Our Home Tahanan is the Definitive Book about Tahanan Village

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the Our Home Tahanan coffee table book, inquiring with Florencia Umali and doing research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Our Home Tahanan is the Definitive Book about Tahanan Village

If you want to discover and study the history of a well-established village such as Tahanan Village in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, don’t rely on a pretentious, so-called independent local community print media publication. Instead, pursue such information recorded in the official documents or an official publication of the village produced by the villagers.

As many of us here in South Metro Manila are confined into our homes with the ongoing quarantine on communities (which is part of the COVID-19 Crisis), I found time to read the official Tahanan Village coffee table book titled Our Home Tahanan.

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The coffee table book itself.

Published in 2006, Our Home Tahanan is a commemorative publication that emphasizes the past, the present and the future of Tahanan Village which in 2005 celebrated what was back then its 30th Foundation Day. It has a collection of stories and testimonies from the pioneering residents and the later residents who contributed to the development of the Tahanan community in more ways than one. I myself enjoy reading it and examining the photos which clearly showed how much Tahanan Village developed through the decades.

A special project of the 2005 Board of Directors of the Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA),  Our Home Tahanan has an extensive look at the history of the village starting even before it was founded in the 1970s. It also offers readers a look at the many organizations that not only organized several in-village activities and events, but also emphasized how lively Tahanan’s community really has been.

Let’s take a look at how Our Home Tahanan was conceptualized and turned into an actual coffee table book.

From concept to a published work

The idea of developing an official coffee table book about Tahanan Village was raised in a meeting that was held on June 10, 2005. The Committee composed of Tess Arriola, Florencia Umali, Corly Vergara, Peter Olivares, Reno and Malou Araneta, Nene Sandico and then THA president Milton Lalisan had a thorough discussion about the elements and topics for a souvenir program in relation to the 30th Foundation Day of the village.

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A group photo of the yearbook committee members. 
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An article and a full page image.

The idea of a coffee table book alone was perceived to be challenging at first and there were expressions of skepticism and incredulity. The mood eventually turned into optimism and determination.

According to then THA president Milton Lalisan, the Committee came to a decision to develop the coffee table book project.

Below is an excerpt with words of Lalisan…

It was agreed that we would develop a really nice, glossy book, semi-hard cover, with lots of colored and black/white pictures. The book should appeal to different types of readers:

+ Residents who have grown with the village, who were here when Tahanan was still on its pioneering stage. 

+ Residents who have built their houses at a later stage but who quickly managed to acclimatize to the environment around them.

+ Sons and daughters of residents who had their childhood in Tahanan Village, some who may now be in their teens, young adulthood or are parents themselves.

+ and those who have personal interests in Tahanan Village, the lot owners who have not built their houses, the prospective homeowners who are considering living in the village.

Afterwards, several forms of preparation followed: writing articles, researching, organizing an in-village photo contest, financing, editing and finally, publishing it.

According to Florencia Umali (now the incumbent president of the Century Club of Tahanan, Inc. or CCTI), she and her fellow members of the Committee worked and long to realize the project.

“We coordinated with the different clubs and organizations, and the previous Tahanan Board (of Directors),” Umali recalled. “We also coordinated with the first homeowners of Tahanan Village. We also worked on collating their old pictures and memories.”

After much hard work as well as editing done by a local resident, Our Home Tahanan got published.

The history of Tahanan Village and its origin

As mentioned earlier, this coffee table book also has the official history of Tahanan Village and what happened behind the scenes that led to its foundation way back in the 1970s.

Here’s an excerpt from the article Tahanan Village: How It All Began written by Digoy Fernandez.

I guess the Tahanan story really began with the friendship of Dominador “Bandoc” Mercado with both the Rufino and the Campillo families. According to youngest Campillo son Lito, Bandoc had a special way with his father, Sostenes Sr. Bandoc even had a free place to stay in the Campillo managed Shellbourne Hotel located strategically at the Luneta. I remember my group of friends, which included Charlie Rufino, going to watch movies for free in the Rufino theaters, and then dropping by the hotel to meet up with Bandoc and middle Campillo son, Jun, on many an occasion during our high school and college years.

One day, Bandoc approached the Rufino family with a proposition to develop 60 hectares of the Campillo rice farm in Parañaque into a subdivision. At that time, the heirs of the eldest Rufino patriarch, Vicente, wanted to try their hand in horizontal development. Their past experience in real estate was mostly in vertical development. At that time, BF Homes had already started and proved that a housing development beyond the Merville area could be a success. The Rufino family agreed provided that Bandoc take the helm of the management of the project.

Youngest son Charlie and youngest daughter Pixie were assigned to the project and were mentored directly by Bandoc. The latter drew up a joint venture agreement with the Campillo family, and thus, Tahanan Development Corporation had its beginning. The eldest Rufino daughter, Ditas, thought up the name “Tahanan” Village and also the use of flowers to denominate streets.

The definitive book about Tahanan Village

Our Home Tahanan also contains articles about how the Tahanan Homeowners Association (THA) started, what were the facilities and organizations in the village, how the village’s very own tennis club began, who were the pioneers and notable residents, and more. Special attention was also paid to the THA’s relationship with contracted security agencies as well as the breakthroughs on securing the village that were realized when the association formed their Security Committee.

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A few of the many congratulatory pages.
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Another villager-written article. 

There are also many literary pieces written by village residents who shared their experiences and what living in the village truly is like. Adding depth to these articles are the many, many photographs of the times, the events, and the people involved with the village.

In my experience, Our Home Tahanan is not only a great published work to discover and research about Tahanan Village…it is the definitive published work complete with the contributions and involvement of the villagers.


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Special thanks to Augusto Tejada of Tahanan Village.

 

My Observations: A Candidate’s Birthday Celebration Attended By Many Guests Including A Presidential Consultant

Last night (March 17, 2019) I attended the birthday party of former Barangay BF Homes kagawad Alfred Lazatin who is a candidate running for one of the eight seats in the City Council (for District 2) of Parañaque with the next local election happening this May. The party was held at the covered basketball court in BF NorthWest, Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City, Philippines.

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Birthday celebrant and City Councilor candidate Alfred Lazatin watches as former City Mayor Jun Bernabe greets one of the many guests during the party in BF NorthWest on March 17.

Lazatin, who served his barangay for over a decade, is now 40-years-old. His wife Cielo is now serving the barangay as an incumbent kagawad.

As this year is an election year for both national and local levels, it is no surprise that the teammates of Lazatin with Team Bernabe-Marquez were also present mingling with the guests and greeting as many people as they could. This includes former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio”Jun” Bernabe (whose birthday party I wrote about), his running mate former Barangay BF Homes chairman Jeremy Marquez, former BF NorthWest president Anthony Vivero plus other teammates including those running for City Council seats of District 1.

The most notable guest present was Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte who not only expressed support for Team Bernabe-Marquez (note: their team is allied with President Rodrigo Duterte) but also delivered a memorable speech concerning the future of Parañaque which in recent times deteriorated when it comes to competing with other cities on varied categories and is no longer in the list of the Top Ten Richest Cities of the Philippines.

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Members of Team Bernabe Marquez and Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte (middle in between Jun Bernabe and Jeremy Marquez) do the Duterte Fist Bump for photographers.

“I met with Mayor (Jun Bernabe) at SM MOA not too long ago and I told him that he should return to power in the city (to improve it for the people),” Duterte said. “The team led by Bernabe and Jeremy Marquez is ready to serve the people of Parañaque for a brighter future. They can’t do it alone and that’s why your participation in the election is needed. The future of Parañaque is at stake.”

The speech ended with a strong applause from the many guests who were present.

The rest of the birthday party saw the guests enjoy the meals and drinks served. Some prizes were raffled off and the lucky winners were seen happy.

For your viewing pleasure, check out the other pictures from the party posted below.

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A guest with birthday celebrant Alfred Lazatin, wife incumbent Barangay BF Homes Kagawad Cielo Lazatin and former BF NorthWest president Anthony Vivero.
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Birthday party guests getting served with tasty food.

 

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Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez listens to Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte.
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Parañaque City Council Candidate for District 2 Anthony Vivero with Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte and a BF NorthWest resident.
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Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte raises the arm of Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez showing her support for him.
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Parañaque City Vice Mayor candidate Jeremy Marquez mingling with some of the guests.
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Team Bernabe-Marquez raise their arms in unity with Presidential Consultant Maria Fema T. Duterte.

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My Observations: Former Parañaque City Mayor Bernabe Turned 71 With Big Party

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Former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe turned 71 and he is still in good health.

On the evening of February 5, I attended and observed the big-time birthday party of former Parañaque City Mayor Florencio “Jun” Bernabe who turned 71 and he showed no signs of slowing down.

The party was held at the multi-purpose facilities of Tahanan Village in Parañaque City which attracted some thousands of guests that include villagers (including those from BF Homes subdivision), business owners/managers, politicians, government workers and the like.

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The many guests dining and waiting in line for meals and drinks at Tahanan Village.

Bernabe did not just celebrate his birthday. He is also running for Mayor in the May 2019 local elections and this explains why his teammates were present during the party such as his running-mate Jeremy Marquez (former Barangay BF Homes chairman) and the many candidates running for seats in District 1 and District 2 of the City Council of Parañaque.

To put things in perspective for those who are not familiar with Bernabe, he comes from a family that has a long history of public service in the history of Parañaque. Jun Bernabe first entered politics in 1998 and served as City Vice Mayor for six years (1998-2004). Then he served as City Mayor for three straight terms (note: 1 term is 3 years) from 2004 to 2013.

During his time as Mayor, Bernabe launched several city projects that not only helped the development of the city but also did so while following national laws. His administration won several awards and citations that are too many to list down in this post. Unlike recent times, Parañaque under his leadership was found to be very competitive with other cities.

What is most notable is the fact that Mayor Bernabe was named as Outstanding Mayor in 2006 with attention paid to his leadership, fiscal management and administrative style that boosted the locality’s finances through efficient tax collection. That award was won during his first term as mayor and so it was no surprise that he went on to get re-elected to serve the maximum of 3 consecutive terms.

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Bernabe with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos on stage. She supports his bid for Mayor, he supports her bid for Senator.

Back to the birthday party, Ilocos Norte Governor and candidate for Senator Imee Marcos arrived big time and was warmly received by Bernabe and the guests. This was the first I ever saw a Marcos in person.  She expressed her support for Bernabe’s candidacy and the mayor returned the favor to support her run for the Philippine Senate. Here in the Philippines, voters nationwide get to vote for candidates for the Senate.

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Former Senator Pia Cayetano expressed her admiration for Bernabe.

Shortly after, former Senator (and current Congresswoman) Pia Cayetano arrived at the party and was warmly received. Like Marcos, she expressed her support for Bernabe and expressed her family’s connection with Parañaque. She is running again for Senator this May.

Finally, I can confirm that the party was very lively. Guests reached out to the public servants and some celebrities. The band hired played very lively music and there was a special presentation celebrating Mayor Bernabe’s birthday.

Can Bernabe and his election team win big this May to change the tone at Parañaque City Hall? We will find out soon enough.

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