Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mario A. Albalos Library: The Ilocano Pride Has Arrived

by Marge Tadeja

Cabaroan is made up of two barangays in eastern Vigan near the borders of Caoayan.  What makes Cabaroan special today is its unveiling of a humanitarian project funded by a native of the barangay who has migrated to the US  - Jenny Alcausin, a nurse.

This significant project elevates not only the entire ka-Ilocoan but also concretized the elusive ideal that every moneyed Ilocano should aspire for - returning the value of literacy back into our much degraded Philippine society.

The Mario A. Albalos Library or Biblioteka Ni Ayat.

The facade of the one-storey building library. 

Upon entry, one is greeted with the cheerful bookshelves, tables and chairs.

 The  line of colorful tables and chairs... and at the foreground are - yes - new computer sets connected online!

The library has its own wall-mounted flat-screen television, too!

The first question that comes to mind is why Ms. Jenny Alcausin sponsored this project?
The answer might be more than what ordinary mortals might grasp, but then, we can always speculate: I'd say Ms. Alcausin is enlightened. And we can always add a lot more reasons.

This unveiling of project is hoped by GUMIL officers who visited it today to open the floodgates of parading Ilocano's egos and pride in a substantial manner, beyond large houses or latest four-wheel-drive craze, that are soon abandoned by their balikbayan owners, and a lot more means of stating that "Yes, I have arrived."

But who is Mario A. Albalos?
The late Albalos is also a native of Cabaroan, one of its most studious students, one of the most prolific Bannaoag and other early  publications writers, who soon migrated to the US to become a US Navy. His hard work and leadership skills were made known not ony for the heaps of awards he received in his naval duties, but more so among his peers who called him "Mr. Make it Happen." After leaving the navy, he became so involved in community works in Hawaii that garnered him the Thomas Jefferson Award in 1979. He is bigger than life itself, as his works will soon be displayed and rediscovered by everyone who will visit the library.

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