The White House
Situated on a hill inland from the northern part of Barangay Limao, up a very rough road that is often a quagmire, when it doesn’t look like a rocky riverbed. Unlike the island’s two concrete National Highways, the unmade local roads are usually in very poor condition; little more than unmaintained potholed tracks. The General’s house (and cult HQ) command a fantastic view across the Bay of Davao towards the Philippine’s 3rd largest city (population-wise). Most of the people of Brgy Limao are cult members (or descendants of cult members). The cult demanded that they be strict vegans, eating their fruit and vegetables raw. They were also forbidden to gamble or drink alcohol…As admirable as these commandments are, you can probably see why the religion didn’t grow in popularity and why the younger generation lapse when the lights of Davao can be seen across the water. There are adherents though, and in recent months, there seems even to have been something of a resurgence as a new leader has drawn in the local youths with modern activities such as talent contests, sports events and dancing. It appears harmless from a distance and the strictures are old-fashioned enough to be welcome in the modern world of instant gratification.
The gathering ground for the resurgent cult is known as Camp 23 (because it has 23Ha of land), sitting on the southern edge of Brgy Limao bordering Brgy Catagman. The road from Catagman is worse than the road to the White House; I speak from personal experience of crashing twice on the very rough riverbed that gets worse by the week.
The day that I ventured into Camp 23 happened to be the time it was being occupied by the MNLF. Apart from the flag and the notice outside the gate, you wouldn’t have known they were there.