Sunday, May 3, 2009

Activities in celebration of the 8th Founding Anniversary of Isabela City

The medical mission rendered by the city government of Isabela thru the initiative of the First Lady Executive Hon. Cherrylyn Santos - Akbar held last April 24, 2009 at the City Gymnasium. 

On the cityhood birth of Isabela, April 25, 2009 there were lots of activities held such as the following:

                   In the morning there was the Mass offering simultaneous with the Mass Wedding              Ceremony. There were about 108 couples blessed by the City Mayor and they were                    given precious gift as well as cake by the honorable.  And followed by the awarding of the              Bien Ejemplo del Isabela

                  In the afternoon Hon. Cherrylyn Santos - Akbar inaugurated the some of the                              completed projects under her administration namely :

                            1. Installation of Streetlights (Phase 2) at Tabuk Barangay

                            2. Repair / Rehab of Farm to Market Road at Cabunbata - Sumagdang

                            3. Construction of Community Trading Center at Public Market (GEN3)

                            4. Construction of Drainage Canal at Sta. Cruz Barangay (GEM3)

                            5. Repair / Rehab of Farm to Market Road at Tabiawan - Boracan


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The City Mayor of Isabela Distributed 50 bags Hi-breed Yellow Corn to the Corn Farmers of Isabela City

    Mayor Cherrylyn Santos – Akbar bought Fifty (50) bags of hi-breed yellow corn amounting to Fifteen thousand pesos (P15,000.00) and were distributed to the corn farmers coming from the different agricultural barangays of Isabela City last April 7, 2009 at the City Gymnasium. The Department of Agriculture also share their counter part to the city through giving sixteen (16) kinds of vegetable seeds which correlates to their backyard gardening program. The distribution depends on the land area of the recipients. They also received one (1) liter foliar fertilizer each. 
  The Mayor addressed to her recipients that they should plant the seedlings and cultivate it properly for she as the City Mayor of Isabela will buy their crops if not so the local government unit thru her initiative will look for buyers to their crops.  

Sunday, April 12, 2009


The beautiful radiance of sunlight that envelope the sparkling city of Isabela, which conquers the island of Basilan with prestige proclaiming as the “Promising City of the South” right after reigning as the “Rising City”, reasonably had the tenderness of acquiring such name and history will articulate the rest.
 Before becoming a promising city of the south, Isabela City was named as the Rising City, and yet it was actually boost up, for the government sees to it that there is the essence being declared as a rising city. Throughout those years, various projects were promulgated just to let their vision and mission be modified. However, there were still something that will ensure the beauty of the so called Rising City and now proclaiming to be the “Promising City of the South” to be famous not only in the map of the Philippines but as well to the whole world not because of being offensive and with so many hazardous occurrences, but in way of propounding the name of Isabela thru honor and vigor along with the distinct magnificence it owns that elsewhere can not be found. Isabela alone poses forests and mountains untouched by human which can be found in the heart of the territory alone not including those in the areas that were secluded. The beaches within the perimeter of the area where can experience white sands, pinkish water, colorful corals, and abundant school of fishes. There were also various caves and waterfalls which holds their legendary only the ancestors can explain briefly. And the very superb nature that the city holds were the habitat of the “pawikans” which is still existing as well as experiencing the presence of sharks too. 
 Before Spaniards surmount Isabela, the latter already emerge in the history of the ancestors and the place restrains various tribes thereof. However, these tribes mingled peacefully with each other. They knew their differences, likes and dislikes, and even their don’ts and dos. The tribes had their own places to stay and endeavor their products in a market which now known as Isabela. Nevertheless each tribe had a name for Isabela before, the Tausugs and Samals called Isabela as “Pasangan” and with the Yakan who named it “Pasangen” and still identified by the natives till present, which these two names mean only one thing, “market” or “pueblo” in chavacano dialect. The said territory was a paradise. Yet, during those ancient times, the people were less in civilized culture but the land was prosperous in the product of nature. In addition to that, tranquility reigned within the terrain. Until such time, conquerors appear and ruled the region.
 1844 then, the Spaniards came and occupied Pasangan. Legendarily, the yakan clans hesitate to mingle with other ethnic group specially the colonizers and to avoid the chaos in the mainland the said tribes isolate themselves to hinterlands of the island. All through the years of colonization, trying to change the religion of the remaining tribes for that was the main purpose of the colonizer before as well as chasing the products of the scenery of the land, nevertheless, there were hesitation in accepting what the vanquisher bestow to them, the remaining tribes throw themselves into far-flung areas too. And now aliens possess the native land. They constructed a provincial fort on the site where the present provincial capitol now stands. Because of that situation, July of the following year Pasangan was named ISABELA by Don Ramon Hugo, Marine Chief of Zamboanga and Don Cayetano Suarez de Fugueroa, Governor of the District, in honor of Queen Isabel II of Spain, at the same time hoisting the Spanish flag over the provincial fort to symbolize the Spanish claim over the Basilan Island. History declared that at the same year the Spanish regime ordered the construction of a stone fort in place of the provincial one and it was completed in 1843. The said fort was identified as Fuerte de Isabela Segunda while the poblacion was already known as Isabela de Basilan.
 That certain fort was partially destroyed by the American bombs during the Second World War, and it gives way to the City Hall of the erstwhile City of Basilan. Since the regime of the Spaniards until the incoming of other vanquisher, Basilan had always been a political part of Zamboanga Province and in 1973, Zamboanga City came into existence, Basilan known to be a group of islands, once belonged here. Basilan or so called “TAGUIMA” by the ancient people of the province with its islets lies in the midst of the azure waters of the Celebes Sea, the Moro Gulf and the Sulu Sea. It is situated just south of the tip of the Peninsula and is separated from Zamboanga del Sur by the Basilan strait. It is composed of one main island of volcanic origin, and several adjacent islands and islets and coral reefs. It is geographically independent as an island that obviously potential as a province because Basilan or the so called “Taguima” by the natives especially the main land which is the “Pasangan /Pasangen” or Isabela was indeed wealthy in nature. 
 Due to the profound capability of the island to be a sole terrain, July 1, 1948 by virtue of Republic Act 288 sponsored by Congressman Juan S. Alano, Basilan Island became a chartered city with three districts, namely Lamitan, Maluso, and Isabela with Hon. Nicasio Valderosa, noted as a “Builder of Cities” was the first City Mayor. On December 31, 1953, Mayor Valderosa retired and it was then Hon. Leroy S. Brown took his oath as the next appointive mayor of the city and then became the first and last elective mayor of the City of Basilan, branded to be a paradise of the Basileños. Wild animals were still visible within the poblacion actually those wild animals live adjacent with the people. They were fed not by the natives but they themselves for they were capable in procuring foods for them due to the locality they’re in. The forests of Isabela in particular were untouched by humanitarian dilemma. Until the incoming of the so called companies within the place, and in this point of time there was the upbeat of economy in Basilan/ “Taguima” because of the said companies. One of which was built by a certain American person who exported good lumber and timber; hence it provides the Basileños a living. This known company was the so called “Basilan Lumber” which was located to a certain place that is now called Tabuk Barangay. In spite being under the jurisdiction of the foreigner even in the own native land unlike before surmount of the Spaniards, no Basileños starves for food or even for other necessities because the people were employed and with compensation. In fact they enjoy every coin they earn. The population rate in that point in time was not that high and employment was just a hand a way. Hence, there were a planting system introduce by the said lumber yard to their workers in order to maintain the forest in its profusion. In this time of the year, the land was so peaceful, just like the ancient times. People hesitate to commit crimes or delinquencies for life were precious. Populace can roam around the vicinity without fear and serenity succumb the ambiance. Synchronize with the peaceful locale, the sanitation was pervasive. The people can maintain their area tidy without further ado with the government. Consequently, landmarks can be identified directly such police station located at the boulevard, the old church, fire station, the two theaters and the market stalls. There were schools in the province that produces brilliant students that turned to be teacher even at early degree. The extreme existence of the Menzi Company which produces citrus fruits, well packed black pepper, African oil, coffee, coconut, and rubber. Another was the American Rubber Plantation at the Baluno which its main product was rubber. All these companies gave the people of Basilan especially the Isabeleños a living that will feed their family worthily. In spite of the beautiful things of the above-mentioned, the processes in transporting products from hinterlands to the mainland were sluggish. The visibility of concrete buildings and houses were not that lucid. Transportations by land and even by water were not that numerous. It was put into record that under the leadership of Mayor Leroy S. Brown the city progressed rapidly and rose to the classification of a first class city. He served the city for almost twenty-two (22) years until 1975, when the city was abolished with the issuance of the Presidential Decree No. 840. However, there were no things such as invariable, every thing changes it might be for better or for worst as times goes by.
  On September 21, 1972, it was the administration of the President Ferdinand Marcos, the state was in martial law under Presidential Proclamation No. 1081 and General Order No. 1. Specifically on December 27, 1973, PD 356 was issued creating Basilan Province with three municipalities; Lamitan, Maluso and Isabela being the capital and its age as a municipality stretch out to thiry – one (31) years old. It was stated that never before in the annals of the Philippine History that a province was created from a city. Accordingly, the Basilan City had an area of more or less 1,359 square kilometers, which is considered 50 times the size of Manila, was left with an area of barely one square kilometer. 
 On December 2, 1974, another PD 593 was issued amending the PD 356 increasing the area of Basilan Province about 3 and creating the ten municipalities to comprise the Province; Isabela, Lamitan, Maluso, Lantawan, Sumisip, Tipo – Tipo, Tuburan, Tapiantana, Malamawi and Pilas. The Province was supremacy by military officers until certain time, President Marcos appointed Hon. Asan G. Camlian, a former City councilor of the defunct City of Basilan and one of the three incumbent Vice- Governors of the new province as Provincial Governor.
  A year after, December 11, 1975, PD 840 was again issued by Pres. Marcos, reducing the number of municipalities from ten to seven namely; Isabela, Lamitan, Maluso, Lantawan, Sumisip, Tipo – Tipo and Tuburan. The Municipality of Isabela with an area of 22,373 hectares absorbed the main land of the former Basilan City and the Municipality of Malamawi and Isabela became the capital of Basilan Province. Isabela is considered a Second Class Municipality because it was one of the highest revenue generating LGU’s among Region IX, for the municipality contains the “White Gold” such as rubber trees located at Baluno, eastern part of Isabela and at Menzi, western part of land, and also bountiful in coffee and coconut which cause the economy to be at its peak. However, in this time of the year too, the exigency of the companies were turned to the government property, and one the most inclined company which is the Basilan Lumber migrate to other country living remnants of the business known to be Western Mindanao and its buy products were round timber which was for exported too. The awful situation was, the people didn’t continue to replant trees after the logging was made because of those radical people from the remote areas. And from this point of time till present the peace and order of the land was declined. Numerous awful rudiments from the hinterlands came and ruined the peaceful living of the civilized people of Isabela Municipality. Not only this occurrences that suffixes the irrevocable situations but also the extinctions of wild animals at the forests. The enjoyment of seeing those wilds just adjacent to your vicinity was now rare to be experienced, in fact as the years continue, lesser they came to be. In spite of the unruly incident happened, the Municipality still enjoys its beauty in variant ways. There were the emergences of various brilliant rulers that in one way or another made some conventional manners which will help Isabela evolved in the map.
 On December 12, 1975, Atty Ricardo G. Mon, number one councilor of the former City Council of Basilan was the first appointive Mayor of Isabela Municipality. During his period of supremacy, the Municipality progressed by leaps and bounds consistently, maintaining through the years its position as the premier municipality in the province.
 When the vigor Municipal Mayor became ill, in January 3, 1980, Atty. Alvin G. Dans, the lawyer – son of the former Provincial Administrator J.B. Dans, who became the standard bearer of the local KBL party in the political contest for the mayoralty of Isabela. It was even stated that Atty. Alvin G. Dans was one of the youngest municipal mayor for he won the mayoralty race at the age of 28. In his point of time, several tangible aspects of developments occurred such as improvements of waterworks system, completion of the meat and vegetable section in the public market, construction of municipal basketball court, putting up of s permanent stage and Mayor’s loan. There were also intangible projects the Hon. Mayor completed which cannot be enumerated. 
 After the administration of Mayor Dans, these were the following brilliant individual who in one way or the other made Isabela a striking place to visit; Herminio M. Montebon, Dr. Benjamin R. Valencia and Leonardo A. Pioquinto. 
 Furthermore, during the stint of Mayor Luis R. Biel II, in 2000, Congressman Gerry A. Salapuddin sponsored House Bill No. 7851, “A bill converting the municipality of Isabela into a component city of Basilan Province”. Still in the same year, The City Hall of Isabela was built thru Presidential Social Fund of His Excellency President Joseph E. Estrada and being implemented by the City Government of Isabela and the Department of Public Works and Highways thru Republic Act No. 8522, series of 2000, thru the initiative of Mayor Luis R. Biel II for the fact the Honorable Mayor has the vision in making the employees of the Municipality, soon to be Isabela City suitable and convenient while working in the office they are assigned. Thus, December 10, 2000 during the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Municipality of Isabela the said building was blessed and inaugurated.
 On March 25, 2001, the City of Isabela was created into a Component City of the Province of Basilan, under the RA 9023 by Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal – Arroyo. And this situation the constituents of the Isabela never loose hope of turning it to city. The government officials hand in hand with the constituents they urge to turn Isabela a true city. A few months later, April 25, 2001, the Municipality of Isabela was converted into a City by virtue of a Plebiscite conducted by the COMELEC, thus it resulted to an overwhelming vote from its constituents.  
 On May 2001, National and Local Elections, being Isabela City, these were the following First City Elective Officials; Hon. Luis R. Biel II, Mayor; Hon. Rodolfo Y. Tan, Vice – Mayor; and the City Councilors: Hon. Taib A. Alejo, Hon. Jacinto S. Guevara, Hon. Lolita P. Mon, Hon. Edgardo D. Estaquio, Hon. Abduljalal I. Latip, Hon. Danilo G. Neri, Hon. Heherson T. Tan, Hon. Richard S. Brown, Hon. Sihon A. Indanan, and Hon. Nida P. Dans. Hon. Faisal I. Saddalani, SK Federation President is an ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod representing the youth and Hon. Ricardo T. Sible, the Vice – President of the Liga ng mga Barangay, assumed office in lieu of the resignation of the Liga President Hon. Teodorico S. Barandino. 
 Although being a six (6) years old city, which considered as a Baby City, rampant developments had occurred. The first installed Mayor made his best to reach the peak of his vision in promoting a “Rising City” not only for the benefits of his employees but also for the contentment of his race. In line with his objective, various projects were implemented since the calendar year 2001 to 2006. Mayor Luis R. Biel II pours and reaches out to the forty five (45) barangays to ensure progress and development for the constituents. Such as the Island of Malamawi, there are at least seven (7) barangays that can be reach via pump boats, to alleviate their living condition and better accessibility as well as convenience of the populace, mini – wharfs, bagsakan center, and farm to market road were constructed and repaired. The city almost finished constructed, cemented and repaired bridges and roads for those were the top priority projects because it serves as the linkages from the far – flung barangays to the main city when transporting agricultural products or in line of committing venture from some places within the city. And for all we know The Rising City – Isabela homed cultural diversities and some of our brothers particularly muslims lived in coastal areas. Fishing was the most livelihoods of the people who lived in these areas, in order to alleviate them in transporting their products to the poblacion, footbridges were raised. The said projects were made not only for the concern of the fishermen alone but as well the safety of the juveniles who in one way or the other wanted to incur education in the main city. And Education was also a part of the mission and vision of the city for there’s a saying that the Youth is the hope of our nation. In order to mold, equip them with knowledge, skills, competence, desirable qualities and character, there were various constructed and repaired daycare centers. In addition, school buildings were also constructed and repaired for it aims to cater the needs of school children for better educational facilities and environment which in one way or the other those needy ones that were interested to go to schools can be accommodated. Not only school buildings were constructed or repaired but also other buildings that will make the life of the students’ safe and comfortable while they are in schools such as steel gates, concrete fences overflows, wall protection, door grill, roofing pathways, and even stages. The city aims not only to educate the populace of the city but also the health care within the vicinity, for Health is wealth; the ambiance should be given attention to safeguard the residents against outbreak of contagious diseases and to control. Drainage canals were constructed to avoid congestion of wastes within vicinity. In line with this matter, there were overflows constructed to control water flow during rainy season as well as to maintain the roadway too. Feeding centers also were built so that nourishment of the youngsters will also be modified. These centers can be found at some schools. Another concern was the source of water, although the city itself had the existence of ISAWAD, Isabela Water District which really made its part to supply water right into the residents’ houses, however, there are still other areas in the city that can not be reached by the said district. Or maybe some residents can not yet afford to pay for the connection of the water supply, the government installed water tanks with piping installation in some barangays particularly to areas where less fortunate stay. Multi – purpose hall is a place where graduation rites and programs were held in schools and in barangays, the multi – purpose hall serves as the meeting place and other socializations can occur here, and for that reason, the city built such projects in various barangays as well as in various schools too. The convenience and comfort of the barangay officials were also taken into consideration for each barangays should have barangays halls where the officials can transact business in formality sake. The government also gratify the aged a senior citizen building as well as veterans building all were located at Barangay Tabuk. Recreation was a part of the development in the city and the city constructed basketball courts at some areas of the city because the youth loves to play the game. And the most pride of the city were the two (2) terminals located at the east and west district. Isabela as the center trade of Basilan Province, these two terminals help congest traffic within the poblacion. The said terminals have its complete facilities built to safeguard property. 
 As an island, preservation of coastal areas was turned into reality thru the effort of Mayor Biel , The Coastal Management Program was created in coordination with Environmental Governance Project (ECOGOV). In line with the ECOGOV’s Program, Reforestation and the Sanitary Land Field were produced, and in this issues, the benefactors are still the inhabitants of the city. Thru the existence of these programs, the city identified the wealth in marine areas as well as the preserved forests of the city. The sanitary land fill exhibits the sanitary concern of the city. The officials involved in the program imposed rules and regulations in order to meet clean environment and so with the hygienic resistance of the populace.  
 Because of the projects visualized within the city from far – flung areas down to the main poblacion, many businessman triggers to venture their business here for they knew that tranquility spread throughout the locality of the city due to the rising of all the above-mentioned projects. And of course, the latter were not only visible within the mainland but throughout the area of Isabela City which reaches even the hinterlands. In fact there were almost nine (9) largest firms sited in the city, which help in upgrading the income, and so with other multifarious business transactions that being propagated within the land. The time of Mayor Biel, the Basilan City appears again in the form of Isabela City in which the economic boost rapidly, nevertheless, the Honorable Mayor created his own legacy by furnishing projects for the benefits of the city as one. 
 It was on March 3, 2006, Isabela City was covered with doomed circumstances because the debonair, influential, judicious and extremely leader Honorable Mayor Luis R. Biel II met the line of death. It was a forceful death that shred the heart of each Isabeleños into pieces. And at that point in time, the hope of the city vanished. And for that situation, the populace extremely cries for justice. Asking why and what was their reason to commit such felony to said leader where in fact in spite of being that demanding and forceful in any ways he wanted to boom the economy of the city and beautify it in orderly manner. 
 Right after the death Mayor Luis R. Biel, Vice – Mayor Rodolfo Y. Tan took his oath of office for he was the successive government official in the city. In his rightful term, he continued the legacy of the late mayor in a way he can do so. Constructions of various infrastructure projects were continued and the other benefits of the employees were given attention. Nonetheless, span of Mayor Tan’s management was just short, less opportunities for him to expound his supremacy that will give him another legacy under his name. 
 After the long lost term of the election days, June 30, 2007, Mayor - elect Cherrylyn Santos – Akbar met her inaugural ceremony. She is the first ever lady mayor in the City of Isabela and determined to make Isabela as the “Promising City of the South” introducing several commitments that will endeavor the reality of being a promising habitat for the Isabeleños. Promising City in a sense that Hon. Santos – Akbar will extend and put more effort in establishing the true essence of development. And yet she knew that there were already lots of developments and projects exist, therefore in her period of time, she will execute more for the welfare of the community.  
 In her mission and vision she stated that her legacy will introduce good governance to the city and always extend a hand to the needy people. Improving our environment in order for it to be sustainable at all cost. Together with the other sectors at all level, she will be giving priority to the remaining forest visible in our society for it is our watershed. The lady mayor also broadcast programs for peace and order in the city. 
 The legacy of the lady mayor had started and the public presumes welfare under her supremacy. 

Monday, March 30, 2009


The February is known to be the Arts Month as declared by the National Commission on Culture and Arts (NCCA) and Honorable Mayor Cherrylyn Santos - Akbar celebrates the occasion thru the City Tourism Office vigorously. It was a two days celebration topping the pioneering assembly of the ARTES de Isabela plus the general assembly of the organized tourism club of the different schools.
 ARTES (Artists’ Expression) de Isabela emerged right after the small group of struggling artists brainstormed the possibility of forming a group last December 2007. And they will revitalized the beautiful image of Isabela City because at present Isabela City and Basilan Province as a whole is very intimidating. Henceforth, the group invited other artists in Isabela City regardless of the skills they possess and there were several meetings done, the group decided to have a general assembly last February 25, 2009 at the City Gymnasium in line with the present celebration. 
 Mr. Ramon T. Nuñal gave his inspirational message in behalf of the Honorable Mayor. Mr. Felipe David Malcampo from the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) expresses the bountiful meaning of arts and the culture, its differences in preference to its time being. 
 February 26, 2009 the pioneering Tourism Club Officers of Begang National High School, Isabela City National High School and Basilan State College had the general assembly with the mass oath taking rendered by Mr. Jayson A. Tubil – City Tourism Officer. After the mass oath taking, as a legacy to the pioneering club, there was a Mangrove Planting held at Panigayan Barangay. 

1st Mayor's Cup Fun Shoot


        Hon. Cherrylyn Santos – Akbar with the presence of the city councilors gladly turned – over the two (2) wheelis jeep, two (2) XRM and two (2) 200R motorcycles to the men in uniform of Isabela City last February 26, 2009 held at the city hall lobby. 
According to the Honorable Mayor these vehicles will boost the mobile check point within Isabela city as well as to hasten the peace and order situation. These will also serve as a gateway of threatening the mal-elements who are initiating disturbances in the immediate vicinity of the City. 
        LtCol Fernando R. Gomez PN (M) Commanding Officer of 1MBLT together with his men as well as PSupt Albert C. Larubis, PNP Chief of Isabela City and his men received vigorously the transportation handed by the Lady Executive. After which they pledge to entice the lawless elements to retreat from being who they are today because the police and the marines can chase them anytime and anywhere they maybe. 
       Police officers and the Marines had a 24/7 mobile check point on the different areas. They point out the motorcycles and other vehicles with no plate numbers, none/expired registrations and none/expired driver’s license. And they also initiate the total gun ban program of the city. 
      The City Mayor gave her high regards to these men in uniform likewise she knew that the Isabeleños themselves will also work hand in hand with them just like the government is doing right now for the betterment of Isabela City.


 “Man ayudahan kita todo para pirmi limpio el Ciudad de Isabela” quoted by the First Lady Executive of Isabela City, Mayor Cherrylyn Santos – Akbar.
 The Lady Executive signed an ordinance number 04-171 as the Solid Waste Management Program in relevance to her desire in the clean and green program for Isabela City. And the City Mayor spearheaded the Project Limpiesa ’09 which serves also as the launching program of the solid waste management occurred last March 6, 2009 starting 8:30 in the morning.  
 There were several non – government agencies and national agencies participated in the program together with the local government of the city assigned in respective areas. The barangay officials and members also participated in the project limpiesa thru cleaning their own vicinities. 
 Although it was a half day affair but the participating agencies were very committed on the project limpiesa. They religiously clean their respective areas as a response to the aim of the city mayor. The project limpiesa is not just for the welfare of one person but for the whole City of Isabela in such a way also the Solid Waste Management Program will be promted.