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Up North in Aparri Where Cagayan River Meets South China Sea

October 26, 2017

AparriAparri5For four days — from October 18-21, we were away from the madding Manila crowd. Up North of the Philippines, we attended the 38th National Conference on Local and National  History held at the Audiovisual room of the Lyceum of Aparri. Philippine National Historical Society President Bernardita Churchill invited us via Metro Manila College. The group was welcomed by no less than the Most Rev. Sergio Utleg, Archbishop of Tuguegarao and President of Lyceum of Aparri, their EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, and the Governor of Cagayan himself, Hon. Manuel Mamba, brother of Pat, my co-teacher at Don Bosco Technical Institute who became a close friend. We joined the school almost at the time. Sad to know that she died two years ago of breast cancer according to the Governor.

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Anyway, it was good to learn a lot of things about Northern Luzon in particular. Experts from different fields and discipline delivered their papers with enthusiasm including two foreigners. Papers on precolonial matters interest me the most and the one about the contemporary literature of Sulu. Papers supplemented with visuals proved to be interesting unlike those that are purely textual. Hopefully, video documentation would be in the future used as supplement to their lectures.

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Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba welcomes the group

It was my first time to be in Aparri and my first time as well to  join the PNHS conference. My brother, a historian, friend and colleague of Dr. Churchill used to speak in the said conference. It was through him that I became familiar with it. I went there with my niece, Oying Villafuerte as an observer. And since I am into making historical video documentaries, I immediately acceded to MMC’s invitation to join it in their behalf. Dr. Churchill by the way was my guest speaker when PULE was shown in UP Film Center last August.

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[L-R]: Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, Lyceum of Aparri EVP Rev. Fr. Joel Reyes, PNHS President Bernardita Churchill, Archbishop of Tuguegarao Archdiocese Most Rev. Sergio Utleg and NCCA Plan/Policy Formulation and Programming Division Head Mr. Bernan Joseph Corpuz who delivered the message in behalf of NCCA Chair National Artist Virgilio Almario

On our first day in Aparri, or the day before the conference we visited the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Lady of the Rosary. I was quite happy to know that Mama Mary is their patron saint. Day after finding a chance to go to the place they say is “where Cagayan River meets South China Sea or West Philippine Sea” we hurriedly went to take a peek at the place.

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