by: J. Michael P. Elbinias
I was looking outside from the YMCA Building in busy Julio Pacana St.,
Cagayan de Oro City. Vehicles from tricycles to cargo trucks would
conjure clouds of dust in that thoroughfare. I wondered how
Presiding Justice Ruben T. Reyes could have said, upon my appointment
as a Justice, that Cagayan de Oro was so beautiful a place that I
could even have a second honeymoon there.
This city was where Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, along with the PJ, went
to last March 29 and March 30. Their visit included the Mindanao
Station of our Court. As expected, the court personnel welcomed them
Earlier, I discovered that there was such a thing as a free lunch. It was the
Chief Justice, and not the locals, who treated judges and justices
for lunch in order to interact with us. But more remarkable was his
distribution of Bibles with our names printed on the first page,
which we learned, was his mission wherever he would travel. Aside
from searing in newly appointed judges, he also addressed the
national IBP Convention held this year in Cagayan de Oro.
Evidently, the Mindanao station does not run out of its share of
judges and lawyers. The volume and nature of cases are the same as
those in Manila. The similarity disappears though, when office
supplies and equipment run out, at which time, the reason would
always simply be: funds from Manila.
The simple living that Cagayan de Oro is known for, is coupled with the
beauty of nature everywhere. There are white-sand islands and
beaches, mountains, rapids, caves, and others. This, therefore,
means a world of adventure, such as trekking, rappelling, white water
rafting, scuba diving, etc. I have even crossed a creaky wooden
bridge 150 ft. high a la Indiana Jones, and hooked myself to a string
to “zip” back over the same abyss.
Perhaps, it was with a sigh then, that the PJ was talking to me about Cagayan
de Oro. Whatever it was, I know now what he had meant.