Monday, September 22, 2008


"Isabela Awaits You" Project was initially a documentary project of Fr. Angel Luga, the Parish Priest of the Parish of Cauyan and the Luga Clan to retrace the roots of the Great Ibanag Hero, Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga to commemorate his 75th Death Anniversary on 2010.

Unlike other national heroes, who were of Filipino-Spanish-Chinese descent, Gen. Mateo Noriel Luga, is an "Ibanag", a tribesman, who rose from the ranks to become a general. He fought with the Revolutionary Government of Gen. Aguinaldo against the Spaniards from Cagayan to Manila and was sent on a mission to Cebu as a Military Adviser to the Revolutionary Government of Cebu. When his family were taken hostage to force him to surrender by his enemies, he slipped into enemy territory, rescued his love ones and returned fighting an honorable warfare. He nearly captured General Henry Lawton and sent his fleet of navy running away from battle never to set foot in Cebu again. His accounts were written by his enemies who saw much battle in the Philippines during the Fil-Am War, out of respect and admiration.

He was among the last generals who surrendered to the Americans after General Emilio Aguinaldo was captured. He served the Philippine Scout thereafter as a peace officer running after bandits and brigands after the war to maintain peace and order and reached as far as Mindanao running after lawless elements. He resigned from the Philippine Scout because of his nationalistic ideals, which runs counter to U.S. policies. He later worked with the government to distribute lands for his fellow Filipinos in Sagay, Negros Oriental and lived as a farmer with his family in a small farm. He died in peace, a poor man, while on his way home to Tumauini where he wanted to be burried. He wanted to return home where he started his battle for the country he dearly love: the Philippines. Beside his coffin were his comrades, who paid their last respect with no less than General Emilio Aguinaldo and remaining Katipuneros carrying his coffin to his grave. To date, however, his remains is nowhere to be found. A hero, who has been forgotten by his people, province and maybe even by this nation, yet lived in the hearts many. His story were told, retold and written not by his fellow Filipino, but his fierciest enemy then out of respect and admiration for waging an honorable warfare: "In Luga you can see a man you will not forget as long as you lived", an account made by a US soldier who saw much battle in the Philippines during the Fil-Am War. A forgotten hero whose last wish is to be brought home, a sad truth about Philippine history.

What was merely a simple documentary project, with the help of some IT teachers of the Diocesian Schools of Ilagan, who voluntarily participated in the project, has turned into a full scale province wide project. The video production prepared by the Luga Clan about the late General was even featured in America On-Line (AOL) Videos, among others, where Tumanuini, the birth place of the late General was mentioned. It was, which first noticed it, Tumanuini.Com, an association of Tumanuinians in U.S. also noticed the site as well as other Isabelenos and our kababayan Filipinos here and abroad.

In his honor, his descendents made this project in behalf of the Ibanags, those from Cagayan and the Filipinos per se to once again rekindle the Greatness of the Ibanags, where the first civilization in the Philippines actually begun, i.e., in Cagayan Valley and our Great Grandparents who fought for our freedom.

The project shall undertake its second expeditionary mission soon, to upgrade our hastily produced and edited AVP, into DVD format. Herein site shall be interlinked with other sites worldwide, such as "ALIMUKON", were it all started and that of USEC. ROBERT T. RIVERA's: PILIPINAS NGAYON NA! , which already enjoy thousands of viewers PINOY BLOGOSPHERE.COM, the biggest Filipino cyber society.

We welcome everybody who are interested to be featured in our site, which we shall develop. You may send pictures and information of your products and services you wanted to promote and we shall try our best to publish it for FREE! We also welcome news, annoncements, opinions and suggestions. Our friends here and abroad, our media partners and sponsors are very much willing to extend their support to promote Isabela, the Ibanags and our country as a whole.

Please notify us if you are interested to join this crusade to once again document places, culture, people and the uniqueness of "Isabela and now to include Cagayan and Ilocos Norte (if God permits)" for the world to see and to be featured and promoted in this site with the help of our friends, relatives and media partners here and abroad.

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