Thoughts and Memories | Armando V. Zafe:

The Chronicle of Catsu Eco-Garden

Walking at the back of immigration officers manning our counters at Ninoy Aguino International Airport terminal 1 during lean hours, I suddenly stopped after hearing a foreign visitor ask an immigration officer, “Please tell me, officer, what beautiful places I need to visit here?”.

“Ah, landmark areas, Mr. Parker,” he enumerated about five places while I was leaving them. The last words I overheard were: “You can stay for 21 days. If you wish to stay longer then ask for extension of stay”.

After stamping the passport, the immigration officer gave it back to the visitor, while I was watching at the distance.

The ribbon cutting ceremony of the Catsu Eco- Garden last May 9, 2022, made me remember the incident at the NAIA. For it holds significant meaning to us as immigration men, because tourists coming by plane or luxury liners to our shore have for their primary purpose to visit places of wonder, landmark areas as contained in their 100 “death wish” list to visit.

Most importantly as a Catandunganon having so many friends from many places, it will make me brave enough to invite them to come and visit Catanduanes.

Partly, being part of this project at CatSU envisioned by Pres. Patrick Alain Azanza to add another tourist attraction in our Isle of the Eastern Seas, I see economic opportunities/potentials brought about by tourists coming to Catanduanes.

The balikbayans, foreign students and their parents will have reason to come yearly to stroll in our Eco-Garden, students from neighboring provinces will study here attracted by many amenities we can offer them, our nieces and nephews born and grow up in foreign lands will have yearning to sample the beautiful landmarks we have, ad infinitum.

Up to now, thinking of how this CatSU Eco-Garden idea developed and turned into visual reality made me respect more the tenacity of Pres. Doc Pat to do what he says. This opens my mind to believe that something great is unfolding before my eyes. Motivated by the transformation of this grassy land into a natural beauty will invite more Catandunganons to earnestly support Pres. Doc Patrick Alain Azanza to march together in one cadence to bring CatSU to the list of top universities in the Philippines. I will refrain from saying in Asia, for we need to wait for years and I don’t want to stress our leaders.

Let me write from the beginning the story of ‘The Chronicle of Catsu Eco-Garden, for you to know the people behind and the beautiful song that inspired it. This detailed narrative is for you dear readers of Catanduanes Tribune and the future generations to have knowledge in the making of this Catsu-Eco Garden.


to be continued. . .



Thanks for your support for me during the previous election. I am sure we know one another and your smile and handshake will affirm it when we meet one day. Salamat.

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