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 May 2010

When Mothers Made Sure Kids Ate Green Leafy Things

I cannot help but grimace when I talk to the young kids of today and discover that many of them have never stuffed green leafy things into their mouths. The Jollibee-generation, suffice it to say, would have gone into extinction during my time.

30 May 2010

Explosion of Colors on a Bed of Daisies

This may come as a complete and utter surprise to even the people I consider my close friends and associates these days, but the truth of the matter is that I do, indeed, have a green thumb! If I stuffed a paper clip into the earth, it will probably grow into a paperclip tree that will flourish and produce many paperclip flowers and seeds that will fall back onto the earth.

28 May 2010

The Flying Coffin: An Unflattering Nickname for What Was Once the Air Force's Grand Empress in the Sky

It used to be called such fond nicknames: Dakota; the Skytrain; the Skytrooper; the Gooney Bird. Regrettably, there were those of us even from Air Force families who used to refer to it, in the twilight years of its distinguished life, in not so endearing terms: the Flying Coffin.

27 May 2010

Nora Aunor: A Voice Close to Perfection

Was it this morning or yesterday when a hyperlinked headline in one of the local newspaper web sites caught my eye? It said something about singer Nora Aunor – a.k.a. Ate Guy – losing her voice. Or something…

26 May 2010

The Sheer Anguish of Grieving Without A Body

Last year, I wrote this lengthy piece about the manner in which my Mom passed away. I think Dad deserves a bit of a mention as well; belated, though, this may be.

25 May 2010

Playing Division I Footbal on an Empty Tank

Most of you who know me personally also know that I will gladly be late for the Second Coming – and assuming I get called to the good side – if there is a game of football to be played. That is so taken for granted!

24 May 2010

When ₱3.20 was All It Took To Get Home From Manila to Lipa

There are few careers in life as lucrative and as secure as that of the student – but, of course, I am taking liberties with the word “career.” But think of it this way to see my point: you get paid daily or weekly, depending on the arrangement with the “boss”; you do not have to worry about food or lodging; and you can even throw the occasional tantrum without fear of receiving a memo the next day telling you to start packing all your personal belongings in the office.

21 May 2010

The Tricycles in Lipa City

There are, in Lipa, just two tricycles that can take in my whole 5’ 9 ½” inch frame and not make me feel like a sardine stuffed inside a tiny round tin can. The third one, I suppose, is yet to be built.

Speeding Goats on the Roads of Batangas and Other Crazy Horns Jeepney Drivers Used to Love

I was getting ready to cross the street early this morning when I thought I heard the feint sound of a goat bleating somewhere. It seemed to come from behind me, so I suspiciously looked back to see if there was a goat there.

20 May 2010

The Monks of the Carmelite Monastery in Lipa

I had some business in Dasmariñas this afternoon, and I was pleased to discover that Proceso – a.k.a. Ka Process to a lot of people – was driving me there. He knows how to keep his mouth shut when I am not feeling talkative; but I can also always draw a good story from him when I am not feeling stressed out.

19 May 2010

Comfortable with my Shirt Tucked In

I attended an Administration party last week, and they showed this AVP that had several people giving testimonials about me. One or two, when asked about my favorite attire, remarked that, for as long as they could remember, I had worn my shirts tucked into my pants.

If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I rather tend to. Not all the time; maybe just most of it…

18 May 2010

The Inability to Sleep When Vertical

I must confess, I belong to a tortured specie of people who do not have the capability to fall asleep when upright. Believe me, there are people who do not find themselves at all constrained by being vertical.

15 May 2010

Joe: An American Post-War Legacy in the Philippines

Just the other day, I wrote about the Japs and their all-too-forgettable occupation of this country. Today, I thought just to be fair, I ought to write a piece about Joe.

13 May 2010

Nurses: Respect for a Profession

There was never gonna be any chance, fresh out of high school as I was oh-so-many years ago, that I would even consider a career in Nursing. For starters, as a kid I had too many bad-needle experiences – i.e. with nurses na mabigat ang kamay – to even contemplate a career in the very place these experiences happened.

12 May 2010

Japs: Distrust of the Japanese Because of World War II

Just between us – and the pox on you if you breathe a word to anyone – I was born 14 years after World War II ended in the Pacific. Despite the 14-year gap, it was as though those of my generation were born with an almost congenital hatred and distrust of the Japanese.

11 May 2010

"Encounter" with a Poltergeist in Lian, Batangas During a DLSL Admin Workshop

The DLSL administrators' workshop was held at the DLSU Bio-Research Center in Lian, Batangas

God forbid that I ever see my first-ever ethereal manifestation – i.e. ghost – but I do tend to sense it when any sort of paranormal presence is in the immediate vicinity. There is something about the old gym when the place is empty, for instance, that spooks me even in broad daylight.

10 May 2010

Democracy, Especially in the Philippine Setting

So let us all pretend that you are all in my History class and we are all starting a new lesson on the topic “democracy.”

Class, the term originated from two Greek words: demos, which means “people”; and kratos, meaning power.

08 May 2010

Insignificant: Recalling the Earthquake of 1990 and the Mt. Pinatubo Eruption of 1991

‘Nuff said about the elections. There are way too many people doing that already, even if I had anything, at all, to say.

Instead, flash back – if you are old enough – to June of 1991.

In Days Gone By, The Things One Did In Summer

I sometimes find myself smiling when I see some kids declaring via their FB statuses how bored they are this summer vacation. That is, considering the entertainment options available to their generation.

Fancy Meeting You: Chance Encounter with Jose Mari Chan

Afternoon now, and earphones plugged into my ears, I am listening to Jose Mari Chan’s “Afterglow.” The song has just finished, and the phone is now playing “Beautiful Girl.”

ALARM!!! ALARM!!! Age alert!!! Age alert!!!

I just realized the other day that, despite my huge mp3 collection, I did not have one single Jose Mari Chan song in my hard drive. So yesterday, I set about remedying the situation.

Discovering How Disruptive Not having your Cell Phone can be

While we were in Bohol, I was having this somewhat somber conversation with Ces at the beach when I noticed that the menu button of my trusty four-year old N82 was just about ready to come off. Bummer...

Impressive Packaging of a Tour of Bohol

So alright… This is going to be another Bohol note; but then, I reckon, I can be forgiven because I had not had a proper holiday in years until last week’s brief sojourn to the island.

Hard Plane Landings to and from a Bohol Sojourn

So you have all seen those lovely pictures I posted here on Facebook and correctly deduced that I treated myself – as did some of my co-workers – to a whirlwind visit to that jewel of an island Bohol! But this is more about the getting to – and from – the island rather than about what went on in the in-between…