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Friday, May 21, 2010

Barangay of Tigbanaba

(Geo-hazardous Location)

Brgy. Tigbanaba is an inland barangay in the Municipality of Igbaras, Iloilo.  It featured prominently in the news in the later part of 2009 because of an encounter between troops from the Army’s 82nd Battalion and members of the NPA’s Napoleon Tumagtang Command.  Reports have it that the Army had overrun a rebel command post where they recovered
several “subversive” documents and personal belongings of those who once occupied it.
The encounter served as a confirmation that the mountainous parts of Igbaras have long been an influenced area of the New People’s Army.  Our friends in the military have been telling us that there are more than 10 barangays in Igbaras where members of the NPA openly roamed around carrying long automatic rifles and shotguns.  These are the places near and surrounding Mount Napulac—that prominently visible mountain peak with a distinct projection on its top.  From afar, the peak looks like an 18th Century Spanish Guardia Civil helmet with a pointed top.  Mt. Napulac is a favorite destination of local and domestic hikers, outdoor campers, and mountaineers.
    From satellite photographs in the internet made available by Google, Tigbanaba’s highlands may initially appear to be pocked with deforested patches of land, but on closer look, these are actually cultivated patches planted with rice and root crops.  Water supply is abundant due to the presence of several waterfalls in the area.  It is no wonder why our NPA brothers and sisters chose to establish their foothold in the barangay—food is plentiful in the place.
    Late last 2008, Tigbanaba was visited by the geohazard assessment team of the Mines and Geo-Sciences Bureau of the DENR.  The team conducted inspections and observations on the susceptibility of the barangay to landslides and flooding.  Tigbanaba was classified as a HIGH landslide risk area.  When landslides occurred in Tubungan lately, the residents of the barangay were also alerted on the possibility of a similar occurrence in their area.
Women power reigns in Brgy. Tigbanaba.  The Barangay Captain and the SK Chairperson are both women.  As for income, almost all of it is derived from the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA)—its share from the national income.  Most of its residents belong to the Catholic Faith despite the rebellious elements that like to inhabit the area. ###

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