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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Look At The Praying Hands

Look At The Praying Hands
by Melchor F. Cichon
April 19, 2015

At the praying hands.
Closely see the marked veins
And the crooked fingers
That point to the Heavens.
Beyond these hands
The sacrifices
They went through
Just for you to lift
A wine glass
For a toast.
Tan-awa Ro Mga Nagapangade nga mga Alima
Ni Melchor F. Cichon
April 19, 2015

Ro mga nagapangade nga mga alima.
Tan-awa it mayad
Ro mga naga-uoebo nga kaugat-ugatan
Ag ro mga nagatiliku nga mga tudlo
Nga nagapuntariya sa kaeangitan.
Tan-awon mo it mayad
Sa likod ku mga alima ngaron
Ro mga sakripisyo
Nga andang haagyan
Agud makabatak ka eang
Ku baso it bino
Para sa imong kadaag-an.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Dana Ba Nana: The Young Achiever

Dana Ba Nana: The Young Achiever
Melchor F. Cichon
January 1, 2015

It was in December 2014 when I first saw her together with a faculty member, a photographer, a male model, and a librarian. Except for the photographer, all the rest are from Aklan Catholic College, Kalibo, Aklan.
They were having a photo shoot inside the Aklan Catholic College Library (ACC).
I am referring to Mel Constantino, a faculty member; Darlene Braza, a Librarian;  a photographer, and a college student. And the model I am referring to is known as Dana Ba Nana. I knew it was just her Facebook name.  
While they were doing their photo shooting, I could hear Mr. Constantino  saying "Ah" before taking every picture. I could also see that the model looks like a professional model.
After their photo shooting, the model and her male companion sat inside the librarian’s  office.
It was only then that I came near them and requested if I could also take them some pictures.They agreed.

Following the technique used by Mel Constantino, I requested the model to say "Ah" before I took her some pictures. It was effective.
Dana was born on November 12,1991 in Kalibo, Aklan.  She took her primary education at Aklan Learning Center. She continued her studies at Aklan Valley High School.  Before she came to Aklan Catholic College, she took an Associate in Information Technology degree at Aklan State University, College of Information Technology (ASU-CIT), Kalibo, Aklan.  At ACC, she is taking up Bachelor of Elementary Education. She is now in her fourth year.

While in high school, she was awarded as Best in English.

When I inquired if she is  engaged in literary works, she said she tried. One of her feature articles was published in Raven Magazine Aklan , an eco-tourism and lifestyle magazine of Aklan. Here is the link of that magazine: Her other literary works were lost when Typhoon Frank hit Kalibo.

That was the start of her numerous achievements.
In 2007, she was elected as SK Chairperson until 2010. And while she was an  SK Chairperson, she was chosen as Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan 2009.

However, she claimed that she wasn't that productive when she was in the position. "There were too much hindrances. And I  was still young. But the projects I had were basketball, boxing, the arc sa pagwelcome sa among barangay, and a few meters of cementing the road po. I wish I were as smart and brave enough at that time para magpursue sa other things na gusto ko matabo. Pero I’m thankful naman pona naexperienced ko doon dahil I learned a lot. Every experience is an opportunity to learn well, Sir.”
Her latest achievement is the 2014 ACC Quest for Ms Personality.
When I asked her if she plans to enter any beauty contests, she said no.
What she wants is to be a teacher. And more. She wants to establish a foundation that will someday help in establishing a school of her own. Here is what she told me:
“Aside from being a teacher po Sir, I  would really like to have my own school, and expand it into a college. Gusto ko may foundation po ako para makabulig ako kapin pa sa mga inunga. Gusto ko maging inspirasyon kanda ag mabuksan ro anda nga potential po. I will attain these through educating myself, getting the credentials I would need, exposing myself to the kinds of problems na naeencounter it mga mabuligan ko, finding the right people na makabuligman kakon with the same or almost the same passion as I have, being open minded; ag dapat yumaman ako Sir. Gapati abi ako Sir nga dapat mabuligan ko anay ang sarili para mas makabulig ako sa iba.”
In that case, I told her that she must have enough knowledge on educational management. And she must have enough money to establish a school.
So I asked her if her parents are engaged in business.
“Not at present Sir. Noon po,very small lang.We lived in a small sari-sari store in our home where the table flips into a bed during night time po. Then nagkaroon man kami it 3 tricycles po yata. 
Unfortunately, nalugi kasi laging nasisira.  Si Mama lang dayun du gawork as a teacher;  si Papa bilin kamon sa baeay magbantay. We again opened a sari-sari store. For almost 2 years we had a good income from that store because many  students passed by our store.. Unfortunately, the pathway where the students used to pass was closed by the owner of the school. So  once again our sari-sari business was discontinued."
These little experiences on their sari-sari store and her background on public service must have triggered her to establish a school of her own to help the children in their community reach their dreams.
I hope that her dream will come through.

Chescery Rose Belarmino

Chescery Rose Belarmino:
AklanonTV Personality, Actress, Dancer, Singer
Melchor F. Cichon
December 21, 2014

I met her accidentally.
One late afternoon, December 17, 2014, I was writing a haiga for a friend with a photo taken by Maxy Oconer Meñez. After I posted the finished haiga in my Facebook album, Full Moon, I scanned the other pictures taken by Maxy. One of the pictures I liked was that of another Aklanon lady: Chescery Rose Belarmino.
Inspired by her splendor, I immediately prepared a haiga for her and again posted it in my Facebook album. When I informed Maxy that I already have posted the picture of one of his subjects, he suggested that I should contact her, although my posting of the pictures he has taken has no problem with him.

With that hint, I immediately sent her a private message through the Facebook and asked her if I could use one of her pictures for a haiga.

Here is the message I sent to her:

Mayad-ayad nga hapon. Ches. Pwede ko mabutangan it haiku ro isaea mo nga picture ag dayon hay ipost ko sa ang Facebook album nga Full Moon? Ara ro haiku:

harvest moon—
even Ruby's wind stops
to glance at her splendor

Abu gid nga saeamat.

Melchor F.Cichon,  Awardee, Outstanding Aklanon for Culture and the Arts.

(Good afternoon Ches. Can I write a haiku on one of your pictures?  I will then post it in my Facebook album, Full Moon?

Here is the haiku:
Harvest moon—
even Ruby’s wind stops
to glance at her splendor

Thank you so much.)

I did not expect any reply from her.

But three hours after that, I received a reply from her: “ok sir. . Ty man sa pagpili kakon.” (ok sir…thanks also for choosing me)

With that permission, I immediately posted my haiga in my Facebook album. And she liked it.

Not only that,  she allowed me to use her other pictures for my other haiga.

I got more interested in her, so I asked her if I could interview her. She agreed.

Before that, Chescery was born on October 13, 1990 in Batan, Aklan. Her parents are Chester A. Belarmino and Cindy R Belarmino.

Her siblings are Chester R. Belarmino, Jr. and Clea May R. Belarmino.

Here is my online interview with her:

Melchor Cichon :  May I ask something about you? Are you an actress or a professional  model?
Chescery Rose Belarmino:  Yes, at ABS-CBN. And a local model.
Melchor Cichon: Ay gali. Wow, ang swerte konaman, nakilala kita. Sa ano ka nga program sa ABS-CBN?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Home Sweetie Home,  Sir.
Melchor Cichon: Gali.  Permi kami karon gatan-aw. Hambaeon ko rang mga kaibahan sa baeay nga nakapagchat ako kimo. Masadya nga klaseng show ron.
Melchor Cichon: May pelikula ka eon man?
Chescery Rose Belarmino:  Haha. Wa,  Sir. Nag-uli ang abi ya sa Aklan.  May nawait bi ako.
Melchor Cichon: Nabasa mo ro akon nga ginsulat sa Facebook  timeline ko about you? Hara rang ginsueat:
I am so lucky today! This is a joy of being a poet. Today, I was able to "meet" an Aklanon who is not only a wind stopper because of her splendor but also an ABS-CBN actress. She is one of the actresses in Home Sweetie Home show. Her name: Chescery Rose Belarmino of Batan,Aklan. I featured her in my Facebook album: Full Moon.
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Wow,  Sir. Thank you gid. Fully glad. .Thanks po ulit.
Melchor Cichon: You deserve it! Perhaps later, I can write your short bio-profile so that more Aklanons will know more about your accomplishments.
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Thank you po. Nagpapasalamat Po ako kay God sa dami Niyang ibinigay na talent sa akin.
Melchor Cichon: Yon nga. Mabuti na yong naisulat because written records last beyond our graves.
Melchor Cichon: Thank you, Ches. Can I ask you some more information about you?

Chescery Rose Belarmino:  Opo. 3 years champion ako in dance sport,  in Latin category.
Melchor Cichon:  Wow, 3 years!  That's great. Where did you take your elementary and high school?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Linayasan Elementary School, Altavas, Aklan.  And in Altavas National High School.
Melchor Cichon:  When you were in the primary and secondary schools, did you receive any academic award?
Chescery Rose Belarmino:  Elementary po consistent 2nd honor hanggang maggraduate.  Sa high school, wala po. Pero sa special science class ako in Altavas National High School.
Melchor Cichon: I read somewhere that you studied at NVC, on what course? And why that course?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Bachelor in Secondary Education, major in Music, Arts, Physical Education (MAPEH).  Coz I really love dancing,and music. Gusto ko magturo, kaso di ko type magteach.
Melchor Cichon: Bakit ayaw mong maging teacher?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Mababa po ang sahod at parang tatanda ka lang.
Melchor Cichon: Ok. From NVC, where did you go?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Nagwork ako sa Aklan Provincial Capitol Office,  Sir. Then nagpaManila ako ku June. Before that,  I represented Aklan in a dance sports competition,  in wholeVisayas regions. And I won 3rd place, over-all.
Melchor Cichon: Wow, may I know who your dance partner was?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Mark Arvin Rebaldo.  Kyuwee maw sa Facebook.
Melchor Cichon: How did you get into ABS-CBN?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Ging contact ako nanda, Sir, ay nakita ako nanda sa Ganda Babae,  nagpascreening.  Hay na discover nanda ako.
Melchor Cichon: Mga kan-o ra? Ano ring first assignment sa ABS-CBN? What was your first impression then? Did you meet some embarrassing moments that made you a better actress later?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: June 23, 2014  first ko sa GMA,  kat Puso Ni Dok as a reporter. Sa ABS-CBN,   mga August, 2014. Masadya kami ag level lang kami ku mga artista igto. Dahil may sarili rin naman akong dressing room.
Melchor Cichon: OK. What tv sitcom/program assignment that you considered to be the most memorable, and why?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: ABS-CBN po Home Sweetie Home. Kasi doon ko nafeel ang pagiging artista na nga talaga. At nakakausap ko na mismo sila  Philip Salvador,  John Lhoyd Cruz, Ogie Diaz, Mitoy, Rico J.  Puno.
Melchor Cichon: Wow! Talagang kalevel mo nanga sila. Si Mitoy kuno hay Akeanon man?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Di ko alam, Sir. Barkada ko po sila  Moymoy Palaboy. At vocalist ng Cueshe
Melchor Cichon: OK.  Mayroon ka pa bang gusto maabot sa buhay?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Na madayon ako makapanaw sa abroad, Sir. Pero wa ko pa napanugid. Soon, gusto ko maiangat ang pamilya sa buhay. Ung marangya. Mayaman pero simpleng pamumuhay.
Melchor Cichon: Thank you gid Ches for your time. I will let you know once I have finished writing your profile. I will let you read it first before I post it in my blog/fb.
Chescery Rose Belarmino:  By the way, Sir, may onga eon ako,  Sir sa una. Pero nagbueag kami ku a Tatay. Bukon kami’t kasae.
Melchor Cichon: OK. Sin-o ra ngaean king baby. Pila eon ra edad?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: France Cheo Arceno,  8 years old eon imaw, grade 3. Ag tennis player imaw makaron sa Aklan.
Melchor Cichon: Wow. Tennis player. Aba, basi kon makahampang pa ron imaw sa Wimbledon Championships, sa French Open, sa Australian Open o kun sa US Open.
Melchor Cichon: Kon owa ka’t tv works, ano ring ginakalingawan?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Gamodeling, gakanta, Sir. Sa banda man ako. Makaron sa Nukes ako gabi-gabi.  Journalist man ako tag sa elementary ag sa high school. I also used to write poetry.
Melchor Cichon: What is your philosophy in life?
Chescery Rose Belarmino: Ikanga know your talent. Be thankful of what God has given you.
That’s Chescery Rose Belarmino: an Aklanon actress, a singer, and a prize-winning dancer.

Anjelica M. de Josef: The Barefoot Runner

Anjelica M. de Josef: The Barefoot Runner
by Melchor F. Cichon
February 15, 2015

She was born on March 22, 1999 in Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan to parents who are both athletics.

When she reached Grade Three, she joined in a running competition for a primary level.

When she reached Grade Four, she was the representative of Aklan to the West Visayas Regional Athletic Association Meet. And won a prize.

From then on, she has been representing Aklan for this annual regional meet. She was sent to Vietnam as the Philippine representative in a running competition. There she won 5th place among the ASEAN runners in the girl category.

She also broke two Palarong Pambansa 2012 record in the elementary girl's 800-meter run set by Joneza Mie Sustituedo in 2011 and the 1, 500-meter race elementary girls with 4.49.9 seconds in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

And when she runs, she is barefooted.

Why barefooted?

When I interviewed her in her residence on February 13, 2015 in Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo, Aklan, she told me that it is much lighter for her to run without spiked shoes.

Once she wore spiked shoes in a running competition, she collapsed. And of course, she lost in that event.

After that event, she never wear spiked shoes in all her running competitions. And won medals. Usually gold medal.

In the Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association 2015 (WVRAA 2015) meet held in Aklan, she won three gold medals in running. She competed in the 400 and 800 meter dash.

I am referring to Anjelica Mamagat de Josef.

Since the family de Josef is not familiar to me being a native of Lezo, Aklan myself, I asked her where her roots came from.

She said that her grandfather came from Libacao, Aklan,

But then her father and mother have been residents of Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Aklan.

Except for her father, all the members of her family are all runners, including her mother. Her father plays basketball.

So I asked her what is her secret as a prize winning runner.

She said that she likes to eat vegetables. Eating meat, particularly pork, is not in her menu.

And she keeps on practicing. This she said is the key to her extra-ordinary performances.

To attain the needed stamina, she runs from Sta. Cruz-Biga-a, Lezo to Numancia, about five kilometers away. But she rides a jeep when she returns to her residence. She wears spiked shoes when she practices.

The other secret that she has is the banyos (a combination of oil of winter green, alcohol and omega pain killer) which is applied to her legs after each run. Her elder sister is her official masseuse

But she has a little problem. Her right knee is aching probably because of too much running. If this problem will not be cured immediately, this might cause a bigger problem later.

When I asked her about her academics--she is now a Third Year student in Lezo Integrated School--she said she is doing well.

And after graduation, she said that she might enroll in the University of Sto. Tomas, Manila. A coach from this university has offered her a scholarship.

Another university which she is considering is the Far Eastern University in Manila because the same scholarship has also been offered to her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Fire Tree

Fresh Haiku

fresh haiku
fresh senryu
warm hug from my wife
April 14, 2015

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Inay, Bakit?

Inay, Bakit?
ni Melchor F. Cichon
April 9, 2015

Bakit kay lambing ang awit ng hangin?

Ang Tatay mo’y darating!

Bakit sumasayaw ang mga dahon ng saging?

Ang Tatay mo’y darating!

Bakit kayo’y lumuluha gayong si Tatay ay darating!

Dadalhin niya ang kapatid mong hindi nagmula sa akin!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Biography of my elder brother, Jose F. Cichon, Jr.




Jose F. Cichon, Jr.

A man can be remembered by his fellowmen in many ways.
 He can be remembered through the trees he has planted or the books he has written. He can also be remembered through the positive values he had shown to His God, to his surroundings and to his country. These acts maybe manifested by helping others in time of their crises and predicaments.
The various sequences of my life are vividly illustrated in this biography to serve as a guiding star that may shade lights to my children and grandchildren in their search for the correct path to success. 
I purposely illustrated the hardship, the patient, the perseverance and the self-determination I endeavored in finishing my studies.
My life as a child, as student and a public servant together with my services rendered as a lecturer in the church on the Sacrament of Baptism and to the people in the community are highlighted here. Included here too are my dreams and my aspirations to become a member of the educational hierarchy to mould the youth to make them aware of the vital importance of life, the essence of humanity, the value of education and the love of God.
This biography was conceived when I planned to retire from the government service as a classroom teacher in the District of Olutanga, Division of Zamboanga del Sur.  Likewise, this biography will serve as a prepared speech for my valedictory address on my retirement on May 11, 2002. It will also serve as a souvenir for my wife, Mrs. Rosenda S. Cichon, my children, my grandchildren, relatives and friends when I am no longer connected with the Department of Education, Culture and Sports.
I also extend my thanks to my parents, my wife, to my children, to my grandchildren and friends who consoled me during my predicaments and crisis until I was appointed as a public school teacher on October 13, 1969. Above all, I am very thankful to our Almighty Lord for all His blessings on me.
I would like to thank Mr. Eladio Mandawe of Basilan Plantation Company in Isabela, Basilan Province for his moral supports for framing my personality when I was young and innocent about the real meaning of life. 
I hope that the readers can pick up some wisdom from the various insights and experiences I included here.

Jose F. Cichon, Jr.
May 11, 193  -April 26, 2005

Chapter I


My father was the late Jose Noo Cichon, a native of  Sta. Cruz Lezo, Aklan. He was born in 1900.  His parents were Esteban Cichon and Juana Noo Cichon. He was the second child of the nine (9) children. His brothers and sister are the following: Segundina, Ereneo, Salvador, Prudencio, Manuseta, Belen, and Jesus, the youngest child.
My father was a Grade Seven graduate, a civil service eligible. My uncle Dencio was a lawyer, while Aunt Mansueta is a dentist. Uncle Jesus was a public school teacher and the rest were all undergraduates.  Aunt Belen and Aunt Mansueta are all living in Sta. Cruz, Lezo, Aklan, while the rest are now deceased.
My father was a government employee, started as a Market Collector, a Municipal Clerk and a Municipal Treasurer in our Municipality of Lezo, Aklan until he retired in 1965 from the government service at the age of sixty-five (65) years old.  After five (5) years he died of heart attack upon knowing that my elder brother, Alfreo, died in Zamboanga City on November 27, 1969.  He was buried at Lezo Catholic Cemetery together with my sister Ramona who died on July 14, 1999.  My father was an intelligent man. He liked to drink tuba with pulotan. He was fond of telling humorous and green jokes.
My mother was Desposoria Felomino Francisco, the only daughter of Simplicio Francisco and Yoya Felomino.  According to the story of my late father, my mother had inherited all the properties of her parents as a lone daughter after their death. 
My mother could hardly read and write. She learned the basics of reading through the teaching of her children. She was a sickly woman after giving birth to eight (8) children.  She died in Zamboanga City of stomach cancer in 1973.  She was buried at Sta. Cruz Public Cemetery in Zamboanga City. It was also there where the remains of my brothers, Pablo and Alfreo, were buried.
I am the sixth (6th) child of the eight (8) children of the family.  They are Pablo, Manuel, Alfreo, Ramona, Liberata, Jose, Lucia and Melchor. My late brother Pablo was a Bachelor of Arts graduate, major in Mathematics at Northwestern Visayan Colleges, Kalibo, Aklan, a teacher and writer. He worked in the Post Office in Zamboanga City, but he resigned and became a businessman.  My late brother Manuel was a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a Bachelor of Laws at Zamboanga A.E. Colleges, Zamboanga City, a teacher, a DILG Personnel Officer in Region IX, Zamboanga City. He retired at the age of sixty-five (65) years old and died of a prostate gland cancer in August, 1990.  He was buried at Lezo Municipal Cemetery, Lezo, Aklan.  My late brother Alfreo was a high school graduate, a Bureau of Forestry employee and a businessman. He died also of a stomach cancer and was buried at Sta. Cruz Public Cemetery, Zamboanga City. My late sister Ramona was a high school student and a Day Care Teacher.  She died of heart attack and was buried at Lezo Public Cemetery, Lezo, Aklan.  My sister Liberata was a Grade six graduate, a businesswoman. Lucia, a second year high school, is a businesswoman.  Melchor, the youngest child, is Certificate in Fisheries graduate at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. He also holds three graduate degrees, an award winning  poet, and a lecturer at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas. He is the present Head, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences Library, University of the Philippines in the Visayas, Miag-ao, Iloilo. His has written two books: Ham-at Madueom Ro Gabii? (Bakit Madilim Ang Gabi?), 1999, and Philippine Oddities, 2001.
As of this writing, my three (3) brothers and one (1) sister had died. Of the eight children, two boys and two girls are left behind. My two living sisters (Liberata and Lucia) are residing in Sta. Cruz, Lezo, Aklan, while my brother, Melchor, stays in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.



After the Second World War in 1945, all schools buildings in Aklan were destroyed. During that time, all classes were held in the houses of the teachers.  Some classes were held in the bodegas and in the town plaza.  So, when I attended my Grade I class in 1946-1947, our classes were held in the house of our teacher, Mrs. Rosario Zaldiver at Lezo, Aklan.  My teacher was a tall woman and very strict.  I learned my ABC from her. I also learned reading, writing and the fundamental operations in mathematics.  My teacher in Grade Two was Mrs. Teodora Irada, a very kind and honest teacher.  Our classes were held in their house because there were no school buildings. In my Grade Two, I learned reading, simple grammar, and some mathematical operations. My teacher in Grade Three was Mrs. Amparo Alboleda, a beautiful teacher of Lezo Elementary School, a newly constructed school building after the war. My teacher in Grade Four was Mr. Ludevico Advincula. He too became my critic teacher during my Internship training in Aklan College, Kalibo, Aklan. My teacher in Grade Five was Mrs. Josefa Laudous and my Grade Six teacher was Miss Nancy Iguban from Malinao, Aklan. I graduated my elementary Education in April, 1952 at Lezo Elementary School, District of Numancia, Division of Aklan.
From 1952 to 1954, I worked as a Market Boy in the different Public Markets in the Province of Aklan. My companions were Albert Selorio, Smith Selorio and Odong de Mariano. Our work was to carry the different merchandizes such as cans of puto and bibingka, boxes of fish and other commodities to be placed in the Market Stalls. One time, I carried a box of fish and because I had not enough strength, I lost my balance and stumbled down and the fish were scattered on the ground. I was thankful that the owner was kind enough and understanding. She did not ask me to pay the damages. My companions helped pick up the fish and assisted the owner sold the fish.
My little earnings as a market boy were given to my mother for my future education.  I also ground rice of Nanay Diday for the ingredient of puto and bibingka at ten (P0.10) centavos per ganta. At that time the price of Coca-Cola was ten centavos per bottle. I also worked as a Bus helper in the Madjaas Transit plying from Lezo, Numancia, Malinao, Kalibo and vise versa with two (P2.00) pesos as my daily honorarium.  After working as a laborer for two years, I enrolled in the secondary education in Aklan College, Kalibo, Aklan with more or less ten kilometers away from my house together with my sister Lucia and my cousin Emelio Trinidad. We boarded in the house of Mrs. Exaltacion Mendoza at Roxas Street, Kalibo with the house rental of three (P3.00) pesos per month.  But they stopped their studies when were in second year high school.  I continued with my studies as a working student cleaning the room number 14 in the high school department until I graduated my secondary education on March 25, 1958.
On July 5, 1958, I asked permission from my parents to go to Zamboanga City to look for a better life.  My father gave me twenty-five (P25.00) pesos as my transportation and food allowance for my travel. I took a bus from Kalibo to Iloilo City and boarded a boat and reached Zamboanga City on July 6, 1958. I went directly to the Zamboanga General Hospital. There I met my cousin Nading Serano who brought me to the house of my brother Manuel at Pilar Street, Zamboanga City. My brother then accompanied me to the house of my uncle, Atty. Dencio Cichon, at Campaner Street where he gave me a note for Mr. Eladio Mandawe. The following day, July 7, 1958, I boarded a boat and reached Isabela at 9:00 o’clock in the morning. I looked for the address of Mr. Mandawe in Kabunbata, Isabela, Basilan City at 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I handed him the letter of Uncle Dencio and he advised me to stay with him and on the following day, I started my work as a member of the Pest and Diseases Control Unit of the Basilan Agricultural Company. My starting salary was P2.85 per day.
My companions were Cesar Alvarez, Felix, Tanong, Jun Cocotano, and Pedro Gimino as our Capataz.  Our duty was to apply an oil stimulant into the tapping area of the rubber tree to produce more latex.  Our unit was also in-charged of applying fertilizer and spraying the plants of the company.  The plants were the following: rubber trees, cacao, black pepper, coffee, coconuts, and vanilla.  Our work started at 6:00 a.m. until 3:00p.m., from Monday to Friday. We worked half-day on Saturdays. Pay day was scheduled on Saturday afternoon. My weekly salary was about P72.00 to P80.00 depending on my overtime and special holiday.
I stayed in the house of Mr. Mandawe at Kabunbata, Isabela, Basilan City. It was about three kilometers away from the city proper of Isabela.  Mr. Mandawe had six children.  They were Fe, Luz, Portia, Lorna, Dodong, and Carlos. The children were so kind to me that they considered me as their elder brother.  During night time, I taught them the rudiment of reading and the fundamental operations of mathematics. My close rapport with the children had helped me in many ways. From them I learned to speak Cebuano dialect because I could not understand this dialect when I arrived in Zamboanga. I used to speak English and Filipino in communicating with them.
I stayed with the family of Mr. Mandawe for almost four years until my cousin Rudy arrived to look for a job in the company.  He was also recommended as a casual laborer. I requested from Mr. Mandawe that we transfer to the barrack which was only adjacent to their house.  We were contented with our life in the new building, but we did not stay long in the company due to our meager salary. I voluntarily tendered my resignation and went to Diplahan, Zamboanga el Sur together with my cousin Rudy.  There I receive P180.00 per month.
My life in Isabela, Basilan City had helped me a lot for the development of my personality. I learned to talk Cebuano, and Tausog. I also learned to write letters to Pen Pals . I also learned to go with people with all walks of life and above all, I learned the essence and the value of life. It was considered a very rich experience in my life.
Although, I was already away from Basilan Island, the goodness, kindness and the loving care of Mr. Mandawe and his family would still linger on me.  My gratitude from him always remained fresh in my memory and I thought I could not repay their goodness.  I wanted to visit Basilan, but I could not do it because of the distance. My only consolation was to send a letter to Mr. Mandawe and inform him of my present status and to extend my thanks for all his goodness he had extended to me.
One time, I met his brothers Victor and Ju Madawe at Sagasa, Mabuhay, Zamboanga del Sur. I invited them for a dinner at Bateria, Olutanga, Zambonaga del Sur and I was happy that they did not turn me down.  We had a nice conversation about our life in Basilan and our present life. They left Bateria with full contentment and full of satisfaction. On the other hand, I was happy that I have repaid a little about the gratitude that I have owed to their family.
In my new environment in the Bureau of Forestry, I felt secured due to the presence of my brothers Pablo and Alfreo.  With my salary, I encouraged my brother Melchor to enroll at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City. He enrolled in the Certificate in Fisheries degree. I sent him his monthly allowance through money order in Malangas, Zamboanga del Sur.  After two (2) years of providing financial assistance to him, I received a letter from him informing me that he had a job in the University. He advised me not to send him allowance anymore.

Chapter III


My life in the Bureau of Forestry was interwovened with varied activities. I always joined the social activities in the community particularly in the school programs of the teachers implementing some of the government thrusts and attending some special occasions and parties of the teachers of Sta. Fe Primary School, district of Malangas.  My rapport with the teachers of the school had encouraged me to pursue with my studies in college.  On May 25,1964, my brother Pablo advised me to go to Zamboanga City to take the entrance examination at Zamboanga Normal College. Fortunately I passed the said examination as a top three among the examinees.  I went back to Diplahan, Zamboanga del Sur and on June 5, 1954 I voluntarily tendered my personal resignation in the Bureau of Forestry.  My separation pay together with my little saving helped me much for my college education.  I enrolled in the Zamboanga Normal College, Zamboanga City taking Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  I bought the needed materials for my schooling such as a bicycle, a dozen of polo shirts, three pants, two pair of shoes, a couple of ROTC uniforms and other things needed for my college life. I also deposited some amount of money in the bank for my future expanses in the city.
All qualified enrollees for the freshman students were given test to determine their section.  The test was composed of hearing through radio, visual test through slides show, written and composition writing. I was ranked number 14; automatically I was placed in Section One Class, considered as the cream of the freshman students for the school year 1954-1965. We were forty-five students in the class composed of twelve valedictorians, thirteen salutatorians, two American Field Scholars by the name of Miss Fatima Allian and Miss Elizabeth Esperat; the rest were all honors students from their high school except me who graduated from high school without honors and have stopped schooling for almost six years.
I attended my classes religiously, but I could hardly cop up with my lessons due to my poor reading comprehension. I remembered that I was always in the lowest rank in one of my subjects, the Library Science under Mrs. Duldulao, but because of sentimental reasons, she gave me a passing grade. I failed in Mathematics I under Miss Lim. 
To improve my reading comprehension, I researched. I read books on intelligent authors and I discovered that memorizing a stanza of poems daily can help develop reading comprehension. Since I was working in the library, I read a lot of books, memorized some verses and a stanza of poems daily. Later I noticed that my reading comprehension was indeed improving. That encouraged me to participate in class discussions.
In my second year at Zamboanga Normal College, I joined the debating Class and attended special classes in grammar and composition.  I also joined the Dance Troop wherein I learned different kinds of local and foreign dances.
On March 25, 1966, I graduated in my ROTC Basic course in Andrew Air Base at Sta. Maria, Zamboanga City with Mayor Cesar Climaco as a Guest Speaker.
Since my saving in the bank was already exhausted, with my elder brother Pablo also resigned from his job and my sweetheart, Miss Luisa Nunal, from Busay, Basilan Province had betrayed me, I decided to drop out of college. I went to Manila together with my Uncle Dencio without taking the final examination of my five subjects, thus I got in-complete grades. I learned this when I  got my Official Transcript of Records in Zamboanga Normal College, Zamboanga City.
In Manila, I stayed in the house of my cousin Manang Aida Cichon, a Doctor of Medicine at Flerida Street, Pandacan, Manila.  I became their house boy. I cleaned their two-storey house. I cooked their foods and took care of their children.
I looked for a job, but I was unfortunate. I also applied as a delivery boy at the Remo’s Repacking Company, but I did not stay long because of the unfixed salary. I requested my cousin Nong Pedro that I would go with him to his work in the Imelda barge stationed at the Del Pan Bridge in front of Intramuros, Manila. Our work was to unload pellets and placed them at the foreign boat bound for England as a raw material for making chocolate candy.  With my earnings in the barge, I bought a ticket and went home to Sta. Cruz, Lezo, Aklan.
I informed my parents about my ardent desire to continue with my studies for the next opening of classes. In June, 1996, I enrolled at the Aklan College, Kalibo, Aklan as a second year irregular in the Normal Department. I requested Mr. Federico Mabasa, In-Charge of the working Students of the school to allow me to work as a working student. He granted my request. I was assigned to work as a cleaner of the two rooms numbers 13-14 in the third floor of the College Department.  My work would start at 7:00 o’clock in the evening and would end at 9:00 o’clock in the evening. We also applied floor wax every end of the month.
My college life in Aklan College was hard, but I endured.  I attended my class during the day and I cleaned two rooms in the evening. I had no more time for my studies because of tiredness and fatigue. I requested the School Registrar that I be allowed to enroll seven to eight or nine subjects for me to immediately recover the subjects I left behind in Zamboanga Normal College and would allow me to finish the course sooner. I also took summer classes.
I did not apply as a working student anymore during my Internship classes for the first semester for the school year 1968-1969 because I had no more time to work in school.  For the first time, I requested my parents to pay for my tuition fees and other school obligations. I chose Lezo Elementary School as my training center during my Off-Campus training for the following reasons : first, Lezo Elementary School is my Alma Mater in my Elementary Education; second, Lezo is my home place, and third, I wanted to prove to my relatives that sooner or later, I would become a professional like them.  I did not stay long in my training center because our Dean in the Normal Department, Mr. Jose Ricafuente requested me to be his assistant in supervising all the off-campus student teachers in the whole province of Aklan. Mr. Ricafuente and I would go around in the different schools in the Division of Aklan wherein the Off-Campus Student Teachers were assigned. With this, I acquired little knowledge and skills in dealing with the high ranking personnel in the public schools.
On November 2, 1968, I graduated with the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a Loyalty Medal awarded by the school, Aklan College.
Obtaining my College Diploma was very hard, but I succeeded because of my self-determination, patience and fervent prayers.  I was able to fulfill my elusive dreams of becoming a teacher.  I could hardly believe that I would become a professional because of poverty.  But all those bitter experiences were only a great challenge in my life.  At last, I can shout to the whole world that I have harvested the fruits of my labor, the dearest Diploma. This is a tangible fulfillment of my ambition.  Deep in my heart, I am extending my million thanks to my parents, brothers and sisters and to all my friends for their moral, spiritual and financial supports on my studies. Above all I am sending my million thanks to our Almighty Lord for all his blessings that He had showered on me while I was harboring the wide blue ocean searching my impossible dreams to become a professional.

Chapter IV


            After I graduated with my degree, the Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in Aklan College, Kalibo, Aklan on November 2, 1968, I went to Manila together with my father to claim for his retirement pay as a Municipal Treasurer in our Municipality. We stayed again in the house of my cousin Manang Aida, a Doctor of Medicines at Flerida Street, Pandacan, Manila. My father also helped me look for a job in the different companies, but failed to have one until my father left for Aklan after he had accomplished his mission. I was left behind in Manila and stayed in the house of my cousin Emelio Filomino at Paco Street, Pandacan, Manila. My cousin was a driver at the 3-R Brothers, a Bus Company plying in Zamora, Quiapo and vice versa. My former classmate in high school, Mr. Edelberto Gallardo recommended me to work in MERALCO, but I was not accommodated. I also applied in U.P. at Padre Faura for clerical work, but still was in vain.
            With all the frustrations in the beautiful city of Manila, I went to Zamboanga City. I took the Competitive Examination in Jolo, Sulu and got top three in the said examination, but still I was not given a Job Order. My brother Manuel also helped me convinced Superintendent Madjorsa about my appointment, but still refused to appoint me. He informed me later that Christian applicant teachers has no place in his Division. On the following day, I went home to Kumalarang, Zamboanga del Sur and fortunately I was accommodated in the Bureau of Forestry assigned in Kabasada Lumber Company.
            I heard a news from the teachers in Kumalarang that the Competitive Examination  given in June, 1969 by the Division of Zamboanga del Sur was declared null and void and advised that all teacher applicants who took the test would have to take another examination. So, again I took the said Competitive Examination. Fortunately I topped the said Competitive Examination among the teachers applicant in the District of Kumalarang. I kept silent about the results of the test and continued doing my routine works in the Bureau of Forestry. In one of my vacant times, I went to the District Office of Kumalarang District. I invited some male teachers and the District staff for refreshment in the nearby store. We talked about the programs of the government and the life of the teachers in the community. I heard from them that one hundred eighty (180) extension positions for teachers in the Division of Zamboanga del Sur were allotted. They asked me the whereabouts of Mr. Jose F. Cichon, Jr. for he qualified for the extension position teacher, but I ignored their inquiry until I was called by the District Supervisor to report to the Division Office, Pagadian City to get the Job Order as an Elementary Grades Teacher in the District of Olutanga effective October 11, 1969.

            I informed my brother Manong Alfring about my new employment in the DECS. I immediately went to Pagadian City and got my Job Order in the Division Office. I also tendered my voluntary resignation from the Bureau of Forestry and arranged everything. I also bade goodbye to my relatives and friends. On the following day, October 12, 1969 I left for Olutanga, Zamboanga del Sur knowing nothing of the place. I brought along my Job Order and a fervent prayer that I could reach the place safe and sound. I took a pump boat in Malangas bound for Talusan, Zamboanga del Sur.  Fortunately I met a teacher in the name of Miss Fuentes from Ozamis City who was also an extension teacher assigned in Oluntaga. We reached Paganipay, Talusan, Zamboanga del Sur at 5:30 in the afternoon, October 12, 1969. We slept in the house of Mr. Benjamin Supiter, Sr., a head teacher of Laparay Elementary School. I introduced myself to him and informed them of my Job Order. We ate our supper and had a nice conversation regarding Olutanga Island. I bought a case of beer to make our story lively until we said goodnight.
            On the following day, October 13, 1969, Mr. Supiter accompanied us in the house of Mr. Sulficio M. Salazar, the District Supervisor in the District of OLutanga. I presented to him my Job Order. He assisted me in accomplishing all the needed pertinent papers and informed of my school assignment at Bumba Primary School vice Mr. Paterno Cuajutor who transferred to Olutanga Central Elementary School.
            I reported to my station and stayed in the house of Mr. Jesus Mallen, a Leyteño, a kind and understanding man. The place is inhabited by both Christians and Muslims.
            My training in college together with my experiences in Basilan helped me much in adjusting in my new environment. The following day, I reported to the school together with Mr. Cuajutor with the feeling of loneliness because after the briefing of the incumbent teacher I learned that no one would help me and assist me in solving the problems of the school and the community. My only consolation was to pray for guidance from our Lord.
            Mt first day of service in the Department of Education, Culture and Sports at Bumba Primary School, Olutanga District, Division of Zamboanga del Sur on October 13, 1969 was interwoven with happiness and sadness. I handled double combination classes composed of Grade III and Grade IV. I started my lessons with a prayer followed by introducing to one another. I also injected my lessons with jokes and anecdotes to make the class lively and enjoyable. My experiences in Basilan living with our brother Muslims helped me a lot in teaching and communicating with Muslim pupils. I also introduced myself to the people in the community and told them of my mission and vision as a teacher in their area. I also called for the PTA meeting and discussed with them the problems of the school and the attendance of the school children.
            After a couple of months, the school building was renovated. The people in the community were also cooperative in the school activities. They constructed the school toilet, fencing the academic building and improved the green revolution project of the school. I also advised the pupils to plant fruit trees around the school site to make the school more meaningful to the eyes of the people in the community.
            I stayed in Bumba, Mabuhay, Zamboanga del Sur for more or less five (5) years then transferred to Punawan Primary School, Punawan, Mabuhay, Zamboanga del Sur with two (2) school teachers.
            My life as a teacher was a very enjoyable one. I used my vacant time in courting beautiful teachers and because of my age of thirty-three (33), I decided to have a life time partner. I courted Miss Rosenda Sejoyla, a public school teacher at Catipan Elementary School, a native of Bagong Argao, Molave, Zamboanga del Sur and convinced her for our marriage on December 31, 1970. We prepared our long table. Judge Domicillo officiated our wedding ceremony in the house of Mrs. Tapales in Mabuhay, Zamboanga del Sur. Our sponsors were Ninang Julfa Soriano, Ninong Joseph Ijirani and the Municaipal Treasurer which I forgot his name. We got married also in a catholic church with Father Reymundo Algarate as an Officiating Priest. We are blessed with four (4) children a boy and three (3) girls. They are Adrian, Nancy, Reggie and Joslyn. The eldest, then a third year college taking nautical Engineering at Marine Science and Technology, Zamboanga City, died at the age of eighteen years and eleven months old on September 20, 1990 at Lustre Street, Zamboanga City by an unknown killer. The second child is Dr. Nancy S. Cichon, a doctor of Dental Medicine. She graduated at the Misamis University, Ozamis City. The third is Reggie C. Medija, a public school teacher at Tambanan Elementary School, District of Olutanga, Division of Zamboanga del Sur and the youngest is Mrs. Joslyn C. Temporada, a bachelor of Elementary Education graduate at Misamis University, Ozamis City and PRC passer. At this present, Joslyn is an applicant teacher. It is hoped and prayed that she will be given an item soon. As of now, all my children are all marriage and live happily with their own family.
            As of 2002, I have four (4) grandchildren, all females. They are Jhonel C. Temporada, Shena Mae C. Medija, Stephanie C. Medija and Zyra Mae C. Germine. They are all healthy, movable, noisy and very talkative kids.
            Due to the problems that occurred in Olutanga Island, in 1972, all schools in the district were closed and the teachers were advised to be re –assigned in other districts. My wife and I were reassigned in the District of Diplahan, but we did not stay long because the peace and order had returned to normal and all the teachers were assigned and reported to their respective stations. I was assigned in Laparay Elementary School while my wife Rosenda was assigned in Catipan Elementary School. I did not stay long in Laparay because I was transferred to Bateria Elementary School which is nearer to my house on August 23, 1974 as a Teacher In-charge of the three-teacher school. My teachers were Mrs. Soledad Fuentes, Mrs. Marcela Moral and myself. I used all my initiatives for the improvement of the school and within three (3) years of operation, the school became a complete Elementary School with seven (7) teachers in 1977. Because my children were entering high school together with a slight conflict with the Barangay Captain, I requested for a transfer at Olutanga Central Elementary School and temporarily I was assigned in the District Office. I was again transferred to Tungawan District. I did not stay long also in Kalines due to the distance of my family. I was transferred to Tambanan Elementary School and stayed there for only seven (7) months then transferred again to Olutanga Central Elementary School as a Grade VI teacher. When Mr. Sahibul Halipa was transferred to Malangas due to our petition, Mr. Bueno L. Abbas, the new District Supervisor designated me as his NFE District Non-Formal Education Coordinator in 1986 as my prize for the petition.
            In my new assignment as a District Staff, I learned many office works such as; writing all types of District communications, reproduction of the different forms and solving the problems of the teachers particularly on their pending salaries. I was also designated as a Teacher In-charge of Villacorte Elementary School vice Mrs. Rosalina Misa, who retired in 1986. My works in the District Office were interwovened with different activities from supervising the teachers of the school, planning of the district activities and accomplishing tremendous reports in the District for the Division Office.
            I enjoyed much in my office works because I learned many things in them, but because of the retirement of Mr. Bueno L. Abbas, the District Supervisor, on December 31, 1993, I was replaced by Mr. Jesus Pilanga as an NFE District Coordinator without informing me by the new District Head. I considered this matter as an injustice act done to me by the new administrator.
            From that time, I only devoted my time supervising the teachers of Villacorte Elementary School and reported to the District Office only to submit the monthly reports. I was also bonded not to attend any meets, seminar and other district activities. I do not have enough knowledge of the untoward behavior of the new administrator notwithstanding the facts that she got the lion shares when Mr. Halipa was petitioned. My only wish is that God will give her big shares of punishments while she lives.
            My life as a teacher from October 13, 1969 to May 11, 2002 was a very wonderful one. I have installed in the minds of thousands of school children the moral values, educate them and trained them to become productive, useful and upright citizens in their community.
            I have not experienced the feeling of happiness in line of promotion in the annual educational hierarchy, because I am always against the unlawful activities of the administrators. But I am contented that I have not done injustices to my fellowmen during my entire services in the government. My only wish is that God will always give me good health, sound mind and away from any harm. I am also contended because all my children have graduated their chosen career and live happily with their own families.
I enjoy telling stories to my four grandchildren, and giving lectures to the parents and sponsors of children who desire to receive the sacrament of Baptism every third Saturday of the month and to attend to the church and Capilla activities as a member of KAABAG in the Nuestra Senora de los Remedios Parish Church.
My routine activities are to report to Villacorte Elementary School, supervise the teachers and teach the Grade IV, until I will apply for retirement on May 11, 2002 as a Teacher 3 in the Department of Education, Culture and Sports, at Olutanga District, Division of Zamboanga del Sur.
             As of now. I am looking forward for the next horizon that will happen in my life. However, I will still continue working in the church as a lecturer in the Sacrament of Baptism every third Saturday on the month. My only wish is to ask our Almighty Lord to protect me in all my undertakings, to give me proper guidance and to continue serving mankind particularly in line of educational activities and pray that God will always bestow on me good health so that I could still serve the people, my family and the church as tangible manifestation of serving the Pilipino people. My greatest dream includes of having a bungalow house for my family after retirement from the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. So, please help me Lord.

                It had been my long ardent desire to write this autobiography, but it was all in vain because of my inadequate knowledge in writing it. My heartfelt thanks to my brother, Melchor, for editing this work.




After a series of consultations and treatment both at the Philippine General Hospital in Manila and at the Zamboanga General Hospital in Zamboanga City, Nong Peping was diagnosed with a lung cancer. Since his illness was already on the 4th stage, he was just advised to go home.
From Manila, Nong Peping went home to Olutanga, Zamboanga del Sur. But again he was attacked with his illness, and so he was sent to the Zamboanga General Hospital in Zamboanga City. But he did not stay long in the hospital because of his illness, he stayed in the house of Lemuel Nabiong, our nephew, in Zamboanga City.
And he passed away there.
His body was brought back to his house in Olutanga one day after his death.
He was buried just beside his son’s tomb.
During the eulogy, his former co-teacher sung this song:

Ang puluy-anan mo nga yutan-on
Dunay kalipay ug kagul-anan
May pagkatawa ug may paghilak
Deli masobtan ang kinabuhi.
Ang puluy-anan mo nga yutan-on
Tahum tan-awon sa buntag lang
Sama sa bulak nga nangalimyon
Sa kahaponon malawos lang.


Apan may puluy-anan
Nga imo ng hikaplagan
Kini giandam na sa atong
Dios sa kalangitan
Didto way kamatayon
Lonlon kalipay ug way kasakit
Tahum ang puluy-anan
Way katapusan ang kalipay
Ang puluy-anan mo nga yutan-on
Sa di madugay imong talikdan
Didto sa langit ikaw moadto
Sa puluy-anan bulawan

Repeat Chorus

Nong Peping was a member of Knight of Columbus. One of his brother knights also delivered a eulogy.

His principal, Mr. Teovaldo D. Lledo delivered a short speech.

This is the moment and encounter of late Jose Cichon, Jr.
Your name is a legend to someone.
The tick of the second signifies our loneliness and rekindle the precious time of our togetherness when we remind the moment in time.
This man is very precious/significant when there’s an issue to be resolved.  We took advantage of his ideas, his writings, and rationality of purposes.
Irrelevant to some but advantages to many and when given a time, it will satisfy your intention.
His departure to eternity is in place.—for death is one of the conditions in after life. To return on our omnipotence preparation is very much significant.
To you my compare, von voyage to eternity.