Sitio Kangko is the farthest inhabited area in Barangay Lamlahak in the municipality of Lake Sebu, Southern Philippines. It is located at the foot of the yet unexplored Mt. Three Kings, aptly named for the three imposing peaks that seem to closely watch the small community.
The Spoliarium depicts a typical scene in a chamber of a Roman arena: men dragging defeated gladiators, onlookers watching the bloody spectacle, and a woman grieving on one side.
I cannot say the same pattern of heroism, tragedy, victory and defeat would show up in the coming year. It could get worse. And it could also get very boring. I can only hope that we would now look at every monumental loss with maturity and resilience. I also hope that we would also look at every triumphant breakthrough with sobriety and gratitude.
But the real Gilutongan is far from the picturesque island-hopping stopover we may know about. Consider the following: only 13 out of the 250 homes have toilets; the island does not have potable water supply, a sewage system or electricity; gambling is rampant because it is tolerated by the local officials.
We thought that the month of March would signal the end of our academic worries. After all, it's the unofficial start of the summer season, another time to give ourselves a big break, head for the beaches and literally freak out.
At that gathering, there were many Nang Milas, Nang Indays and Manong Juns – men and women who have fallen once in their lives but decided to surrender to the lordship of Christ. Despite the enduring poverty, you could really see the unspeakable joy in their eyes; a joy that can never be bought by any currency in this world.