Dream Catching in Villareal

by Marivel Camilon-Sacendoncillo

(The Author is the Executive Director of the Local Government Academy of the Department of the Interior and Local Government. She is the eldest daughter of Ignacio Jumadiao-Camilon and Maria Varela-Gelera. She is married to Engr. Danilo J. Sacendoncillo and was blessed with three children: John Paul, June Marni and Jeremy Daniel.)

A typical Villahanon dreams of progress and believes that it comes faster when you leave Villareal. I was driven by the same belief. Many of us who left the comforts of home and family have been proven right. Others have failed miserably because dreaming is not all it takes to succeed.

During moonlit nights when I was in my teens, I would sit at the pantalan with some of members of the Villareal Youth Crusaders (VYC) and imagined the future ahead of us. The VYC was a group of young people, driven with passion for life, energized by the vision of a progressive Villareal and commonly motivated by a desire for a better life.

The pantalan served as our park and was witness to many moments of joy and laughter. It was at the pantalan where we had endless conversations about school, family and our teenage life… where we dared to dream big. And the pantalan stood still, quietly listening to us when we reached for the stars and aspired for things beyond our reach.

I have always been a dreamer and will never cease to be one. My dreams included that for family, friends, the community and myself. Those dreams continued to grow bigger through the years for I ached a better life not only for my community but my country, as well. And in my mind, the only way I could fulfill my dreams was through education and a good paying job.

But dreaming was not enough.

Achieving it required a formula: SEE, BE, DO and HAVE… then allowing God to take care of the rest.

SEEing is having a very clear picture of what I want to achieve.

BEing means committing myself to it.

DOing is about taking concrete steps towards it.

HAVE ing is capturing and laying hold of it.

See, Be, Do and Have. These have been my guideposts in my journey.

But through the acid test of life itself, I learned that this is not enough. Divine Providence bestows the final touches to my dreams, taking it to its ultimate fulfillment. And the past five decades of my life prove that God does so wonderfully.

As I embarked on my life journey, significant people who helped me define my future made SEEing it with a 20-20 vision easy. Foremost among them were my parents who helped me weave that future. Tatay use to tell me that I can be bigger than myself; consistently challenging me to achieve more than what I thought I could even at a young age. As a young girl I thought Tatay did not care to share in my happiness. I remember vividly that he never went up the stage every time I received an academic award and was not around to witness my college graduation, though I finished it with honors. I took all these against him. But eventually, I realized that Tatay was motivating me to stretch myself, give my very best each time, because he recognized that I could do better and achieve more. This realization allowed me to discover that I can be the best in whatever I want to be and push my capacities beyond the limits. It led me to see the future with hope and optimism.

As I created a clear vision and saw it more distinctly, my BEing started to change. I began to see myself differently. I declared to myself that I would become the great person that I wanted and was designed to be. Greatness that is not measured by material affluence nor power, but by the number of lives I am able to touch and the quality of relationships that I am able to nurture. It was not an easy task because Providence had to touch my life first. I did not wait for other people to do it for me. This required a self-assessment of my personal capacities, a review of my life values, a recast of the way I related with others and a redefinition of LIFE itself. Many paradigm shifts occurred in this part of my journey. However difficult this stage was, I emerged stronger and a whole piece largely because of a person who loved and supported unconditionally to the point of marrying me. He is my dear husband Engr. Danilo Jerusalem Sacendoncillo. He was there every step of the way. Our  marriage, though not perfect, was a partnership that made us better persons. We grew and matured together to solid heights of respect and meaning.

DOing the concrete actions demanded passion, energy, focus and the use of my innate talents. It meant working hard, investing in myself, continually learning and sacrificing pleasure for productive pursuits. I saw hardships and difficulties brought about by poverty and inadequacies not as hurdles but opportunities to be and do better. Every obstacle became a venue to be creative and strengthen every fiber of my being. There were times when I was tempted to surrender to complacency and apathy but my dream for greatness, dreams that started in the pantalan in Villa, pulled me through. My family and friends and the memory of those who have gone before me- my father, great grandparents, uncles, aunts and mentors provided me with the armor to survive and survive well.

Every time I want to quit, the voices from my roots prod me on: YOU WERE BORN A WINNER, SO DON’T QUIT OR SURRENDER. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. These words sustain me still and enable me to conquer my fears of defeat halfway in my journey.

The challenges persist but with certainty victory comes. Every victory is a piece of a puzzle in my life’s journey, one marked with exciting possibilities and fellow travelers in search of their own destiny.

HAVing is holding on to and laying hold of my dream. The fire of hope and the beacon of light guide me in this phase of the journey. Here I embrace the inspiration to continue and not be discouraged so that I may also inspire others.

As I journey through life, an important factor is consistently visible – God’s Hand. Every new day for me is a gift from the LORD and a personal offering back to Him. Since it is a gift, I use the day optimally, mindful that He always has the final say. I firmly believe that God has gifted me with talents and what I do with those talents is my gift to Him.


In every Villahanon’s heart is quest for what we were made for… what our heritage is about. A heritage of greatness that we are all proud of. And greatness is about our innate capacity as Villahanons to work together for a common cause, exemplified for one by the Bayanihan Road

Project, An Dalan Ni Sta Rosa.

As Villa has generously given me the best of what I can dream of, it is time to pay forward… to sustain the tradition of communal greatness, honor Villa with our support to its families and barangays and to bring inspiration to future Villahanons.

As Villareal allowed me as a child to imagine a big and bright future, it caught the bad dreams and brought the good ones to pass.

I had bad dreams too. Dreams of failures, broken relationships and tragedy. But the dream nets of Villa caught the bad dreams… and let the good dreams slip by through the center hole of the moonlit nights in pantalan.

Villa has and will always be the dream catcher of my lifetime. And I know that the best is yet to come.