The Main Course: My Legal Work in my 5th Mindanao Sojourn

Our client was sued over her property in Mindanao. To know exactly the area occupied by the complainant, the land court sent surveyors. I was our client’s representative.


We looked but did not find.

The survey was scheduled on a Monday afternoon. Since my plane would arrive late in the morning, I had to be in Dipolog not later than Sunday to accommodate a two-hour travel time to Sindangan, where that property is located. But because I had other plans, I arrived Saturday.

The other plans included a trek to Linabo Peak, and an almost-forever habal-habal ride to Baga Falls in Sapang Dalaga and the white beach in Baliangao, both in Misamis Occidental.

We could not find the boundary mark even after hours of looking on one side of the property near the highway. We transferred to the other side. We asked the old man who lives near the place and all he could do was point to the ground where that mark was supposed to be. But the mark was gone.


Tino-tino grows in the wild, usually in the fields when no rice is growing. This one is not sweet.

The other marks indicated in the sketch were kilo meters away into the rice fields. It was around five in the afternoon and the surveyors were willing to return the following day to start early and finish the job. But I did not have another day in Mindanao. I pleaded that we continue looking until we find at least a mark. Only one mark, then I’d have something to report to my boss and to our client who spent for my airfare, food and accommodation, and appearance fee.


Corn that looks like rice. It’s delicious. Ate for lunch.

A tenant volunteered that near that hut across the rice fields, about a kilo meter away, is one of those marks. I was excited. We crossed rice fields to reach the place described by the man. Lo and behold, there was the mark.

The young geodetic engineer followed with his instrument on a tripod he carried on his shoulder. He set up the tripod on top of the stone we found. Then his assistant, carrying with him a prism and a two-way radio, went to the other side about 500 meters away to determine a reference point. After that, we identified the edges of the property claimed by the complainant to determine the actual size.


Where’s the shrine?

We were finished at about 6 in the evening. When the task was done, I was in a hurry to leave because I wanted to climb the Divine Mercy Shrine I could see from the rice fields.