company Nestle in Tablon in 1983. These major business outfits did not only contribute to the increase of revenue but also to the entry of laborers. The number of unskilled laborers for the container port within the decade of 1970-1980 reveals highest number in the initial years of the 1970s. The entry of laborers also required the expansion of built areas to give way to residential structures, may it be on middle class residential areas of slums and squatters.

            The lands at images over the years (Sabines and Guanzon 2007) present succinctly the growth of built areas in Cagayan de Oro. Specifically, the growth reveals expansion in a radial manner as observed by Burgess in the West. Interviews with a key informant from Balulang reveal the growth of this community from real estate development. What used to be a timberland and grazed by the cows of three prominent families is now a hub for middle class housing units. The development of Puntod is a little different. While conversion took the form of reclamation, Puntod took in labourers from the paper milling factories and other factories that opened there together with the development and enlargement of the container port in 1971. The population within Puntod-Macabalan area significantly increased during this time that a World Bank project in the 1980s was initiated to formally house the laborers and in-migrants.

            Ulack (1975) examined the biggest squatter areas in the city and found out their close proximity to major business outfits. Particularly, the squatter area along Recto Avenue in Barangay 22 grew to house the laborers of the Coca Cola Bottling Company located on the same street. Recent data gathered on the business and trade of the city reveals continuous growth. The population is still growing but the highest intercensal increase is seen for the period of 1960-1970. This period also saw the growth of squatter areas in the city as revealed by Ulack.

            The outward physical expansion of Cagayan de Oro is evident with the establishment of residential areas on the outskirts of the city. The upper section of Balulang and Lumbia are now filled with subdivisions, and so are areas on the other side if the city, particularly Iponan. These are commuter’s zone or the fifth zone in Burgess model. It would take a commuter almost one hour to reach this zone coming from the loop or the first zone following the same model of Burgess. The middle zones are occupied with business districts and squatter areas intermeshed in a web of economic relations. The nature of business in this zone is changing. Coca Cola Bottling started out at the heart of the city but now has transferred to Villanueva. What remains of the business zone now are shopping malls and groceries, shops, and hotels and restaurants.

            The residential areas beside the first zone of the Loop have given way to these commercial outfits. Barangays closest to the city center where the city hall is located all have decreasing number of population and housing units, as revealed by census data. It is evident that these areas have been fully converted to business and commerce and with a decreased number of night-time population.

            Based on the data gathered and consequent analysis made, the two hypotheses forwarded in this paper hold ground. Indeed, population increase is evident on the census together with the establishment of significant and large scale business and commerce in the city. Both phenomena results in the physical expansion of the city, specifically a radial expansion outward. The tidal zone along Puntod-Macabalan has been reclaimed to give way to housing units and the timberland of Balulang and Lumbia, as well, for middle class subdivisions. The same is true for the agricultural lands of Iponan which is similarly filled with housing units. These housing units were built for the labour force that fuels Cagayan de Oro’s modernization and urbanization.


Babbie, Earl.  2001.  The Practice of Social Research, 9thed.  California, USA: Wadsworth/ Thompson Learning.

Burgess, Ernest W. 1925. “The Growth of the City: An Introduction to a Research Project.” Pp 47-62 in The City, edited by M. Janowitz. USA: The University of Chicago Press.

Costello, Michael A, Federico V Magdalena, and Isaias S Sealza. 1982. “Community Modernization, In-migration and Ethnic Diversification: The Philippines, 1970-1975.” Philippine Sociological Review 30:3-14.

Lieberson, Stanley. 1969. “Measuring Population Diversity.” American Sociological Review, 34: 850-862.

Madigan SJ, Francis. 1995. The Early History of Cagayan de Oro. The Local Historical Sources of Northern Mindanao, edited by FR Detmetrio, SJ, pp.1-38. Cagayan de Oro City, Xavier University.

Philippine, Republic of the. Various census and data sets. Philippine Statistics Authority Census Compilation.

Poston, Dudley L. 2006.Migration. In Turner, Bryan S. (ed) The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. New York, USA: Cambridge University Press.

Sabines, Mark Alexis and Yvette B Guanzon. 2007.  A look at Cagayan de Oro: Past, Present, and Future. Southeast Asian-German Summer School on Urbanization.Powerpoint material accessed at on 24 November 2014.

Todaro, Michael P and Stephen C Smith. 2012. Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration: Theory and Policy. Economic Development, 11th ed. USA: Addison-Wesley.

Ulack, Richard. 1978. “Role of Urban Squatter Settlements.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 68(4):535-550.

Ulack. Richard, MA Costello, M Palabica – Costello. 1985. “Circulation in the Philippines” Geographical Review 75(4): 439-450.

Wirth, Louis. 1938. Urbanism as a Way of Life. The American Journal of Sociology 44(1):1-24.

Appendix A. Interview Guide for Key Informant

Interviewers introduce themselves

Introduce the objectives of the interview

Present ethical consideration followed

Secure permission of the respondent

  1. Do you have a favorite story of Cagayan de Oro?
  2. How is this story related to the development of the city?
  3. Can you tell us about the initial settlements of the city?
  4. When was the first settlement established?
  5. Who are the pioneering families?
  6. Are these families still here in the city?
  7. When did the city start to grow economically?
  8. What is the direction of its growth?
  9. Did this economic development attract in-migrants?
  10. Presently, the city has a huge population what could be the most significant factor of this development?
  11. What are the social problems developed out if this growth?

Interviewers thanking the respondent.

Appendix A. Checklist for Observation

Zone I

  • Business establishments
  • Government offices
  • Parks
  • Churches
  • Tall buildings
  • High density

Zone II

  • Deteriorated housing
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Slums

Zone III

  • Boarding houses
  • Warehouses
  • Single houses tenements

Zone IV

  • Single family homes
  • Garages /yards
  • Warehouses
  • Garden

Zone V

  • Large houses
  • Large gardens
  • Open spaces
  • Less density
  • Car parks

*This piece of work is a research output from collaborative efforts of  teammates Mary Ann  F Daclan, Lilian C de la Peña, Ordem K Maglente and Mary Anne M Polestina in Urban Sociology course (Summer 2017, PhD Program, XU-ADCU, CDO under Dr. IS Sealza) 

Provinces According to Regions in the Philippines as of December 2016

As of 31 December 2016, there are 81 provinces in 18 regions

NIR – Negros Island Region Code: 180000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
NEGROS OCCIDENTAL 184500000 19 Mun 13 Cities 662 Bgys 1st 1,575,159 2,396,039 796,521
NEGROS ORIENTAL 184600000 19 Mun. 6 Cities 557 Bgys) 1st 679,583 1,286,666 538,553
CAR – Cordillera Administrative Region Code: 140000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
MOUNTAIN PROVINCE 144400000 10 Mun. 144 Bgys 4th 90,497 154,187 215,738
IFUGAO 142700000 11 Mun. 175 Bgys 3rd 98,462 191,078 262,821
BENGUET 141100000 13 Mun. 1 City 269 Bgys 2nd 183,608 403,944 282,659
ABRA 140100000 27 Mun. 303 Bgys 3rd 147,615 234,733 416,525
APAYAO 148100000 7 Mun. 133 Bgys 3rd 60,281 112,636 441,335
KALINGA 143200000 7 Mun. 1 City 152 Bgys 3rd 115,280 201,613 323,125
REGION I (Ilocos Region) Code: 010000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
LA UNION 13300000 19 Mun. 1 City 576 Bgys 1st 410,659 741,906 149,770
ILOCOS NORTE 12800000 21 Mun. 2 Cities 557 Bgys 1st 338,135 568,017 346,789
ILOCOS SUR 12900000 32 mun. 2 Cities 768 Bgys 1st 373,070 658,587 259,600
PANGASINAN 15500000 44 Mun. 4 Cities 1,364 Bgys 1st 1,505,181 2,779,862 545,101
REGION II (Cagayan Valley) Code: 020000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
NUEVA VIZCAYA 25000000 15 Mun. 275 Bgys 2nd 234,638 421,355 397,567
CAGAYAN 21500000 28 Mun. 1 City 820 Bgys 1st 568,628 1,124,773 929,575
ISABELA 23100000 35 Mun. 2 Cities 1,055 Bgys 1st 829,963 1,489,645 1,241,493
QUIRINO 25700000 6 mun. 132 Bgys 3rd 92,804 176,786 232,347
BATANES 20900000 6 Mun. 29 Bgys 5th 9,531 16,604 21,901
REGION III (Central Luzon) Code: 030000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
BATAAN 30800000 11 Mun. 1 City 237 Bgys 1st 414,890 687,482 137,298
ZAMBALES 37100000 13 Mun. 1 City 247 Bgys 2nd 289,460 534,443 383,083
TARLAC 36900000 17 Mun. 1 City 511 Bgys 1st 633,415 1,273,240 305,360
PAMPANGA 35400000 19 Mun. 3 Cities 538 Bgys 1st 1,057,339 2,014,019 206,247
BULACAN 31400000 21 Mun. 3 Cities 569 Bgys 1st 1,519,817 2,924,433 279,610
NUEVA ECIJA 34900000 27 Mun. 5 Cities 849 Bgys 1st 1,187,149 1,955,373 575,133
AURORA 37700000 8 Mun. 151 Bgys 3rd 111,211 201,233 314,732
REGION IV-A (CALABARZON) Code: 040000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
RIZAL 45800000 13 Mun. 1 City 188 Bgys 1st 1,129,374 2,484,840 119,194
CAVITE 42100000 17 Mun. 6 Cities 829 Bgys 1st 1,520,319 3,090,691 157,417
LAGUNA 43400000 25 Mun. 5 Cities 674 Bgys 1st 1,323,246 2,669,847 191,785
BATANGAS 41000000 31 Mun. 3 Cities 1078 Bgys 1st 1,248,059 2,377,395 311,975
QUEZON 45600000 39 Mun. 2 Cities 1,242 Bgys 1st 857,011 1,740,638 906,960
MIMAROPA Region Code: 170000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
OCCIDENTAL MINDORO 175100000 11 Mun. 162 Bgys 2nd 215,146 452,971 586,571
ORIENTAL MINDORO 175200000 14 Mun. 1 City 426 Bgys 1st 392,210 785,602 423,838
ROMBLON 175900000 17 Mun. 219 Bgys 3rd 161,643 283,930 153,345
PALAWAN 175300000 23 Mun. 1 City 433 Bgys 1st 364,175 771,667 1,703,075
MARINDUQUE 174000000 6 Mun. 218 Bgys 4th 121,381 227,828 95,258
REGION V (Bicol Region) Code: 050000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CATANDUANES 52000000 11 Mun. 315 Bgys 3rd 140,467 246,300 149,216
CAMARINES NORTE 51600000 12 Mun. 282 Bgys 2nd 248,654 542,915 232,007
SORSOGON 56200000 14 Mun. 1 City 541 Bgys 2nd 375,567 740,743 211,901
ALBAY 50500000 15 Mun. 3 Cities 720 Bgys 1st 678,869 1,233,432 257,577
MASBATE 54100000 20 Mun. 1 City 550 Bgys 1st 436,957 834,650 415,178
CAMARINES SUR 51700000 35 Mun. 2 Cities 1063 Bgys 1st 893,813 1,822,371 549,703
REGION VI (Western Visayas) Code: 060000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CAPIZ 61900000 16 Mun. 1 City 473 Bgys 1st 418,755 719,685 259,464
AKLAN 60400000 17 Mun. 327 Bgys 2nd 300,292 535,725 182,142
ANTIQUE 60600000 18 Mun. 590 Bgys 2nd 279,600 546,031 272,917
ILOILO 63000000 42 Mun. 2 Cities 1,901 Bgys 1st 1,003,077 1,805,576 507,917
GUIMARAS 67900000 5 Mun. 98 Bgys 4th 90,425 162,943 60,457
REGION VII (Central Visayas) Code: 070000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
CEBU 72200000 44 Mun. 9 Cities 1,203 Bgys 1st 1,434,809 2,619,362 534,200
BOHOL 71200000 47 Mun. 1 City 1109 Bgys 1st 690,532 1,255,128 482,095
SIQUIJOR 76100000 6 Mun. 134 Bgys 5th 57,523 91,066 33,749
REGION VIII (Eastern Visayas) Code: 080000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
SOUTHERN LEYTE 86400000 18 Mun. 1 City 500 Bgys 3rd 235,821 399,137 179,861
EASTERN SAMAR 82600000 22 Mun. 1 City 597 Bgys 2nd 251,859 428,877 466,047
NORTHERN SAMAR 84800000 24 Mun. 569 Bgys 2nd 316,769 589,013 369,293
SAMAR (WESTERN SAMAR) 86000000 24 Mun. 2 Cities 951 Bgys 1st 442,662 733,377 604,803
LEYTE 83700000 40 Mun. 3 Cities 1,641 Bgys 1st 895,173 1,567,984 651,505
BILIRAN 87800000 8 Mun. 132 Bgys 4th 92,830 161,760 53,601
REGION IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) Code: 090000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY 98300000 16 Mun. 389 Bgys 2nd 320,710 584,685 360,775
ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE 97200000 25 Mun 2 Cities 691 Bgys 1st 546,771 957,997 730,100
ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR 97300000 26 Mun 1 City 681 Bgys 1st 541,233 959,685 591,416
REGION X (Northern Mindanao) Code: 100000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL 104200000 14 Mun 3 Cities 490 Bgys 2nd 321,843 567,642 205,522
BUKIDNON 101300000 20 Mun. 2 Cities 464 Bgys 1st 658,697 1,299,192 1,049,859
LANAO DEL NORTE 103500000 22 Mun. 1 City 506 Bgys 2nd 344,950 607,917 415,994
MISAMIS ORIENTAL 104300000 23 Mun. 3 Cities 504 Bgy 1st 471,910 813,856 354,432
CAMIGUIN 101800000 5 Mun. 58 Bgys 5th 55,427 83,807 23,795
REGION XI (Davao Region) Code: 110000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
DAVAO ORIENTAL 112500000 10 Mun. 1 City 183 Bgys 1st 270,087 517,618 567,964
COMPOSTELA VALLEY 118200000 11 Mun. 237 Bgys 1st 344,143 687,195 447,977
DAVAO DEL SUR 112400000 14 Mun. 2 Cities 519 Bgys 1st 517,024 868,690 677,104
DAVAO OCCIDENTAL 118600000 5 Mun. 105 Bgys new province; no data available 0 0
DAVAO DEL NORTE 112300000 8 Mun. 3 Cities 223 Bgys 1st 505,464 945,764 342,697
REGION XII (Soccsksargen) Code: 120000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
SOUTH COTABATO 126300000 10 Mun. 2 Cities 225 Bgys 1st 411,246 827,200 442,881
SULTAN KUDARAT 126500000 11 Mun. 1 City 249 Bgys 1st 383,264 747,087 529,834
COTABATO (NORTH COTABATO) 124700000 17 Mun. 1 City 543 Bgys 1st 599,197 1,226,508 900,890
SARANGANI 128000000 7 Mun 141 Bgys 2nd 239,983 498,904 360,125
REGION XIII (Caraga) Code: 160000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
AGUSAN DEL NORTE 160200000 10 Mun. 2 Cities 253 Bgys 3rd 190,108 332,487 354,686
AGUSAN DEL SUR 160300000 13 Mun. 1 City 314 Bgys 1st 300,772 656,418 998,952
SURIGAO DEL SUR 166800000 17 Mun. 2 Cities 309 Bgys 1st 319,415 561,219 493,270
SURIGAO DEL NORTE 166700000 20 Mun. 1 City 335 Bgys 2nd 273,693 442,588 197,293
DINAGAT ISLANDS 168500000 7 Mun. 100 Bgys 68,856 126,803 103,634
ARMM – Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Code: 150000000
Province Code Info Income Class Registered Voters Population Land Area
-2010 (as of May 1, 2010) (as of 2007, in hectares)
TAWI-TAWI 157000000 11 Mun. 203 Bgys 3rd 156,027 366,550 362,655
BASILAN 150700000 11 Mun. 1 City 210 Bgys 3rd 150,672 293,322 322,447
SULU 156600000 19 Mun. 410 Bgys 2nd 280,527 718,290 343,699
MAGUINDANAO 153800000 36 Mun. 506 Bgys 1st 470,021 944,718 972,904
LANAO DEL SUR 153600000 39 Mun. 1 City 1,159 Bgys 1st 459,012 933,260 1,349,437

The Infamous #Lenileaks

#Lenileaks by Lorraine Marie T. Badoy

[This is reposted here with permission from the author, Dr. Lorraine Marie T. Badoy]

For one, the hashtag for Lenileaks is something phenomenal in the present Philippine political milieu. It is akin to a rising crescendo of a song that has started playing the moment President Rodrigo Roa Duterte won in the May 2016 Presidential Elections in the Philippines. The melodious song is sang by a group of singers from varying genre united as one in concerted efforts to continuously support the elected president in his daily leadership journey. It’s like that group of singers led by Michael Jackson singing We are the World for the Haiti victims.  For another, the listeners of that song are millions of Filipinos from all walks of life in various parts of the world, eager to listen to each unfolding lyrics that come out of the singers’ mouths. Each is intently listening, finding purposeful meanings to each line of the song, happily connecting it to the realities of the Philippine Republic. For still another, I would like to re-read this piece here whenever I wish to put my country in a context of someone who wants what’s best for the common Filipino, and not for the few elites. This way, I do not need to browse doc Badoy’s page for it. So, below is the author’s piece. Enjoy and learn.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 Reading through some of the Lenileaks emails, there was one thing that made cold chills run up and down my spine and felt like a cold hard rock in the pit of my stomach.

And it is this: how utterly convinced they are of their righteousness, their nobility.

To quote:

“Thanks for fighting a genuinely good and sacred fight. God bless you all.”

“Every decent Filipino should be involved in this sacred fight between good and evil—and we shall encourage them to be brave with our example, be part of the good side and play an important part in the history of the Philippines.”

“I admire your commitment in doing what’s right and good.”

And on and on. You get the drift.


Makes me remember the famous Adolf Hitler quote:

“Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord.”

And he went on to exterminate 6 million Jews.

This is at the heart of elitism: a galling display of hypocrisy, arrogance and sickening sense of self-entitlement.

A small group of people think themselves on a higher plane than the rest of us and therefore it is their God-given right and DUTY even to bend rules this way and that because they know what is best for all of us.

They ignore the wisdom of the majority that have spoken loud and clear because they think they know better.

So Loida, ABS CBN, GMA, Inquirer, etc and most of all, front and center in this controversy, the VP herself, Leni Robredo want the President out of the picture because our country’s democracy needs to be saved.

And they do this by plotting to oust a democratically elected President with a resounding mandate from the Filipino people and who continues to enjoy high marks of approval from the overwhelming majority of us.

So in the sick minds of these bastards, in order to preserve our democracy, they need to smash it first.

Do the elites worry their pretty noses over these little inconsistencies? Do they give a fuck about this democracy they say they are fighting for while plotting its takedown and while chipping at this same democracy a million and one ways with the puppet of a VP who does whatever these clowns demand of her?

You can bet your sweet tootsies they don’t.

So that one of the biggest obstacles to our progress these days is the VP Leni Robredo herself because on top of the million and one challenges we need to hurdle to get our country back from the mud it’s been stuck in for forever, Leni Robredo and her gang of billionaires need to add just one more challenge: political instability.

Gee thanks, Leni.

And these bunch of clowns who, while I do not underestimate, I do not overestimate either. There’s just something about the inability to even remember proper Yahoo settings that doesn’t inspire confidence, ya know?

Such a painful sight these bumbling fools make that really, you almost want to help them. (“See that little wheel on the right? Right click it. See ‘settings’? Click on it. Goooood.”)


They can barely manage their Yahoo groups setting that any grade school teen can be on top of and yet they think they can manage an entire country of over a hundred million highly opinionated, passionate Pinoys.

If, for argument’s sake, they win this one (a giant IF), what then? Are we to go back to the usual highly incompetent, bumbling, indifferent management of the country that we’ve known ALL our life?

Sorry, I don’t see this happening. At all.

The Filipino is awake now.

The abused will no longer go back to her tormentor.

We’ve been treated to one lightbulb moment after another by this hard working, highly competent President that we keep saying in astonishment, “PWEDE PALA!” and we keep muttering in wild amazement, “Wow…just like that..”

Pwede pala matanggal ang laglag bala, just like that!
Pwede pala iuwi ang mga stranded na OFW..just like that.
Pwede palang magka modo ang mga lecheng imperyalismong Amerikano…just like that.
Pwede palang pauwiin na ang mga Lumad ..just like that.
At yung mga skwela nila, pwede palang wag sunugin at pwede palang tayuan sila ng mga skwela nila…just like that.
Pwede palang sabihan ang HK na wag nyong ipaglinis ang mga kababayan naming DH ng mga bintana ng high rise nyo na kung saan sila nagkakandahulog sa kamatayan nila…just like that.

Pwede palang magka mabilis at libreng wi fi sa airport and just like that!
Pwede palang walang lecheng mga linta sa airport and just like that!

Pwede pala ang relief efforts umabot ng maayos sa mga nangangailangan…just like that.
At pwede palang hindi limos nang limos ng tulong sa ibang bansa at pwede palang umasa sa sarili lang natin…just like that.
At pwede palang i-prioritize ang mga magsasaka..just like that.
At pwede palang libreng gamot..just like that.
At pwede palang free hospitalization para sa mahihirap..just like that.
At pwede palang hindi kurakot, tangangot, kasmot ang Pangulo ng Plipinas.
At pwede palang mahal nya talaga ang bayan nya na bawat galaw nya, tayo ang nasa isip nya.
At pwede palang mahal natin ang Pangulo natin. (eh yung mga haters, trapped sila sa impyerno ng suklam nila. Choice nyo yan, guys. Enjoy!)
At pwede palang maging astig ang Pilipinas sa mata ng mundo.

So kung ako pa sila Loida at ang barkada nyang elitista na walang magawang maayos sa oras nila, magform na lang sila ng Gantsilyo Club, meet MWF, discuss ng challenging gantsilyo projects. Or mag Zumba sila. Or mag Tai Chi sa Greenhills. (Sorry yun lang ang abot ng non-billionaire imagination ko.)

just get the fuck of our hair, Loida and company. Your grand, grand dreams of relevance and making your mark in Philippine history are over. That ship has sailed. Sail off into oblivion now. Away from us please. Get the fuck out of our lives, you fucking loony bin American.

As for the VP.

Madam VP, please be a VP.

There’s power enough there for you to get drunk on. You’re a heartbeat away from the presidency. Be a heartbeat away. Don’t be that heartbeat. You’re not there yet. Don’t try to take this man away from us. He is beloved. He is appreciated by a whole lot of us.

Blend with the walls for now. As all good VPs do.

Stop being part of what brings our country down.

The President, our President, just-as-duly elected as you—is having a hard enough time.

If you can’t help him, just please get out of his way. This dangerous game you play puts millions of lives on the line. Millions of lives, may I add, that are getting their best shot at being taken out of the severe poverty they are in by a President whose heart, mind and soul are for them.

This is not mere rhetoric, Madam VP. You only need look at the sky high approval ratings of the president to see what a whole lot of us think of him.

And you might want to check out your dismal ratings—that one that’s been slip sliding away to know that there are far too many of us who think you are putting our country back on the road to perdition with this dangerous game of politics you play.

You’ve aligned yourself with haters, with the power hungry, with the elitists, the galling US-based half assed, arrogant Pinoys who have given nothing of worth to their country of birth and now suddenly, think it is their God given right to tell us, sovereign Filipinos, where our country ought to be headed.

And how so many of us think your sleeping with the enemy makes you the enemy.

Make yourself known, Madam VP. Is this who you truly are?

(OO nasa denial stage pa ako. I need a moment. 😀)

Or is there still inside you a smidgen of that Leni Robredo that we campaigned and raised funds for and voted and cheered for when she won? The one we thought was champion of the poor.

How is it you now not only hobnob with the elite but have become their lapdog?

Ah Madam VP, what a thorough and complete betrayal of the trust given you.

Our country’s new day has been ushered in. So many of us see it. And I am sorry for you and those who choose to see gloom and doom everywhere. This, in the end, is the choice you make.

As for so many of us, we have rolled up our sleeves and we are taking our place in that huge chain of Pinoy humanity that gets our country out of the muck that it’s been stuck in for as far back as we can remember. We are heaving and hoing with this man, our President.

And if you can’t roll up your sleeves and do your part like the rest of ache to do, please just get yourself out of our way. (Oh I dunno. Join Loida when she Zumbas, I guess.)

Our Country’s destiny is greatness. Not the smallness forced on it by the elites and all those who would benefit from us remaining small and shackled.

We hear our Country call to us.

And this time around, we are heeding her call.


Life History as a Methodology: Grampy AC of Iligan City, Philippines


This is a life history of a formidable man who is able to defy the odds and emerge victorious. He has exceeded the country’s lifespan for males by almost two decades. Filipino males’ life expectancy is only up to 65 years old (PRB 2015). His life history depicts the saying, “Poverty is not a hindrance to success!” This man is a typical Filipino: physically in a small frame, industrious, light-hearted, helpful, and optimistic. He easily agrees to the interviews, eager to tell his story. Let his pseudonym be Grampy AC. Grampy for his present state and AC for his name’s acronym.

Who is Grampy AC?

Grampy AC is an 82-year old widower for three years now. He has fifteen grandchildren from his seven children, all married and stay with their families of procreation in their respective homes. He employs a distant relative young male to tend the ­Sari-Sari Store in the front part of the first floor of his house. It is the store that his departed wife previously managed. There are lady boarders at the second floor, occupying a total of four rooms.  The store, which previously functioned as eatery, and the rooms’ rents are the main livelihood of his deceased wife. The two-floor house is what he and his wife have established from their years of toils. The location of their house is very conducive for small-scale enterprise as it is near a University and two other schools.

As a migrant in Iligan City, he recalls his family’s dire poverty in Cebu City. He believes that had he not left Cebu, he may not have achieved what he has at present. Despite being a migrant, he proves to be a good resident of Iligan City for he gets elected as barangay councilor for fifteen years. All his seven children have obtained college degrees. Three children have earned a degree in law from the neighbor University. The second child has passed the bar exams and works in the top management of the country’s National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the city. This has earned Grampy AC a higher and better place in the community. He gets appointed by the city government as the over-all coordinator of the senior citizens in the whole city of Iligan.

His Beginnings

Born on 2 August 1934 in Cebu City, Grampy AC is the eldest of eight children to a clothes washer mother and a farm help father. The hard life his family led fires up his optimism to seek for his fortune in a far place. He thinks that with the number of children his parents have, dark clouds seem to loom at his future. He believes he needs to leave his city of birth.

He intends to beat down poverty by leaving his home in Visayas at 14 years old. The idea to try out his luck in a far place comes to mind when he receives a ship pass from his godfather. When he has already made up his mind about leaving, he wraps few clothes in a mat and carries the mat like a log over his shoulder. He plans not to tell his parents but on his way to the sea port, he met his mother. In tears, his mother asks him where will he go and why will he leave his family. His mother accepts his explanation of his search for his niche in this world by going to Iligan. Despite the tears, his mother gives him her blessings and well-wishes. His mother gives him the only money she has – forty pesos.

Beating the Odds as a Migrant

When he arrives in Iligan City, he looks for the house of a distant uncle in Barangay Tibanga. His uncle recommends him as an errand boy to an affluent family in Iligan City. Because he is industrious and has initiative, he is sent to school as a working student by the physician’s family. His loyalty earns him his bosses’ trust. He is trusted to do myriad of tasks for the family. He drives for the family’s growing children to their personal activities. He processes legal documents for the family’s procurement of assets. He cleans cars, waters plants, and cleans the surrounding and the like. His determination earns him a college degree in commerce.

He then works in one of the processing plants in Iligan City. Despite his job, he continues to serve the family that helped him achieve his goals by responding to their requests. He finds time to accommodate their requests. He files a week’s leave from work when the eldest child of the family requested for him to act as their driver-chaperon as they finalize their wedding preparations up to their wedding day. That child marries one of the daughters of one of the big school owners in Cagayan de Oro City. With kidnapping threats to affluent people, the family can only trust him in such important task.

Family of Procreation

For nine years, he works at the Paper Mill as one of the staff in the business section. His observations with his boss’ house helper lead him to choose her as his future lifetime partner. Though the house helper only has elementary education, he notices her to be smart and industrious. As newlyweds, they rent a house of his uncle in Barangay Tibanga. They open an eatery which is primarily managed by his wife. His wife cooks well and is very hard working. He honors his late wife for being thrifty and wise with money. He admits that his degree in commerce is nothing compared with his wife practical ways in doing business. He knows that his salary lacks and pales to what his wife earns in their eatery. He considers his wife his lucky charm.

While working, he sidelines selling insurance products during free time. His constant trips in a motorcycle to sell insurance lead him to a vehicular accident. He has to stop work for two years and only his wife’s earnings enable his family to live properly. His eldest child is still in high school when he stops work. He feels inutile and shame towards his wife. But his wife stands by him amidst his life’s tribulations.

He tries to enter local politics and runs for barangay councilor. His first try puts him to a seat at the barangay council. His performance makes him a councilor for three consecutive terms. When he reaches the maximum term of office, he lets his eldest child run instead. As luck would have it, his eldest child also wins a seat. But, when his child succumbed to cardiac arrest, his son (Grampy’s eldest grandchild) replaced him as barangay councilor. Hence, Mr. AC is able to establish his political path that is also tread by his son and his grandson.

As a Senior Citizen

His financial resources come mostly from rent. He also has monthly pension of 1,800 from his previous work.  He also receives monthly honorarium of 700 pesos for being the chapter president of his barangay’s senior citizen association. Grampy AC considers his physical-mental health as still high. His activities of daily living (ADL’s) is still high. He proudly says that he still drives his car, although his children wanted for him to have a driver instead.  His day starts early with a prayer followed by simple exercise, personal hygiene, and breakfast. He has no major health concern at present. He happily said he is in the best of health.

He receives free medical check-up from the physician’s family. At his age, he proudly states that he has no maintenance medicine. He takes a number of nutritional supplements, he exercises regularly, observes appropriate number of hours of sleep. Grampy AC believes that senior citizens should be provided with free nutritional supplements (vitamins and minerals tablets) at the Barangay Health Center.

Despite the free movies for senior citizens by the local government, Grampy AC chooses not to avail of the privilege. First reason is he does not like to sit beside fellow senior citizens who put on and smell of liniments. Second, he likes to go inside a movie house with someone younger and smell good. Since he does not find somebody that fits reason 2, he just watches movies on television.


+ submitted as a requirement to Dr. Erlinda M. Burton, XU-CDO




by Mary Ann F Daclan

“Development as Freedom” is a book authored by Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winner in Economics who had widely written about development.  Each of these two words carries devtasfreedom senloads of people’s needs, social realities, and individual hopes. I believe that people, regardless of whether considered as majority, minority, indigenous, in exclusion, “haves” or “have nots,” aspire for both development and freedom. In this literature, Sen regarded development as something non-existent in absence of freedom. I suspect that if we closely study these two phenomena, it will be like that baffling chicken-egg situation. There is development if there is freedom; yet, one attains freedom when there is development. Sen’s concluding remark, “Freedoms are not only the primary ends of development, they are also among its principal means” mirrors it. I adhere to the idea that each of these two words actively operate on a relative scale. Development needs definitely differs in third world countries compared to their better off counterparts.

Even those who are situated in first world countries seek to have development in aspects that they feel they still lack. To them, development boils down to excellence at everything. They may be dissatisfied with anything amiss excellence or perfection because they may be used to it. I feel that development at that level is something that cannot even be conceived by those who are at a disadvantage in many aspects in life – like us in the third world. My sister, in France, shared that while traversing in one of the six-lane roads, their car wheels just halted. From nowhere a police officer approached them and showed photos of their violation – expired wheels that needed replacements. The wheels still look sturdy and very functional, but there is specified number of years of maximum use. A technology the police used can detect it from somewhere invisible by motorists. Six lanes, pictured violation, techie car control, expired wheels are phenomena alien to us. To many of us in the Philippines, construction of a passable road in seemingly god-forsaken countryside is already development. And somehow, as we use the road in transporting our farm products, we rural dwellers experience freedom from difficulty in transportation and movements.

The topmost word that surfaces my mind from the book’sbraveheart-13 introduction is definitely unfreedom. There is too much of this in the Philippines. Aside from the infamous threats to safety and security outside or inside the homes, there is the chain of dire poverty and the quagmire of unemployment. Our fellow Filipinos gone awry beheaded our country’s foreign tourists. Aggressive assailants even commit their heinous acts inside the victims’ residences. And so we set up high fences and multiple locks on our doors. Even when we wanted to, we are prohibited from going to our city’s festive weekend night cafés in the public plaza. We are not to expose ourselves to danger. Despite the Public Administration degree of my younger brother, he could not land a job that is fit to his training. He got employed as Gaisano counter boy, food court cook, and Gibi shoes’ store man. Eventually, he had to go to Kuwait for an electrician job hiring. He got a certificate for this position from government training. When he arrived in Kuwait, however, he worked as one of the carpenters to one of Kuwait’s mushrooming building constructions.

It pains to see these harsh social realities unfolding each day before our eyes. Sen
wrote, “the unfreedom links closely to the lack of public facilities … health care or educational facilities, or of effective institutions for the maintenance of local peace and order.” Every day, as I passed by public schools towards my workplace, I can see children having classes under a tree or in a hallway for lack of classrooms. My youngest brother, who teaches secondary education, has to pay a thousand pesos one-way fare for a motor ride towards a school in a faraway boondock in our municipality.  And the terrains the motorcycle traversed become slippery and muddy in these rainy days. The hazard fee cannot suffice to the dangers he faces each trip. It worries my senior citizen parents that they cannot contact him for there is no cellular phone signal and no electricity in the area. Each of us can only hope for that day to come when unfreedom’s chains be untangled and development takes its rightful place.


LIFE AND DEBT: A Reflection

by Mary Ann F Daclan, Mindanao State University at Marawi, PH

The film “Life and Debt” documents the points of view of Jamaican workers, farmers, government and policy officials who directly experience the realities of globalization from where they are situated. Stephanie Black adeptly directs the film depicting Life_Debt_a spectrum of Jamaica’s rich culture set in beguiling sea, sand and sun and the saddening realities of a debt-laden country. The film covers the impact economic globalization has on a developing country. It profoundly dissects the “mechanism of debt” that consequently debilitates the people’s livelihood. The film’s scenario is very much akin to what also transpired in another developing country – the Philippines. Europeans colonized Jamaica (by Great Britain) and Philippines (by Spain). Both countries gained independence. Beset by financial difficulties, both countries serially loaned heaps of US dollars from International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The debts’ impacts to common Jamaican people are very similar among many Filipinos.

Being a natural born citizen of the Philippines, a Filipino at heart, I can verily empathize with the debt-ridden Jamaicans. In Life and Debt, Dr. Michael Witter, an economics professor lectured his class that “essentially what the IMF would like us to do is to devaluate our currency, to make our dollar cheaper.” Since Jamaica, as well as the Philippines, heavily depends on imported goods like food, fuel, books, and medicines, the costs go up to the citizens. “In effect,” Dr. Witter said, “foreigners control the economy in form of debt.” This affects every common citizen’s consumption of the most basic human needs. So instead of buying new books, we Filipinos illegally photocopy the original books in the library. Our vehicles emit toxic carbon on the very air we breathe for reasons involving expensive imported fuels. We let our children drink the cheaper powdered milk because we cannot afford imported fresh milk. We still take medicines that have long been banned in first world countries because our laws have no fangs to prevent their entry to the country.

Similarly, I remember in the 80’s, as a high school student at a public school, my Social Studies teacher would tell us that every Filipino is indebted outside of the country. Mr. Polintan said that even those who are still in the womb already have debts in dollars. He said that every Filipino may not be able to fully pay the debt in his or her lifetime. Later, as I learned about the complexities of society through sociology courses, I realized the truths behind the words of my elementary teacher. In 2015, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reported that the Philippines’ foreign debt totals to over 75 billion in US dollars. Based on the population, each Filipino has an approximate of over a thousand US dollars debt. As a Filipino, I can feel the burden of my country’s debts as I grew up amid landless farmers in our province.

Like the Jamaicans, landless farmers labor for those who have farmlands. Still lagged behind, those with farms hitherto rely on nature’s rain so they can plant. Absence of irrigation, lack of capital to finance rice farming, and dire poverty pushed my family to put on lease my mother’s two-hectare rice field inheritance. My mother entered an informal transaction to an entrepreneurial neighbor in an indefinite term. For Dr. Witter, “The whole idea is to set conditions that the government could not meet.” The common end among the Jamaicans and us would be the oppressive conditions by the “haves.” Consequently, we joined our landless neighbors. Thereafter, my mother’s farming activities evolved around farm labor for wages in cash or in kind. As young as I was then, as I witnessed my mother and my neighbors’ labors, I thought of how they were paid less for what they have tediously labored for.

When we sell “in kind” remuneration to have cash, the buyers’ price was extremely low. The reason for buying cheap included difficulty in transportation via the Agusan river and the low price for local produce. For instance, we export our natural resources – processed sinter ore and steel; then we import the expensive byproduct – cars. Upon reflection, at the very strand of this dynamics lurks the superordinate-subordinate relationship between “haves” and “have-nots.” #AnnDACLAN

Down South Succession in Positions: A Microcosm Habitus of Philippine Politics

In the Philippines, the first quarter of 2016 highlighted election campaigns where Filipinos are agog with all of the political hullabaloos surmising the whole country. Actively engaged are the Filipinos’ habitus or their cognitive structures to deal with the social world as structured by and structures the way they deal with the present day politics. Each has a different habitus, and it is based on the position one has within the larger Philippine social environment. Each as a citizen of a third world country marred by social issues like corruption, public insecurity, and drug-related crimes, among others. Habitus is affected by age, wealth, sex, physical appearance, occupation, and so on (Ritzer 2011). The parent who routinely instructs the child how to behave in accordance to a phenomenon is thus going about the business of reproducing the habitus (Elliot 2014).

Along with habitus is Bourdieu’s concept of Field,which describes the series of relationships between the positions in it, not interactions or social ties. A battlefield where the positions fight to improve by means of drawing upon various kinds of capital – symbolic,social, economic, and cultural.It is along this line that this paper will traverse, particularly on succession of political positions.

Down South of the Philippines, particularly, in the Province of Agusan del Norte, are canIMG_20160325_054025didates for positions whose family names have already been etched in local politics for decades by their seniors. This is not unique, though, since other parts of the country reflect similar
happenstance. No less than the incumbent president – Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III – of the Philippine Republic had reaped the good fortune his family name brought him, built by both his parents – Benigno S. Aquino, Sr. (a senator) and Corazon Cojuangco Aquino (a President).

Many national level positions are of no exemptions to this. A number of senators who hailed from their respective provinces catapulted to national positions via their family names. The same is true with most members in congress from all over the country. So, how does a public post become like an inheritance that it gets to be passed on from the seniors’ generation to their juniors despite having no political background even at the lowest post among the latter?
Bourdieu’s Symbolic Capital

Family name bears symbolic capital as honor and reputation (Ritzer and Ryan 2011).The candidates’ seniors have already capped into their family names the honor of being political leaders, for years. In local parlance, the family name “rings a bell.” The constituents have grown accustomed to the sound of the family name, which has become a byword in the locality. Come election time, the family name surfaces first when it comes to memory recall compared to those whose names just entered the political scene.

When Angel Amante (Maria Angelica RosedellMalbasAmante), then a 25-year old nurse with no previous political experience, was fielded by her father Edelmiro Atega Amante Sr. to run as governor in Agusan del Norte in 1995, she easily beat other political candidates.Edelmiro A. Amante Sr., at that time, served as then President Fidel V. Ramos’ executive secretary. He had been so involved in local politics for years, starting off at the barangay level to the national scene as then assemblyman. Since then, Angel Amante’s political career has never taken a leave. For twenty-one years now, Angel Amante has occupied the seats of provincial governor and representative to Agusan del Norte’s Second District, interchangeably, dependent on the terms’ exhausted limit (Adorador 2013).

After she won as first time governor, she got reelected to the same post for two more terms. When the limit was reached, her older brother, Erlpe John Amante took over. While her brother ran for governor, Angel ran as representative of the Second District of the province of Agusan del Norte, divided into two congressional districts, I and II. The latter has most of the municipalities of the province, except for one (Las Nieves) which is relegated to the First District, alongside the city of Butuan. The voters for governor are the same for the representative.This made the siblings switch positions from governor to representative and back, depending on the terms’ limit, with ease. The length of years in a post somehow established some kind of reputation that the constituents associate the succeeding candidates to the long-occupancy on the post by a family.

Bourdieu’s Social Capital
Social capital, for Bourdieu, the third distinct resource of the struggle for social positioning, results from network use of more or less institutionalised relationships of mutual acquaintance or recognition (Ritzer 2011).Edelmiro Amante, the patriarch, laid the groundwork for the family members to control the province when he first became congressman in the second district in 1987 (Nawal 2015). He held on to the post for 20 years, except in 2004 and 2010 when his daughter Angel Amante took over the post.Even the siblings’ cousin, Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr., expanded the Amantes’ areas of control when he won as Butuan City mayor in 2010. Hepresently runs for a third term reelection this year (Mascariñas 2013).

Ritzer (2011) expounded that social capital refers either to “the capacity of an individual to obtain valued material by virtue of social relationships and group memberships or to the capacity of a plurality of persons to enjoy the benefits of collective participation, trust in institutions, or commitment to established ways of doing things.”The first one describes social capital obtained via relations. At the provincial level, the Amantes of Agusan del Norte benefited from this type of capital as those other politicians in other provinces in the country.

The same scenarios transpire at the municipality level. The lone municipality – Las Nieves – in the first district of Agusan del Norte, paired with Butuan City, has an incumbent mayor, Leny Rosales, who was born and grew up in Bohol. She won the 2013 mayoralty race as a successor to her husband whose term already reached its limit. During her husband’s terms as mayor, she worked at the municipal post office. She has no previous political post held, even at the barangay level. Her husband, Reinario Rosales, also rose to mayoralty post as successor to his step-brother mayor, Cristito Rosales.

Individual and collective action alike are enabled and constrained by the resources that actors can leverage within and between levels of social structure. The concept of social capital captures something that most sociologists consider an elemental truth—that the resources embedded in social structures facilitate individual and collective action, and generate flows of benefits for persons, groups, and communities (Ritzer 2011).

Bourdieu’s Economic Capital
Economic capital is not only ownership of the means of production, but all forms of material wealth (Ritzer 2011). Those who are incumbent officials are privileged enough to be the channels, if not the end, of the financial support accorded by the national administrative candidates. The president himself gets to piggyback the campaignof, and openly endorses his political allies within his political party while using government resources during his official activities around the country. Amante and Rosales reelectionists are in this boat.

To realize big-crowd political rallies or even simple caravan in 81 provinces in scattered islands in the country entail large budget that incumbent candidates can rely from their active national political machinery (institutional) and from their politician seniors (personal) who have already secured needed budget for reelections from years of sitting in the posts bequeathed upon them.

Bourdieu’s Cultural Capital
Cultural capital can be objectified in books, paintings, works of art, or technical artefacts; incorporated in skills, competencies, and forms of knowledge; and institutionalised in titles, such as honorable governor, honorable congressman or congresswoman, honorable mayor, among others. Bourdieu’s concept of cultural capital directs our attention to the means whereby social inequalities are generated through the classifying power of taste as expressed in the consumption of culture. Possession of specific forms of cultural capital is used to maintain social dominance over those who do not possess them (Elliot 2014).

The senior politicians’ institutionalized titles give their successor children the edge over newcomers. Their children will be introduced as the kid of honorable so and so. And they get the so called “special treatment,” which is very much a part of the Filipino hospitality. In a municipality in the second district of Agusan del Norte, Cabadbaran City, are three candidates for the mayoralty post. All of them are closely related to the Amantes, two women and a man. The first two women are the ex-wife Judy Amante of Representative Erlpe Amante and his rumored girlfriend, Katrina Mortola. The third candidate is the Amante family’s lawyer, Atty. Tolentino (Jimenez-David 2015; Nawal 2015; Serrano 2015).

Cultural capital explains the ability of the political family’s seniors to transmit their privileged status to their children, a process Bourdieu referred to as “social and cultural reproduction.” This is not only to the intergenerational reproduction of family status but also to the reproduction of larger systems of social inequality and of systems of cultural hierarchy (Ritzer 2011).

The accumulation of symbolic, social, economic and cultural capital does not permit egalitarianism in this respect, even though it may pay lip service to the principle: Privilege is misrecognised as merit, and cultural heredity determines the survival of the most fitting. The interrelated capitals combined definitely propelled the families of Amante and Rosales in their respective localities, helping shape the voters’ habitus in the field of politics.




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Macionis, John. 2012.Sociology, 14th ed. USA: Pearson Education, Inc.

Mascariñas, Erwin. 11 March 2013. Edelmiro Amante Sr. passes away at 79. MindaNews: This is OUR Mindanao. Retrieved on 17 April 2016 from:

Mythical Origin. Retrieved on 14 April 2016 from Agusan del Norte website:

Nawal, Alan. 14 October 2015. Siblings on opposing sides in Agusan Norte, CDO, Davao Sur polls. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved on 14 April 2016 from website:

Ritzer, George and Ryan, J. Michael (eds). 2011. The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociology. USA and UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Serrano, Ben. 10 August 2015. Lawmaker’s wife to run vs husband’s alleged mistress. Philippine Star. Retrieved on 16 April 2016 from


The Amante Family in the Government of Agusan del Norte

Congress man/woman
Second District Governor TERM in YEARS **
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. * Consuelo V. Calo 1978 – 1984
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. Jose T. Gonzalez 1984 –1987
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. Eduardo Rama, Sr. 1987–1992
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. *** Eduardo Rama, Sr. 1992 –1995
Eduardo Rama, Sr. Angel M. Amante 1995 – 1998
Roan Libarios Angel M. Amante 1998 –2001
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. Angel M. Amante 2001 – 2004
Angel M. Amante Erlpe John M. Amante 2004 – 2007
Edelmiro Amante, Sr. Erlpe John M. Amante 2007 – 2010
Angel M. Amante Erlpe John M. Amante 2010 – 2013
Erlpe John M. Amante Angel M. Amante 2013 – 2016
2016 –

* as Assemblyman
** starts and ends June 30
*** served as Executive Secretary to President Fidel V. Ramos