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Anilao, Iloilo Mayor Ma. Teresa Debuque
Super Matet By MAFELOU C. LEAGOGO-AGRIAM If there is one lady singularly focused on giving her constituents the opportunities to upgrade their quality of life, it is Maria Theresa “Matet” Formacion-Debuque. Day in and day out, she kindles the flames to find better ways of helping them uplift their lives and welfare. Her mantras echo that vision: To elevate the standard of her people; to empower them to aim high; to boost up their morale; and to bring back a sense of pride as a people. Her ultimate dream is to see Anilao soaring high through the years. “This is my apostolate; this is my ministry,” says Matet, mayor of Anilao, Iloilo, a fourth-class municipality some 40 kilometers north of Iloilo City. Proof of how passionate and committed she is in having such opportunities within the reach of her people – with the Local Government Unit (LGU) in the lead – is the production of the Manual for Transparent Delivery of Services. This handy literature carries an updated listing of the varied facilities and services offered in the town under such headings as Health, Education, Agriculture, Environment, Social Welfare, and Peace and Order. Copies of the Manual are available to all interested persons, the good mayor says. Information of the different services, including data on family profile in the town, and ordinances and legislative highlights through the years can also be accessed through the internet, or the town’s website. No one, thus, can lay claim to having been deprived of the services and information. Serving people is not unusual to Matet. Even as a strapping elementary and high school student in her hometown of Janiuay, Iloilo, she was never a passive fence sitter but a dynamo in the thick of the action. She joined school-based and inter-school declamation and oratorical competitions, among others, and often-than-not brought home the gold, bringing much pride and joy to her school, family and schoolmates. The solicitous and obedient girl became a favorite to her teacher-mentors, especially those training her in the art of public speaking. They were her closest allies and strongest influence. “They taught me the finer things in life,” she says with fondness, remembering how her teachers opened slowly the wider world to her in the course of her many extra-curricular involvements that took her to several parts of the country. “They gave me a soft heart for education. I am forever in awe of the power of a teacher to inspire a pupil to unleash his or her potentials and talents.” Some of her LGU’s initiatives are interestingly innovative. Creativeness is a virtue she extols and encourages in the never-ending quest for alternative ways to advance the wellbeing of her people. She says, “No one has a monopoly to knowledge. In which case, my style of leadership by participation affords everyone the chance to put in her two-cent worth of ideas.” Among the special education projects is the Barya Mo, Karunungan Ko, which raises funds through donations contained in sealed and numbered tin cans distributed in strategic places within the municipality. The money collected is spent on purchasing and mass-producing educational materials for school children. Project Matet (short for Making Anilaonons on Top of Education and Technology) is an alternative learning program that includes goat-raising, food processing, and basic literacy classes for indigenous people, family basic literacy, computer literacy, and skills training on welding and carpentry. The project targets out-of-school children and youth, adults and cultural minority groups. The Accreditation and Equivalency Program opened to certain barangays targets school drop-outs and ensures exam passers the eligibility to move forward to formal schools or TESDA skills training programs. The Community Learning Cab, meanwhile, is envisioned as a mobile learning facility fully equipped with classroom tools and materials that will cater to out-of-school youths and the unschooled in different barangays. A Libreng Sakay Para sa Edukasyon provides free multicab rides from home to school and vice versa to students who tend to drop-out from school due to family financial constraints. And for a wider access to national and global information, each school in the town is provided with a television set and DVD. Extraordinary and mesmerizing is how one describes the town’s cultural festival. Called Banaag Festival and founded and conceptualized by Matet herself, it is a pageantry of interplaying lights and colors and dance movements performed in the streets and under the starlit sky. It is held annually every November 2. The festival has put the town in the map as a cultural destination. It has captured, too, the imagination of the country’s art luminaries who have included the festival in an international gathering of festivals in Boracay this coming April. WhenAtwoods Lawton
52nd & Quanah Parker This was the original (I think?) Walmart in Lawton. It was transformed into a "Bud's" after they built the supercenter on Sheridan Road. Bud's was like a huge "scratch & dent" department for Walmart. There was only a handful of them around at the time (the mid-90s) and then they closed them all. This location was established around the time when 52nd St was just about the western edge of town. Interestingly, the Supercenter that replaced this location was built closer to the middle of West Lawton, about 2 miles east on busy Sheridan Rd. About a decade later, they built a brand new Supercenter a mile due west of this one at 67th & Quanah Parker Trailway. Atwoods' favorite method for new stores is to capitalize on Walmart's move-out-and-move-on strategy which litters the nation with tons of big box structure shells. They do minimal rehab and open a location usually on the outskirts of bigger cities. They sell a Walmart-like selection of goods catering to country folk--farm equipment, generic western wear and underwear, tools, automotive goods, some dry foods, live chicks and assorted other animals, and garden equipment and plant-life.
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