Life So Mundane in Batangas
Showing posts with label Batangas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Batangas. Show all posts

22 May 2017

Bonbon Eco-Cultural Festival Hosted by Tanauan City 26-27 May 2017

Batangueños and non-Batangueños alike are invited to attend the third annual Bonbon Festival, an eco-cultural event that aims to provide artistic opportunities to local artists and at the same time create an environmental platform for the promotion and preservation of Taal Lake, the volcano and its environment.

James H. Polk: The Batangas-born former US Army Europe Commander-in-Chief
By US Government (Army) -, Public Domain,

There is this little known fact that one American born in the province of Batangas, and thus by the principle of Jus Soli1 (birthright citizenship) a Batangueño, rose to one of the United States Army’s most prominent positions. That would be the four-star general James Hilliard Polk, born in 1911 at Camp McGrath (a.k.a. Camp McGraw) in what is now Batangas City, admittedly at a time when the entire Philippines was still very much American territory.

Is Santo Tomas to Become Batangas’ Fourth City? Revisiting Ralph Recto’s Senate Bill 3025
Along Maharlika Highway, Santo Tomas, Batangas. Image credit:  Google Street View.

Santo Tomas is Batangas’ northernmost municipality, the province’s gateway to Laguna and, subsequently, Metro Manila. Before the construction of the Southern Tagalog Arterial Road (STAR) and the Alabang-Calamba-Sto. Tomas Expressway (ACTEX), a road trip from the south of Batangas to Metro Manila involved a laborious crawl along old roads through Malvar, Tanauan and Santo Tomas and then onto Makiling in Laguna before one could gain access to the Southern Luzon Expressway (SLEX).

Eight Batangas-Themed Movies on IMDB

When one considers how colorful the history of Batangas has been, and how colorful life in the province continues to be up to the present day, it is a bit surprising to note that there has been a dearth of Batangas-themed movies made over the years. Perhaps this is a challenge to budding Batangas-born film-makers to do something to rectify the situation. At any rate, I did find eight movies on IMDB with direct Batangas themes. Of these, only the 1969 Hollywood B-Movie was internationally made.

Batangas Port, Fernando Air Base Expansion, Batangas-Calamba Rail Proposed
Image credit:  Google Street View.

A TV Patrol Southern Tagalog item on its 9 August 2016 show reported that talks have started between Department of Transportation and Communications Secretary Arthur Tugade and Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas regarding the construction of Phase 3 and 4 of the Batangas City Port, as suggested by the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

2016 Competitiveness Rankings: San Juan, Bauan Stay Top Towns in Batangas; Lemery 3rd; Rosario, Nasugbu Enter Top 5
Image credit:  Google Street View.

The municipalities of San Juan and Bauan stayed first and second in the Province of Batangas as per the 2016 edition of the Nationwide Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, the results of which were released by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines last month. The competitiveness index is an annual undertaking of the council in coordination with the Regional Competitiveness Committees and with assistance rendered by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


Taal: Extolling the Virtues of the Neighbourhood Heritage Town (Video Log Embedded)

Taal seen from the tower of the St. Martin de Tours Basilica.

Vigan or Taal? I had a bit of a discussion about this with my former student and colleague Albert Gamatero over the weekend when I took him up on an invitation to take me on a walking tour of his hometown, Taal. Not that the question is of national significance; and ideally, if one has the time and can afford it, both heritage towns are excellent travel destinations.


28 July 2016

Tanauan, Batangas City Improve in 2016 National Competitiveness Ranking; Lipa Drops 22 Places

Image credit:  Google Street View.

The Province of Batangas’ three cities had mixed fortunes even as the province itself soared from 20th to 9th among 74 provinces in the 2016 Annual National Competitiveness Index. The calculation of the index is an undertaking by the National Competitiveness Council of the Philippines in coordination with Regional Competitiveness Committees and USAID. The 2016 results were released last 14 July 2016.


24 July 2016

Searching for Nasugbu’s Lost Airfield

The Philippine Air Force L-5.  Image credit:  PAF Official site.

When I was a small boy back in the sixties, I had been hearing from my Mother, who was originally from the town of Nasugbu in western Batangas, and other relations on the maternal side about this place that they referred to as ‘landing.’ I knew, because I grew up in an Air Force base, that the term probably referred to a place where airplanes flew from or landed.


04 July 2016

Rankings of Batangas Towns in Terms of Economic Dynamism, Government Efficiency and Infrastructure

Images compiled from Google Earth.

This is the follow-up article to the profiling of Batangas’ three cities. This time, I present to all readers a profiling of twenty-two municipalities of the province in terms of competitiveness. The information in this article comes from data collected for the Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, an annual ranking made by the National Competitiveness Council through its regional arms.


03 June 2016

Archbishop’s Communique Explains Why the Vatican Has Reversed Decree Declaring Lipa Apparitions Supernatural

Image of Mary Mediatrix of all Grace at the Carmelite Convent in Lipa City.

In a communique dated 31 May 2016, Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles informed the faithful of the reasons why the Vatican has reversed a September 2015 decree issued by the same archbishop declaring the 1948 alleged Marian apparition in the city of Lipa to the Carmelite novice Teresa Castillo as “exhibiting supernatural character and worthy of belief.”


27 May 2016

Antique Book Suggests Batangas Tagalog was Once More Widely Spoken in Pre-Hispanic Times

Image credit: by Juan de Plasencia -, Public Domain,

The book’s complete title, in Spanish, is “Doctrina Christiana en Lengua Española y Tagala Corregida Reglos por Los Religiosos de las Ordenes.” In English, “Christian Doctrine in the Spanish Language and Tagalog, with Correct Rules for the Religious of the Orders.1


13 May 2016

The Story Behind the Sinking of the Galleon San Diego Off Nasugbu’s Fortune Island

By Unknown - Illustration from Peregrinationes" from Théodore de Bry, 1603 (copy in Boston Public Library). Wikimedia Commons.

“That, whereas, because of the coming to these islands of two hostile English [sic] ships, the preparation of a fleet to attack them was immediately discussed with the resolution and advice of the Royal Audiencia, and for this effect it was resolved that Antonio de Morga should go to the port of Cabit (Cavite) to attend to the fitting and despatch of the said war-vessels and the defence of that port… he has attended until now, to the defence of the said port, and the fitting and equipping of the said fleet, consisting of the vessel “San Diego,” of Sebu (Cebu), the galleon “San Bartolome,” which he caused to be finished in the shipyard launched, an English patache1 from the city of Malaca, a galliot1 which was fitted up, and other smaller craft…2


03 May 2016

The Girls from Batangas in the UAAP Women’s Volleyball Finals

The deciding match of the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball final was dominated by one Kim Kianna Dy from De La Salle Zobel in Alabang, who deservedly was named finals MVP. However, something not lost on followers of the league was that both sides of the court were littered with lasses from Batangas.


01 May 2016

Finding Ferdinand: the Search for the Irish Ancestor of the Mayo Clan of Lipa

Image credit:  It's Xiaotime!

After I posted my previous article about the escapades of the British army in Batangas in the 18th century on social media, my former boss Brother Manual Pajarillo, a De La Salle Christian Brother, left this comment: “I am a 7th generation Mayo, who trace their roots to an Irishman Ferdinand Mayo, who married a lady (named) Pantoja of Lipa. In my rough estimate of about 40 years for one generation, that places him being of a young marriageable age between 1762 and 1770. Which means that if there is any truth to the legend, he would have been a mercenary soldier who went AWOL when his British employer (the Army) withdrew from Lipa at the end of the war.1


27 April 2016

British Troops Chase after Treasures in 18th Century Batangas

Image credit:  Ayala Museum.

Most Filipinos are vaguely aware from high school History lessons that for a brief period in our nation’s storied past, the British ruled over the entire archipelago. This was, at least, in principle. In reality, direct British control was really just over Manila and some parts of Cavite1.


25 April 2016

Bus Travel to, from and Around Batangas, Then and Now

Manila bound BLTBCo, circa 1962.  Image credit:  History of Batangas on FB, c/o Jigger Gilera, MD.

These days, one can travel to Metro Manila in airconditioned buses with decent enough leg room and head rests high enough to be comfortable for Filipinos of above average height. The roads are also well-paved, so the days of bumpy rides are long gone. As everyone knows, however, there is always a trade-off; and these days, despite the pampered comforts of bus travel, the downside is that the roads are frequently jam-packed with vehicles.


19 April 2016

Taal Volcano: Lying in Wait like a Booby-Trapped Postcard

Taal Volcano always looks picture-perfect, but has a violent past.

It is always easy when one drives along the Tagaytay Ridge to simply forget that the postcard picture perfect scenario below of Taal Lake has in its midst a midget of a volcano the size of which belies its violent temper.


13 April 2016

Hypotheses on the Difference in Accents between Eastern and Western Batangas

Taal, like Balayan, used to be a capital of Batangas.

When the Filipino actor Leo Martinez started gaining a bit of fame on Philippine television cast as a Batangueño with an exaggerated accent, I felt mystified that people bought the accent at all. It sounded extremely phoney to me.


11 April 2016

Taal Lake's Forgotten Past: How a Volcanic Eruption Reshaped It

Taal Lake seen from the Tagaytay Ridge.

Even to those Batangas born and raised, knowledge of Taal Lake is often limited to that which was taught in elementary geography: that it is a freshwater lake; that inside it is a small but active and dangerous volcano that bears the same name; that it is home to fish species found nowhere else in the world; and that, seen from the Tagaytay ridge, it is always postcard perfect.




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