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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31 October 2011

Philippine Experiments With Daylight Saving Time

Why do I have these hazy images inside my head of getting up from my bed in the dead of the night with the utmost reluctance, stumbling almost drunkenly to the bathroom to do my toilet and brave the chilly water that would inevitably spurt from the shower head and then hastily get dressed to be on the road to catch a bus to take me to Manila for another week of college?

28 October 2011

Undas, Undras and the Filipino-Mexican Connection


Bless Kuya Kim and the snippets of information he frequently gives us to go along with the next day’s weather forecast. Last night, one such snippet settled a little argument that I had been having with myself for about a week regarding the term undas, which we Filipinos generally use to refer to All Saints’ Day every first of November.

Those who have been following the news programs on television will know that in the past few days, there have been plenty of news clips on preparations being made by various sectors for the coming national holiday. Each and everyone of these programs refer to the holiday as undas.

27 October 2011

All Out Whatever; Bring Us Peace in Mindanao


For a change, I was actually nodding my head in agreement at a statement that the President was making on the television the other day regarding calls for an all-out war against the MILF. He was correct. Indeed, seldom do decisions made out of anger turn out to be the right ones. Decisions, he said, have to be levelheaded and based on facts. Agree wholeheartedly.

24 October 2011

Flashback 1994: Caught in a (Traffic) Jam in Lipa in 1994

The Ala (Salle) Eh! was a DLSL newsletter that started in the nineties.
[Funny what things one can find while foraging inside dusty cabinets. In the mid-nineties, I started writing, laying out and publishing a school newsletter called the Ala (Salle) Eh! Yesterday afternoon, I found a copy of one edition published in July of 1994. I had fun reading an editorial that I myself wrote complaining about the worsening traffic situation in the city – and this was way back in 1994. It was still a year before Brother Rafael Donato arrived to start building the school into what it is today. In other words, a lot I knew at the time! Of course, I did not own a crystal ball; and there was no way for me to know the spate of growth that not only the school but the rest of the city was soon to start experiencing.

23 October 2011

A Layman’s Guide to Pundits’ Football Jargon


I have compiled a list of terms that one frequently hears mentioned by football pundits on cable television, most of them British. This short guide is intended to help the casual or new fans of the game in this country to understand some of the jargon:

Book: a tiny little notebook that referees the world over carry to record for posterity warnings, expulsions and other incidents within the game. As a verb, the term “booked” means a player has received a formal warning from the referee and issued a yellow card. For a while in the eighties, the English League did away with the issuance of cards altogether, since the offending players’ were called over by the referees and their names and numbers recorded. The cards were subsequently restored.

Box: more completely, the penalty box or the penalty area, the word “box” used obviously because of the area’s rectangular shape. Pundits will just as easily say “put a cross into the box.”

22 October 2011

The FUPs and Ways to Deal with Stress


There was this one late Friday afternoon when I was just leaving my office, backpack slung over my shoulder and eager to play football, when I caught sight of three female colleagues standing across the hall looking hopefully at me. From experience, I immediately knew from the look on each lady’s face alone that there was some kind of trouble in the workplace. You know, the stressed sort of face and round begging eyes not unlike those of a shaggy dog begging for food.

Nasugbu in My Mind


This is a corollary to my earlier story Travelling to Nasugbu: Then, Now. As I wrote, I had not been to the place in 15 or 16 years; and the changes – in many places – have rendered the town almost unrecognizable from what I carry inside my head as memories of the place.

21 October 2011

Travelling to Nasugbu: Then, Now


I have written before that my Mom was a native of the coastal municipality of Nasugbu on the western side of the province of Batangas. I used to go there ever so often when I was a little kid; but because of career eating up most of whatever free time I used to have, the trips became rarer and rarer until I stopped going there altogether.

18 October 2011

B-304 and the Birthday Treats


Ever so often, a teacher comes upon a sort of class which is really just agreeable any which way you look at it. One senior class that I taught History in the schoolyear of 1988-89 was one such class. It was the section B-304.

Taking Injured Players to the Hospital

There were few things that I abhorred in coaching more than having to take a boy to the hospital for an injury. That said, the incidents were thankfully relatively few and far between.

16 October 2011

The Azkals in a Hypothetical World Cup 3rd Round Scenario

I did say, at a time when just about everyone thought that we would be steamrollered by Kuwait in the second round of World Cup qualifiers, that I thought the opponent was beatable. Did we not, now that the dust has settled, come to a whisker of actually doing so?

11 October 2011

The Understated James Younghusband

Years ago, when I first caught a glimpse of the then-unknown Younghusband brothers in a televised low-key international tournament over at the Panaad, my sharp coach’s eye immediately took note that it was the younger one – Phil – who was technically better between the two. The older brother’s touch was a tad on the heavy side; and did he just not tend to err on the wrong side of petulant. That would be James, of course.

There was this other televised match in another low-key tournament – and I am frank enough to say that I cannot recall which – when the very same Younghusband was so ruefully out of shape – or overwhelmed by the climate – that he played the last quarter of the match with hands on hips, frequently bent down at the waist catching his breath and so obviously wasted as a performer.

Azkals Rout High-Flying Nepal, 4-0


You know it’s a good day at the office when captain Aly Borromeo – of all people – makes an uncharacteristically indecisive bouncing back pass to goalkeeper Neil Etheridge – who did his part in the satire by mis-kicking the ball outside – and Etheridge comes out of the brief incident with a wide grin on his boyish face.

10 October 2011

The Trouble with Teachers


The other week, there was this public school teacher featured by one of the networks who was cited by her school as one of its most outstanding. The feature was well-meaning and was aired to coincide with the celebration of World Teachers’ Day.

08 October 2011

Tabi-tabi Pô and the Nunô sa Punsô


Because I am Filipino, I cannot – to this day – take a pee beside a mound of earth, a thick old tree trunk, some leftover grub or even just tall reeds without uttering – under my breath just in case somebody is within hearing distance and think I am being silly – the obligatory “tabi-tabi pô!” To foreigners who may happen to stumble upon this article, we Filipinos likewise believe in washrooms; but sometimes, when there is none in the immediate vicinity, we have no qualms – I mean the men, generally – about finding somewhere – anywhere – convenient. We do modestly turn our backs to people.

07 October 2011

International Friendly: Singapore 2 Philippines 0


Understandably, Singapore started the friendly international match against the Philippines at the Jalan Basar stadium probably with an eye on next week’s World Cup qualifier against Jordan. Still, playing at home against a lower-ranked team, you would imagine that it would at least play with a bit more enterprise in the opening half to justify that ranking. If the game ended at the half, and although the match remained nil-all, the neutral would have come to the conclusion that it was, instead, the Philippines that was the higher ranked team.

06 October 2011

Positives from the Long Teng Cup


Naturally, because many of those who jumped onto the Azkals bandwagon would not really know that building a football team is a tad more complicated than Harry Potter wielding his magic wand, there were those who were disappointed with the team’s performance in the recently concluded Long Teng Cup in Kaoshiung. It was as though finishing second behind Hong Kong, the tournament’s defending champion and who we led 3-2 with a mere 5 minutes of regular time remaining, was a denigration of the team’s standing in world football.

04 October 2011

Typhoons, Floods and the Face of the Presidency


Who will want to be president of a country when you only find yourself frequently in a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t situation? So now – and not that he is ever out of the limelight – President Noynoy finds himself under a bit of criticism for not having been seen commiserating with the victims of massive flooding on the aftermath of Pedring and Quiel.

Philippines 2 Macau 0 in Long Teng Cup Final Match


Local-born Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong came in as a second half substitute and scored both Philippine goals in a 2-nil victory over winless Macau on the last day of the week-long Long Teng Cup. Even before the start match, it was clear that the Philippines needed a 5-goal win along with a draw between the host country and Hong Kong in the tournament’s final match later in the day to win the championship.

02 October 2011

Goalless Stalemate Between Philippine Azkals and Chinese Taipei


Whereas, in its opening game in the 2011 Long Teng Cup, the Philippines started as though its players just got off the plane, it was faster off the blocks in the second encounter against the host country Chinese Taipei. The hosts looked overawed as the Filipinos moved the ball around crisply while camped mostly inside their own half. Without really creating anything of substance, it has to be added.

We would have if Phil Younghusband had not forgotten to bring his shooting boots along. In the 11th minute, Emelio Caligdong and leftback Nickson Leonora combined on the left flank in a move that was almost a carbon copy of the Craig Bellamy-Jose Enrique combination yesterday that led to Andy Carroll’s opening goal for Liverpool in the Merseyside derby. In Kaohshiung, it was Younghusband at the end of the cross; but his shot ended up on Row Z.

Younghusband was getting some special attention from Chinese Taipei’s central defenders; so it made sense for him to move to the right flank for his enterprise. He was sent clear in the 14th minute and sent in a low cross; but Ian Araneta, who had taken over the more central role, tumbled over just as the cross was sent in.