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

31 May 2017

Fidel A. Reyes, the Lipa-born Nationalist Writer of the Early American Era, and the Case of the Bust to Honor His Memory
Fidel A. Reyes and the bust in honor of him.  Images from Heroic Footsteps.
In the year 1901, while the Philippine-American War was ongoing, Filipino nationalists founded a Spanish-language newspaper which they called El Renacimiento or The Rebirth. Sheila Coronel described the newspaper as “the voice of the native intelligentsia and reflected their aspirations for self-rule, even as they had, by then, accepted the reality of American sovereignty1.”


The Volcano in Lipa City You Probably Never Knew Existed

Anilao Hill.  Image by Cesar C. Cambay directly loaded from

Just so I do not get accused of panic-mongering at a time when earthquake swarm has become a fashionable term in Batangas, Phivolcs lists this volcano in Lipa City as inactive.1 It is a mound of earth called Anilao Hill south of the poblacion in the Anilao area between Antipolo del Norte and Antipolo del Sur. Phivolcs gives its coordinates at 13°54' 121°11', which is erroneous because it falls on a piece of flat land.

The Phivolcs coordinates for Anilao Hill are slightly off.  Image credit:  Google Earth. gives more accurate coordinates up to the seconds at 13°54'33.48" 121°10'41.16"2. Plotted on Google Earth, this yields a mound of earth with its curvature visible if you zoom down to an elevation of 977 feet. The image is shown below. coordinates plotted on Google Earth shows an obvious mound.

The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program categorizes Anilao Hill as a pyroclastic cone, the last estimated eruption of which was during the Pleistocene geologic era.3 Pyroclastic cones are also called as “scoria cones” or “cinder cones.” They “are relatively small, steep volcanic landforms built of loose pyroclastic fragments.4

As mentioned, Anilao Hill is estimated to have been last active during the Pleistocene Age. This is a geologic time span calculated to have been between 2.8 million and 11,700 years ago. This epoch is often referred to loosely as the “Ice Age.5

Anilao Hill is part of a volcanic complex referred to as the Macolod (Maculot locally) Corridor. This complex includes, among others, Mount Makiling, Mount Malepunyo, the Laguna de Bay and Taal Volcano, including the lake. Down the geologic epochs, small pyroclastic or scoria cones were formed by relatively mildly explosive or Strombolian eruptions within this complex. Other similar volcanic scoria cones that have been identified are Tombol Hill in Rosario and Sorosoro Hill in Batangas City.6

Tombol Hill in Rosario, like Anilao Hill, is also a pyroclastic or scoria cone.  Image credit:  Google Earth.

Note that Phivolcs has classified Anilao Hill as an inactive rather than a dormant volcano. The terms are often used interchangeably but they do not mean the same. A dormant volcano has been inactive for many years but has the capacity and is expected to erupt sometime in the future. In contrast, an inactive volcano such as Anilao Hill is usually not expected to erupt mostly because of the very long time that passed since it was last active.7

Notes and references:
1 “Inactive Volcanoes,” online at the Phivolcs web site.
2 “Anilao Hill,” online at
3 “Anilao Hill,” online at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program web site.
4 “Pyroclastic Cones,” online at
5 “Pleistocene,” Wikipedia.
6 “The Soils of the Philippines,” by Rodelio B. Carating, Raymundo G. Galanta and Clarita D. Bacatio.
7 “What are active and inactive volcanoes?” Online at

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18 March 2017

How Banaybanay Got Its Name: A Folkloric Story
The corner of the road leading to the San Vicente Church. Image credit:  Google Street View.

If you board a Batangas City bound jeepney from Lipa City and tell the driver you are bound for Banaybanay, if you do not look familiar to him, in most likelihood before he gives you your change he will ask you which Banaybanay is your destination. There are, in the present day, three barangays called Banaybanay, one in Lipa City1 and two in the Municipality of San Jose2.

TM Kalaw: Knowing the Batangueño of the Common Street Name
Image credit: and DirectionsonWeb.

Even in my trips to cities in the Visayas and Mindanao in the past, it was not uncommon to see a street or side street that was named TM Kalaw or just Kalaw. Lipa born and raised that I am, I have always suspected that the man after whom these streets are named must have been from Batangas. The surname is common enough in the province and even more so in the City of Lipa.

Pedro Manlapit, the Lipa-Born Batangueño Instrumental in Fil-Americans’ Search for Labor Justice in Hawaii and California
Pedro Manlapit (left) lived to uplift Filipino sugarcane workers in Hawaii.  Image credit:  Asian American His/Herstory Blog and Fil-Am Experiences 1930-1945,

Understandably, in the present day, mention the name Pedro Manlapit, even in his hometown of Lipa in the Province of Batangas, and you will likely draw a blank. This Filipino, however, occupies a place not just in Philippine but also in American labor history. His activities have been studied not just by writers of history but also by academicians interested in the development of labor in the United States, particularly the former American territory and now state of Hawaii.

Philippine Climate Change and the Decreasing Cold in Lipa City
Uptown Lipa City. Image credit:  Google Earth Street View.

Anyone who is Lipa City born and raised, especially in the latter half of the twentieth century, knows as a matter of course that January – and sometimes on through February – has always tended to be colder than the holiday season in December. Particularly before the turn of the millennium, this is the time when brisk winds from Siberia bring down temperatures not just in Lipa but elsewhere in the country.

The Philippine Army Air Corps Class 42-C and Life in Fernando Air Base in the Baby Boomer Post-War Years
Taken during the Silver Anniversary of the PAAC Class 42-C.

Those who were born, raised or came to Fernando Air Base in Lipa City during the fifties and early sixties will recall that there was a definitive pioneering feel to being there in that particular era. The base itself, although it was built by the Americans before World War II and then used by the Japanese invaders during the war itself, was only turned over to the fledgling Philippine Air Force in 1948.

Gregorio Zara: the Lipa, Batangas Born Inventor of the Videophone
Gregorio Y. Zara using a videophone.  Image credit:  from the Instagram account of the Philippine National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST).

The next time you use a videophone application on your mobile such as Skype or FaceTime, if you are from Batangas, it may serve you in good stead to know that the principles for modern day videotelephony technology were developed and patented by one of your own.

Shopping Tips for SM City Lipa's 3-Day Sale This September

In line with its coming three-day sale scheduled on 2-4 September 2016, SM City Lipa has released a set of tips for shoppers who may be planning to take advantage of the mall's upcoming event. Here are the tips sent to Life So Mundane by way of a Press Release by SM City Lipa:


Improved Traffic Management in Lipa; but Foresight Also Needed for the Future

I have complained about the adverse traffic situation in Lipa City before, and now that it has perceptibly improved, I believe that it is merely fair to write about the improvements as well. I still see the occasional bitching about traffic on social media, so before anyone can consider trolling this article, let me immediately set its context.


10 August 2016

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.


Lipa City’s Traffic and Congestion Explained in Numbers

The road widening project in Lipa City at least from poblacion and westwards to where I live was undertaken between 2010 and 2012, if memory serves me right. Initially, the wide highways were a sight to behold; and travel time uptown to the city proper was reasonably reduced.


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.”


15 May 2016

20 Forgotten Filipino Superstitions from an Obscure Lipa City Historical Document

The superstitions enumerated in this article are from an obscure document entitled “Historical and Cultural Life of the City of Lipa” which I downloaded from the National Library of the Philippines’ Digital Archives.1 The document is incomplete and the date is missing, but given the papers’ yellowed state when scanned and the use of a typewriter to create it, my guess is that it must have been created at the latest in the fifties, but most possibly even earlier.


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


06 April 2016

Alternative Stories about How Lipa City Got Its Name

Before yesterday, the only story I had heard about how Lipa City got its name was this silly folklore about two Spanish conquistadores who heeded the call of nature behind a shrub then had the utter misfortune to wipe themselves with leaves from the same shrub.


23 March 2016

The Appearance of the Devil According to the Lipa Marian Visionary

The Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City as it looks in the present day.

Anybody who visits the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Lipa City will likely immediately sense that it has a feel to it quite distinct from most other churches. Perhaps, it is because of the imposing medieval façade of the church. Or perhaps it is because of the stillness and serenity you just do not get in many other places of worship.


12 March 2016

Fernando Air Base: Its World War II Roots

Image credit:  John Tewell on Flickr.  Lipa Airfield seen from the air in WWII.

Many historical accounts have already been written about Fernando Air Base. Thus, or so I thought to myself, if I wrote one at all, it would be one that would avoid the trap of being generic. After all, Fernando Air Base was where I was born and where I spent my formative years. To this day, I have nothing but fondness for this almost 300-hectare military facility.


19 February 2016

The Warmest January in Lipa in a Lifetime

There you have it. Kuya Kim, in last night’s evening edition of TV Patrol, reported that NASA has declared the previous month as the warmest January ever on record. In doing so, Kuya Kim merely confirmed something that I had suspected since February began.


15 February 2016

When Lipa and Batangas Merge, Will It Become Metro Lipa or Metro Batangas?

Approaching Poblacion Batangas City.  Image credit:  Google Street View.

Before you read any further, I wish to make it perfectly clear from the off that the notion is still strictly hypothetical. I have given the matter some thought over the years; and personally, I feel that the notion becoming reality is more a matter of when rather than if.




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