TABAK FESTIVAL: Residents slam noise in basketball tournaments

TABACO CITY --- This city is celebrating its Tabak festival for the whole month of June this year but not all are happy, especially the residents of a barangay whose multi-purpose hall plays host to a basketball tournament that will run for 12 days, from 1:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight. This city is known for its good quality bolo-making industry. Bolo in Bikol is ‘tabak’, hence the Tabak Festival that sounds like where the name of the city came from. The month-long city-wide celebration features various activities such as “padyak” race, sports tournaments, Mutya ng Tabak, Sibidan (boat) race, Ginoong Tabak, Bicol X Bands competition, and many more. But many residents in Barangay Baranghawon in this city slammed the basketball tournament that started last June 2 until its 10th day when classes have already opened. Many residents, especially the elder ones, women and mothers with their little children, complained they could not stand the noise and chaos that come with the hotly-contested and widely-watched basketball games. A mother lamented that her two elementary school children almost fail to catch up with their morning classes due to lack of sleep after watching the basketball games. Senior citizens, too, especially those not in good health, assailed the too-much shouting attributed to the excited crowd and made even more irritating with the bouncy music blown out in full volume by the sound system. They wondered why the basketball games were not scheduled on daytime when students are inside the classrooms or timed to hold them on weekends. A family residing around the basketball court said the basketball tournament gives them sleepless nights because of the rapid noise and constant sound of the public address system. Residents said they had experienced having been freed from the basketball noises for 7 months when the new covered court serving as a multi-purpose was under construction but just the same had to bear the indiscriminate dribbling of balls on road surfaces that serve as temporary basketball courts. A former kagawad said that two former barangay chairs had already indicated the relocation of the basketball court in a site that would less disturb the residents, but to no avail. Some residents said they have already alerted President Duterte through the hot line 8888 so that something may be done about the problem. One 8888 texter lamented that even during the 3-hour Day Care classes at the Barangay Hall, basketball games continue to be played with players shouting and cursing in foul and vulgar language which they said pollutes the innocent minds of the children studying at the day care center. The Barangay Tanod chief and his deputy confirmed the irritant noises attendant to the basketball games. They suggested that the Tabak festival basketball games be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. only and that none should be held when they coincide with seminars and other official functions being held at the barangay hall with its adjacent basketball court. This was the arrangement two years ago but was since then set aside for unexplained reason. A resident said it was difficult to ask their barangay chair to help control the noise and chaos for obvious reason: “Who will complain to a barangay official who is himself part-owner of a firing range in an open lot situated at Barangay Purok 6 where shooting tournaments are occasionally being held.” It is like a war zone near our place when these shooting tournaments and practices are being held, she added.