Inside Page | Fernan A. Gianan:

Army recovers weapons in San Andres clash

An armed encounter occurred between government troops and communist guerillas in San Andres town last Monday evening, May 22, 2023.

The exchange of fire in Barihay comes just nearly three weeks after the May 3 clash up in the mountains of sitio Caglatawan in barangay Juan M. Alberto, San Miguel where the Army troopers recovered an M16 rifle, ammunition, five anti-personnel land mines and other items at a temporary camp.

According to the official report of the 83rd Infantry Battalion, an intensive counter-insurgency operation of its Alpha Company assisted by information from residents resulted to the brief firefight against seven members of the “Communist Terrorist Group”, the label it gives to New People’s Army (NPA) rebels at 8 PM.

There were no casualties on the government side, the report said, with the soldiers recovering two M16 rifles, two M203 grenade launchers, a Korean-made K2 C1 rifle as well as assorted magazines and ammunitions.

A barangay official described the encounter as intense, with several explosions forcing residents of the area to hide in their homes for fear of getting hit by stray bullets and shrapnel.


It would have been enlightening to the reading public if the Tribune was able to publish relevant information on the interesting research presented during the 9th International Conference of the Philippine Association for the Study of Culture, History and Religion (PASCHR) held last week at the CatSU Auditorium.

The papers will have to be published first in the PASCHR journal before the articles can be quoted freely by the media, unless it would be the author who will willingly give a copy for publication.

One of the questions propounded to a speaker cited the Diocesan Shrine of the Holy Cross in Batalay, Bato, where a cross was believed to have been installed on the grave of Fr. Diego de Herrera. The priest was among survivors of a galleon shipwrecked off Bato in 1576 and they were reportedly killed by natives.

However, it took more than 200 years before Bato church, Catanduanes’ oldest, was built in the early 1800s.

Why the Spaniards took so long to conquer the island is attributed to the empire’s meticulous record keeping and decision making. Perhaps, it took some time for its soldiers to pacify the natives.

A presentation on the Philippines’ babaylans by Partido State U scholar Dr. Danilo Gerona also led to the surprise finding that one of the 12 feared witches in pre-Spanish times was the “silagan.”

An online article claimed that the “silagan” are flightless witches specific to Catanduanes and their prey of choice are people with fair skin or anyone dressed in white.

They were supposed to have X-ray vision able to see the internal organs of a person as well as sharp claws able to tear out one’s liver, devouring it and killing the victim.

Strangely, not one Catandunganon in the audience, familiar with the “hukluban,” “aswang” and “mangkukulam,” has ever heard of the “silagan.”


The delayed release of this week’s Tribune issue is due to the failure of a critical part of the printing equipment. We apologize to our readers….


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The genie snaps his fingers and a Ferrari appears from a puff of smoke.

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The genie snaps his fingers and the man promptly turns into a box of chocolates.

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