HAGONOY, Bulacan—The Christmas everybody is hoping for in the island village of Pugad is finally here.
After eight years of darkness, fisherfolk found their lighthouse reignited on Friday, ensuring Christmas will be literally bright here for the Simbang Gabi (midnight Mass).
Dax Uy, Bulacan chapter president of Sigla Movement of the Philippines (SMP), initiated the repairs for the lighthouse. A Cagayan de Oro City resident, Uy’s mother is from Bulacan town. He is also married to a resident from Iba village here.
The SMP team installed a solar panel, six pieces of 12-volt batteries and a backup battery to revive the lighthouse.
Uy and his team joined Pugad residents last week to switch on the lighthouse, which had been serving the island community for 80 years now.
A local youth band played Christmas songs while SMP distributed packs of Christmas goodies to the neighborhood children.
Edgardo Baltazar, president of the village’s fishermen’s organization, said he would always remember this Christmas because “this was the year we saw our lighthouse switch on again.”
“We will never get lost at sea again,” he said.
He said fishermen navigated using the trees during the years the lighthouse was damaged. “But there are no more trees,” he said.
Aurora Aquino, a 68-year-old resident, said the lighthouse was built in 1932 and had run on gasoline. A villager was usually tasked to keep it running, she said, because it beamed light to as far as the nearby island village of Tibagin. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon