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 April 2011

Let's Talk Seventies!

I was a young boy in the sixties and a teenager in the seventies. Both were colourful decades in many ways: music, fashion, the Vietnam War and student activism. Both men and women wore their hair long and threw away conventions. Music was loud but expressive; and it was during this decade that some of the most poetic lyrics were written. Many songs are played to this very day.

27 April 2011

Get Up! Get Up!

The following story may strike you as something that I made up completely just to drive home a point. It is not. I swear this incident really happened.

The story occurred when I was still in college; and as with everything else, many of the details have become hazy with time. I remember enough of the incident – anyway – to be able to tell the story here.

26 April 2011

City Hall

Whenever I go buy a new pair of slacks, I always check for three things: the length of the legs, the waistline buttons and, finally, the zipper.

I always make sure the legs are long enough to cover my socks; but not too long that I step on them when I walk. This is often a problem for me because many brands these days do not even bother to sew the legs’ ends, leaving it to the buyer to go find a sastre who will do the final honor of sewing these up.

Transforming a Frenchman Into A Batangueño

JJ Dupuis, half-French and half-Filipino, found himself studying in heartland Batangas.

There is a certain novelty to having half-Pinoys in the football team. Yaz – half Pinoy, half-Jordanian – and Cyrus – half Pinoy, half Indian-Parsi – are already well assimilated. That is, but for their darkish Caucasian appearance, they are every bit as Batangueño as the pure-breds in the team.

24 April 2011

The Dignity of a High School Lad Against a Rude Jeepney Driver


My ride to work this morning was mundane but for an incident involving a high school student on his way to school and the jeepney driver.

The Missing Baggers

I attended a memorial service at the Novitiate in the morning, then had lunch at Rob afterwards with Eugene and the Litel Gel. It was past twelve when I finally got to the supermarket to get a few cans of beer for the fridge before going home.

22 April 2011

Forty Bucks!

I was tired from scrimmage, so I thought I would pass by KFC on my way home and get something to take home.

“Fully Loaded Meal to go, please!” I told the chubby girl at the counter.

20 April 2011

The Torture of Holy Week


If you were a kid growing up in my generation here in the probinsiya, then the last thing you would have looked forward to was Holy Week. In particular, the last three days prior to Easter: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Black Saturday.

19 April 2011

The Barber's Life Story

More often than not when I go to the barbershop, I prefer to pretend that I am asleep when I get my haircuts than engage the barbers in small talk.

Today, my barber was intent on introducing himself as a person.

18 April 2011

Mr. William Hall


In the old days, before the onset of computerized enrolment systems, a college student who was not in a block section stood patiently in front of a bulletin board trying to manually fix up a schedule that was suitable. There were those who tried to fill out the enrolment form with morning classes only so they could have the afternoons off; and there were those who did exactly the opposite.

Respect; But Never Fear


Time was when, in lieu of an exhibition game against other schools, I would ask the high school and college teams to kit up and square up against each other in what would be our pre-season curtain-raiser. Well, the college team is already halfway into its first semester league season; but the high school lads are still to kick a ball in competition.

15 April 2011

Crap! It’s My Brother!

“Sabi ko na!” This morning when I went for breakfast, I took one look at the guy walking with a tray to where I was coming from at the cafeteria and I immediately recognized him as the guy I could not quite place in my head during my ride home yesterday evening. He looked my way then quickly looked away; so I walked on to the counter to order breakfast.

14 April 2011

Things People Instinctively Copy

A couple of months back, a colleague and I were on a jeepney on our way home from work. It was early evening; we had gone for a quick meal at one of the fast food joints inside Rob; then took our ride in front of the mall.

13 April 2011

Like the Fingers of Wolverine

There is something so not right about having a haircut on the chair right next to the glass wall of a mall barbershop. The haircut – anybody’s – is in itself unremarkable. It is when the barber gives you the customary hiling of a masahe that he makes a spectacle of you for all passers-by to see.

12 April 2011

A Classy Lady and a Foreigner

At the jeepney station in front of Rob just this evening, a young lady got into the jeepney I was in and sat on the vacant space right in front of me.

23 years old? 24? Certainly not more than 25!

11 April 2011

The DLSL Diokno Building’s Unseen Visitor


Even in broad daylight, if I know there is no one working at the place, if I had a choice at all I will not willingly go to the second floor of the Diokno – a.k.a. the MTDC Building in the old days. I cannot and will not even attempt to explain it. The place just simply gives me the creeps.

10 April 2011

Italian Technology in That Little Body


Philip was apologetic when I got to the field late this afternoon, explaining that he was unable to attend the alumni game last Saturday because he had been sick. My word… Like an explanation was needed…

The way he was coughing, I half-expected his lungs to come out splattered anytime all over the lush green grass of the football field. It was that bad.

07 April 2011

The Great Liverpool, Man United Rivalry

[This story was first published on 4 August 2010 in my former blog Football Takes, which I deleted sometime back for lack of time. Since I write football stories here, anyway, I thought it best to resurrect this here for anybody interested.]

Batangueño in Manila: a Matter of Accents


There used to be this old joke, when I was a small kid, about a Batangueño who allegedly went to Metro Manila and tried his darnedest to blend right into the landscape. The poor feller, in other words, did not want to let on that he was prom di probins.

So he went into a nearby church, found himself a convenient pew, knelt down piously, made the Sign of the Cross and proceeded to pray out loud for all and sundry inside the church to hear:

“Ama namin ooh!
Sumasalangit ka ooh!
Sambahin ang ngalan mo ooh!”

06 April 2011

A Peculiar Sensation

I gotta hand it to those barbers at Bruno’s… I am almost always satisfied with the end result when I leave the confines of the shop, whoever the barber may be.

I have no favorites, mind! A haircut can be something of an inconvenience when one has piles of documents and meetings all day long, five days a week.

04 April 2011

Feeding the Rascals


What I recall is that I promised the rascals I would treat them to Shakey’s if they won the RIFA. They did not. They won the NCAA-South instead.

The two leagues are in no way in the same league, if you get my drift. A couple of hours after the boys won the NCAA-South, of course, they were outside my office already chanting, “Shakey’s! Shakey’s!”

01 April 2011

Batangas Signs


Supposing Batangas was a republic in itself totally distinct from the rest of the Philippines? What sort of signs would other Filipinos be seeing if they embarked on a road trip to the province?

Everyone please be forewarned that there is totally no sense to this posting at all. Just what can happen on a lazy Saturday afternoon…

If anyone needs a translation, go find a Batangueño friend.