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 November 2012

Azkals Defeat Myanmar as Heroes March on to the Semis

If there is anything that the Filipino loves more than the underdog, it is somebody who has his back against the wall and fighting for survival. Thus, the script for the Philippine National Football Team in the Suzuki Cup could not have been written better.

Narrowly beaten by the Thais in their opening match in a game when the Thais resorted to trickery both legitimate and otherwise, the Filipinos faced the Vietnamese in a match when they were not only the underdogs but also one in which they were fighting for their lives.

28 November 2012

2012 AFF Suzuki Cup Final Day Group A Possible Permutations

With all four countries in Group A of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup already having played two matches, Thailand sits comfortably atop the table having taken maximum points against both the Philippines and Myanmar. The Philippines bounced back from its opening day defeat to Thailand at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok to nip Vietnam, 1-nil, courtesy of a late goal by Emelio Caligdong on the second playing date of the competition. The country now sits second in the table with 3 points. Vietnam currently lies third while Myanmar props everyone up after a 0-4 mauling at the hands of the Thais.

The group is, thus, well set up for the final playing date for Group A this coming Friday, the 30th of November. Both matches are to be played simultaneously beginning at 9:20 PM (PHL Time) in separate venues. Thailand faces Vietnam at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok while the Philippines square up against Myanmar at the Muang Thong Stadium also in Bangkok.

27 November 2012

Azkals Nip Vietnam, 1-0 to Revive Suzuki Cup Campaign

Fortune, it is said, favours the brave. For the better part of the ninety minutes, the Vietnamese bossed the ball as they did that chilly night in Hanoi almost two years ago. They knocked it efficiently like a well-oiled machine backwards, square and to the sides. But where it mattered, the Vietnamese were found wanting. Smaller on average in stature compared to the Philippine team, the Vietnamese were hesitant to earn their money inside the box where the towering Filipino defenders held fort.

At the other end, thrown into the fray late in the game was the diminutive Filipino talisman, Emelio ‘Chieffy’ Caligdong. Where the Vietnamese were afraid to venture, the Air Force man held no such reservations. Drifting into the left side of the penalty box in the 85th minute, Caligdong collected a lofted pass by Angel Guirado, settled himself down and then fired the winning goal into the Vietnamese net.

24 November 2012

Thais Nip Azkals; But There Is Still All to Play for

No excuses. To offer any will be akin to painting enamel over rust. The Philippines were poor against Thailand in their opening fixture in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup last night – especially so in a disjointed first half. The one consolation to offer those who look for portents in moments of distress is that Malaysia played even worse in a 1-5 opening day loss to hosts Indonesia in 2010 – and subsequently went on to win the championship.

Yet, for all of Thailand’s possession and shot statistics, any claims of Thai superiority will be well wide of the mark. Indeed, the fact that the Philippines could lose by a mere 1-2 to the hosts despite playing poorly may be the biggest source of optimism for Filipino fans.

Dudoy Ronquillo, the Engineer and Public Servant

No disrespect to athletes – and I am, to this day, very much one – but many of them cannot be bothered, when inside the classroom, to ponder with any real depth of interest the glory of Greece or the grandeur of Rome. That is just the way things are generally as explained by the theory of intelligences. The intelligence of athletes is best exhibited and observed, after all, where else but on the playing courts.

There were, during my teaching years however, a few who I observed to be exceptions that probably proved the rule. Nerio Ronquillo Jr. – Dudoy to everyone else – was one of those. He was from the high school class of 1986 and was in my History class.

Dudoy Ronquillo, the Engineer and Public Servant Part II

<-- Continued from

He administers, coordinates, supervises and controls the construction, maintenance, improvement and repair of roads, bridges and other engineering and public works projects of local government units.

He advises the Governor on infrastructure, public works and other engineering matters; and exercises technical supervision over all engineering offices of component municipalities and cities.

22 November 2012

Final PHL 22-Man Suzuki Cup Line-up

The final 22-man Philippine squad for submission to the organisers of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup has been released via the Azkals National Football Team web site. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, recalled back to his parent club Fulham FC after a loan spell at English League 2 side Bristol Rovers, and Stephan Schröck of the Bündesliga club Hoffenheim are the most notable among the absentees. Roland Müller, who plays for MSV Duisburg in the second tier of the German Bündesliga, is surprisingly included in the line-up.

The final line-up is due to be submitted during the managers’ meeting later today. The absence of Etheridge and Schröck notwithstanding, the Philippines still fields a formidable line-up in the very same competition that sparked the revival of interest in football in the country back in 2010.

21 November 2012

No Etheridge? Have Faith in Saca!

Here is how the situation currently stands as far as Neil Etheridge’s participation in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup is concerned. He is NOT going. Personally, I hope this is final to settle everyone down – the team, the fans and Etheridge himself. God knows it has been an annoying last 24 hours as far as the Etheridge situation is concerned. None of it the lad’s fault, but not good at all on the eve of the competition.

Because the Suzuki Cup tournament does not fall on FIFA-sanctioned playing dates, there was always the possibility that Europe-based players would not be released. Thankfully, Dennis Cagara, Paul Mulders and Jerry Lucena are confirmed to play; ditto India-based Angel Guirado.

17 November 2012

Weiss is Wise Before the Suzuki Cup

There is just a week to go before the Philippines take the pitch at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok for their opening 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup encounter against the hosts Thailand. Hans Michael Weiss, speaking to the media before the recent friendly against Singapore, made all the right noises.

He cautioned that the Philippines’ big name players might not all be available because of club commitments in Europe; but correctly pointed out that the Philippine team would still be strong, anyway, with or without them.

16 November 2012

Baron Geisler and Bipolarism

There was something disturbing about the sight of entertainment personality Baron Geisler pleading with a news crew earlier this week in a clip shown on the national news. “Pare,” he begged, “h’wag n’yo na ilabas ‘yan.” He was behind bars after having been picked up by the police for assaulting a neighbour.

He was literally pleading for his life – and the potential damage that the news clip could do to an already tarnished career in show business. While I have little sympathy for Geisler’s often self-inflicted notoriety, what I did find disturbing was the utter lack of privacy in a person’s moment of vulnerability.

15 November 2012

Sacapaño Stars as Azkals Complete Historic Second Win over Singapore

There was a link to a story on the Bristol Rovers web site that was circulating around the Internet before the friendly international between the Philippines and Singapore at the Cebu Sports Center tonight that alleged that the country’s number one goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has opted to stay with his club rather than play in the Suzuki Cup later this month.

Because Roland Müller has yet to confirm his participation as well, the obvious question was – therefore – who will keep goal in Bangkok. Thus, if there was a time for the Philippine Army’s Eduard Sacapaño to remind the doubting Thomases that he does – indeed – play in that position, that time was tonight in Cebu.

14 November 2012

Those Annoying Marketing Phone Calls

“Good morning!” I said one day into the handset of my landline after nearly stumbling on the way to where the telephone is located. “Good morning,” the even-toned voice at the other end said. “May I speak to Mr. Rex Raymond Torrecampo?”

“This is he,” I politely responded. Then, the farce began. “Good morning again, sir!” the voice at the other end continued, encouraged by my response. “I’m calling on behalf of XXXX (this would be the bank which issued my credit card) and may I interest you on an insurance package that the bank is offering?”

13 November 2012

Stallions Set Up UFL Cup Final Date With Global FC

I did say that there was little to choose from between Green Archers United and Stallion Penson FC prior to the two clubs’ UFL semi-final clash last night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. That it took extra time and some crucial calls and non-calls for Stallion to book their place in the final merely strengthened that outlook.

I had particular interest in this match because I wanted to see which club would take it upon itself to take the game to the other. The Stallions probably marginally deserved their 3-1 victory over the Archers; and primarily just for taking the attacking initiative.

12 November 2012

Albert Gamatero: Marketing Professional; Teacher by Heart Part I

“Teaching is a job that I would do for free!” So says Albert Gamatero of the High School Class of 1988 and also recently college and graduate school professor of De La Salle Lipa. Said in jest, of course; and just as quickly followed by, “Please don’t tell anyone.”

Albert or ‘Abet’ – as he is called by many – is currently General Manager and Marketing Officer of Panaderia Pantoja, Inc. He reports directly to the President and all the Vice-Presidents report to him.

Albert Gamatero: Marketing Professional; Teacher by Heart Part II

<-- Story Continued from

Apart from heeding a desire to teach, Albert made the decision to come home to the Philippines because of two other reasons. The first one was because he was a loving and devoted son.

“My mom was having a hard time in the States,” he explains. “She was getting old and her arthritis was worsening. Being an only child, I wanted to personally take care of her. If we stayed in the U.S., I would have had to put her in a nursing home; and I did not want that. That was not an option for me.”

11 November 2012

Facebook: How to Change the Description of the Link You Share

The sharing of statuses, pictures, videos and links are what makes Facebook such a dynamic site. Shared links, in particular, compete with one another particularly if a Facebook user has thousands of friends, each sharing something interested discovered while surfing.

To capture a user’s attention, Facebook conveniently extracts from the link itself strings of text which it then presents as a sort of description. This, along with a thumbnail also extracted from the same post, gives the user a preview of what the shared link is all about.

First of all, Facebook checks the link for the page’s metatags (which you do not have to concern yourself with if you are not into web design). If Facebook finds none included in the published post, then it extracts the first string of text that it finds from the body of the post.

Not all the time does Facebook extract the correct description, so that a shared link sometimes fails to attract the attention of potential readers.

There is a way around this and this tutorial will describe it. The method is particularly useful for bloggers although is just as useful to everyone else who shares links from time to time.

Please note the date of this article as Facebook is always making tweaks to its systems and this post may not be relevant after a period of time.

Step 1:
Go to the form box either on your Home or Profile page where you share statuses, pictures or links. Type in or paste the URL or web address of the article or site that you wish to share. In this example, I am using a link from my web site Life So Mundane.

Facebook automatically extracts the thumbnail and description. In this link, a description has been extracted because I use metatags on my web site.

Step 2:
Hover your mouse’s arrowhead over the description that Facebook extracted. Notice that the entire string of text becomes highlighted in yellow.

Click anywhere on the highlighted text. Notice that the text turns into a form box where you can type in your description. The former text turns into blue.

Step 3:
Type in whatever alternative description that you wish to accompany the link when you share it. Click outside the form box when done and then click on the POST button to share the link. This description you typed will show across the NewsFeeds of your friends and will be archived by Facebook in what is called a permalink.

That’s it! You have just learned how to change a link’s description before sharing it. Bet you didn’t know this before. ☺

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Facebook: How to Permanently Block People From Seeing Your Activities

Everyone on Facebook at one time or another comes across people who are annoying or who use the social networking site for purposes that infringe on people’s privacy. This tutorial instructs Facebook users on how to permanently block them from seeing not only your profile but also most of your other Facebook activities. Note that sometimes you can see unhyperlinked names in strings of comments under pictures and other posts. This may mean that the person is blocked or his account has been deactivated.

Please note the date of this article as Facebook is always making tweaks to its systems and this post may not be relevant after a period of time.

Step 1:
On the upper right hand corner of your profile page, look for the buttons showing your name and the word HOME. Click on the inverted arrowhead to bring down the menu.

Step 2:
From the menu, click on the option Privacy Settings.

You will be taken to a page the upper part of which looks like this:

Scroll down to where it says Blocked People and Apps.

Step 3:
Click on Manage Blocking to go to the Blocking page.

The upper part of the page will look like this:

Step 4:
Type in the name or the e-mail address of the user who you wish to block into the form boxes available. Click the blue button that says Block.

Step 5:
Typing the name John Smith (as an example) brings out a pop-out window. Scroll down to the person who you wish to block (using the small profile picture as guide) then click the Block Button.

That’s it! You have blocked a person permanently from seeing all your Facebook activities!

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Facebook: How to Create A Page

This tutorial will teach users of Facebook how to create a Page. Formerly known as the Fan Page, pages are now widely used for a variety of promotional and marketing purposes. Unlike individual accounts which are allowed at most 5,000 friends, Pages are not constrained in terms of the number of users. Please note the date of this article as Facebook is always making tweaks to its systems and this post may not be relevant after a period of time.

Step 1:
Refer to the left sidebar of the NewFeed or Home Page where you find Favorites, Ads, Lists and Groups. Scroll down to the list of Pages that you have ‘Liked.’

The sidebar view varies from user to user. If the Friends list is not visible, look for the More button.

Step 2:
Drag your mouse and over the word Pages to bring out the clickable More hyperlink. Click on the word More to bring out all existing Friends lists.

Step 3:
Click the Create Page button to go to the Create a Page page.

Step 4:
Choose the type of page that you wish to create and click on the appropriate box. The options given are: Local Business or Place; Company, Institution or Organization; Brand or Product; Artist, Band or Public Figure; Entertainment; and Cause or Community.

For our purposes, we shall click on the option Company, Institution or Organization. Clicking on the box brings up this dialogue box.

Step 5:
Click on the inverted arrowhead beside the phrase Choose a Category to bring down a menu of choices. Pick one that represents your organization closest if not fits exactly.

Step 6:
Type your company name into the form box. Make sure you click the small box beside I agree to Facebook Pages Terms.  When done, click the Get Started button.

Step 7:
For the purposes of this tutorial, I have given the new page the name Kaalaman. The dialogue page will appear like this after you have created your first page.

That’s it! You have created your first page and the dialogue box will ask for a profile picture, a description, a description and an address. Tweaking settings for Facebook Pages will be discussed in a separate tutorial.

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Facebook: How to Use Emoticons with Chat and Comments

Emoticons are small graphic pictures or icons that attempt to depict a person’s moods or feelings. They are a fairly recent feature of Facebook; but they have been around far longer in chat software like Yahoo! Messenger and other instant messenger services.

Facebook first made the emoticons available in the chat feature. There are two ways to add emoticons while using the Facebook Chat feature.

Method 1:
The first method is by using the menu that Facebook itself has conveniently made available. When you click on a friend’s name to bring up a Chat window, find this small round icon at the bottom right hand corner of the window.

Clicking the icon will bring up another window with a choice of icons for you to choose from.

Click on the icon of your choice. The text code for it will appear in the box where your message is initially typed. You can type in additional text if you wish.

When you hit the Enter key, the icon appears inside the Chat window.

Method 2:
The second method is simply to type in the text code into the form box of the Chat Window. Recently, Facebook has also made this feature not only for Chat but also for Comments and Personal Messages.


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