Month: April 2017

Visiting Tabak was a wonderful part of my childhood. My mother and grandmother used to bring me there a lot. As a child, I remember playing in the soft grass and under tall trees in the Fatima Shrine, happily chasing after grasshoppers and dragonflies. I remember the bright morning sun and the cool evening breeze. I remember the buzz of activity as soldiers went about, doing their activities with impressive drive and discipline.

It has been over a decade since those days, and with the emergence of new attractions in and out of Pagadian City, Tabak’s former glory was dampened. To many, it was just a military encampment that people pass along the highway.

Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to revisit Tabak for the first time in years during the 2017 Araw ng Kagitingan celebration and relive those great memories from my childhood. This is part of the initiative to revive tourism in Tabak by showcasing the qualities that made it so popular in the first place (with a couple of improvements).

People don’t actually realize just how great Tabak is until they have experienced it for themselves. Upon entry through the gates, and through the road shaded by tall trees, various military and non-military facilities start to reveal themselves. There is a challenging obstacle course, designed to test your strength and stamina (though you should avoid trying it for your own safety), a rappelling wall, a zip line, a basketball court, a soccer field, and a function hall, just to name a few.

In addition to these facilities, visitors get a chance to see and take pictures with soldiers of an infantry squadron. These soldiers are more than willing to demonstrate the various tactics that they apply in the field, as well as the important functions of each member of the team. The demonstration is both an attraction and a great learning experience.

For those who want to be in tune with nature, Tabak also has something to offer. It has long hiking and biking trails that run through the forest. You can ask military personnel to guide you towards their “Jungle Base”, which is about a 10-20 minute hike through the forest. Along the way, you get to cross a river and a hanging bridge. It is here that soldiers learn jungle survival and combat. The place has a very native feel to it, as there are various makeshift nipa tents and buildings in the vicinity.

If you’re feeling tired or hungry after all of that, then the “Our Lady of Fatima Shrine” is a great place to relax and have a picnic. As it is situated at a higher altitude, it boasts a beautiful view of the landscape and sea below, and the refreshing wind is an added bonus.

A fun fact about Tabak is that it was once a barren mountain face, yet through the efforts of the local officials and military personnel, what was once bare land is now covered in tall trees that provide good shade.

Overall, I would say that Tabak is one of the best places to just take a break and enjoy life. The hospitality of the soldiers, the different activities to try, and the ambiance of the place make it a great destination to take your family and friends!

(Jacob Benjamin Parulan is a Grade 12 STEM student of Pagadian Science High School.)

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Pagadian City, April 9, 2017 – The Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division joined Zamboanga del Sur’s celebration of “Araw ng Kagitingan (Philippine Day of Valor)” at Pagadian City Hall grounds on April 9, 2017. “The Day of Valor” is observed annually in the Philippines on April 9 as a national holiday to commemorate the fall of Bataan during World War II.

BGEN ROLANDO JOSELITO D BAUTSTA AFP, Tabak Division Commander said in his keynote message in Filipino: “Sa pagdiriwang ng ika-75 taon ng Araw ng Kagitingan na may temang: “Parangal sa mga Beterano, Tungo sa Bayan na Nararapat sa mga Pilipino, mga Pilipino na Nararapat sa Bayan”, maipakikita natin kung paano tayo magiging karapat dapat sa kasarinlang tinatamasa natin ngayon at kung paano natin dapat ihandog ang ating mga sarili sa pagtulong sa bayan sa abot ng ating makakaya.” (In celebrating the 75th year of the Day of Valor with the theme: “Recognizing the War Veterans Towards a Worthy Country for Filipinos, Filipinos Worthy for the Country,” we can show how we can be deserving for the independence we enjoy today and how we can offer ourselves in helping our country.)

Acknowledging the World War II veterans present in the celebration, BGen. Bautista said in Filipino: “Salamat po, aming mga bayani sa inyong pakikipaglaban sa panahon ng digmaan. Ipagpapatuloy namin ang inyong ipinaglaban kaya naman kami ngayon ay may sariling bayang pinaglilingkuran. Lumaban kayo noon upang kami ngayon ay mabuhay ng mapayapa. Maraming salamat sa inyong gabay at inspirasyon tungo sa isang mapayapa at maunlad na bayang pilipinas. (We are grateful to you, our heroes, for what you have done during the times of war. We will continue what you have fought for. Because of what you have done, we now have our own country to serve. You fought then so that we can live peacefully today. Thank you for your guidance and inspiration toward a peaceful and progressive Philippines.”

Taking on this year’s celebration theme, BGen. Bautista said in Filipino: “Tayo ang mga bagong bayani sa henerasyon ngayon dahil nagbibigay tayo ng mga serbisyo para sa kapapayaan ng ating bansa. Ating tatandaan, kahit ano ang posisyon sa gobyerno o isang ornidaryong mamamayan, tayo ay pwedeng tawaging bayani kung nanaisin natin. (We are the new heroes in this present generation because we provide services to maintain peace in our land. Let us always remember that whatever position we have in the government or even if we are ordinary citizens, we can also be called hero if we have the desire to become one.”)

Zamboanga del Sur Governor Antonio H. Cerilles challenged the audience to take on the inspiration of veterans who gave priceless sacrifices during World War II. “Without them, there is no Philippines,” Cerilles said.

Pagadian City Mayor Romeo P. Pulmones stressed in his message that “The Day of Valor” epitomizes the legacy of Filipino’s courage and determination. “It speaks of our country and the qualities of its leaders who are deserving to Filipinos and Filipinos deserving of their country. These qualities are still in our hearts and minds. If we dig enough until we realize the sacredness of our heritage, we will see the glory and wonder of the promise of the Filipino vision,” Pulmones said.

Pagadian City Vice Mayor Ernesto A. Mondarte said the courage in the hearts of our soldiers today allows our flag, which symbolizes our dignity, to fly freely and makes our country secured and peaceful. “We celebrate the Filipino’s courage to protect our birthplace and courage which stood for compassion even in the face of violence,” Mondarte said.

Claudio R. Porio, District Commander of 1st Zamboanga Del Sur Veterans District said: “Araw ng Kagitingan commemorates the heroism of Filipinos and American soldiers. It is an important event that reminds us of our duty to fight for liberty against invaders. Let everyone become a part of what our heroes have fought for. I challenge every Filipino of this generation to be vigilant against foreign invader and keep the flames of patriotism. Everyone can be a hero even by a simple act of bringing smile to our fellow countrymen.”

Other officials of Pagadian City including the City Council and representatives from Zamboanga del Sur Philippine National Police Provincial Office (PRO9) and the Department of Local Government also participated in the program and the laying of floral offerings at the Veteran’s Marker in Pagadian City Hall.

Students from Pagadian City Science High School rendered a special intermission number of a musical play portraying the valor of Filipino soldiers from one generation to another.

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Headquarters, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army – A member of an Auxiliary Threat Group (ATG) was killed in a joint law enforcement operation conducted by the troops of 17SFC, 6SFBn 102ndBDE and RSOG9, PNP at So Ulingan, Barangay Salipyasin, Kabasalan, ZSP on April 6, 2017, at around 1:30 PM.

The operation resulted to the death of Samuhong Ahod and the capture of a certain Akhmad Dapat. Both Ahod and Dapat are members of the ATG.

After a report from a concerned citizen in the said barangay about the presence of the ATG, the Philippine Army and PNP immediately responded with a joint law enforcement operation.

An exchange of gunfire ensued in the area when the law enforcer troops were fired upon by the ATG. After about five minutes of fire fight, the overpowered ATG withdrew to an unknown direction. A hot pursuit operation is being conducted to apprehend the ATG.

“Our ground troops, while upholding the rules of engagement, continue to strengthen the conduct of joint law enforcement operations in Zampelan area to contain lawless groups and pre-empt the conduct of atrocities in the province,” said BRIGADIER GENERAL ROLANDO JOSELITO D BAUTISTA AFP, Commander, 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army.

According to BGEN BAUTISTA, the cooperation of concerned constituents to report the presence of lawless elements in their area shows their trust and confidence to the Philippine Army and PNP.

“As protector of the state, we support the PNP in its efforts against criminality and lawlessness,” BGEN BAUTISTA said.

(Map source: Wikipedia.com)

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TeamTabak.com is the official website of First Infantry (TABAK) Division, Philippine Army with headquarters located in Kuta Major Cesar L Sang-an, Pulacan, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

After being deployed in various areas in the county, the TABAK Division opened its present headquarters on 4 December 1989 after its stint in Jolo, Sulu. The Division was redeployed in mainland Zamboanga Peninsula and Lanao Provinces (ZAMPELAN) to combat the Communist and Islamic rebel fighters and to counter terrorism in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi (BASULTA).

The Headquarters of the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Division is located on a 422.81 hectare military reservation. This reservation was taken over by the Division from Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) on 16 August 1987. From being rugged and mountainous, it was slowly developed into a sprawling and thriving military camp with the help of the 545th Engineer Battalion, 52nd Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army.

On 4 May 1991, the Camp was named in honor of Major Cesar L. Sang-an who died defending the country’s sovereignty against a superior number of MNLF forces of Barangay Malaning, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on 23 March 1973. Sang-an was a brilliant Scout Ranger officer and a courageous fighter. Though twice wounded, he directed and covered his men until he was killed. This heroism earned him the award of the Distinguished Conduct Star (Posthumous) from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was born on 3 November 1926 in Kinogitan, Misamis Oriental.

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On May 4, 1991, the Headquarters of the 1st Infantry (TABAK) Divisio was named in honor of Major Cesar L. Sang-an who died defending the country’s sovereignty against a superior number of MNLF forces of Barangay Malaning, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur on 23 March 1973. Sang-an was a brilliant Scout Ranger officer and a courageous fighter.

Though twice wounded, he directed and covered his men until he was killed. This heroism earned him the award of the Distinguished Conduct Star (Posthumous) from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. He was born on 3 November 1926 in Kinogitan, Misamis Oriental.

The Camp is located on a 422.81 hectare military reservation surrounding Barangay Upper Pulacan, in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. This reservation was taken over by the Division from Army Reserve Command (ARESCOM) on 16 August 1987.

From being rugged and mountainous, the Camp was slowly developed into a sprawling and thriving military camp with the help of the 545th Engineer Battalion, 52nd Engineering Brigade, Philippine Army.

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