Panalaron is one of the few “built-up” Barangays (meaning it’s not mainly used for agriculture, or mainly forest or swamp or open area), nestled in between Poblacion, Salog, Tahusan, Santo Nino I, Gadiangon, and Labrador .
According to Wikipedia, Panalaron has a population of 588 residents, but this Barangay holds a special place in my heart because this is where both my parents grew up. I don’t know if this is common in the Phillippines or in Hinunangan, but I don’t think it’s very likely that many American parents grew up around the corner from each other.
My mom and her two sisters grew up on Panalaron Street and my dad and his eight brothers and sisters grew up literally around the corner on Calle Nueva street.
The picture above is something I noticed in most Barangays. There is a wall with a hand painted Vision statement and Mission statement, as well the names of all the officers for that Barangay. I don’t understand Visaya so I’m not sure what is written on the wall. But I do know that every Barangay has a captain that I think is elected, and who reports to the mayor of Hinunangan.
The picture to the left is what Panalaron street looked like when I last visited in 2009. As you can see there are nice paved roads with lane dividers, and I believe most people in Hinunangan get around by motorbike or bicycle and I think most Hinunangnons stick to a lane when they ride around town. In big cities like Manila or Cebu, the traffic is so horrible I’m told the lanes and merely suggestions and not actually used by anyone. But in Hinunangan, traffic really isn’t an issue. The picture was actually taken by me when I was on a bike riding from my Aunt’s place on Panalaron to my cousin’s place in Poblacion. I think if you follow Panalaron just past the “Pulis” sign you can veer left to head back to Poblacion. If you continue straight you run into Salog.
Perpendicular to Panalaron street, almost right where the “Brgy. Panalaron” sign is located, is Calle Nueva Street, where my dad and his 8 brothers and sisters grew up. Like many streets in Panalaron there are many little tiny shops that sell all kinds of things like soda, candies, food, cigarettes, etc. These shops are called “seri-seri shops” because they sell everything, like a 7-eleven. But they are tiny, you don’t walk inside them, you sort of just walk up to a little hole in the wall and point to things you want to buy then they give it to you.
But for the most part, Calle Nueva Street is mostly houses. Some houses look like the owners have invested money back into the home (concrete walls, upgrading the roof, adding fences, concrete driveway), but there are also a lot of lots that have houses that look like what I imagine Hinunangan looked like when my parents were growing up (thatched roof, wood frame, open space for windows). These two styles are juxtaposed in the pictures below, and both houses are directly across from each other on Calle Nueva in Barangay Panalaron.