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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29 February 2012

DLSU Lady Archers Nail Back-to-Back UAAP Volley Titles

The problem with playing your best game in any tournament always is that your subsequent games will – naturally – not be your best. This was exactly the case with the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, who were seeking to win their first-ever UAAP women’s volleyball tournament and took a step in the right direction by defeating the DLSU-Manila Lady Archers in Game 1 of the final exactly one week ago today.

28 February 2012

The Funeraria Days of PBB’s Biggel

The impeachment trial was so frightfully dull this afternoon there was probably more fun in watching a line of clothes dry under the sun. That was why I channel-hopped; and how I arrived at the live version of Pinoy Big Brother and eavesdropped on a fascinating story that housemate Biggel – real name Joseph Emil Biggel – was telling one of Kuya’s houseguests.

26 February 2012

Wormholes, Aliens, Engkantos and Quantum Physics

Over the weekend, I watched this YouTube video on the Russia Today channel about the supposed mystical forces that could be found somewhere in the Urals, that mountainous region that more or less delineates Russia’s European territory from much more in Asia. One segment of the full documentary featured the investigations of a Russian scientist – a ufologist or somebody who scientifically studies unidentified flying objects and their accompanying hypotheses.

22 February 2012

The Poisoned Chalice that the Lady Archers Drank From

And so it was that the DLSU-Manila Lady Archers turned back a spirited performance by the Ateneo de Manila Lady Eagles in the fourteenth and final elimination round match of the UAAP Season 74 women’s volleyball tournament last 12 February at the San Juan Arena. At the end of a scintillating 5-set match, the scoreboard read: 18-25, 25-14, 21-25, 25-19, 15-7 in favour of DLSU.

21 February 2012

That Awkward Moment

…when you see a person you have been avoiding walking the opposite direction towards you along a narrow corridor and you know that turning back will be too obvious.

…when you encounter somebody you cannot recognize who is beaming a wide happy smile at you, you smile right back to be polite and then belatedly realize that the person is actually smiling at somebody walking right behind you.

20 February 2012

Filipino Time: Personality or Cultural Trait?

Who, in this country, has not experienced having to sit on a bus station bench playing a game on the cellular phone because there is still no sight of a companion who was supposed to have arrived half an hour before? Or arriving early for a concert only to be told that it will not start until another hour after the time printed on the ticket? Or meeting up with group mates and unable to accomplish anything because the classmate who has the thesis files in a USB drive is still asleep?

17 February 2012

Azkals Lose to Roos; But Don’t Blame Araneta

Ian Araneta was the object of an overnight online vitriol storm on Twitter and Facebook on the aftermath of the Philippines’ 0-1 loss to the Olympic national football team of Australia. I did not bother catching the match live since it was a friendly, anyway. That was why I was anxious to catch the replay this afternoon to see what Araneta could have done this time to deserve such ridicule and animosity.

14 February 2012

Getting Tactics Right for the Azkals Against Al Ahli

One simply cannot understate what the Filipino Diaspora has done for Philippine football. That all of us who follow the beautiful game in this country have it to thank was once again evident in Doha the other night, where the national team put on an adrenalin-inducing show of rapier-like counterattacking football to convincingly defeat local club Al Ahli in a friendly match played at the Al Ahli Sports Club Stadium.

Choogs, Log Books and the Brother Lolo’s Grumpiness

So, alright! Maybe I should have learned to bring my log book with me a little sooner to these weekly one-on-one meetings that the Brother Lolo used to call when I worked with him in top administration just over a decade ago. These meetings were regularly scheduled on Mondays and lasted roughly one hour. Don’t get fooled. Some Mondays the one hour could feel like an eternity multiplied many times over!

12 February 2012

Ask Your Mom for Her Recipes While You Still Can

Mother’s home cooking is always best. That is a fact; and there is no rocket science to it. It is her cooking that we first taste. It is her cooking that we get accustomed to as we grow up. It is that her cooking that subsequently sets the standards inside our heads for what is and what is not good food. It is her cooking that we miss when we leave our homes. And it is the thought of her cooking that brings mist to our eyes when she is no longer here to cook for us…

10 February 2012

The Champagne Football of Deney ‘Pato’ Reyes

Although Tuteng Marasigan of the LSFC Class of 1988 was the most celebrated of the team’s midfield generals through the decades, in fact there was another one who was almost a mirror image of the young Marasigan in terms of style and intelligence. His name – officially, or at least as his birth certificate declares – is Deney Reyes. In the team, though, everyone called him ‘Pato.’

07 February 2012

Cindy and Her Text From Her Own Grave

Her name was Cindy. She was just one of scores buried underneath tons of earth that came sliding down the side of the mountain and onto their homes as a consequence of the cataclysmic heaving of the earth in the Central Philippines around midday just last Monday. Like many others who suffered the same fate, she was to discover that Nature, indeed, in its fury takes no prisoner.

05 February 2012

The Mystery of Mt. Makiling’s Magnetic Hill

In the nineties when my football teams used to play so many games at the fields of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños, to avoid the horrendous downtown traffic in the town we learned to use alternate routes from Lipa. Before the drivers discovered the geothermal route, the favourite way was to go through the backdoor of the university and into Mt. Makiling itself.

03 February 2012

More Fun in the Philippines

Although there is something totally unoriginal and cliché-ic about the Department of Tourism’s ‘It’s more fun in the Philippines’ campaign, what is undeniable is its effectiveness in capturing the public’s imagination. Everyone, it seems, has his or her own take on the campaign. Albeit late, and because it’s a lazy Saturday morning, here are some ‘More Fun in the Philippines’ memes that I made for everyone’s enjoyment.

02 February 2012

The Prosecution and the CJ Corona Trial

…and so the good Senator Chiz Escudero wanted to know who among the prosecution panel in the Chief Justice Renato Corona impeachment trial was responsible for leaking to the media allegations that the Chief Justice owned 45 properties which were at yesterday’s trial seen to be just above twenty. Congressman Niel Tupas Jr. of the prosecution, at the podium to respond to the senator’s question, denied that it was the prosecution that leaked the allegations to the media.

How Amazing Manila to Lipa in One Hour Is

When I went to see the national team play against CFC de Madrid at the Rizal Memorial last month, I did so confident in the knowledge that it was a 4 o’clock kickoff and that in most likelihood the match would be over by 6 in the evening. All credit to the organizers, the final whistle blew probably just a quarter past 6; and my companion and I were briskly striding outside the stadium moments later to go home.