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 2011

Child Abduction in Lobo… Daw!

Now that I have a lot more time in my hands, I am able to catch the late afternoon Southern Tagalog edition of TV Patrol. Just to keep in touch with what’s going on in the neighbourhood, ‘ika ngâ…

Yesterday, the news show ran – yet another – clip on the so-called child abductions. Huh? That is so, so bahaw… The first time I wrote my child abduction stories was – methinks – way back in 2008.

30 May 2011

Ghosts in the Call Center

I understand from the personal readings I had done on the paranormal that those in the spirit world rather tend to inhabit large, dark, quiet and uninhabited halls. But brightly lit call centers?

But I am getting ahead of the story again…

29 May 2011

Swearing at LA Tenorio


It was September of 2002. Those of us in the DLSL  President’s Council were sent to attend the annual Catholic Educators’ convention. The convention was held inside the Xavier University campus in Cagayan de Oro City.

26 May 2011

Scotty McCreery: American Idol

First of all, if I were a betting sort of dude, I would have wagered all the money I had saved on Pia Toscano. She looked like a movie star and sang like a princess. She had WINNER written all over her!

Then, even before the show got to the really juicy part, she found herself packing her suitcase after a results show that had all three judges – Steven, JLo and Randy – all with their mouths agape and unable to speak.

25 May 2011

Facebook Town Signs

Who was it who said too much to do and too little time to do it? There are definitely days when it feels exactly the opposite: too much time and too little to do! Here is living proof of what an idle mind can do.

Imagine that there is a town called Facebook. Supposing you took a joyride around it? Well, here are some signs that you may possible encounter.

23 May 2011

Where There's Smoke, There's A Grill

Anyone who reads this will think I’m fibbing…

I bought a kilo of liempo the other weekend thinking, I would treat myself to inihaw… Never mind what the health experts say, I think inihaw na liempo is still the closest thing one can have to an orgasm with the palate…

22 May 2011

Learning to Type

Back in 1998, when I first discovered the joy of IRC – Internet Relay Chat – I was happily typing text into the chat-box of my ugly IRC client software when the Canadian lady I met and befriended online who was at the other end begged me to slow down.

“Rex!” she typed, “Slow down! I can’t keep up with you!”

20 May 2011

Shouting at the Boys

One of the boys from the first group of high school kids I ever coached likes to tell – to this day – his team’s first encounter with me back in 1982. Classes for the day had ended and he and his teammates were on the field, suited up and shooting at the goal. It was also raining hard and the grass had begun to cut up.

I had actually forgotten all about that first day, but according to this boy – nay, he is already a man into his forties – I announced myself with purpose, shouting at the group, “Get out of the field! You’ll ruin it!”

18 May 2011

Brother Lolo’s Chicharon and Liempo

Back in the days when I used to be part of the Brother Lolo’s President’s Council, we would find ourselves nakaray somewhere just because he needed to get out of the campus. These were apart from Thursdays, which were sacred to him. Thursday, more often than not, was for golf with his pal Hernan Billano.

There was this one time as the school year was about to wind down to a close in 2001 when the Brother Lolo – on a whim – thought we should all hold one President’s Council meeting in Pansol. He knew this place daw.

17 May 2011

Astrology in Management

A couple of years ago, during the golden birth anniversary celebration of my friend and former colleague Cora Abansi, in a short speech our former boss Sonny Lozano told a small gathering of Cora’s family and friends – which, naturally, included some school employees – this little-known fact: that all three of us were born on a Year of the Boar or Pig.

16 May 2011

Accidental Tourists 2: Puerto Princesa

Alright! So maybe Bill Shankly did state once that football is more than a matter of life and death. But Bill never went to Puerto Princesa; and never experienced having something other than football thrust upon him by circumstance.

This is just me; and of course, I am making up excuses for a failed mission! This was way back in 1992; and the regional games were to be held in the city of Puerto Princesa on the island of Palawan.

The Palarô: Athletes Come First!

A few days ago, one of the news networks ran a clip showing young athletes being given emergency treatment after apparently having been overwhelmed by the heat during the just-concluded national games – or the Palarong Pambansâ, as these are called locally. Thinking outside the box – and failing to see what is staring them in the eye – has always been a failing of the organizers of these games.

14 May 2011

Change the Z to K, Karate! The Inimitable Sir Cris Zarate

All sophomore high school students during my time – particularly if they had older brothers who also went to the same school – could not wait for the school year to end so that they could become juniors and take… Biology!!!

No, there was nothing special about the course in itself. Rather, everyone could not wait to be under what was arguably the most colourful personality of a teacher of that era.

12 May 2011

Greg Atijon and the Trouble His Famous Ilonggo Accent Could Cause

Before anything else, apologies right away to any Ilonggo who may wander into this blog and chance upon this story. I myself am half-Ilonggo – my father was from Tigbauan, so should I say Karay-á – and so I know that more often than not, those from his corner of the globe sometimes struggle with the phonetic nuances of the Tagalog language.

The reverse will probably also be true; that is, if a Tagalog tries to learn and speak Ilonggo. However, the two stories I tell here are from the point of view of the Tagalog in me and I hope will be seen more in the light of the humor each story generated rather than be thought of as something offensive.

10 May 2011

Taught by a RAM-Boy

My love affair with the beautiful game began when I was still a young boy growing up inside the Base. My older brother was excellent in basketball; but I never did take a liking to the national game. There was just way too much of it in the household – Dad was also a big fan – that I was always bound to go for something else.

I do not exactly recall the first time I played the game; and if I even knew what it was to begin with. More like a kick-and-rush game of neighborhood boys with what was probably not even a proper football but more like an old basketball or volleyball.

09 May 2011

The Torch Parade

Things are understandably hazy now inside my head; and the images do not quite fall as coherently together as I would like them to. But I still somehow remember this fun event that we all looked forward to for weeks prior to its actual happening back in 1969 when I was still a Grade 5 student in this school.

The event was called the Torch and Lantern Parade. Many in school simply referred to it as the Torch Parade.

Steps Forward

Just a little past seven last night, I had just finished microwaving some of my pacham pasta dish when the world – or, at least, my little corner of it – suddenly turned black. Well, sort of... The neighbours sa harap still had their house lights on.

06 May 2011

Value for Money in That Wicked Left

[Just before the Pambansang Kamao takes on Mosley in Las Vegas, I thought I would do a re-run of this story I wrote for Facebook on 4 May 2009. Come to think about it, this story will be just over two years to the day since Pacquiao's bout against the Mancunian Ricky Hatton. I suppose by Sunday the roads will again be practically deserted and crime rates around the country will drop to next to zero for at least a couple of hours. That, I guess, is how much of an impact that PacMan has had on this country for several years now.]

05 May 2011

Set Free What Is Meant to Fly

Just before I was about to go home late this afternoon, I left my small office to walk through the receiving lounge just outside it on my way to the washroom to take a pee. Having opened and walked through the door to the lounge, I was startled when a bird flew off from one of the glass shelves of the display rack built right into the wall.

03 May 2011

Fire in the Gym!

Yes, before the SENTRUM became the place to play, there was the gym. That was how we called it when I was in grade school and high school: the gym.

Tambayan during Recess… Tambayan during lunch-break… Tambayan after school hours…

02 May 2011

Bin Laden Is Dead; Now for the Question

There was a strange sort of catharsis as I watched the social networks flood with news that Osama Bin Laden, cult figure to many Muslim people the world over and public enemy number one to everyone else, was killed today by American special forces in Pakistan. No lesss than the American President, Barack Obama, made the announcement direct from the White House.