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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28 November 2010

When I Start Thinking It’s Christmas

PAGASA has been talking about the northeasterlies for a few weeks now; except that, as far as I was concerned, they seemed to have gotten lost in the streets of Novaliches and never got here. In fairness, the layang-layangs have been here for a couple of months now; and as sure as I live and breathe, their arrival has always been the sign that the winds have changed.

27 November 2010

Original or SM?

I bought a couple of original DVD’s from a shop at Rob yesterday: Precinct 13, starring Ethan Hawke and Laurence Fishburne; and Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker, starring Ewan McGregor.

If you know me, than you guessed it! I rummaged through the “on sale” rack. Each cost me 250.

Made By Men… Made By God

Early this evening, right after training, Bierhoff and I agreed to go to Rob to get something to eat. He went off to log out of the biometric system, and for a while I was alone by the covered walk parallel to the Food Palace.

26 November 2010

Wearing My Blues

Because it’s summer vacation and there’s really nothing much to really dress up for, I take the opportunity to wear my blues more often.

Were it not for convention, I would wear them the whole year round. I mean, in the eighties, I used to enter classrooms wearing a pair of denims and a shirt – my favorite attire, the style I’m most comfortable with – until a silly memo came out from somewhere saying that teachers should not be dressing so casually.

Coaching Tension: When Coaches are More Tense than Players


Isa na lang point kukunin natin!!! Walang tensyonnnnn!!!! [There’s just one more point to get!!! No tension!!!]

Thus screamed the Adamson Lady Falcons’ coach at her players while they walked towards her for a time-out at set point of a university volleyball play-off five-setter.

25 November 2010

Regional Delicacies


The College of International Hospitality and Tourism Management has this delightful habit of organizing these colorful little events; and I always get invited. Whenever I can, I make it a point to cross the road at the very least for a look-see.

Today, they had this affair held in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the school’s tertiary education department. There were simple ceremonies held at the lobby of the laboratory hotel early in the morning to kick off the event. I had a meeting, so I was unable to attend the ceremonies.

24 November 2010

The Biggest Little City in the World

Whatever in hell that means!

A decade ago, during a visit to the Bay Area in California with a colleague, one of the alumni we met sort of floated this invitation to join him and his family on a weekend trip to Vegas. Vegas! The mere thought of the bright lights made my glands ooze with hormones!

23 November 2010

Less Jurassic!

This being Tuesday, I did not scrimmage with the boys during training late in the afternoon. Just as well; it rained as though by clockwork as training was about to start. It would have been bad for my new Mizuno boots, which I had grudgingly purchased the other week for lack of choices. The boots’ fine leather is gentle to the feet; but amphibious the boots are not. Rain will not be kind to the pair.

22 November 2010

Burn the Bra in the Filipino Context


I was on my way home just after having dinner at Rob when my attention was caught at the jeepney station by a conductor calling out to passengers. I normally do not pay the jeepney conductors – or the ever-present barkers – any attention. But this one had long hair tied in a ponytail and wore a skirt…

21 November 2010

Born to Nurse

There is something so reassuring about having a nurse – albeit a student nurse – traveling with the team each weekend for our league matches. Daren, skipper of the college team, is also a junior Nursing student.

17 November 2010

A Different Dimension

Earlier this evening, I arrived home and was opening the gate leading to the short driveway in front of my house when I happened to look up at the eastern skies. Tell tale green, yellow and red lights were arching almost directly above my neighbor’s roof, the sound the lights were making hardly audible because of the din created by vehicles passing by on the road just in front of my house.

15 November 2010

The Confession

I traveled Saturday with the high school boys for the annual Alaska Cup; and the fact that we made it all the way to the semi-finals meant that we were at the Alabang Country Club until late in the afternoon.

It is always a tricky affair, this Alaska Cup. Because there are so many teams from all over the country involved, only the top team from each of the six groups is guaranteed passage into the knockout quarterfinals. If a team loses or even draws one of its group matches, its chances of progressing into the next stage are significantly diminished.

12 November 2010

Tilapias Nibbling

I was in a top administration conference-cum-get-together last Friday in this public resort in Pansol. Just informal discussions, really, and most of these were in the pool.

The perfect place for most of the discussions was the corner of the pool, where hot spring water was pumped in through vents in the wall. Make no mistake; the water was hot! In fact, since there was a drizzle practically all day long, there were moments when that corner of the pool was steaming.

11 November 2010

The Things I Tell The Boys

Many boys who trained under me will attest to the fact that I am not exactly the easiest person to get along with, particularly when things are not going right on that football field. I can be extremely difficult to please; and – like many coaches – I sometimes have my own colorful way of getting across a message.

10 November 2010

The Irony of the Old Batangueño Ililipad sa Makulot Threat


That mountain that rises from the municipality of Cuenca to overlook in all its magnificence the Taal Lake is known these days as a fabulous destination for weekend and holiday mountain trekkers. The name of the mountain, as everyone knows, is Maculot.

08 November 2010

Party Spikes


The Brits refer to them as football boots. Those pointed things under the boots that help give the player traction, these are called more like cleats or studs. This being the Philippines, there are those who do occasionally refer to them as spiked shoes – and we football players instinctively know that these are the sort who probably cannot tell a football from a beach ball.

05 November 2010

Batangas-Speak: Discovering New Words in the Batangas Dialect



The danger when you say something that I previously have not heard before and I’m around is that there is every possibility you will end up that very same night in Facebook. “You will,” I therefore promised my secretary Von-dot, “be on Facebook tonight.”

And I like to think that I am a man of my word…

03 November 2010

Brushes with Death

For somebody who has always had issues with anything associated with death, my brushes with it have always been up close and personal. In 1992, when my mother was approaching the end of her time in this dimension, we had her confined at the old Magsino Hospital uptown in Lipa City and feared this was where it would end.

It didn’t.