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Date Posted: 11/27/09

Arrival in Jagna (November 16, 2009)

By: Arturo Valdez

We were already sailing northeasterly, practically against the wind towards Jagna. We left at 6am to catch up with scheduled activities in the afternoon. By 10am to our surprise, Fred pointed that the cluster of structures along the shoreline is already Jagna. I thought that we were too early because our activities with the students will start at 2pm. Because of this info, I ordered that we should sail further only to find ourselves blown by the strong winds and currents in the direction of Camiguin Island. I called the Jagna Coast Guard if they saw the colorful sail of Diwata but got a negative answer. Only later I found out that what we saw was the town of Garcia Hernandez. Jagna was still 16 kms away. We tacked and tried to sail near the shoreline to get out from the strong winds and currents but the whole effort took us another 2hrs to get back where we were at 10am. By 1:30pm we were still 11kms away from Jagna. I had to call Jagna Coast Guard to assist us to catch up with our scheduled symposium at the town gymnasium. Pastor was calling that the port was already filled with students sweltering on the noonday sun. We finally made it at Jagna at 2:30pm assisted by the Coast Guard, and got a rousing welcome by the students, local officials, residents, partners national agencies and the local PPA manager.

Earlier, I was all ready to dock at the wharf of a local mining port 10kms before Jagna because there is no way I will be able to gain any distance against a headwind. It is easier to go to Camiguin Island with the wind than go to Jagna. Without the Jagna Coast Guard, I would not have made it to port while there is still light.

After taking snacks provide by the local PPA Manager, we rushed to their huge gymnasiums filled with students representing the different schools of Jagna. We presented our regular talk and got an enthusiastic response from the students and teachers alike. Dr Ted raised some difficult historical and science quizzes to the students which they easily answered back. The students of Jagna are very smart to answer any academic quiz raised by us.

In the evening Mayor Eksam Lloren hosted a dinner together with members of the city council. Pastor regaled them with the trials and exploits of the Mt Everest and Balangay Team. At the same time I noticed the progressive dynamism of the leadership of Jagna which according to Pastor responsible for the rapid development of the once sleepy town.

Meanwhile, coming back to our quarters we saw that the port was filled up with people all eager to catch a glimpse of the Balangay even late at night.

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