Samantha P. Mayo
Municipality of Glan- May 4, 2016
I look at my black, gold watch its long and short hand is indicating that it is exactly eleven in the morning. The sky is painted with pale blue color and cotton-like shapes. The yellow, round sun is extending its bright rays on the concrete roads of Glan. In some spots where there are large acacia trees residents of this municipality enjoy the cool fresh air blown by the century old trees.
The jeep stopped beside the municipal plaza of Glan. Welcoming the visitors, an aged man waved his right, long ,dark arm. He is wearing a grey polo shirt coupled with an off white short. To cover his grey, white hairs a cap embroidered with Brooklyn is sitting above his head. He is Mr. Benedicto “Ting” L. Ruiz II a grandson of Don Tranquilino Ruiz the owner and developer of Glan. Their family is the owner of the mini museum located at the heart of Glan.
Ruiz Familia Memorabilia houses century old furnitures, sculptures, traditional outfits, religious symbols such as Santos ansd krusifix and animals’ skeletal parts. “These are heirlooms from Lolo, to my Father, sa amua , sa akua” Sir Ting said.
After forty-five minutes lecture about the historical past of Glan, I went out. While observing the environmental features of this municipality, I was brought by my feet in front of Glan Central Elementary School, where century old acacia trees are growing. Their trunks are standing firm and strong, their stems are spreading to the left and to the right, its leaves are pigmented of dark green shade that depicts life.
As I was to enter the school gate I notice an old man, sitting on a red wave 125 motorcycle. The lower part of his body is covered with maong pants, and his muscular upper body is embrace by a black t-shirt. He is wearing eyeglasses in order to have a clearer view of the world. His calloused hands are tucked together. He is observing the pink classrooms beyond the acacia trees. “Puwedi manulod kol?” I asked with a smile. “Ay puwedi kaayo day.” he replied. After I took my best shot of the acacia trees, I move towards the old man. I introduce myself and told him that it is my first time to visit the municipality of Glan. Gaining his attention and permission I started giving some question about him. He is Uncle Boy a 58 year old constituent of this town. He is happily married with three children. He is an alumnus of Glan Central Elementary School. “Nganong diri ka man naga tambay kol?” “sang una man gud day dira mi naga dula sa akong mga igsoon sa ilalum sa acacia. Dira mi mag paniiudto sa pabalon sang among inahan kag pagkatapos magdula mig tubiganay, shatong, jolen, pitiw. Mga kalingwan sang mga bata sadto ba” his eyes are speaking of joy and his lips are moving with the emotion he had under the shade of acacia tree many years ago. These trees witnessed the happiest childhood memories every child of Glan has. These century old trees saw how the inevitability of change embraced this town. From a far flung area of South into Eastcost destination of tourists.
“Ang mga acacia trees nga na, preserved gid na. It is a part of historical past of Glan” Sir Ting mentioned. Century old acacia trees are mute witness of the hardships, sadness, abundance, happiness, including changes of this old town. It is a living proof that from the old name Galang meaning a sharp bolo which is used to clean up wild shrubs and trees this municipality evolved into Glan which is now in the cream spot of the South.
For the people of Glan acacia trees are the living symbols of their past. Always reminding them of the old memories they had.
For some tourist acacia trees is a figure that tells that there is so much more than the sun, sea and sand in Glan, Sarangani.
The driver started the jeepneys’ engine. Heading to our last destination, the Isla Jardin del Mar Resort.
For me acacia trees are the people of Glan standing firm and strong, spreading the culture, tradition and past they have, and growing while living.