Friday, January 06, 2006

compostela valley news

A gem in the valley
By Cha Monforte

It was not a walk in the park when the elegant, sleek and space-effective Capitol of Compostela Valley was realized four years after the Separation of 1998. In fact, the issue that its construction was illegal reached no less than the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court’s ruled on January 14, 2004 that the pioneer Sangguniang Panlalawigan’s Resolution No. 07, series of 2001 authorizing Compostela Valley’s third-termer Governor Jose R. Caballero to sign the contract with the Allado Construction Company, Inc. to construct the Capitol was null and void on the grounds that the SP erred in voting for a lack of quorum.
But the Supreme Court’s verdict on the petition filed by an opposing SP member in 2001 came too late as too soon the four-story Capitol building was completed during the first incumbency of Governor Caballero.
It came to pass that on February 26, 2001 seven members of the 14-man SP moved to give the go-signal to the governor to construct the Capitol building thinking that their number constituted the majority for the quorum while the SP had only 13 members as one member was on foreign travel.
The issue reached to a Regional Trial Court, which ruled favoring the act of 7 SP members. So the construction went on unimpeded by the absence of any restraining order or injunction while the case was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Todate, the governor is optimistic that the Supreme Court would sooner lay to rest the ruling that by the reality’s passage of time and by the Capitol’s early realization rendered it moot and academic.
And for it was such as feat that the Capitol was completed in a governor’s first three-year term, by far in record time outpacing other capitols in Mindanao.
On March 8, 1998 Compostela Valley was separated, carved out from the mother province of Davao del Norte, and following the May 10, 1998 polls provincial officials and employees had first to be packed in tight and cramped elementary classrooms, shared municipal offices and governor’s residence while the organizing of the new province began virtually sans a scratch of paper.
For three years they endured until December 2001 when the Capitol edifice finally emerged virtually finished, sitting majestically leonine in an open ground much bounded by coconut trees and green bushes. On December 5, 2001 the building was blessed no less than by Papal Nuncio Most Reverend Antonio Franco, DD and five after provincial employees wore big smiles on their faces when they started transferring to the Capitol the Comvalenyos could call their own.
Who could have thought that the once cocoland expanse in Barangay Cabidianan in today’s thriving capital town, Nabunturan would host an palatial civic structure that has become an imposing landmark in the entire province?
The travelers, who have looked to Comval as the country’s gold ore capital and the province of a hundred of cool, pristine waterfalls, going for leisurely conquests in provincial interiors would first be enthralled by the road zigzags in Mawab in penetrating the mainland of Compostela Valley from Davao City. After a couple of hours from the metropolis, they have to traverse eastward down the main avenue of the Nabunturan downtown to the concrete Mainit road, and for a minute or two they are flushed to the open in the left where the standing Capitol is a view to behold.
From the steel fence and gate leading to a rotunda, the edifice is post-card perfect. There’s tropicana effect radiated by the lined palmera trees along the main alley towards the rotunda and Capitol’s main entrance. The Capitol Grounds sprawls in an 11-hectare expanse of land, compliments from the philanthropic donation of Don and Mrs. Francisco S. Dizon and family and the Melendres and Gil Indino Sr. families, which contributed seven and four hectares, respectively.
Largely still an open area, the Capitol Ground is progressively being developed based on planned resources and along with the governor’s vision of carving a loftier ground where governmental structures abound, interplaying with ecological theme parks, convenient walkways and passages. Its frontage is strewn with chic lampposts, a circular structure for a forthcoming fountain and at its east lies the functional Freedom Stage. At its rear will rise up the 4,000-seater Astrodome and the two-story PAGRO-PHO building, definitely another governor’s legacies in the making in his final term.
The Capitol structure is without doubt modernist. There’s awe, mystique and fascination that there stands a modern edifice in a rural setting cut from the town’s heartland. Designed by contractor Architect Daniel Briones, Capitol building has a four-story main building connected with two three-story wings at each side. It configures to be a footed cross-shaped structure with the glass-encased and administration’s offices protruding as the head when seen at the top.
Its six big round pillars inlaid in a lowly elevated ground floor still defines that it is a civic structure in rough physical state ahead of the older neoclassical buildings. Its stylized CV-shaped structure embellished before the front steps is a signature for Compostela Valley, or to some, for Caballero Victory over the once entrenched politico-economic family that reigned even before the province’s creation.
From the central porch opens up the elegantly spacious Capitol Lobby accented by a high ceiling that stretches up to the ceiling of the second floor. The two big low rectangular pillars covered with black granite tiles in the inner part of the lobby are given more prominence by the commemorative inscription of the building on golden plates. The glass encasing of the lobby effectively combine with the excellent tile works on its floor that rival to those of the city malls.
From both edges of the lobby floor starts the circular spine of stairway with simplified ironwork in its railing. But the overhang of the stairway from the second floor uniformly twirled to taper off steeply up to the fourth floor that gives an artistic accent to the lobby gleaming with squares of dominant pastel colors and shades.
The flesh color of the interiors reflects the familiar color characterization of a Filipino working office and the light blue combination in offices exudes a relaxed, intimate and hospitable working atmosphere.
The wings of the building which were constructed as part of the Phase II by the administration after the main building was built by the contractor Allado Construction Company, Inc. have long arcades in each floor. Particularly, the first and second floors of the wings have open walkways to catch the fickle tropical breeze from a countryside valley.
The design of main building seemed retro by its typical play of four-sided structures when seen at its rear. But the side balconies and openings in its higher stories make it also a graceful forward-thinking structure for the possible extension in the future.
In all the P80-million Capitol building has an area of 6,297 sq. meters effectively laid out with well furbished, illumined and ventilated provincial offices, functional rooms and corridors. The Sangguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall, which is located at the second level’s center, is superb in its ambience and layout that diminutively mimics the physical design of the Philippine Congress.
From there the level’s stairway leads up to the equally furbished Governor’s Office and the graceful Conference Hall and spacious Social Hall. The elegant Governor’s Office, glass-encased in its frontage affords guests and visitors a panoramic view to nearby hills and mountains as well as the frontage lawns.
October last year the stairway took a second role for busy bodies when the elevator started functioning. It is the first throughout the province affording a convenient ride to the workers and foremost the public. The roofdeck remains raw but it is designed to be a helipad. The huge arch incised in its façade’s loft typically amplifies the building’s colossal motif of governance.
After Gov. Caballero’s regular nurturing of the edifice through all those year since his first term, definitely it is a legacy of a mastercraft honed by the governor’s erudite taste and instructions since when it was first designed and constructed.
While it reflects a distinctive modern character interfacing with the indigenous arts and lore in tapestries and the resource grandeur of the province, the Capitol architecturally symbolizes the longing of the Comvelenyos for strength, unity, peace and progress in the province and in the country as well. It pulsates with aesthetic and historical accents. But for kindling a pride of the Comvalenyos and constantly impressing people todate quite indeed the Comval Capitol is a gem, a crown jewel in Compostela Valley.


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