Sunday, July 15, 2007

Getting Lost With Names - Magsaysay

This topic started with this article

There are four towns all named Magsaysay. Ooops, wait! There are six! Let’s explain that.

There are four towns that are officially called “Magsaysay”, there is one whose official name is “Ramon Magsaysay” and yet another with an official name of “R. Magsaysay”. Of course we know that all these six towns are named after the 3rd president of this republic.

Now the towns…

Magsaysay in Mindoro Occidental (Region 4b - MIMAROPA) is the southern tip of the province and of the island. Caves, springs and beaches are the main attractions of this town. But don’t miss the cheap fish, prawns or crabs from the many aquaculture farms. Yumm!

Another Magsaysay is a town in the province of Palawan (still MIMAROPA). This town is actually in a group of islands and islets off the northeastern part of the province. The more common destination you'd hear is Cuyo for it is the island where the town is located. And it’s a bit far from where tourists usually go! How far? Just about 20 hours by boat! This town is definitely nearer the province of Antique - even Iloilo than from Puerto Princesa. Reason why their dialect seems to be more of the karay-a type. Well, Have you heard about "kiting" or "kitesurfing"? That's all I did there!

Then we have Magsaysay town at the northeastern tip of Misamis Oriental just north of Gingoog City with a very long stretch of beaches in front of the Gingoog Bay. Good dive sites are available here and the beaches are worth a visit to mingle with the locals. This Magsaysay has an interesting “previous name”. Before it was named Magsaysay, this town was called “Linugos” – a visayan term meaning “raped”!

Further down south is yet another town of Magsaysay, this time in the province of Davao Del Sur bordering with Cotabato province. This Magsaysay offers fresh and cool mountain resorts.

How about “Ramon Magsaysay”? Well, it is a town in the midst of the province of Zamboanga Del Sur (Region 9 – Western Mindanao). This Magsaysay, like that in Davao Del Sur, being in a mountainous region also has mountain resorts and springs for the visitor. This is no Chavacano speaking town even if its part of Zambo Sur, probably because it is near Ozamis City which is a cebuano-speaking locality.

Finally, the town that uses the abbreviated “R. Magsaysay” for an official name is in the province of Lanao Del Norte (Region 10) and is also landlocked but also has high mountain springs that are worth a trek for undiscovered surprises.

Now the irony: the late president Ramon Magsaysay is from Zambales (and we all know his descendants are in/from there) and that he was of Visayan descent. Still sitting as president, he died when his plane crashed unto Mt. Manunggal in Balamban Cebu. But look again, in all of those six towns named after him; none is in Zambales or the Visayas! One is in Mindoro, another is in Palawan and the rest are in Mindanao! Hmm, what a surprise!


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