Thoughts & Afterthoughts

The fuss in the NIA patubig project

Noel Cabobos

By Noel Cabobos


THE town of Tayug, the heart of the 6th District, is now under the administrative function of lawyer Tyrone Agabas. But on top of Mayor Agabas is his wife, Rep. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas, who ran unopposed during the recent elections in the said District. What an inspiring collaboration we have in eastern Pangasinan, indeed!

Yeah, here, we have a woman on top. And this reminds me of that quirky fellow, General Pedrito Magsino, chief of PDEA’s Preventive Education and Community Involvement Services, when I joined the PDEA forum on the trends of illegal drug trade late last year in Boracay.

“The world will be ruled by women…soon,” he declared in the seriousness of a Wyeth Earp before participants composed mostly of women, adding: “intelligent, dynamic, and powerful women.”

“Women will be on top of men. Well, that’s okay with me. It isn’t good that men are always on top of them anyway. I just fear that there will come a time that before they allow their husbands to share the bed with them, they will demand the following: 1) If you want it, you have to make a formal request; 2) The request must be made in writing; and 3) It must be filed one week ahead.”

Undeniably, women are now becoming on top of men and we (men) can’t do anything but to behave. Mama Mia!

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The patubig project of the government under the tutelage of the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) through the Agno River Integrated Irrigation Project (ARRIP) is now getting into the nerves of eastern Pangasinan farmers while their counterparts in the central Pangasinan are now enjoying theirs since NIA-ARRIP opened it on July 23.

On its development plan, the P3.8 billion project, which will tap the resources of San Roque Dam in San Manuel in answer to the long-felt need supply of water to farmlands in Pangasinan, is designed to provide water for irrigation through the construction of new diversion and canal systems as well as the rehabilitation of the existing irrigations systems in the province called ARIS or Agno River Irrigation System (ARIS) and ADRIS or Ambayoan-Dipalo River Irrigation System. Areas included in the ARIS project are the towns of Asingan, Binalonan, Calasiao, Laoac, Malasiqui, Mangaldan, San Manuel, Sta. Barbara, Villasis, including the City of Urdaneta while the ADRIS project will serve the towns of Balungao, Natividad, San Nicolas, San Quintin, Sta. Maria, Tayug, and Umingan.

But the surprise of all the farmers’ surprises, NEDA suspended the release of the fund intended to complete the ADRIS project rendering the east gate of the pond designed to divert water from Agno to eastern Pangasinan to remain closed at this time. One doesn’t have to look far, just pass by Brgy. Poblacion West before the approach of the central town of Natividad to see the very mess in this project.

We are glad though that Board Member Ranjit Shahani has taken the initial step to find out the wrong in this project as he already directed Engr. Reynaldo Mencias, project manager of NIA-ARRIP, to prepare a report justifying the suspension in the release of the fund.

Just the right time our politicians gotta do what they gotta do. Perhaps, “Attention” is in order for Congresswoman Agabas! Well, it’s her District so let’s see if she’s tough enough to be on top of the situation.

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Is it only me who’d been seeing cops with formidable diameter these days?

The police organization almost every year has been conducting a bulge-reduction program in a bid to physically improve its rank with oversized tummies as it aims to restore a 34-inch maximum mandatory waistline for members of the PNP. The idea is simple: 1) If they are healthy and fit they would be more effective in their job. True; and 2) How can they perform their job properly with their bulging stomachs especially in running after criminals? Precisely!

Time to shape up or ship out, Sirs!

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AFTERTHOUGHTS. Life in the countryside has been very pleasing. Well, most of it at least. It’s like stepping into a new paradigm of living life away from all the wrong ways. Here, one can override the discomfort of being sized up by the people around you. What matters to them is what you are in dealing with them, not who you are and where you came from.

Meeting with rural folks and sharing just about anything seems so great and wonderful. You’ll meet them on the road and the next hour you’ll find yourself exchanging pleasantries at the comfort of their living room then eventually at the backyard sipping coffee while showing you “babies” of their livestock. They don’t care about appearances and labels. In fact, they wouldn’t even care what’s inside your bursting backpack.

Most people, however, keep score the other way. They would rate you by how much you have in the bank, what kind of vehicle do you drive, where swanky subdivision do you live, how big your house is, what fancy school have you been studying, how many new gadgets you own, who in the glamour world your friends are, what the label inside your suits…and the list goes on. Appearances, labels, money, and fame have become so important for most of us that we are forgetting that the real purpose of life or the real score is to make our world a better place.

In the countryside, pretenses are definitely manageable and you can be amazed at how folks can turn you to be lot more sensitive and to realize when you’re becoming a pain in the neck simply by the tone of their voice and their body language. They are champion at “segregating” maybe because they hate “plastics” contrary to the urban way of life that is more attuned into.  

Most of all, rural folks are patient. I mean really, very patient and it’s kind of viral. Love should work the same way too–being patient, taking your time, and letting things develop. You just don’t throw away your entire life and run off with someone you just spotted inside a restaurant or in the park and justify it as some “romantic connection” or perhaps propose marriage in the first 30 minutes of your first or second date then, eventually, make you feel shitty and hate yourself for being such an all-time jerk.

Arguably, staying in the countryside indefinitely is like having a small piece of heaven, or maybe a quarter part of it. (Comments are welcome at

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