Monthly Archives: February 2023

Light—April 14, 2014

There’s another big typhoon out in the ocean.

Elder Hall looked up information about the storm on the internet. It was a very large typhoon right on track to hit Cebu. It was moving about 25 knots per hour. The next day it had slowed to 5 knots per hour. The next day the typhoon dissipated.

Well, I guess we missed that storm.

On Thursday April 10, President Schmutz came to conduct his last Zone Interviews. He presented a workshop on following the light of Christ. He spoke of the three voices that we hear:

  1. Our own voice, or the voice going on inside our minds at all times: This voice gets better as we respond to spirit, and worse as we reject the light. It is the voice of who we are at the moment.

2. The voice of the devil and his angels: He throws “fiery darts” but cannot see where they land, or how effective they are until we act.

The adversary seeks to smother the voice of the Spirit. His is a murmuring voice, a voice of perceived injustice, a seductive, soothing voice, a voice of intellectualism, a proud, flattering, cynical, entertaining, commercial, delirious voice.

When we learn to recognize that voice, we can simply choose not to listen.  If we do not “give way to the temptations, that the evil one have place in our hearts to destroy our peace and afflict our souls” (see 2 Ne 4:27), then after a while he will get tired and shift to another target.

3. The voice of the Spirit: It is given to us as we seek the Light of Christ. It will enlighten our minds, as “there is none else save God that knowest thy thoughts and the intents of thy heart.” (see D&C 6:14-15).  We can recognize the voice of the Spirit because it invites us and entices us to do good continually, and to love God. The way to judge this voice “is plain, that ye may know with a perfect knowledge, as the daylight is from the dark.” (Moro 7:15)

If we choose the light, day by day, then the revelatory power of the Holy Ghost can become our constant guide.


On Saturday night the clouds, heavily laden with moisture sucked up by the typhoon winds, moved over the islands, and it began to rain. It rained hard and almost continually for the next three days.  Houses built in the lower spots were flooded. People began worrying that it would be a cold summer.

Because of the time zone difference of 14,000 miles, we watched the General Woman’s meeting on Saturday April 5, and General conference on Saturday and Sunday April 12 and 13. The conference was a pleasant contrast to the storm that beat outside. We went in and out of the rain several times during the break between meetings on Sunday. When the session started again, we were damp and as we sat the air conditioning, we wished for a warm blanket, even though the temperature outside was in nearly 80 F. (27 C).

On Sunday night we went out to visit a new member family. The trail which had been hard and dry a few days before was now a lake, and we crossed on the narrow elevated wooden planks that served as a bridge. Our shoes turned into large clumps of mud.

On Wednesday the sun came out. We rejoiced in the light and gave thanks that the rain stopped before the awesome Youth Conference, which was scheduled for April 17, 18, and 19.

We enjoyed the Youth Conference at the Hidden Valley Mountain Resort, which included a 7 AM arrival; a devotional with the Area Executive Secretary and his wife; getting-to-know-you activities; a talent night where each Branch presented an original dramatic music and dance fairy tale interpretation with elaborate costumes; a Mission: Possible program; water games and swimming; unity-building games; a semi-formal dance; Zumba; and a closing testimony meeting. We left on Saturday morning to attend a wedding in Pinamungajan, then returned to make sure that everybody and everything returned home.

We enjoyed the light of the conference and were glad that Lewis and Celia were able to play in the sun while they were here.

Roads—March 7, 2014

March 7, 2014

Do you want to take Manipis Road back to Toledo? It is the oldest road in Cebu.
Is it open now?
Yes, but it is rough.
Is it rougher than the road to Casoy?
Let’s try it. We may not pass this way again.
Then you need to take the road on the right side of the overpass.
Elder Hall took the turn. The road wound past houses and tindahans before beginning the climb along the edge of a steep ravine.

Within 12 kilometers (7.4 miles), the Manipis Road climbs to 490 meters (1,620 feet) above sea level. So at points, there are 250-meter (830-foot) sheer drops to the level below.
The original road was about 3 meters (10 feet) wide. The construction you see is to widen the road.

This road looks like an Idaho mountain road.

The 46-kilometer Cebu-Toledo Road was one of the most expensive and important public works projects ever carried out by the American colonial government during its first decade in the Philippines. Blasting of the mountains and construction of the road began on June 1, 1905 and was finished in 1909 at the cost of about P2 million (in 1909 prices). It was finished by the future mayor of Baguio, Eusebius James Halsema, consulting engineer of the Bureau of Public Works. It was his first project in the Philippines, a baptism of fire for him. Its construction cost was second only to the Zigzag or Kennon Road in Baguio. Both were started almost at the same time and both often crumbled at certain sections during typhoons and were quickly repaired thereafter.

It was, and still is, one of the most beautiful mountain roads in the country.

In the early days of Toledo City, the only way to Cebu City was passing through the rough mountainous terrain of Manipis Road. Sometime in 1938, a Japanese firm opened a copper mine in Lutopan (Brgy. Don Andres Soriano) known as Lutopan Copper Mines. This was abandoned in the advent of World War II. Its mining rights were purchased by Soriano a Cia in 1953 and since then has been renamed as Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation, once acclaimed as the biggest copper mines in the Far East. A sister corporation was established in 1958 called the Atlas Fertilizer Corporation at Sangi, Toledo City. This was the second fertilizer plant in the Philippines.

In the 1980’s, the South Coastal Road (SCR), which passes through the South Road Properties (SRP)., was completed, The SCR starts at the area near Pier I in Cebu City, follows the eastern line of the SRP, enters Talisay City and ends at the point when it merges with the old highway to the south in Lawaan, Talisay. The Naga-Toledo Road branches from the old highway, providing a southern route from Cebu to Toledo.

In the 90’s, another governor opened an ambitious third link. Gov. Lito Osmeña caused the construction of an otherwise inconceivable avenue. He practically sculptured roads out of mountain sides. To avoid circuitous ways, he connected lower mountains peaks with massive earth movements. By building the trans-central highway, Gov. Osmeña linked Cebu City and Toledo City via the town of Balamban. Although longer compared to the two earlier road ways, some travelers started using it because first it offered some breath taking views and besides, the concrete pavement was so wide. The road expedited the development of shipyards in Balamban.