I’ve been to Compostela Valley for countless times already but my latest visit to this beautiful province was unique as I had the chance to explore its main town, Nabunturan, where the provincial capitol is situated. Also, this trip (which happened to be my first after that lethal Typhoon Pablo), happened during a Reorientation Forum on Climate Change intended for Information Officers in region XI as spearheaded by Philippine Information Agency and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Truly, there were more pressing issues that were tackled during the forum, one of which I was interested very much about how climate change is being figured that it has become a very trendy thing today and in the future. One thing I really find it very true and challenging about climate change adaptation is to “change our selves”. Somehow, while we are bent on combating the effect of this “New normal” scenario, the best item so far that we failed to combat is ourselves.
Meanwhile, back to Compostela Valley, there is something extraordinary about this province that I like most and that’s the way how local leaders beat its minimum very effectively and efficiently. In terms of resources, ComVal is basically agricultural. To some point, they are also rich in mines and the province has even become a mining capital of the Davao region. Thumping the dynamics of responsible mining has been the main reason why this province is rich, despite being hampered by natural disasters in the past.
In the façade of its provincial capitol building is a display of their 1.5 kilogram, 18 Gold “solidarity ring”, a symbol of the province’s wealth and trademark that also symbolizes oneness, unity and teamwork. The ring, which is the biggest in the country as per record, now costs approximately 4 million pesos.
Another thing that I appreciate about ComVal is the resiliency of its leaders and the people. Less than 2 years after Typhoon Pablo wrecked havoc to this place, Comvaleños are now starting to live a normal life. Their effort towards social rehabilitation, more than physical rehabilitation, is surprising. It is also commendable that after the devastation, people in all walks of life can now afford to throw a smile to every visitor.
For me, Comvaleños really transcended the word transformation into a whole new level. And just like how the solidarity ring attracts every person visiting the province, more and more people are now being tempted to stay and experience the best that the province can offer.