San Nicolas and Santa Teresita: Historic and Folkloric Notes about some of its Barrios

Exploring forgotten stories about the barrios of San Nicolas and Santa Teresita.

Balandis: the Slanted Houses Along a Road in Cuenca/Alitagtag

Exploring this quaint area in Cuenca and Alitagtag where the houses are slanted away from the road.

Mataasnakahoy: Historical and Folkloric Trivia about some of Its Barrios

Revisiting obscure barrio histories of the barrios of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy.

An Old Tourist Spot in Taal Called the Pansipit Fishery

A throwback to a by-gone era, when tourists around Luzon visited this resort in Taal and Lemery.

The Hitchhiker who Gets on at the Zigzag in Cuenca Batangas Lipa

A tall tale familiar to all who drive through this curving road in Cuenca. Is it really a tall tale, though?

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29 September 2010

In and Out of Vigan


The Brother Lolo might have worked us half to the death; but I could always coax him into treating us into an end-of-term trip. Like this one time in early March of 2003. We had just ended a council meeting and all it took was for me to tell him, “Brother, punta naman tayo Vigan… Hindî pa ako nakakarating…”

It was that easy. “Sigue,” the Brother Lolo replied; and he proceeded to instruct his secretary to make all the necessary arrangements.

28 September 2010

January: Once Fiesta Season for DLSL Students


January is, I mean… The 2nd, I believe, is Pinagtung-ulan. Followed by Mataas-na-Kahoy on the 3rd… Malvar on the 10th… Batangas City on the 16th… Lipa on the 20th… Lodlod on the 24th

And these are just the ones that I know. God knows what other parokyas celebrate the feasts of their patrons this month of January. Bad time to be a pig or a goat!

27 September 2010

Lomi to the Death!


First, a word of caution to all would-be readers: if there is no panciteria within 100 kilometers as the crow flies, proceed no further. If you happen to be abroad, read and be prepared to weep. Do not – repeat, not – blame me for your misery; I’m just a blogger.

As things happened, I had the good fortune this morning of attending the first-ever Lomi Festival, jointly organized by De La Salle Lipa’s College of International Hospitality Management and the city government.

26 September 2010

The Our Father: when a Teacher turned "Murderous" in the Middle of a Religion Class


Classroom management, young teachers find out soon enough, is all about establishing at the soonest possible time within a classroom who the boss is. In this context, the soonest possible time will probably have to be right on the very first day of school. This is when the “little devils” are adjusting to a new environment; probably some new classmates. This is also when they size up a new teacher as either fodder for year-long mischief or a no-can-do.

25 September 2010

Multiple Choice

I was surprised to find the parking lot remarkably free of vehicles when I came in today, until I remembered that the Integrated School was having its study day before tomorrow’s quarterly examinations.

Can’t say I’m overwhelmingly in favor of having these so-called study days before exams. We did not use to have these before; and we coped, alright!

24 September 2010

Presidents and Hotdogs

This morning, there was an article on the Inquirer web site saying that President Noynoy and his entourage spent US$54 on hotdog sandwiches bought from a street vendor in New York. This was the second article I came across at the same web site in the last few days that reported something about the President eating hotdogs. The first – if I remember correctly – was when the entourage touched down at San Francisco International. Somebody from the press corps immediately twitted that the President rushed off to grab a hotdog sandwich or something.

23 September 2010

Number Johnny 5

Briggs was having a bad day at the office this afternoon during scrimmage. I was happy with the way he started. Energetic for once, he was not only fulfilling his offensive duties out wide on the wings, he was also tracking back to help defend when we did not have the ball.

22 September 2010

Da Ep, Da Fi, Da Bi and Da Vi

When I was a young student still going through basic education, if I was in an English class, I thought of myself as “Filipino.” On the other hand, if I was in a Pilipino class, naturally I thought of myself as “Pilipino.”

It was pretty straightforward, actually. The Pilipino language, we were taught in Pilipino classes, did not have the letters c, f, q, v and z. Of course, we were also taught that Pilipino was an artificial language based on Tagalog. Not that I could really see the point to that because, being a native Tagalog-speaker, it was a simple case for me and my classmates of speaking Tagalog a bit more formally in Pilipino classes.

21 September 2010

Thinking Like Americans

That Asian-American consul who initially denied my first United States visa application, she got it all wrong! If I was the sort who wanted to sneak my way into an American citizenship, I would have done it much sooner in my life.

20 September 2010

The Peace Bell Brought the Brother President No Peace


I had all but forgotten that once upon a time, we had this project called the Peace Bell. This afternoon, I was walking back my office when a colleague, accompanied by the architect who designed the fabulous Capilla San Juan Bautista de la Salle, told me that “my” peace bell was, as a matter of fact, right at the capilla.

18 September 2010

No Bomb; and No Threat: the 2010 DLSL Bomb Hoax

Image credit:  Facebook Group Stop Giving Us Bomb Threats at De La Salle Lipa!
You can have the best-laid plans, but when a situation arises, more often than not, human nature simply takes over. Take last school year’s bomb hoax. We do hold evacuation drills every now and again, but when the situation escalated, contingency plans went flying out the window!

17 September 2010

The Balikbayan Box

During my brief visit to the St. Mary’s College of California in 2000, except for the first night, I and my colleague lived at the Brothers’ Community which hosted us for the duration of our stay in the United States. Peculiar to St. Mary’s was that, although it was only one school, there were actually two communities of Brothers within the same campus. I will not get into the details since this is not really about the Brothers.

16 September 2010

The Facebook Happy Birthday Farce


Once in a while, when I need to clear my mind so I can refocus it on the task I am currently trying to stay with, I will saunter off to a blogger site so I can read anything that catches my fancy. Earlier today, I chanced upon this blog entry that was entitled “Is Facebook a Farce?” As things happened, the writer said that she was getting tired of people’s over-reliance on Facebook to keep tabs on friends’ birthdays and was curious to find out what would happen if she deliberately changed the birthday she had registered on Facebook to a phony one.

15 September 2010

Summer Training When Life Was Simpler

Once upon a time, when life was simpler and certainly way before cumbersome things like activity waivers were invented, if we wanted to go off somewhere, we just went. It was as simple as that. Life as a small school had its perks, albeit often understated.

14 September 2010

Welcome to the United States! All That Trouble to Start a DLSL Exchange Program with a La Salle School in California

At the front gate of the St. Mary's College of California, a Lasallian school.

It was May 2000; and Brother Rafael Donato really should have known better than to announce during the employees’ general assembly – no less – that I and a colleague, Arnold Capuloy, would be crossing the whole wide expanse of water that is the Pacific Ocean in September to visit a De La Salle-operated school in the Bay Area, California. There was mild applause when the announcement was made; but since I had yet to apply for a visa, I was actually cringing inside.

13 September 2010

The Tail

There was, at the supermarket the other day, this tanigue tail that was just plain begging to be bought. I took one look at it and thought for a bit. I took a second look; and then I allowed myself to be cajoled into parting with some of my cash. The tanigue, it must be said, is not cheap anymore.

12 September 2010

In Defense of God

It is disturbing, to say the least, when Science tries too hard to disprove the existence of God. In a new publication, Stephen Hawking, a world renowned physicist, argues that God did not create the universe.

“God may exist,” Hawking said on CNN’s Larry King Live, “but Science can explain the universe without the need for a creator.” He went on, “Gravity and quantum theory cause universes to be created spontaneously out of nothing.”

10 September 2010

No Fun In It


The other day, the high school boys’ football team began the long journey to the National Games by playing in the city-level Division Meet. In true Pinoy style, there were four days to the meet; but the football competition involving three teams was played just on the final day. Lovely... But this is the Philippines... We rather tend to do things our way...

The Lady at the Eatery

Quick! Examine that empty dish just below the title of this post and tell me in about two seconds exactly what food used to be in it!

But we will get back to this later…

08 September 2010

Noodly Day

“Daanan ako ng hindi pa nag-aalmusal,” was the text message I sent Kobe this morning as soon as I entered my office. He was at the door almost as soon as Windows Vista finished loading.

For the sake of speed more than anything else, the food I chose this morning at the cafeteria was one of the unimaginative set meals that is thoughtlessly prepared everyday for those who cannot find it in them to eat breakfast before leaving home: fried rice, sunny-side up and skinless longganisa.

07 September 2010

Need Nail File

Those of you who have flown on commercial jet planes know that there is this moment a few seconds after takeoff when the roar of the engines seems to die down and the plane – hulking metal contraption that it is – for the briefest of moments seems to be just hanging there stupidly in mid-air.

Did you see Madagascar 2?

04 September 2010

In Fairness to Noynoy

The Inquirer reports that the President has so generously taken responsibility for the botched rescue attempt involving tourists from Hong Kong recently held hostage by a former policeman. To quote directly from the Inquirer, the President’s words were, “At the end of the day, I am responsible for everything that transpired.” The remark, the Inquirer further stated, was in relation to remarks made by Sen. Francis Escudero that Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo faces a difficult confirmation process before the Commission on Appointments.

03 September 2010

Batch Commonalities

Having worked in basic education for most of my career, I have – naturally – developed not just a few insights about things related to my work. Among the many conclusions that I have arrived at is that batches of students do tend to have commonalities that even they may not be aware of.

02 September 2010

The Better System?

We had guests today from an Indonesian university with which the school recently established a formal academic linkage. The guests were all university top brass, excepting the two student leaders they took along with them.