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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30 December 2010

The Reunion


I just came from the General Homecoming of the alumni association, hosted this year by the High School Class of 1985. As was to be expected, attendance was not as big as the organizers would have wanted. I mean, up until earlier this month, I did not know that Monday instead of today was going to be the holiday. That is a real pity because the reason the homecoming was permanently set on the 30th of December was that this had always been – until this year – a national holiday.

29 December 2010

Words That Gnaw at You

It’s not as though I’m running out of things to write about. It is just that, when something gnaws at you, one of the best ways to get this something out of your system is to simply write about it.

I learned a couple of new Tagalog words today, and I will not even jump to the conclusion that the words are native to the province. No, it was not my ignorance of these words before today that gnawed at me; instead, it was hearing the words from a Filipino-Austrian who has lived the better part of the last decade in Vienna and is back in the country for a short holiday.

28 December 2010

Indonesia and Malaysia, Roles Reversed


While at our football festival the other day, a few of the lads mentioned to me that they were surprised by the ease with which Malaysia swept aside Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup Finals first leg match held in Kuala Lumpur last Sunday. I was quick to say that I was not.

The 2nd LSFC Cup


LSFC, as if you did not already know, stands for La Salle Football Club. That may sound a bit pompous because although the boys and I – at one point and I do not even recall exactly when – tried to get ourselves organized into a real club, we never actually got around to doing so. Yet we – I and everyone who has trained under me – just think of ourselves as LSFC. It is as simple as that.

26 December 2010

Shabu-Shabu and A Long Ride Home…

Because tomorrow, our American guest Brother Brendan leaves for Manila, we treated him out to dinner tonight at a Korean restaurant called Shabu-Shabu.

“What does the name mean?” I asked the waitress who greeted us. “Cook past, eat past,” was her reply.

25 December 2010

What Say Calisto About Parked Jumbo?


I was so engrossed with something else last Saturday that I totally forgot that the Vietnamese were trying to overhaul a 0-2 deficit to the Malaysians in the second leg of the two nations’ AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final in Hanoi. Yesterday, though, I finally caught the replay.

22 December 2010

Media and the Beautiful Game

My mind has been so hopelessly programmed to bring a smirk to my lips at the sound of a Fil-American trying to enunciate in the ultimately phonetically-challenging enunciations of the Tagalog dialect that it has almost totally failed to recognize the extent of the Filipino Diaspora; and that, yes, there will be Fil-other nationalities all over the world who will be dealing with the exact same challenge.

20 December 2010

McMenemy: Not A False Dawn in Philippine Football?

Please nobody accuse me that I have turned this into a football blog. After almost half a century of not having anything of note to cheer about where the exploits of our national team are concerned, suddenly I just went through an unbelievable joyride of a fortnight. It is merely a human foible to milk every drop out of one’s personal euphoria.

19 December 2010

Philippines: It Does Not End Tonight; It Begins!

Enough said about the so-called Fil-Foreigners in the Philippine National Football Team. The crowning glory of the Indonesian national team is a player whose name is Christian Gonzales. If he is Indonesian, then I am Tom Cruise. He has an Indonesian wife, though. Will some gorgeous Filipina marry Cesc Fabregas or Steven Gerrard, please!

18 December 2010

Two Filipino Issues With the Game of Football


The two most common issues I have heard among Filipino non-football fans over the course of my life are, and not necessarily in the order I present them: first, it takes an eternity to score a goal; and, second, they cannot understand the offside rule.

17 December 2010

Quiet Indonesians! It’s the Lupang Hinirang!

The thing that distressed me the most last night about the Philippines versus Indonesia AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final was not the sight of Neil Etheridge flapping at the cross that led to the only goal of the match. All credit to the lad – he dusted himself off after the howler and simply got on with things, even catching a couple of crosses with textbook simplicity.

16 December 2010

Indonesia Has Not Won This Yet!


First of all Philippines, despite 90 minutes of football being played, as the Star Sports commentators liked to say with irritating frequency, it is only half-time. There is still a second leg to be played.

Lest your heads start to drop – and I refer to you, the fans – but for that Neil Etheridge’s howler that led to Gonzales’s goal, the Indonesians did not really create anything of note. If I belonged to the Indonesian camp, I would be a tad worried; even if the second leg is to be played at the same venue.

14 December 2010

Vizconde Case Verdict: The Truth Can Set Everyone Free

I am by no means a regular viewer of TV Patrol, but this evening I was totally held enrapt by the news program’s emotionally confusing coverage of the acquittal of Hubert Webb and company, incarcerated for the last 15 years – and four months, Webb’s father Freddie pointed out – for having been found guilty of murder in the infamous Vizconde massacre case of 1991.

13 December 2010

One Indian Christmas

There used to be, earlier this decade in the school that I work for, an Indian college student who was under the care of the Brothers. His name was Kishore. He was tall, handsome and dark-skinned, as people from the South of India – he explained to me one day – rather tend to be.

11 December 2010

Jakarta Is Not Necessarily A Disadvantage

Jose Mari Martinez, ousted president of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) but whose presidency was upheld by FIFA on the basis of a technicality, has got to be the most maligned personality in Philippine football circles during the past week. This was on the claims that, first – for all its recent successes – the national squad had not received a penny as one would have expected from the federation; and, second, as president, he meekly accepted the ASEAN Football Federation’s ruling that we do not have – in this country – a football stadium that qualifies to host an event as prestigious as the Suzuki Cup’s semi-finals.

08 December 2010

In McMenemy We Trust!

Although the scoreboard at the end of the 90 minutes flashed Philippines 0 Myanmar 0, the more accurate score should have been Woodwork 3 Philippines 0. For those of you who are only just starting to discover the beautiful game, the term “woodwork” refers to the frame of the goal, a throwback to a long-gone era when goals were made of wood. But let me digress no more because this is about last night’s match and the fact that – pinch me! – despite the stalemate, we are for the first time in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup!

07 December 2010

Batangueño Humor in a Lomi House in Pangao, Lipa City


I am incredibly elated that yesterday’s post about the Philippine National Football team’s victory over Vietnam in the ongoing AFF Suzuki Cup really made the rounds of cyberspace in the last 24 hours. As I write this, the story is just a few hits short of 500, the fastest pace for any of the stories I have written in this blog. There was some help from TV Patrol, which ran a piece on the team during its primetime show last night; but by and large the story was helped by people – mostly football aficionados, I suppose – who shared it on Facebook.

06 December 2010

Vietnam and Calisto: Go Lie Dazed Somewhere!

It appears that Vietnam’s Portuguese-born national football coach, Henrique Calisto, was not too enamored with the way the Philippines carved out a historic 2-nil victory over his side – incidentally the defending champion – in the 2010 edition of the ASEAN Football Confederation’s Suzuki Cup currently being played in Hanoi.

03 December 2010

There Is Always Humor!

Humor is something I will appreciate anytime, anywhere…

There was space for just four more passengers in the jeepney I rode on my way home this evening, but there were five factory workers – all female – at the kanto where the driver stopped to pick up passengers.