BOHOL, April 17 (PIA) --The could have smashed a bottle of champagne, were it a modern yacht. But for the ground-breaking of a new trading post in the forests of San Isidro, Bohol, it is shedding blood from a live red rooster.
Towards the end of the hour-long ground breaking ceremony for the P767,200 Cansague Sur, San Isidro barangay market in this hinterland village in the midst of a forest, two women and a man, walked to the middle of the event.
When that happened, everything seemed to stop, not a hushed whisper or a shuffle of feet could be heard.
Then a muffled shriek and restrained shake from a red rooster whose neck was slashed with a knife breaks the silence, as the two women tentatively held on to the wriggling fowl, blood coming in streams at first and then in broken drops, to the disturbed soil.
Why does it have to be that way?
"The community willed it," confessed a member of the National Community Driven Development Project (NCDDP) team at the sidelines of the ceremony.
Shedding blood has always been a part of any infrastructure erected in this community, which believes anything must conform to the will of the spirits living in the forest.
"In line with the community driven development, we want this project to work," shared Barangay Chairman Crispin Ompoy, who with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) municipal coordinator Lucky Biel Diongzon steered residents to pick a priority project which would be funded by the Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan (KALAHI) NCDDP grants.
The NCDDP puts up P9,125,000 for this town and from it, barangays pick their priority projects in the hope that these would help the people make their lives better.
Cansague Sur is 8 kilometers from neighboring Antequera and over six kilometers to the town center, people would need P60.00 more for a motorcycle ride to buy your food supplies.
Largely an agricultural community, Cansague residents carve rice-fields at the base of tall forested hills, elsewhere are fields of corn, banana patches and people are also into harvesting products.
Food isnt as scarce here but selling it to distant markets across bad roads however is another story.
A trading post would be a big help, explained a young mother nursing a month old baby, during the mid-afternoon event, and taking shelter in the old crumbling barangay market wrecked by the 2013 earthquake in Bohol.
After a series of meetings, the barangay validated in a general assembly the trading post as priority for the P641,399 NCDDP grant, said chairman Ompoy.
Working in the spirit of cooperation, the town also put up P113,239.67 from its funds while municipal government also pitched in donations in kind.
Elsewhere in the town barangays, communities picked rehabilitation and concreting of barangay access roads, construction of multi-purpose buildings, heath centers; all seen as imperative development infrastructure support to a struggling landlocked town.
At the groundbreaking ceremonies, Mayor Jacinto Naraga, Vice Mayor Eudoxio Asoy, DSWD's Dingzon and project engineer Jed Bautista also took the time to exchange banter with the people, and revalidated the community's desperate need to have a small trading center nearby.
We have united to get this, our people have worked hard to get this, we hope the spirits are with us, Chairman Ompoy said. (rac/PIA-7Bohol)