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Teacher-inventor wins hearts of GenSan students

John Unson - The Philippine Star

GEN. SANTOS CITY, Philippines - Ethnic B’laans at the foot of Mt. Parker adopted as their own a school teacher for inventing a water system and sources of renewable energy now benefitting 169 school children and their families.

The B’laans, led by their tribal datu, Saliku Dansay, even came close to barricading at the city schools division office in Gen. Santos City when they learned that William Moraca will be transferred to another school in Sitio Klolang, about 7 kilometers away.

Moraca was head teacher then of Sitio Datal Salvan Elementary School.

Sitio Datal Salvan is a Bilaan hinterland enclave in Barangay San Jose in Gen. Santos City.

Grade school pupils under Moraca even wept when they learned he would be transferred to Sitio Klolang Elementary School, also in Barangay San Jose, so he can help improve the school and develop potential sources of energy and a water system for local Bilaan settlers.

Moraca’s first project in Barangay Klolang was a portable windmill attached to an automobile alternator charger for car batteries that can supply direct current for 12-volt vehicle lamps available in hardware stores.

A graduate of the Ramon Magsaysay Memorial College in Gen. Santos City, Moraca, born on May 28, 1969, is not only a teacher, but an inventor as well.

Moraca learned how to design sources of power using renewable energy from the Gen. Santos Trade School, where he finished high school.

Moraca first became popular in Barangay Datal Salvan when he designed a water system ran by magnets from appliances and toys attached to a contraption designed to pump water from a stream to the hinterland surroundings of the school where he handles elementary classes.

“It functions based on the polarity principles of magnets, like poles repel, unlike poles attract,” Moraca said.

Moraca also invented for the school a source of electricity using an automobile ignition coil, a sparkplug, and a contraption that can collect electricity from the ground and the rains.

“I even got accidentally electrocuted by that electricity-generating facility,” Moraca told The Mindanao Cross.

Moraca is known among B’laans as a friendly and courteous teacher, who is close to traditional elders imposing centuries-old tribal norms and practices intended to maintain law and order in Sitio Datal Salvan.

He said tribal leaders have been supportive of his projects, to the point that they provide him with tribesmen to help him put them up whenever he needs manpower support.

“When they learned I would be transferred to Klolang Elementary School, they protested and told me they will stage a protest rally at the city proper. I just politely told them I’m a government worker and I need to obey orders,” Moraca said.

On a special arrangement, he now works for both schools in Datal Savan and Klolang.

Moraca said he had told the B’laans in Datal Salvan not to worry about his transfer to Klolang, since most of the settlers there are related to them both by blood and by affinity.

Moraca said his wife, Eulalia, who is a disbursing officer at the office of the Department of Education in Gen. Santos City, and their three children, Christy Jane, 22, Wella Jane, 19, and Dianne Rose, 17, have been very supportive of his love for inventing anything from scrap and recyclable wastes.

He said the only serious problem besetting the ethnic B’laans in Datal Savan and Klolang that he cannot help solve is the poor condition of the roads connecting both areas to the nearest highway that can link them to the city proper.

“The roads are terrible. The very poor, deplorable condition of the roads in the two areas is one factor that makes the lives of my Bilaan friends and pupils so miserable,” Moraca said. 

BARANGAY DATAL SALVAN

BARANGAY KLOLANG

BARANGAY SAN JOSE

BILAAN

CITY

DATAL SAVAN AND KLOLANG

MORACA

SANTOS CITY

SCHOOL

SITIO DATAL SALVAN

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