lifestylefeature

75th Cagayan Liberation Anniversary Feature: Maj. Jose Manuel Corrales Montalvan, 1st Camp Commander of the ‘Kampo’

May 18, 2020

Few Kagay-anons today are aware that the first camp commander of the Philippine Army’s biggest military camp in Mindanao was a Lumad (native Kagay-anon).     Major Jose Manuel Corrales Montalvan was initially assigned as Cadre Commander of the 2nd Misamis Oriental (Machine Gun) Cadre at Camp Bulua (present day Camp Edilberto Evangelista) in Cagayan, a post he served in from January 1-Dec. 31, 1939.     When the camp was renamed Camp Evangelista, then 1st Lt. Montalvan was appointed its Camp Commander and Mobilization Center Officer on January 1, 1940, a post he served up to the outbreak of World War II.     Dr. Montalvan, who was also known as Ñor Peping, was born on March 17, 1903 in present day Cagayan de Oro (then known as Cagayan de Misamis, capital town of the Segundo Distrito de Misamis, and later as Misamis, Cagayan under the American regime) to Jose Gabriel Montalvan, a retired Spanish soldier from Belmonte, Cuenca, Spain who was assigned by the Spanish government to the Philippines and Concepcion Corrales y Roa of Cagayan de Misamis.     In 1927, he was graduated with honors (3rd highest) from the Philippine Dental College, Manila with a degree of Doctor in Dental Surgery (DDS).     Upon his return to his hometown in 1928, he practiced dentistry and became one of the first teachers of the Ateneo de Cagayan (present day Xavier University) and was its Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.     Dr. Montalvan was commissioned a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve in 1928, was trained and successfully completed the U.S. Army Extension Courses. From 1933 to 1937 he was the instructor for Military Science and Tactics at the Ateneo de Cagayan.     However, the lure of a full-time career in the newly formed Philippine Army proved irresistible and he resigned from the U.S. Army Reserve and was commissioned as a First Lieutenant, Infantry Reserve, of the Philippine Army on July 16, 1936. He was called to active duty training at Camp Murphy Training School for Reserve Officers (Infantry), assigned as Company Commander of the training officers company, and graduated No. 5 with a general average of 90.7% in 1938.     While assigned as the first camp commander of Camp Evangelista, he graduated from the School of Military Law and Courts-Martial Procedure, Camp Keithley, Lanao in 1940.     Upon his induction into the U.S. Army Forces – Far East (USAFFE) on September 6, 1941, he was appointed Division Finance Officer and Division Quartermaster of the USAFEE’s 102nd Division.     Later, he was appointed Division Inspector General, 102nd Division, USAFFE, with Headquarters at Tankulan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon then promoted to Captain, Infantry, in April, 1942.     Following the surrender of the USAFFE forces in Mindanao under Gen. William Sharp to the Japanese Imperial Army on May 10, 1942, Dr. Montalvan was taken as a prisoner-of-war (POW) by the Japanese and detained at the Ateneo de Cagayan campus which had been converted into a POW Camp.     “During his captivity he developed polyneuritis, which caused his leg to become shorter, as a result of the hard labor he underwent in prison when he and others would carry sacks of potatoes and coffee under the rain, soaking their only clothing in their bodies,” recalls his daughter Annabel Montalvan Corrales.     “One night after such experience his whole body became numb and his leg started to give him extreme pain. The doctors at that time did not know what it was but was later diagnosed as polyneuritis.”     However, he successfully escaped and joined his family in Talakag, Bukidnon. He walked for days to Talakag, away from the road, because the Japanese were looking for him. Again, the rains came and soaked his clothes. When he got to Talakag he had very high fever and the polyneuritis he contracted became worse.     He then proceeded to Misamis Occidental to join the guerrillas of Col. Wendell Fertig, commander of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) in Mindanao, which was made up of escaped prisoners-of-war and Filipino and American soldiers and civilians who refused to surrender to the Japanese.     Between 1942 and 1944, USFIP forces raided Japanese occupation forces in Mindanao and provided valuable intelligence to the Allied forces.     For his military service before and during World War II, Dr. Montalvan received the following awards and decorations: Philippine Defense Medal; American Defense Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal; Philippine Republic Unit Citation Badge and the U.S. Distinguished Unit Badge.     Following his polyneuritis, Dr. Montalvan reverted to inactive status on July 11, 1946 and was promoted to the rank of Major, Infantry Reserve in January 20, 1950.      “He suffered so much under the hands of the Japanese and often got slapped for no reason,” Ms. Montalvan said. “Many years later, that Japanese that put him under hard labor came back to Cagayan de Oro to apologize to him and to others he tortured. And my dad readily accepted his apology!”     He resumed his duties as a professor of Spanish at the Ateneo in 1949 and took up law at the Cagayan Law School of the Ateneo, graduating with a degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) in 1953, passed the Bar exams and was admitted to the Bar in June 1954 and established a law practice.     He married the former Mercedes Acero Roa of Cagayan de Oro City and with whom he had six children: Marrieta, Daisy, Annabel, Eduardo, Consuelo and Antonio.     Dr. Montalvan passed away on September 21, 1978, his patriotism and service to the country and military apparently forgotten by the new generation of Kagay-anons.     To rectify this situation, Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) and Rep. Maximo B. Rodriguez, Jr. (Abante Mindanao- Party List) filed House Bill 4735 with the 15th Congress during its first regular session seeking to rename Camp Edilberto Evangelista to “Camp Jose Montalvan in honor of a Kagay-anon and Mindanaoan war hero who fought against the Japanese to protect the freedom of the Philippines."     Camp Edilberto Evangelista in Barangay Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, is the largest military camp in Mindanao with an area of 129 hectares. It is the home base to the Philippine Army’s 4th Infantry Division and covers the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions.     The explanatory note to the HB 4735 reads in part: “It is readily apparent that Major Montalvan is a war hero who fought against the Japanese in order to ensure that the Philippines retain its independence. He gave up the best years of his life to fight for our country. It is therefore appropriate that he be honored by renaming Camp Evangelista into Camp Jose Montalvan, in honor of a Kagay-anon who risked his life for our country.”

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Devastation and Opportunity

May 18, 2020

Most of us in Uptown CdO have been living a peaceful life with your families in this privileged part of Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao. Children are going to nearby schools, shops and amenities at your doorstep, great walks and bicycle rides on the pathways between the various subdivisions, the golf, the comfort of nearby restaurants, the stores of the air-conditioned environment of SM Mall, the many hang-out places and bars, the easy access to Lumbia area, the city's busy downtown, the not too far Laguindingan airport and most of all our beloved personal freedom. Freedom to do what you want to do, when you want and where you want, that was taken for granted.      Then one day Mr. Corona sweeps in from nowhere and takes over all our lives, our work, our habits, our passions, our personal and financial freedom; all gone in one blow. Mr. Corona is spreading fear and panic among all of us. Nothing is normal anymore. Face-masks, alcohol bathing, hand-washing, home confinement and overall disbelief. Travel banned, shops closed, offices closed, companies shut, work lost.  All the others doomed to the devastation that Mr. Corona brought upon us including the helplessness of the world's authorities and the hysteric and psychotic preaching of the doomsday and our demise if we don't follow the harshest guidelines of self-confinement and social distancing. “Stay home! Stay home!”, the incessant slogan with no end to the disaster in sight. Even the World Health Organization said that they don't know if Mr. Corona will ever go away.     Waking up to this nightmare has been a harsh awakening. It has been a very serious problem for so many of us. Out there desperate families with no work, no food and no money trying to borrow from relatives and friends to survive. So many on a sardines and rice diet for months now hoping to get some needed cash at least to cover for the most urgent necessities. The government's SAP program has been like a drop in the sea with too many not being able to receive this support. Too many have broken down psychologically, living with their egos and their pride in ashes, with the broken spirit of who cannot provide for his family and cannot see the light anymore. Entrepreneurs with their overheads, rental payments, loans, salary payments, desperate to gather their last resources to cover these costs. Layoffs as a result with thousands losing their jobs. Shop and Retail owners not receiving their rents or facing forcefully shut doors and therefore no customers and no income. Same in the tourism industry, the hotels, transportation and hospitality services. No tourists, no work, no money, no life. OFWs being sent home. Seafarers also being sent back. Tragedy, tears and hopelessness.       “What's next? When can I go back to work? What shall we do? Who will give us a loan? Where do we get our daily food from? Will this ever end?”. These are the questions that most people keep on asking daily and is there an answer?

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Pinoy couple in America survives virus infection using only salt and hot water

May 18, 2020

BELIEVE IT OR NOT but a Filipino couple in New York, United States, has survived from a coronavirus disease infection by simply inhaling hot water with salt.     The couple narrated in an interview with TV Channel 7 last April 18, 2020 that they were infected with the deadly covid-19 virus, but instead of panicking and going to the hospital, they just stayed home and did what is needed to be done to survive from the deadly infectious disease which originated in Wuhan, China, a few months back.     Instead, the couple reveals, they boiled water and added salt and then they inhaled the steam for a couple of minutes. The steam of the hot water could kill covid-19 virus, according to the couple during an interview.     A chinese expert has assured everyone that inhilation of a steam from hot water mixed with salt could kill covid-19 100 percent. This, even as the virus has entered ear, nose, throat or lungs. "Coronavirus disease, according to the couple, cannot stand against hot water steam."     "This is the most effective and economical way to eradicate covid-19. Once an infected person is subjected or treated to this type of traditional medication, the person infected with the deadly coronavirus disease can easily recover.          Meanwhile, Joffrey Hapitan also wrote in his social media account that people should continue looking for the cure of this coronavirus disease that has now killed almost 300,000 people all over the world.     He said that the following are suggested measures to help prevent from getting infected by the novel coronavirus:     1.    Follow the basic guidelines on wearing of mask, social distancing and frequent washing of hands.     2.    Gargle with saline (salt + water) twice daily; one in the morning and another in the evening.     3.    Sunbathing for 15 minutes in the morning.     4.    Drink eight glasses of water daily, preferably alkaline water if available.     5.    Take vitamin C every day.     In case of the slightest feeling of sore throat and sneezing, proceed to observe the following:     1.    Steam therapy or “toub”. Boil water and add salt. Get a blanket and cover your whole body with it. Place the pot with the boiled saline water under the blanket and inhale its steam.     2.    Wrap fine slices of onions in a handkerchief. Place it on your chest and let it stay there overnight.     "We must fight COVID-19 within the confines of our homes and refrain from going to the hospital for COVID-19 treatment if the symptoms are not serious. If we can prevent ourselves from catching cold or flu, we can surely prevent ourselves from being infected by coronavirus. Prevention is the key in totally eradicating this pandemic," Hapitan concluded.

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Indoor summer fun at Toy Kingdom

May 18, 2020

With more kids staying home this summer, it’s the perfect opportunity to take a break, rest and spend some quality time with the whole family. Stay at home and let Toy Kingdom bring the fun into your doorstep with their wide variety of amazing toy finds now available for purchase at Lazada.     Little chefs will love the Kid’s Dough Cooking Set, Ice Cream Set and Motion Air Sand Deluxe Cookie Maker. Ryan’s World Treasure Chest, on the other hand, will surely thrill the little pirates.      Keep your kids’ minds creative and inspired with games from Cogo in city and farm themes. Board games like Uno, Monopoly, and Pictionary Air are great for family bonding and fun; while table games like Air Spring’s pinball shoot and air soccer will keep kids active and sporty.     Tech-savyy kids, on the other hand, can also enjoy an ultimate home entertainment experience with Toy Kingdom’s PS4 mega pack and various home video games.     Experience an enjoyable summer fun at home with these toys from Toy Kingdom. Check out these amazing finds and more available at https://www.lazada.com.ph/ and wait for your items to be delivered right into your doorsteps.  Also, don’t forget to stay home to help in the fight against COVID-19.     For more updates visit www.toykingdom.ph and follow ToyKingdomPH at Facebook and Instagram.

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Life in Uptown CdO during General Community Quarantine

May 18, 2020

This recent experience of general community quarantine has thought all of us a very important lesson. First of all the importance of living in a comfortable space and in a healthy environment. Then as second comes the location of your home. Now we know how important it is to be strategically located near a facility like a mall, a grocery or a supermarket. Third is the internet connectivity. What would we do without being online, visiting our facebook, reading our emails, watching tiktok?? Forcefully staying at home with the “wrong” people or a nagging wife or mother in law is definitely not a pleasant experience but fortunately not all of us have to endure such a situation. Undoubtedly it has taken a toll on all of us. Psychologically, emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. I have friends that are spending their quarantine in their 300sqm villas with giant pool and others who are locked up with wife and children in a 23sqm studio unit. No matter how big the space of their home prisons they all complain of the same symptoms and they are all looking forward to the monster celebrations, the outdoor grill and pool parties once this is all over. I am sure that some will definitely move out of their current unfriendly remote shoe boxes and choose to stay at a better location maybe even walking distance to all essential services. We never know if something like this can repeat itself. The most painful city ordinance for myself was the ban of jogging or leisure walking. For the rest it was like a “walk in the park” as the Brits would say since you could easily walk from your condo or subdivision to the mall, to the grocery stores or the restaurants. So it was not so bad after all. I feel more sorry for the many children who must be crawling up the house walls and ranting like wild tigers for being locked up in their homes. And giving them electronic gadgets to keep them calm is working only to a certain point. During this time there have been some people trying to push their apocalyptic world views onto our various administrators and so many 'unreasonable' and unnecessary decisions have been made. Following rules is certainly very important but getting totally carried away by fearful behaviour is totally another story and seriously borders to harassment. What we have learned is that viruses don't thrive in open spaces with a lot of natural light. We have also learned that natural ventilation compared to aircons is equally important. Other than that, if we wear a mask, stay clean, wash our hands and disinfect our homes we should be ok. People die of various reasons every day and it is much more likely to die falling from the stairs than being killed by Covid-19. We will see the statistics and data only in several months to really establish if we did the right thing in strangling the economy or not. Let's stay positive and bounce back with even more energy.

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The Mindanawon #CoopHEROtives: sparking courage, forging solidarity

May 15, 2020

Co-operatives under MASS-SPECC Cooperative Development Center, the largest regional co-op federation in Mindanao, joined forces with other organizations in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 29, 2020, 148 co-ops (almost 50% of MASS-SPECC’s total membership) reported to the federation a total outlay of over Php 1.045 billion for this purpose. The amount was used to distribute cash, food, and other necessities to their members, staff, community, and Local Government Units.     In compliance with Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal As One Act,” co-ops in Mindanao implemented the minimum thirty (30)-day grace period for the payment of all loans of their members falling due within the period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, without incurring interest on interest, penalties, fees, or other charges.     The workforce of co-operatives was not forgotten in this time of crisis. Most co-op staff continued to receive their regular pay despite the shortened work-day and work-from-home arrangements. A total of Php 23.84 million was given to them as advanced 13th-month pay, monetized leaves and hazard pay. They also received in-kind assistance such as sacks of rice, groceries, and face masks.     Apart from making financial services available to members, the co-operatives mobilized their resources to extend support to various communities in Mindanao. The co-ops disbursed more than Php 10.33 million. Some co-operatives also helped the government distribute the Social Amelioration Program funds and payouts for Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) beneficiaries even in hard-to-reach areas that are not serviced by banks.      MASS-SPECC also disbursed Php 736,900.00 to various communities, organizations, and co-operatives that are unable to operate at this time. Around sixty-eight percent (68%) of the fund was coursed through the Philippine Cooperative Center (PCC) to procure more PPEs such as gloves, alcohol, masks, vitamins, and bottled water for the front liners (medical workers, grocery staff, janitors, garbage collectors, policemen, soldiers, etc.) nationwide.     Co-operatives are part of the global humanitarian effort to ease the burden on people, especially those who are most vulnerable. Although co-operatives are among those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, they continue to serve their members and respective communities at this time of great need, says Ms. Bernadette O. Toledo, CEO of MASS-SPECC.

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