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 March 2011

Drug Mule

Such is the plight of the overseas worker that Sally Ordinario-Villanueva, Ramon Credo and Elizabeth Batain – may their souls rest in peace – and many others like them from this country who still await what fate has in store for them in lands far away are referred to in the media in that most unfortunate of terms: drug mule. I cannot imagine a worse affront, particularly as the appellation – as appears from all indications – is totally undeserved.

29 March 2011

Facebook and The Social Network

Last week, I finally got my hands on a copy of the movie The Social Network. I knew the movie had garnered both Golden Globes and Oscars; and in all honesty, I had promised myself that I would get a copy. Except that I never really got around to doing so until last week. For lack of anything to do, I watched the video over the weekend.

27 March 2011

The Azkals’ Long Road to the World Cup 2014

The Philippine National Football team, fresh from qualifying for the tournament proper of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup to be held next year, is now home after a grueling week in Myanmar. The players now turn their attention to their local clubs – those that are affiliated, anyway – before coming together again for the World Cup qualifiers late this coming June.

25 March 2011

Azkals Qualify for Next Challenge Cup Stage in Style

This morning, my thoughts heading into the final and decisive game of the Philippine National Football Team against Bangladesh in the AFC Challenge Cup Group A competition in Myanmar was that earthquakes seem to be hot on the trails of the Azkals. There was first a 7.2 magnitude quake when the team was in training camp north of Tokyo prior to the second leg of the Mongolia tie; and that infamous 8.9 magnitude killer just days after.

22 March 2011

Pacquiao Throws in the Towel!

I am torn between laughing my butt off and being totally disdainful. Just a while back, TV Patrol ran this short item on the national kamao, a.k.a. Manny Pacquiao and darling baby of Mommy Dionisia, having a spat with followers in – of all places – Twitter.

21 March 2011

What Is It About Earthquakes

…that when they start, sometimes you cannot even be sure that it is an earthquake to begin with. That was exactly what happened just a while back at this restaurant one of the coaches and I went to for a post-training meal before heading for home.

19 March 2011

Better That We Lost to Mongolia

Like many Azkals fans glued in front of the television suffering the bad-angled camera feeds beamed from Mongolia last week, I was a tad irritated when – after a bright start – we let in a couple of soft goals to eventually lose the match if not the tie. Members of the national team, in fairness, were profuse in their apologies for the unexpected loss.

18 March 2011

Don't Send Me Invites

There was a recent study undertaken somewhere – Australia, if memory serves me right – that arrived at the rather contentious conclusion that logging onto Facebook actually helps employees raise productivity levels. The premise of the conclusion is that if an employee is faced with a particularly tricky or even monotonous task, taking a peek at what’s going on in friends’ lives elsewhere helps the employee’s mind to focus enough to resume accomplishing the task at hand.

16 March 2011

Two Rules

Back in the early eighties, one afternoon I had given an end-of-class quiz to one of my junior high school History classes.  In the middle of the quiz, while I was seated at chair behind the teacher’s table in front, I could see through the corner of one eye that two of my not-so-bright students kept looking my way and were extremely fidgety on their seats.

15 March 2011

Random Thoughts on the Mongolia Game

There used to be this film starring Steve Martin that was entitled “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Basically, the film was all about all the trouble a man had to go through just to be home for Christmas. It is not unlike all the trouble the Philippine National Football Team had to go through just to get to Ulan Bator for a frigging football match.

Philippines Scrapes Through Despite Mongolia Loss

The Philippines booked its ticket to the main tournament of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup earlier today despite losing the second match of its elimination round tie with Mongolia 1-2 in sub-zero conditions at the National Sports Stadium in Ulan Bator. Having won the first leg 2-0 last month at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, the Philippines therefore scraped through 3-2 on aggregate.

13 March 2011

The Street Corner

And before I totally forget about this anecdote told once upon a time by my good friend Willy, I thought I would write it down for posterity…

Willy and I used to work together in this tiny cramped office underneath the bleachers on the eastern side of the SENTRUM. Although the office was small, our responsibilities were immense. We were in charge of external affairs for the whole institution.

12 March 2011

Earthquakes, Tsunamis and 2012

We were in the middle of preparations for Friday’s event when word broke through about the magnitude 8.9 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit Tokyo earlier in the afternoon. At the café, somebody put on CNN and although everyone was engrossed trying to get the café in shape for the evening event, the scenes being beamed live to the television set were horrifying enough to send everyone rushing to watch.

11 March 2011

When Kindness Flows Freely

There was a time, when my work was external relations, when events were my bread and butter – and I thrived when I and my staff were holding or hosting something. I loved the need for organization; the application of Murphy’s Law when threshing out all the details; and the incessant flow of creative juices especially when an event was impending.

10 March 2011

Green Day

Sabi naman kasi, wear green… Anyway, considering how short-notice this affair was, I really thought we all did reasonably well, all things considered.

As early as when I was walking to the college gate this morning from the street corner, I already caught sight of a college student who was in barong. Who knows; perhaps he had not read any of the announcements made on the daily bulletins and even on Facebook. For all I know, he has never been to Facebook and is still on Friendster, poor lad! Oh by the way, did I say that he was walking away from school?

08 March 2011

Bed Habits

If you were thinking that this would be one of those stories that would make a nun blush red as a beet, then proceed no further. This is a wholesome blog; and this tells no more than stories of what some people do to put themselves to sleep.

The Twin Towers

The high school football team whose season has just ended was not looking particularly promising three years ago; but the arrival of three players in the succeeding months completely changed the shape and potential of the team. The first was Ezekiel Terrones.

The Who-You Situation

Erick and I went to see Kobe at lunchtime. The latter was confined yesterday at the Mediatrix Hospital for severe tummy ache.

He’s alright now. He just text-ed me that the ultrasound revealed nothing the doctors found significant. Naimpatso lang siguroNagdadalang-poo…

05 March 2011

Buling-Buling Traditions in Lipa City

The jeepney had paused by that kanto fronting the elementary school in Tambô to pick up passengers and, after one passenger had boarded and the jeepney was about to leave, the dispatcher warned the old lady behind the driver, “Paki-sara lang pô ng bintanâ…” Now, why would he even care, unless it was…

04 March 2011

Low Masculine Voice

“Mamâ, bayad po! San Jose…” the person next to me uttered as she handed over her fare. I wasn’t even sure the person was a “she.”

“Saan?” the driver, short of hearing, just had to ask.

02 March 2011

Kulangot Country

Just the other day, I thought about writing a story about Kulangot Country. Albeit, I was hesitant because I was damned sure God reads my blog and enjoys making a damned fool of this peasant blogger whenever I am daft enough to present Him with an opportunity.