Bulan PIO-LGU-Bulan 1

Bulan, Sorsogon, May 5, 2009 —

Four fishermen from Barangay Zone 7, Bulan, Sorsogon were rescued by the Bulan Rescue Team headed by Municipal Councilor Simmy Gerona on May 3, a day after Typhoon Dante hit the Bicol Region. These four fishermen, in an attempt to provide for their livelihood, braved the rough waters but unluckily their boat capsized off the Bulan shorelines. Fortunately, it was very timely that the Bulan Rescue Team was immediately informed of the incident and they responded to save the fishermen’s lives. The Bulan Rescue Team was organized by Mayor Helen C. De Castro in 2006 as a component of the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council to respond to evacuation and rescue efforts during calamities and emergencies. It is headed by Administrator Luis De Castro and SB Member Simmy Gerona. Its members include Ryan Cantre, Antonio”Daday Amilano, and Victor Gubat, who were all involved in the rescue. The Bulan Rescue Team was also involved in the retrieval operations of several corpses involved in the Sulpicio Lines Princess of the Stars accident sometime last year. A day before, at the height of the massive flooding brought about by Typhoon Dante on May 1 and 2, the Bulan Rescue Team has its hands full in providing evacuation efforts to the residents of Barangays San Isidro and San Ramon.


  1. Good Afternoon, Jun. And Hello to all you visitors in the site.

    I’ve read your article entitled, “The Mayor behind the Mayor”. It was interesting but I wouldn’t comment on your opinion about political dynasties.

    I’m a little disappointed I was not around when you came to Bulan to attend Ma’am Edna’s wake and funeral.
    Ma’am Edna was my teacher in the primary grades at CIC. I remember her as a very charming and wonderful lady. She stuck in my mind because then I usually see her as the Gemma Cruz of Bulan. They were the teachers then together with Ma’am Florence Geronga, Maam Geronilla, and Maam Faura. They were all wonderful teachers. I still have my picture of Maam Edna with her offering me a flower during an inauguration ceremony for newly-elected officials. I was then a new councilor.

    By the way, allow me to inform you that it was I who have set up all those pictures and history gallery in the Municipal Building. That was when Mayor Guiming was still mayor and he supported all my researches and works on Bulan History. Sergio Hizo was one of my references. I didnt know him because he has already gone when I undertook this work. Good I found some of his works from Maryann, his daughter. But I continued on the research and now I have several unpublished books and works on Bulan history and culture. This was when we were then to celebrate the Bulan Bicentennial. It was five painstaking years of research work from the municipal and parish archives all the way up to the national archives and the national historical institute and library. I have finished research and work on the history of Bulan, the history of education in Bulan, the Churches of Bulan, Eminent and outstanding Bulanenos, Outstanding athletes of Bulan, the 63 barangays, each with a short history, a 200-year history on the politics of Bulan. Sort of I am the local historian. All these works are ready to be published except that I have still to look for somebody to have these books published. I am only a poor employee. Let me say, I love this wonderful town, writing it’s history is my way of saying thank you to a birthplace and faithful town.

    I know there are still a lot of people who would like to write about Bulan.

    When we finish the website for the local government unit, all of these works will appear in some capsule form. Thanks I have a wonderful company by the name of Jeffer Gerolia who is designing and programming the site. By the way, Mayor Baby De Castro is the one who initiated this project, and I am just sharing my works for our people in Bulan to see.

    The Teodoro De Castro you are talking about is the grandfather of Ex-mayor Guiming. Also the Socorro de Castro you mentioned is the auntie of Guiming. All of them were patriots. Socorro being an outstanding doctor and a war veteran. I have made a powerpoint presentation of her life. When we celebrated the Philippine centennial in 1998, she was recognized as one of the 100 most outstanding women of the Philippines of the century.Nasa dugo nila ang paglilingkod. the Late Mayors Luis and Alberto De Castro were twin brothers who were all war veterans, Luis being a lieutenant and machinegunner in Bataan. Major Manuel De Castro, Guiming’s father and Dr. Federico De Castro, a great doctor, — all of them were guerillas under the Lapuz faction. They were heroes in their own right. When Dr. Federico died, people say that the funeral was one of the biggest in Bulan’s history. Mr. Rafael De Castro was a Harvard-educated fellow who set up the Quezon Academy. His children Gary and Nanette are all lawyers, the late Nanette being a Bar topnotcher.

    Teodoro De Castro launched into politics in 1938 but he was defeated by Germiniano Girado by one vote. He never protested. He was a gentleman and a true statesman. I have this record in my unpublished work on the 200 years of politics in Bulan.

    As illustrious as the De Castros are the Geronas, De Veras, Gillegos and the Asuncion Clan. Once the Bulan website comes out you will see there several outstanding Asuncions.

    When Guiming entered politics in 1992, he was defeated by Tia Nena Gotladera by some 1500 votes. He returned in 1995, the time when I also joined him and he defeated Ex Mayor Gonzales and Cris Gotladera by a combined 6000 votes. He hands down defeated Cris Gotladera again in 1998 by some 8000 votes. And against former vice-mayor Albino Guyala, he trounced Guyala by some 14000 votes winning all the 197 out of 198 precincts in Bulan.When Baby De Castro ran in 2004 to take the place of the graduated mayor Guiming, she defeated all the five other candidates even when they combined all their votes.She got 16000, as against the combined votes of 15000 of Guyala, Gotladera, Gueta, Gogola. When she ran for re-election, she even increased her vote margin 16500 over Rene Guyala’s 11000 in a one-on-one contest.

    Why this phenomenon of the De Castro’s getting that much vote? Simple. They know how to relate with the people of Bulan. Dire ini mga palabi-labihon na tawo. Mayad sira makiupod aside from the fact that they have management and governance skills.

    People can call them names as much as they want to but the De Castros have a legacy of leadership and human relations which the people of Bulan know, at least to their followers and supporters. Many people in Bulan call Guiming and Mayor Helen as PAY and MAY, a fond, loving, affectionate, respectful way of calling them, even by the older folks. They are easy to talk to, never pretentious or “plastik”, approachable. They never distinguish between friends and foes when they come to the office, especially those who really have nothing and needs the care of leaders.

    And by the way, just as a way of being informed about their children. Marlon, who is now a successful doctor in the US is married to a Saide. Cherry Pie, a nurse , with a family is now in London. Suzette, a HRM graduate is now in Canada. Only Dondon, who is in Bulan, is now in politics, as a municipal councilor. But what is good about them is that these kids are humble, never arrogant, unassuming, down-to-earth, who can go along with the masa and the elitista. Wara mga ere ini na mga kabatan-an nira guiming.

    If I may be an apologist for the De Castros, I have chosen to because I am also a De Castro, my grandmother Dolores being a daughter out of wedlock of that great Teodoro De Castro.

    Please watch out for the Bulan website. And I hope I have imparted some information to everybody. Thank you po and Mabuhay kamo entero.

  2. Hello, Jun.

    Sorry I want to still add something to the De Castros. I’m sorry I forgot about Tomas De Castro. also the brother of the De Castros.
    He was a Diplomat, Philippine ambassador to Argentina, Switzerland, the South Americas in the 1950-60s. He was a lawyer, he was very rich, and he was once recognized as one of the most outstanding Bicolanos in his time. Tomas owns this vast tract of land in Calomagon, and before he died he donated 14 hectares to the local government unit which we are now using as municipal garbage site. It is now the ecopark. I know you went to ecopark. That land once was owned by Tomas De Castro, and now it is for the people of Bulan. It is a legacy of this simple but great man to his beloved community.

    Thanks again. A nice day to all. Mabuhay po.

  3. Dear Jun,

    I have read wikipedia. It was I who have written that history of Bulan, why it got there I do not know.. I was just puzzled why there was a name there that says notable people in Bulan and I read about this one guy listed there who was referred to as a lawyer and a fighter for human rights. Is he a lawyer?When we come out with our Bulan website, we shall have there the list of the most eminent and notable people in Bulan, There are about 40 of them. and they are really outstanding. And we are continuing on our research to really recognize great, good ,notable, eminent ,outstanding people who have contributed not only to Bulan but to the country and the world.

    The Asuncions have a lot of great people to be recognized. I hope I shall have the time to really make more researches.

    Thanks again. Mabuhay po kamo.

  4. Dear Tonyboy,
    Thank you for your entry in Wikipedia about the history of Bulan. I didn’t know you wrote this one and I have read it several times already and actually using it as a reference work from time to time.

    I’m glad that aside from the burden of daily municipal life you still have time for your academic interest which is about local history. What you’re doing is very important and deserves support from the government and private sector. I also believe that in this field you are who you are, free, unbiassed for this is not politics but about objective documentation of the factual events of Bulan history.

    We should be able to differentiate things for this is what makes democracy possible. Science and the arts can only grow to the fullest in a free society. And we must not forget that Bulan is not only about politics; it has more to offer. Here we are one and are proud about our town, its history and its future.

    Our political discussions should remain frank, open and constructive and each one always keeping in mind that our common purpose is to educate ourselves, perceive our strengths and weaknessess as a people, look forward and be progressive- at least in thinking. Political discussions should not divide a people but help them realize the need for unity.

    I’m eager to see your books published in the near future for this means more reference materials for me!

    I also have no idea who made this entry in Wikipedia about Albino Guyala featuring him as a prominent personality of Bulan, a lawyer and human rights fighter. It looks very egocentric.

    Anyway, thanks for your informative responses and more power to your researches!


    jun asuncion

  5. To Tonyboy Gilana,

    Thank you for this primer on the history of the De Castros of Bulan. I didn’t know that a few of them were military people. You mentioned the Lapuz guerilla faction. I heard about it also as a boy from my uncle Augusto Asuncion (the father of Leo Asuncion, the municipal secretary) as he used to tell me some stories everytime I was in Otavi to visit him. I hope you have done an extensive research about Bulan during the World War II, outlining the major events and the prominent people involved at that time.

    The history of Bulan and of the Region (Local and Regional History) should be part of the elementy and highschool curriculum instead of our pupils just learning the National and World History. And this should be the same for all schools in the Philippines, each town learning also their local and regional history. What’s the point of forcing a Bulan pupil to learn about the punic wars of the Roman Republic, about Alexander the great, Ivan The Terrible, Genghis Khan, Napoleon Bonaparte, etc., if he doesn’t even know who were the Bulaneños who fought for his freedom, lost their lives in the soils of Bulan during the wars against the foreign aggressors? Local history should be given value by being taught to the young people. Many Bulaneños have left, many had been gone without knowing anything about the history of their town. One learns to appreciate more ones birthplace if one knows its historical foundation and this contributes to the development of a strong Bulaneño identity if young pupils are exposed early in life to their historical roots.

    It’s surely nice to know that we have the same Alma Mater, the former CIC. Maam Faura was my music teacher, Mr. Paredes my history teacher, Mr. Tan for math, Miss Rodriguez for English and Literature, Mr. Almoete and Mr. Bayani Sayat for CAT. They built my foundation and even until now I always look back with great appreciation to our local educators. The two unforgettable ones were the then mother superior Sr. Rosario and Sr. Raymunda.

    Sr. Rosario for two reasons; first, she demoted me from battalion commander to a private because I rebelled against her only to be reinstated the day before the provincial battalion inspection because I was the one with a clean army-cut hair when she inspected the formation, second, she was not in favor of sending a men (or boy?) platoon to Sorsogon for the provincial platoon competition but I disobeyed her, went with my renegade platoon to Sorsogon without the School’s support yet we performed well. The women platoon which she endorsed to send to Sorsogon was commanded by the late Malyne Guan, our Klassenbeste- the top of the class, a dear and highly respected classmate, sister of my equally dear and respected brilliant Canipaan friend Maliz Guan.

    The second unforgettable was Sr. Raymunda Shagan, my religion teacher for before she could finish with the question, I already knew the answer…
    I joined the COCC-Training in Sorsogon representing CIC with Winston Asuncion, Edgardo Montemayor, Jr., Raul Solano, together with the Bulan Highschool representatives Eriberto Pardo, Roberto Labayen…forgot the rest.

    I wonder where these good old classmates are now: Catherene Uy, Carol Santos, Noel Nano, Rommel Gonzales, Edgardo Montemayor,Jr., Connie Faura, Jose Guerra, Winston and Winnie Asuncion, Roberto Geronga, Roberto Labayen, Chito Jao, Ofelia Casas, Glenda Guray, Maritess Hagad, Caroline De Vera, Florian Villareal, Eusebio Guevarra….naming just a few. Calling my lost battalion!

    Those were wonderful years also with Rodney Zuñiga, our guitarist and singer and joining us one time on the stage was Mr. Paredes as we sang his favorite Denver’s song, “Sunshine… On My Shoulder Makes Me Happy…”

    Happy Years, indeed.

  6. just for your info about some of your “lost battalion”: ms. connie faura is now the school principal of slms (cic), ofelia casas’s in the US, you can find her in the facebook, i don’t know if the roberto labayen you are saying is the same one who is the vp of ace saatchi & saacthi and the lyricist of the abs-cbn xmas mtv “star ng pasko”… 🙂

    • Thank you jing for the CIC lost battalion’s “class-ified” information. I found Roberto Labayen at abs.cbn investor relations website and he is the head of Creative Communication Management, and it could be that he was the lyricist of this song.

      Creative Communication! What is communication, how creative communication can be, how much creativity can a man take and how much communication, how deceptive can creativity be, how creative can deception be, is creative communication genuine communication, where is the social, ethical responsibilty of creative communication, where is creative communication in Philippine politics, is there a distinctive Filipino creative communication, and what are the tools used for it, and to where does it lead us, Filipino identity and creative communication, Philippine social change and creative communication, capitalism, corruption and creative communication, communism, insurgency issues and creative communication, poverty, literacy rate, social justice and creative communication….? Questions that just come as I write you and probably would ask Roberto once I meet him here or somewhere else.

      Thanks again and til next time.

      jun asuncion

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