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 June 2012

Broken Households and Children

In the society that I grew up in, if husband and wife had grave differences, they resigned themselves to being stuck with each other because that was the norm of the society we were all in. There were marital break-ups, yes; but these were the exceptions rather than the rule. Those who did break up found themselves whispered about in cliques in what was society’s way of frowning at such anomalies.

The passage of time not only brings with it modernity but also the liberalisation of some of society’s erstwhile established norms. It is simply the order of things that the ways of the younger generation will eventually supersede those of the older over time.

28 June 2012

Commissions or Basic Pay for Bus Drivers?

So there you are. As per Directive 118-12 of the Labour Department, bus drivers are to receive basic pays in lieu of the traditional boundary and commission system that they have all gotten used to. Maybe that move is just about right; and bus drivers just like all employees need to enjoy the benefits of a fixed salaries at the end of fifteen days.

Certain sectors, not least of which is the MMDA, seem convinced that this is a godsend insofar as reducing vehicular accidents involving public buses is concerned.

27 June 2012

Following Hiyas and the Trauma of Commercials

Ayun... So Donato Salvador – or is it Salvador Donato; I get so confused – was blown to bits the other day while delivering a speech in some affair or something. And I only found out from the quick recap at the start of yesterday’s episode.

I am talking about the teleserye ‘Hiyas,’ of course; and Silang’s seemingly interminable quest for the, well, hiyas. The soap opera being on its last fortnight, I guess I will see this through.

25 June 2012

Euro 2012: In Defence of England

I did the rounds of the British news sites the morning after the England loss to the Italians in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012; and even that soon the savaging of the English national team was well underway. How short people’s memories can be when it suits them!

Expectations were low to begin with when the England team flew off to the finals. The team left behind a reasonable amount of ordnance in the injured Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Gary Cahill. Rio Ferdinand, of course was left behind ‘for football reasons.’

24 June 2012

Euro 2012: False Nines and Spaniards

The ‘false nine.’ Fancy football tactical jargon. Maybe I do not read up on the game as much as I once did; but apparently it is not as new a tactical concept as I thought. I first heard of it from the commentator of the Euro 2012 match between Spain and Italy, remarking as he did that the Spaniards had lined up without a recognized striker.

One site suggested that it was Francesco Totti, playing for AS Roma in the Serie A, who evolved the role a few years back. Apparently, Pep Guardiola had also used the false nine with mixed results at Barcelona.

23 June 2012

Not Just Yet Please Dolphy

My word! But I could barely listen to Eric Quizon describing how his father flitted between consciousness and unconsciousness during a press conference called to give an update on Dolphy’s condition last night. It felt as though somebody took hold of a piece of my heart with a thumb and a pointer finger and then twisted in a wicked pinch. What Quizon was describing, I know all about. That was how things were with my Mom on the days immediately before she passed on.

But, of course, in contrast we had all let go – in our hearts, in our minds and in our souls. People on the brink, they won’t go if you hold on, you know! But seeing as we all did how Mom was in so much pain, none of us could possibly want to hold it against her if she wanted to finally rest.

20 June 2012

Citizens’ Warning Systems

And once in a while, I like to do posts that don’t really need any profound thinking, either on my part or on that of the readers. This is one of those. In this country of ours, we can be so at the mercy of the elements; and Nature always invariably ends up winning. We are only humans, after all.

Everyone seems to have come up with one warning system or the other that always comes up short when Nature decides to flex its muscles and show all of us who is boss. What do we do then but to take it all in stride; and often it is our people’s innate sense of humour that enables us all to survive.

19 June 2012

Pampa Death Puts Lipa in National News

Life can be so mundane here in Lipa that we invariably make the national news if there is a massacre – which is rare – or if there is a religious event involving devotion to the Blessed Mother. But wait… Yesterday we made the national news; and not at all for something that may be considered of profound significance.

So maybe before you proceed any further, you had better make sure that you are of age; else you had better seek parental guidance. This post will not be general patronage.

18 June 2012

Lipa Quite at Its Best

No, we do not have world famous white white-sanded beaches. Neither do we have picture-perfect rice terraces nor fabulous waterfalls. And night life will probably mean a side trip to the nearest lomi joint before retiring to the comforts of one’s own home.

But once the monsoons blow as briskly as they have done since late May, then I am reminded again of why I probably turned my back on a possible lucrative career out in the metropolis to return to this city that I have called home all my life. Simply stated, this is Lipa at its best.

Rains, Garbage, Floods

This is so old news; but every year it still finds its way back into the news shows. Apparently, while Typhoon Butchoy merely skimmed the outer edges of the PAR, on its way out it also pulled in the monsoons to dump gallons upon gallons of water upon Metro Manila.

And of course, within the context of certain localities of the metropolis, the saying that applies is “when it rains, it floods.”

15 June 2012

Oh Silang! The Hiyas Is So Obvious!

So go ahead and laugh if you must. I’m watching a teleserye. Big deal! I used to watch Mula sa Pusô before because if I didn’t, I would so be the outcast at work. Everyone talked about the last episode the next day and was I to sit there thinking duh?

But, yeah, you’re right! I’m not really the teleserye-watching type. How I got started watching the adventures of Silang as he seeks the hiyas – and thus the teleserye’s title – owes a lot to ABS-CBN’s ridiculous inability to keep its own schedules.

14 June 2012

Maritime Tragedies and Fish Sales

I am sure that there is a scientific term for the collective paranoia that we not only once in a while hear about but actually become part and parcel of. If you have been watching the news, then you know that an inter-island vessel by the name of Josille II was battered by tall waves recently and sunk off the coastal town of El Nido in Palawan.

Never mind about the tragedy because enough has been said about it in the media. Rather, what went through my mind as I watched the news reports last night was the inevitable collective paranoia that expectedly follows a tragedy such as this. Not about travelling by inter-island ferry, which is something more or less citizens of this country have little choice about.

12 June 2012

Azkals Defeat Guam 3-nil in Independence Day Encounter

There was every danger, seeing as Guam is almost 50 notches below us in the FIFA rankings, that somebody would have to sneak in a PSP to give Neil Etheridge something to do whilst in the middle of an international friendly against the Philippines tonight at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.

Indeed, after an initial charge deep into the Philippine half straight from the kickoff, Guam settled back to do what everyone more or less expected them to do. Defend in numbers, that is; and often petty fouling to give the match an annoying stop-go rhythm.

Celebrity Tweets on the Pacquiao-Bradley Fight

And not as though moving on is not an option, because there really is pretty much nothing that anyone can really do about it, but here is a collection of celebrity Tweets on that controversial fight between Manny Pacquiao and Tim Bradley last Sunday. I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the accounts; although many appear to be owned by the celebrities of the same names. Still, going through them made for a truly entertaining if lazy Independence Day Tuesday.

At the bottom, I include three Tweets from definitely bogus accounts just for the sheer humour that they contain. I must say that everything you see in this post is not supposed to be taken too seriously.

11 June 2012

Education, Football and ‘Tingin sa Pogî’

Initially, I did not quite know what to make of the appointment of former Swansea City FC boss Brendan Rodgers as replacement for Liverpool’s sacked Kenny Dalglish. True, the ‘Swans’ had the utter cheek to come to Anfield, that cathedral of the English passing game, and in patches manage to out-pass and out-think their illustrious hosts. Without the benefit of household names, it must be added; in stark contrast to the multi-million pound team in all-red.

Rodgers was ultimately unveiled at Anfield with an apparently impressive enough CV. José Mourinho, among others, was quick to sing Rodgers’ praises, the latter having been his assistant at Chelsea.

10 June 2012

Pacquiao’s Loss to Bradley Makes One Salivate for the Rematch

Time was when a ‘via satellite’ telecast was actually live. Apparently not anymore, as the cable station that was broadcasting the Pacquiao-Bradley bout for local consumption started airing just about when it had already concluded in real time.

There ought to be a law forbidding people from posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. These effectively spoil things for people – like me – who still have to watch the bout on supposedly via satellite feeds.

08 June 2012

Inside a Coffin and Saved by the Bell

My previous article on an idiomatic expression captured a friend’s interest enough for her to refer me to another one: ‘saved by the bell.’ As an expression in the present-day context, the phrase is used when one gets out of a potentially sticky situation in the nick of time.

The frequent assumption, and with good reason, is that the expression traces its origin to the sport of boxing. Indeed, since we are also a boxing nation, we have all seen at one time or another a boxer being pommelled with punches by his opponent who survived only because the bell fortuitously rang just before he was brought down.

07 June 2012

Hanged, Drawn and Quartered

Time was when those who used the English language, including us Filipinos, were so much more colourful in the way they expressed themselves. For instance, not too long ago, if you were guilty of having done something unpleasant, the recipient of your action may threaten you idiomatically with the expression “I will have you hanged, drawn and quartered!”

Let us digress for a while to the concluding moments of the 1995 box office hit “Braveheart” – which I will simply assume you had the good sense to watch even on DVD – and the various facial contortions that Mel Gibson as William Wallace was doing in front of the camera. No, he was not having an Immodium moment.

06 June 2012

Uh-oh… I’m Watching the Celtics Again

Uh-oh... I’m watching the Celtics again. Yes, the Celtics; and yes, the basketball team. There is a football club based in Glasgow called Celtic, without the ‘s.’ But I support its city rival Rangers, instead.

To get back to the Celtics, or the Boston Celtics, please pull your eyebrows down because I do have a favourite basketball team.

05 June 2012

Azkals’ 2-all Draw With Indonesia Feels Like a Win

There would have been some concern that Neil Etheridge and the Younghusband brothers were not selected to start against Indonesia in the FIFA international friendly played at the Rizal Memorial tonight. I would not read any more to this other than Coach Michael Weiss simply making full use of the deep squad at his disposal.

If anything, leaving the trio out was probably more a statement of intent on the part of the German.

04 June 2012

Elizabeth II: An Accident of History and a 60-Year Reign

Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and its Other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith. Thus is formally named the monarch and familiar global icon who this year celebrates 60 years on the throne, a stunning achievement any way one looks at it.

You may call her Lizzy, for short; just not within hearing distance. Otherwise, it is ‘Her Royal Highness’ or ‘Her Majesty’ as dictated by the styles and traditions of the British Monarchy.

9 Yearbooks: Paper Dummies to Desktop Publishing

I have always loved published materials. Because most of us in the family grew up voracious readers, there were always books, newspapers and magazines in the house. In the glossy magazines, in particular, I admired the way layout artists combined text and photos to always create something attractive to the eyes.

Naturally, I joined the staffs of both the yearbook and the school paper when I was in high school. In those days, however, the process of laying out particularly for the school paper was a tedious process.

02 June 2012

Random Insights on a 1st Half (Malaysia v PHL)

Well, yes... This will probably be the first and only instance when a football write-up was ever written based entirely on a first half. The world over, if I may append to this rather dubious distinction.

So, like most everyone else who follows the fortunes of the Azkals, I was happily watching last night’s feed from Kuala Lumpur, having already silently thanked the gods of football that TD Ambô was seemingly skirting rather than hitting the country.

01 June 2012

Of SALNs and Waivers: Pilipinas Expects!

In fairness, it was not PNoy himself who categorically stated that he shall not be waiving his right under law to keep his dollar accounts confidential. Instead, it was Malacañang spokesperson Abigail Valte who did so during a news conference held at the palace yesterday.

When quizzed by the media, Valte confirmed that indeed, the President had said while still on the campaign trail that if elected, for the sake of transparency he would waive his right to secrecy as far as his bank accounts were concerned. However, Valte went on, the President would not be doing so “at this time.”