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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30 April 2012

The So Filipino Trait of Giving Pasalubongs

There was this interesting item on the news last night that talked about the Filipino trait of buying pasalubongs everytime he goes on a trip. I had to agree with most everything that the item said. Indeed, which Filipino does not set aside even just a tiny part of the travel budget to make sure that there are at least tokens to take back home?

Those who have the means, of course, will be bringing home much more than just tokens. That is why, in airports abroad, you can always tell which check-in counter belongs to Philippine Airlines. There is almost inevitably bound to be a long queue of balikbayan boxes waiting to be checked in as well.

29 April 2012

The Great Generation of the Barong Brothers

The recent passing of Brother Rolando Dizon FSC is yet another stark reminder that time takes no prisoners. Aside from Brother ‘Roly,’ Brother Rafael Donato and Brother Andrew Gonzales were two more of what – to my mind – had been a great generation of Brothers who brought the fraternity and their schools the prestige they all now enjoy.

Each now rests in a concrete tomb in a mausoleum inside the grounds of what the Brothers themselves jokingly refer to as the first and last assignment: the Novitiate in Lipa City just behind the school. All three were among the great Brothers of my youth.

25 April 2012

Plastic-less in Lipa

Well not entirely; or at least, the way I understood it from a news video a few weeks back, only plastic bags in dry goods stores are banned. If anybody knows anything to the contrary, please do not hesitate to make a correction in the comments section below.

I suppose the writing was on the wall the moment Batangas City implemented its own ban last year. Local governments are increasingly factoring in environmental concerns among their programs. That, to my mind, is a good thing!

Psychic Joe Battles Cuenca’s Engkantos

Before anything else, I apologize for writing about the mysterious Cuenca fires for the third straight post. I am so fascinated by the mystery and I applaud TV Patrol Southern Tagalog for sticking with the story and providing updates. It sure beats watching an episode of Wako-Wako.

Life in sitio Mambog in Cuenca has certainly changed over the course of the past week after a local lad set fire to some brush in a dump or something. Engkantos, or so the story goes, were disturbed and have been taking their revenge by burning objects inside homes in the neighbourhood.

23 April 2012

Explaining the Mysterious Cuenca Fires

The strange spontaneous combustions in Cuenca, Batangas continue to intrigue me. There was a follow up report by TV Patrol Southern Tagalog this afternoon. An elderly gentleman got his foot burnt trying to put out one such fire by stepping on a burning cloth. For his troubles, his foot also became mysteriously swollen and apparently not from the burns alone.

20 April 2012

Strange Burnings in Cuenca, Batangas Caused by Engkantos?

There was this strange item on TV Patrol Southern Tagalog yesterday that I do not really quite know what to make of. One would think, in this day and age, that Science is able to explain just about anything under the sun.

Not quite; or at least, if you live in this obscure little sitio called Mombog in a village called San Isidro in the municipality of Cuenca right here in Batangas. The residents are already in a state of distress – or so the news report went – on account of things spontaneously combusting inside their homes for no apparent reason whatsoever.

19 April 2012

Jessica Sanchez Survives to Sing Another Week

Yes, and Colton Dixon has been sent packing. At least, that is what all the reactions on Idol’s Facebook page seem to be saying. The ‘live’ show that StarSports pronounces its 6PM airing to be is not live at all. It is almost half a day late, as a matter of fact.

Well, it was bound to happen that Jessica would survive this week. There was apparently a massive campaign in the States for Fil-Ams to vote. A news show last night even showed our kababayans even staging a Vote-for-Jessica party of sorts.

18 April 2012

Lipa City Has a Web Site!

Finally! Lipa City has a government web site! I am so happy to know this. The site has apparently been online for sometime now. The fact that I did not know, and I have been a Netizen for years, is down to the fact that I simply gave up on us ever having one.

I mean, in the past, if I needed information on the city, all I would ever get was this poor excuse of a web site on some freebie server where teenagers posted their cell phone pictures. There was more likelihood of getting updated information elsewhere.

17 April 2012

Always Brother Bong

From the off, and for the benefit of those who are contemporarily associated with the school, I wish to make it clear that this is another Brother Bong that this story will be about. I feel almost obligated to add LOL because the young will have absolutely no idea who this other Brother Bong was. In fact, more than a generation separates this story from the one you were probably expecting.

There used to be two members of the Narciso family of Fernando Air Base once associated with the school. Both, curiously, played no small part in my formative years.

16 April 2012

When Redford White Came to Our House

Well, close enough; but not really. Truth be told, there used to be, in the school where I used to work, this Brother who was the spitting image of the late comedian Redford White. This anecdote revolves around that Brother.

For those of the younger generation, Redford White was this television and movie personality whose real name was Cipriano Cermeño II.

15 April 2012

Craving for Pinindot

I had been craving for some pinindot; but, these days, I do rather seem to have developed a propensity for procrastination. If you are not from these parts, then you will probably know the pinindot as the bilo-bilo; except that you will probably expect bits of fruits and root crops floating in it as well.

Well, personally, I have always been partial to pinindot with only sticky rice balls and tapioca, a.k.a. sago. Anything else in the pot, to me, is sacrilegious.

13 April 2012

Management Case Study: Lawsuit

If for no other reason than to keep myself in touch with management principles, let us consider this hypothetical management problem: a company officer gets into an altercation with a customer while in the execution of his duties. To the customer, the altercation was grave enough to make him file a case in court against the officer.

Issued a subpoena by the court, the officer turns to his company to ask for assistance. Does the company provide the requested assistance or leave him to deal with the situation on his own on the assumption that the altercation was the consequence of a personal rather than an official action?

12 April 2012

Those Damned North Koreans and Their Damned Rocket

Am I missing something here? Just now on the news, some guy with a megaphone who I assumed was a representative of the NDRRMC was desperately pleading with some fishermen to please return to shore. “Your lives are at risk!” he tried to warn them.

Seriously???!!! As everyone knows, today was supposed to be the day when the damned North Koreans launched their rocket to put a satellite in space. Well, yeah… That’s the official excuse.

09 April 2012

PHL Population at 92.34M as per 2010 Census

Well there you have it! It’s official now that the results of the 2010 Philippine Census have been released by the National Statistics Office (NSO). The country’s population is pegged at 92.34 million (figure rounded).

This total was good for two years ago, mind. Taking into account the average annual population growth rate over the previous ten year period (2000-2010) of 1.9% and assuming that this growth rate remained constant over the last two years, then the current population ought to be in the neighbourhood of 94.09M.

07 April 2012

So Your Cable Channels Got Jumbled…

If you’re from Lipa, then you probably got startled early last week to discover that your favourite cable television channels were not quite where you expected them to be. I don’t know what the local CATV did; but I love the changes!

It’s not so much the jumbling of the channels. More like the improvement of the reception of my favourite stations. It’s – like – I’m starting to rediscover the joy of watching television all over again!

06 April 2012

American Idol: Sending DeAndre Packing

I am a bit disappointed… but, I guess, not really surprised. If I was disappointed at all, it was that DeAndre Brackensick was sent packing after a night when I felt that, on the basis of performance, either Hollie Cavanagh or Elise Testone deserved to go more.

But Jimmy Iovine, that guy who always wears a cap and who you will probably ignore if you met him on the streets, was spot on with his assessment. But more on Iovine later…

03 April 2012

The Double Life of Annie Batungbakal

The younger generations, in particular, will have absolutely no clue about who Annie Batungbakal was – and with good reason. First of all, she lived back in the seventies, at a time when the poetry of songwriting was being usurped by the relative illiteracy of disco music.

Annie Batungbakal was but one of countless and faceless Filipinas who spent their entire lives trying to eke out a living. She was a saleslady probably in one of the emerging malls of the era or one of the more ubiquitous department stores all around the metropolis.