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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26 December 2014

‘On Behalf of’ or ‘In Behalf of?’

Quick, which is correct, ‘on behalf of’ or ‘in behalf of?’

Technically, both are correct. It is in the usage, however, that people often get confused.

The word ‘behalf’ is a noun that can mean either of two things.

First, it can mean an ‘agent,’ ‘stead,’ ‘lieu,’ ‘place,’ or ‘position.’ The usage of the word behalf can be ‘as an agent of,’ in somebody’s stead, ‘in lieu of’ or in ‘somebody’s place or position.’

23 December 2014

If You Build It They Will Come: Building a New Football Club in Batangas

The Asociación Club de Fútbol Real Molinillo de Café First General Assembly, 21 December 2014.
I have always been the proud sort, so I never stay where I am no longer wanted. Thus, opting for early retirement was an easy decision to make.

I belong to the original jeans and white shirt generation; and if I were a car, I would be of the low maintenance sort. What I am trying to say is that I do not need an awful lot to get by. Simplicity is my middle name.

Therefore, the loss of income due to early retirement was a not matter of life or death for me. Because the place had become heavily politicised, and I had become weary of the environment, I was also quite certain that I would not find it hard divorcing myself from people I used to work with, excepting those few who were particularly close to me.

20 December 2014

Erick Von and Shirley: a True DLSL Love Story

Some of you might have come across this supposed love story involving two graduates of DLSL that was making the rounds of Facebook the other week. Heart warming enough, this I am prepared to concede; but I was warned that it probably was not even true.

Now this one is.

Now that I come to think about it, I have always had this really great connection with the Hernandez family of Cumba, a cosy little village just outside Lipa City proper. I just had no reason to think of things that way before.

Estela, the eldest, was in my high school History class in 1991-92. She was what the French would call petite, small and lovely. But she was more than just a pretty face; she was smart, too.

13 December 2014

Post Mortem: Was Thailand Really Superior to the Philippine Azkals?

Image captured from video on the
AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
I thought I was done writing about the Suzuki Cup, but it has been a lazy Saturday and I had been reading the reactions, the counter-reactions and the counter-counter-reactions many times over to the humbling 0-3 loss to Thailand in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup last Wednesday.

Some of the commentaries were valid; others somewhat valid; and still many others add credence to a friend’s claim that Filipinos post first then think later – if at all – when on the Internet.

Others say that the result merely illustrated the gulf in class between the Philippines and Thailand as footballing nations. Aye to this one! Only those with short term memory loss will not recall that Thailand has traditionally been one of Southeast Asia’s footballing giants; and that the Philippines used to be the region’s whipping boys pre-2010.

11 December 2014

Bangkok Failure for Philippine Azkals Still a Tremendous Achievement

Image captured from video on the
AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
I do not know that I have reason to complain because I did write in a previous article that I did not think we would be winning the AFF Suzuki Cup this year. Soon, was what I thought after the friendly defeat to Thailand last month; but not this year.

It was just that the 4-nil rout of Indonesia in Hanoi in the group stage was like heady wine. You know, the sort that makes you lose your better judgement and seduces you against your will.

Still, I felt reasonably confident that Thailand could be had, especially after that plucky goalless draw last Saturday at the Rizal Memorial. The prospect of a score draw and an away goals win was just as seducing.

08 December 2014

Stressed Out Waiting for the Typhoon Ruby in Batangas

Image generated by Google Earth
from PAGASA coordinates.
So by morning yesterday, the weather gurus were more or less certain that Tropical Storm Ruby – international name Hagupit – was heading straight into Batangas instead of northern Mindoro as earlier forecasted.

I was thinking, “Great! Another direct hit!” You all gotta understand that thinking in Batangas, specifically Lipa where I live. Typhoon Glenda flew – literally, in many cases – over our roofs as recently as last July; and she was one nasty screamer.

Of course last night, at around 9 o’clock at night when Ruby was a mere 17 kilometres or so from where I live, my thoughts were, “Where’s the bitch?” The rains were incessant but not hard; and I can fart harder than the winds.

06 December 2014

Philippines-Thailand Suzuki Cup Tie Remains Tight after Goalless Draw in Manila

Image captured from video on the
AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
The Philippines and Thailand played out a scrappy goalless draw last night in the first leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final tie at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. It was not your proverbial sight for sore eyes; but then, semi-finals seldom are and it was a cracking match nonetheless.

Last night’s result mirrors that of two years ago when the Azkals drew the home leg at the same venue then lost by the narrowest of margins to eventual champions Singapore. However, that is just about where the similarities end.

In 2012, Singapore was an experienced and disciplined side that came to close shop and methodically prevented the Philippines from playing. In contrast, the Thais last night were neither experienced nor disciplined.

30 November 2014

Between a Thesis and a UAAP Football Dream

Just a few weeks back, I was speaking to one of the boys who played for the last high school team that I coached. We were both excited that, on his last year in college, he has finally broken into his university’s varsity football team.

He was fairly certain at the time that he would be in the line-up for Season 77 of the UAAP. Because I had heard that this season’s UAAP football tournament would be getting decent television coverage, I told him that I was looking forward to watching him play on TV.

Because the UAAP Men’s Football Tournament was scheduled to commence yesterday, I went to the Internet to try and see if I could find a schedule of the games’ television coverage online. I could not.

29 November 2014

Batelec II Notice of Power Interruption 5-10 December 2014

Batelec II through its Facebook page has released the following schedules of power interruption for 5, 9-10 December 2014. Please note that the schedule is being reproduced by Life So Mundane as a service to the public. Future outage schedules will be included in the News section of Life So Mundane.

5 December 2014
*Relocation of rotten pole.
8:30am to 5:00pm
City Park Suddivision, Sabang, Lipa City
Bahayang Pilipino, Sabang, Lipa City
Golden Homes, Sabang, Lipa City
Lucky Homes, Sabang Lipa City
Villa de Lipa 2, Sabang Lipa City

*Clearing of lines
8:00am to 5:00pm
Portion of Fabrica, Lobo
Banalo, Lobo
Masaguitsit, Lobo

6 December 2014
Erection of pole.
12:00MN to 4:00am
Namunga, Rosario
Brgy. B, C, D and E, Rosario
Namuco, Rosario
Maalas-as, Rosario
Itlugan, Rosario
Portion of San Roque, Rosario

8 December 2014
Rehabilitation of lines.
8:00am to 5:00pm
Soloc, Lobo
Malabrigo, Lobo

9 December 2014
Relocation of rotten pole.
8:30am to 5:00pm
Portion of Casanova Street, Tambo, Lipa City
Normans Ville, Tambo, Lipa City
Dizon Village, Tambo, Lipa City
Majestic Subdivision, Tambo, Lipa City
St. Joseph's Subdivision, Tambo, Lipa City
San Salvador, Lipa City

10 December 2014
Replacement of rotten pole.
8:00am to 5:00pm
Whole of Balete, Batangas excluding Malabanan ang Paligawan

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28 November 2014

Vietnam Do Azkals a Favour by Winning 3-1 in the Suzuki Cup

Image captured from video on the
AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
First of all, it will serve nobody any real good to read too much into last night’s rather meek 1-3 surrender to Vietnam in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup. We went to Hanoi to qualify for the semi-finals; and we did that with a game to spare. At this point in the tournament, that is all that matters.

Malaysia actually suffered a 1-5 shellacking at the hands of hosts Indonesia in the group stages of the 2010 Suzuki Cup before going on to win the tournament with a flourish. In 2012, Singapore began the tournament indifferently, losing 0-1 to Indonesia and needing a Laos meltdown to even qualify for the semi-finals.

If at all the Philippines were allowed to lose a game in the Suzuki Cup, it was this one. All the players as well as team management deserve nothing but praise for having earned this luxury. The defeat was, if we are all being honest, rather humbling. That said, it was Vietnam and not us who had all the motivation to win the match.

25 November 2014

Azkals in 4-nil Rout of Indonesia to Make 3rd Straight Suzuki Cup Semis

Video captured from video on the
2014 AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
There is, indeed, a time for everything. Philippines 4 Indonesia 0 may not quite be payback for the ignominy of the 1-13 rout at the Bung Karno 12 years ago; but the first-ever victory over Indonesia was every bit as comprehensive.

Moreover, because both Indonesia and Vietnam could only draw their opening match against each other in the 2014 Suzuki Cup, tonight’s victory for the Azkals meant that they are the first team to qualify for the semi-finals.

Ironically, Indonesia could have nicked ahead as early as the 2nd minute when the Philippines failed to properly clear a freekick; and Daisuke Sato, who played with a maturity well beyond his 19 years of age, had to clear off the line.

24 November 2014

Batelec II Notice of Power Interruption 1-2 December 2014

Batelec II through its Facebook page has released the following schedules of power interruption for 1-2 December 2014. Please note that the schedule is being reproduced by Life So Mundane as a service to the public. Future outage schedules will be included in the News section of Life So Mundane.

1-2 December 2014
Installation of transformer at 7-11, Inosluban, Lipa City.
10:00pm 1 December-1:00am 2 December
Portion of Marawoy
San Lucas

2 December 2014
Relocation of pole
Lalayat, San Jose
Anus, San Jose
Sabang, San Jose
Tugtug, San Jose

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23 November 2014

In Appreciation of Jerry Lucena, Misagh Bahadoran and Amani Aguinaldo

Image captured from match video at the 2014
AFF Suzuki Cup YouTube channel.
It is almost invariably the goalscorers who get all the attention after a football game; but even the most prolific goalscorers in world football will be the first to say that they have the easiest job of all sticking the ball into the net. Football is and will always be a team game; and goalscorers will have nothing to celebrate were it not for the silent graft of some of their teammates.

So while Phil Younghusband’s man-of-the-match performance against Laos in the Suzuki Cup last night might have caught the eye, as did Patrick Reichelt’s brace, the convincing 4-1 victory could not have been achieved without the contributions of the team’s unsung heroes. For starters, this feature takes a look at three of these.


When one considers that there have been Europe-based players who were quick to make themselves unavailable for selection by the national team because of personal differences with Thomas Dooley, then one can all the more appreciate what droopy-eyed Jerry Lucena continues to do for the country sans the fanfare that typically surrounds the other players.

22 November 2014

Batelec II Notice of Power Interruption 27, 28 & 30 November 2014

Batelec II through its Facebook page has released the following schedules of power interruption for 27, 28 and 30 November 2014. Please note that the schedule is being reproduced by Life So Mundane as a service to the public. Future outage schedules will be included in the News section of Life So Mundane.

27 November 2014
Clearing of primary lines.
8:30am to 12NN: Legacy Subdivision, Bolbok, Lipa City

28 November 2014
* Clearing of primary lines.
8:30am to 5:00pm: Anilao Proper, Lipa City

** Replacement of rotten pole.
8:30am to 5:00pm:
City Hall
Fiesta Mall

30 November 2014
Replacement of pole.
8:00am to 5:00pm:
Pinagtung-ulan, Lipa
Pinagtung-ulan, San Jose
Banaybanay Crossing

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Younghusband Back to Form as Azkals Rip Laos 4-1

Photo captured from video on the 2014 AFF
Suzuki Cup YouTube Channel.
It initially did not quite go according to script; but in the end it was a comfortable 4-1 win for the Philippine Azkals against their former bogey opponents from Indochina. Two wins in a row over Laos, the first one in the AFC Challenge Cup, and the hoodoo that the Laotians once held over us appears to have been expunged.

Of course, it looked anything but after 21 minutes when Sayavutth curled an exquisite freekick over the Philippines wall which thumped against he post and into goal. Patrick Deyto, debuting in the AFF Suzuki Cup, had absolutely no chance.

Not that the freekick ought to have been conceded in the first place. Two successive cup finals had been lost because of freekicks conceded in dangerous positions. The lesson appears to still be unlearned by the Philippines’ defence.

20 November 2014

When ‘Lasallian’ Replaced ‘Lasallite’

This picture was taken during the Lasallian Youth Congress which I did not discover until recently was in the Archives.
My lips almost involuntarily smiled at the sight of Lim Em Beng, a living legend of the DLSU Green Archers, in this nostalgic video about the great rivalry between the Archers and the Blue Eagles. I missed him by a year. He had graduated by the time I enrolled at DLSU in 1975, so I missed the great NCAA championship-winning team.

It made me smile all the more when he used the word ‘Lasallites’ instead of the by-now more conventional ‘Lasallians.’ Most of us raised by the De La Salle Christian Brothers up to the seventies almost unconsciously think of ourselves still as Lasallites or, in the vernacular, Lasallistas.

The more contemporary word Lasallian, if memory serves me right, was being pushed for usage in the Philippine District of the Christian Brothers only by the early eighties. In fact, this was the theme of the third Lasallian Youth Congress to which I was sent to deliver a speech early in 1985 by then DLSL Principal Br. Jaime Dalumpines. It was being hosted by DLSU-Manila in its Taft campus.

17 November 2014

Pancake House Chef, the Reluctant DLSL Alumnus

Late last month, when I went to attend the dry-run and blessing of the new Pancake House restaurant in Lipa City, I was surprised as the store manager seated me and my companion when he asked me if I was the football coach. Although he was asking a question, the tone with which he asked it sounded more like he already knew that I was.

Then there was the curious fact that I had not laid my eyes on him before that moment. So I felt impelled to ask, “Yes, how do you know that?” He nodded in the direction of a chef in black coat by the cashier’s counter whom I was sure I also had not seen before.

The name of the chef, I was told, was Nikko Reyes; and that he was from Lipa. I asked to speak to the young man, who quickly came to join us at our table. He was not from Lipa at all but rather from the Municipality of Mataas-na-Kahoy, probably a quarter of an hour from the city.

15 November 2014

What the 3-nil Win over Cambodia Tells us Ahead of the Suzuki Cup

A 13th minute cannonball from the ever-effervescent Fil-Samurai Daisuke Sato, a 40th minute right-place-right-time follow through by Manny Ött and a second half added time God’s mercy goal by Phil Younghusband when he was almost dispossessed before scoring gave the Philippine Azkals a comfortable 3-nil win over Cambodia last night in a friendly international at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

It was the Azkals’ send-off match before they fly out to Hanoi for the 2014 edition of the AFF Suzuki Cup; and the stands were crying for spectators. But on a payday Friday with mall sales going on all over the metropolis, not even an eight o’clock kick-off could tempt the fans to send off the squad with gusto.

Thomas Dooley needs to win the Suzuki Cup to reignite the fervour; and whether his squad can or not last night’s friendly against Cambodia offered some clues.

13 November 2014

Guide to the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup

The 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup kicks off on the 22nd of November when the Philippines play against qualifier Laos in the opening match to be played at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam. The two nations are bracketed in Group A of the elimination round with Indonesia and host nation Vietnam.

Group B action begins the following day when 2010 Suzuki Cup champions Malaysia take on qualifier Myanmar at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore. Thailand and host team Singapore complete the group.

The Philippines arrive as the highest ranked team in Southeast Asia according to the last ranking released by FIFA on 23 October 2014. The ranking will not be updated until 27 November 2014, the day before the last round of 2014 Suzuki Cup group matches are to be played.

09 November 2014

There is a Suzuki Cup Waiting for a Filipino Hand to Claim It

I will be very surprised if we win the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup, and not just because our Philippine Azkals were sucker-punched three times by the Thais last night in Bangkok. After having the feel-good restored in two friendlies against lightweight opponents Papua New Guinea and Nepal, with the Suzuki Cup a fortnight away it was time to step up the preparations with a match against a higher calibre team.

If anything, however, it was the matches against PNG and Nepal that raised doubts about our chances. Neither of these two teams possessed much quality at the attacking end. Yet both still managed, albeit on rare occasions, to create awkward situations when the Philippines defended with the assuredness of schoolboys.

Territorial and possession statistics, I would surmise, have been better than anything that we had during the Simon McMenemy and Michael Weiss eras. Neither of these wins matches, however. At the end of the day, the aesthetics have to be converted into chances and, crucially, into goals.

07 November 2014

Must Visit: the Camera Museum in Taal, Batangas

An authentic 18th century camera greets visitors right at the gates of the heritage home that is Galleria Taal.
I first heard of the Camera Museum from the Southern Tagalog edition of TV Patrol. That was a couple or so months ago; but it was only yesterday that I was finally able to make the visit I had been aching to make for a while.

The Museum is actually called the Galleria Taal, along Agoncillo Street and inside one of the numerous heritage houses in the historic little town of Taal in Batangas. The museum’s main attraction is the large collection of 18th and 19th century cameras owned by Manny Barrion Inumerable.

However, because the museum itself is a heritage home, even the Spanish-era architecture, complete with a second floor veranda, capiz-shell windows and furniture are something to be amazed at. Moreover, from the walls hang nostalgic 18th and early 19th century photographs, including that of national hero Jose Rizal being shot at Bagumbayan.

I will not do the gallery any justice by doing a descriptive article. Instead, I make available some pictures and a couple of videos to hopefully encourage readers to make the visit.

06 November 2014

Did You Learn Your Written English Well While at School?

Image credit:
This article is addressed to younger readers, particularly those still in school or fresh off it. If have not learned your written English well, you really should have because you will live to regret it. Your command of English does not have to be flawless grammatically; and neither do you have to be a walking dictionary.

All you need is to be able to communicate your ideas in a manner that can be understood with vocabulary that is appreciable across all levels of an organisation. You will most likely not be asked to write works of literature; so you really do not even have to be Shakespeare’s reincarnation.

What you need is to be accurate but concise; eloquent but not wordy. As mentioned, your grammar does not have to be flawless – although that is always an advantage – but what you need is to be able to present your thoughts in an organised manner.

03 November 2014

Government Should Heed the Warning of 3 Category 5 Typhoons That Just Missed Us

Image credit:
In this evening’s edition, TV Patrol started airing special reports on what has transpired in areas most severely affected by last year’s phenomenal Super-Typhoon Haiyan, a.k.a. Yolanda.

The most powerful typhoon to ever have made landfall crossed the Philippines on the 8th of November last year; and the special reports, I suppose, are ABS-CBN’s way of commemorating the event.

First of all, the areas in Samar which were being shown on television are probably all a long way from being what they used to be. What concerns me about the video clips that were being shown by TV Patrol was that efforts to rebuild seemed to have been aimed simply at restoring what used to be.

31 October 2014

1st Educators’ Power Conference to be Held in Tanauan

The first Educators’ Power Conference is to be held in the city of Tanauan on the 14 November 2014 at the airconditioned Tanauan City Gymnasium. The conference is being organized by District 3820 of the Rotary Club International.

The conference will carry the theme “Tribute to Teachers: the Key to Literacy.” It is being held with the aim of fostering camaraderie and goodwill in the academic world and motivating delegates through contemporary issues relevant to education.

Furthermore, the conference aims to launch the project dictionary for public school children as well Search for Inspiring Educators of the 21st Century.

30 October 2014

Pancake House Opens Shop in Lipa City

Pancake House, one of the largest and most famous food chains in the Philippines, has finally come to Lipa. It officially opens its doors to the public tomorrow, the 31st of October 2014 as early as 7:00 in the morning.

Today the, the Lipa restaurant was blessed by a local priest and a dry-run for tomorrow’s opening was held. I had the good fortune to have been invited to attend by Lou Javier, the company’s Marketing Officer. Naturally, I was more than happy to attend.

I was introduced to the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Bernadette Lee; and we had a most educational chat. That is, educational from my point of view.

28 October 2014

Memories of Participating in the STRAA

In three decades of coaching high school football teams, I amassed a fairly big cache of memories both pleasant and unpleasant while with my teams. Some of the most bizarre occurred in this annual meet called the Southern Tagalog Regional Athletic Association or what everyone simply referred to as the STRAA.

My first experience of this regional event was early in 1983. The STRAA was to be hosted by the city of Lucena in Quezon.

All athletes and coaches from DLSL were told that assembly would be at the DLSL lobby and that the local Division Office would send a bus to fetch us. The bus arrived more than an hour late; and when it did, it was already filled with Division Office personnel who were tagging along as part of the delegation. When I say filled, there were already people standing along the aisle of the bus.

26 October 2014

The Voice Philippines Returns with Two 4-Seat Turners

Image capture from video on
The Voice of the Philippines, which I followed with such devotion last year, returned to primetime last night with two four-seat turners. One of these, 35-year old reggae singer Kokoi Baldo from Bacolod, I am already officially naming as my personal favourite.

Yes, on Day 1 of the singing contest; but that is until somebody from Batangas comes along, in which case ethnic loyalty instantly kicks in. For the moment, however, I find myself captivated by this somewhat eccentric Ilonggo who now calls the jewel of an island Boracay home.

Dreadlocked and unshaven, Baldo can easily be mistaken on the streets as a taong grasa. He even had the utter gall and cheek to take the stage barefoot, the first to my memory to actually do so on the Voice of the Philippines.

24 October 2014

Examining the STC-Cebu Bikini Case Supreme Court Decision

Having once been in Education, I had more than just a passing interest in a Supreme Court decision that was given decent coverage by the evening news yesterday. For the benefit of readers who had not previously heard or had forgotten about the incident, in 2012 the St. Theresa’s College of Cebu barred several high school seniors from attending the commencement exercises.

According to reports, the students had posted pictures of themselves on Facebook which the school subsequently deemed as lewd, obscene or immoral. The students were subsequently prevented by security guards from entering the campus to attend the commencement exercises.

If I understand things correctly from news reports, the students were allowed to graduate but just not allowed to attend the commencement exercises. If this was the case, then the school’s decision was, in fact, a win-win situation for the school and the students. Perhaps, then, the better option for the students – and their parents – would have been to cut down on their losses, accept the school’s decision and move on from there.

18 October 2014

How Lipa’s Ajay Cabrera Created Confusion about the Word Magtatatak on Showtime

Image captured from video on
Told you, didn’t I, that this feisty young man named Ajay Cabrera from Lipa City would stand out despite a potentially disastrous breakdown during the semi-finals of this ‘It’s Showtime’ segment called ‘Gandang Lalake.’

And while the title as the first Showtime Gandang Lalake ultimately went to Bulacan’s Nikko Seagal Natividad, Ajay did not do too bad finishing third with a hundred grand take-home prize to boot, now did he?

Because Ross Dimaculangan, the former DLSL working student, also made it to the Top 15 from a large group of 58 semi-finalists, we here in Lipa cannot really complain about the way our boys represented us on national television; albeit in a silly little male pageant that had been crying for a make-over.

17 October 2014

The Aswang in Batangas Scare

Image credit:
“Hala ka may aswang!” I overheard a neighbour admonish her toddler this morning.

A smirk came almost involuntarily to my lips. That was as time-tested an admonition if ever there was one. I use to hear that an awful lot when I was small; and indeed Social Science books explained that the aswang was a mythical creature that was invented by parents of yore to coax children to go to sleep.

Or was it? Because to this day, people are as likely to scare each other with aswang tales as our ancestors did long before the age of electronic entertainment.

16 October 2014

DLSL Alumnus Ross Dimaculangan Inspires Working Students on It’s Showtime

Whereas Ajay Cabrera, the other contest from Lipa who made it to the semi-finals of the Gandang Lalake segment of ‘It’s Showtime,’ lost control of his emotions during the Q&A, there were no such problems for DLSL alumnus Ross Dimaculangan today.

Ross is older than Ajay, of course; but I think the difference between the ways the two young gentlemen handled the pressure of the semis had less to do with age and was more a matter of personality and disposition.

Even in the eliminations, Ross won the nod of the judges I believe less because of good looks – although he has plenty – and more because of his apparent intellect and a naturally calm demeanour. There are many better looking than Ross among the semi-finalists; but few come close in terms of self-assuredness.

12 October 2014

Hartmann Show as Azkals Put Papua New Guinea to the Sword

So yes, maybe Papua New Guinea as opponents for an international friendly against the Philippine Azkals do not fall under the category fashionable. But Germany were in Poland, England in Estonia and Spain in Luxembourg.


If we are all being honest, the Malaysian FA agreeing to an international friendly and then cancelling just when the match was about to be played is the sort filed inside the folder ‘for planning workshop.’

That an opponent willing and able was found, booked and shipped in, all inside one week, one must commend the Philippine Football Federation for its logistical savvy.

11 October 2014

Some Frequently Mispronounced English Words

Image credit:
“I am English. I do not have an accent.” This is supposed to be a humorous swipe at Americans by Brits. Not that there is one standard way of speaking the Queen’s Language even in the isles where the language spawned.

Of course, we Filipinos do have our own way of speaking this adopted language, brought to these shores by our former colonial masters, the Americans.

Not all sounds in the complicated English language were present in the national language Filipino; although linguistic experts have since made adjustments to include these foreign sounds into our alphabet.

10 October 2014

World Cup Winner Leads German Legends in Exhibition Match at the Rizal Memorial

Photo credit:
A team of retired former German professional football players, led by World Cup winner Guido Buchwald, will play a team of former Philippines international players in an exhibition match on 18 October at the Rizal Memorial stadium. Kick-off is at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Also with the German legends are Dieter Eilts and Fredi Bobic, who were in the 1996 Germany team that defeated the Czech Republic to win the European Championship.

Only three players of the initial 12-man line-up sent to this writer by Ake Pastoral of the PFF were uncapped internationally during the respective professional careers.

07 October 2014

Why are there no Taxis in Batangas?

Image credit:  Wikipedia
When I was young, there were two things that were sure to turn the heads of little boys and girls and make them hurry after these as though the Pied Piper himself had arrived.

The first was the sight of anybody with white skin, just for the sheer joy of being able to call out “Hey Joe!” Joe would be the American G.I., the saviour of the little brown men from the Japanese way back in WWII.

06 October 2014

Magtatatak from Lipa Breaks Down on Showtime; but Vice Ganda Saves his Day

Image captured from video on
Well, there is this old cliché about washing dirty linen in public; but young Ajay Cabrera, the magtatatak (shirt printer) from Lipa City who dared to insist on national television the Batangueño pronunciation of his trade, was too emotionally charged to care.

This was in today’s episode of the noontime variety show ‘It’s Showtime,’ during the semi-finals of the segment ‘Gandang Lalake.’ I am not particularly fond of this segment, which to my mind sometimes borders on epic fail.

The idea of a male pageant with a career twist, I suppose, carries a bit of novelty. That said, some of the contestants came so poorly prepared during the eliminations that we all had to suffer a plethora of bad singers and equally bad dancers on national television.

28 September 2014

Statistical Evidence on Deaths on or close to a Person’s Birthday

Image credit:
All of us know at least someone who died close to his or her birthday. My own mother passed away just eleven days short of her 67th birthday. I am fine. She died in 1992.

During the wake or interment rites for somebody who died close to his or her birthday, it is common to hear someone mention knowing somebody he or she knows who likewise died on a date close to the his or her birthday.

Whatever we hear about any possible correlation between birthdays and death, however, is often shrouded in superstition. One version I heard is that older people tend to die just before their birthdays while the younger ones rather tend to leave the earthly plane just after.

26 September 2014

Sizzling Lomi: Innovation in Presenting Lipa’s Favourite Food

Lipa-style lomi is so ubiquitous in the city where it was invented that it takes a bit of spunk to open a lomi house. Every lomi house has its own clique of loyal patrons; albeit there are those who think it something of a sport to hop from one house to another.

The point of all the moving around, but naturally, is to discover the city’s next hot lomi; and to do so means to gain bragging rights among friends. This is how quickly a lomi house’s repute can level up or be destroyed by word of mouth in this city where this noodly dish is as much a social as it is a culinary event.

The lomi is the lomi, however. Basically, it is noodles swimming in a bowl of hot thick broth or caldo, as it is known locally. How one lomi house gains competitive advantage over another is a subject almost fit for a doctoral dissertation.

24 September 2014

A Different Kind of Senior Moment

So maybe it was my fault. Or maybe not! Maybe it was the fault of my earphones.

So once again, I race ahead of the story. It really goes like this.

I went to the supermarket yesterday to replenish the fridge; and wanted to be back in time to cook lunch. The basket counter had a few people lined up before it; so I decided to find another cashier where the queue was not so discouraging.

There was this one close to the entrance to the supermarket which just had one elderly lady having her purchases punched in and a youngish Air Force soldier in camouflage fatigues behind her.

20 September 2014

Commenting on the PUJ Routing Experiment in Lipa City

Earlier this week, traffic enforcers in Lipa City began distributing slips of paper to drivers of Public Utility Jeepneys (PUJs) saying that there would be an experimental rerouting of PUJs starting yesterday.

I went uptown this morning and saw the experiment first-hand for the first time. I come into the city from the west, so I only saw how the Batangas-, Lemery- and Mataas-na-Kahoy-bound jeepneys were rerouted.

These were made to turn back for the return trip at the rotunda in front of UCPB or just past the Redemptorist Church. There was a bit of a build-up as vehicles slowed down to turn at the rotunda; but for a Saturday morning, it was not bad at all.

18 September 2014

Beware the Coming of October, Weather-wise

Courtesy of Google Earth, with
weather overlay.
In this country of ours where the Christmas carols start playing as soon as the so-called -ber months set in, it is frequently overlooked that the last quarter of the year – October and November, in particular – is the most perilous for this country weather-wise.

More weather disturbances spawn in the Western Pacific in June and July, traditionally regarded as the height of the rainy season in the country. By August, the number begins to taper down.

Thus, the usual thinking is that the worst of the typhoon season has passed and everyone begins to look forward to the holiday season, especially with the carols playing incessantly over the radio and even inside the malls.

16 September 2014

Ilonggo, Hiligaynon, Kinaray-a from a Batangueño’s Point of View

Graphic saved from Google Earth.
Due to my continuing fascination with the Batangueño dialect, I have been doing some readings on Philippine languages over the Internet. My current readings have taken me momentarily away from the subject I have been attempting to research. However, I am also starting to better understand things that were only vaguely familiar to me in the past.

Before we go any further, allow me to clarify this myth perpetuated by Social Science books and taught to elementary and high school students all around the country. That is, that the Philippines has Filipino and English as national languages and a great number of dialects spoken around the country.

These so-called dialects, in fact, are recognised by linguistic experts as distinct languages, something that my former boss, the late Br. Rafael Donato, loved to point out. The erroneous use of the word dialect in lieu of languages apparently began during the American occupation and was perpetuated by writers of local textbooks.

14 September 2014

Did Vice Ganda Finally Name Ex-Boyfriend in GGV Episode?

Image captured from video on
This is supposed to be an open secret, anyway; but something that comedic superstar Vice Ganda has never publicly admitted. It has been public knowledge for sometime that he had college basketball star for a boyfriend; and that the star had graduated and moved on to a PBA club.

This became public in an episode of Gandang Gabi Vice when the supposed boyfriend called during taping and the call was patched onto a public address system and broadcast to the entire nation. But since Vice refused to name the caller, ostensibly to protect his reputation, he also inadvertently started a name game.

In one episode of the noontime variety show “It’s Showtime,” host Billy Crawford went mischievously gaga over one guest performer from the ‘madlang people’ whose nickname was RR.

10 September 2014

The Mystery of the Filipino Ailment Called ‘Pasma’

A man suspects his wife of having an affair; so he hires a private detective to follow her. In no time at all, the detective confirms that the man’s wife is, indeed, carrying on an illicit affair with a good-looking younger man.

Rather than confront his wife, the man decides to hatch a plan. He will catch his wife in the act with the other man and put an end to the affair with his shotgun.

One day he follows his wife to a motel where she is to meet her lover. Sure that they have checked in, he leaves his car with his shotgun and follows them to their room. He is about to open the door to the room when he has a brainstorm.

07 September 2014

Notes on the 2014 Peace Cup Final

I travelled to the 2014 Peace Cup final with a few of the guys I play Sunday football with. Good experience, especially for the younger lads who were watching the Azkals for the first time; but bad result.

There were one or two complaints about the weather. No it was fine! But I had asked all of them to purchase raincoats just in case. Since when has weather ever been predictable? At any rate, here are a few notes about the match.


No, it was not bad at all! Although, in typical Pinoy fashion, Rizal Memorial started to fill up after the game had started. Nothing like the World Cup qualifiers when even the bleachers behind the goals were occupied; but a decent-sized football crowd nonetheless.

05 September 2014

Why Do Batangueños Say ‘Ano Ga’ While Other Tagalogs Say ‘Ano Ba?’

Originally from the post "Batangas Signs" here on Life So Mundane.

I had written in a previous article that I have always found the Batangueño stereotype ‘ala eh’ not only annoying but also so totally inaccurate. We Batangueños do have a propensity to use the words ‘ala’ and ‘eh’ liberally; but seldom together as the stereotype has always suggested.

Be that as it may, that is just probably what other ethnicities notice about us as a people. Fair is fair because we do also have our own stereotypes of other cultures.

When I was in high school, there used to be this popular shirt with ‘Batangueño De La Salle’ printed in front and then the question “Ano ga?” at the back. The latter, I believe, is generally more descriptive of us Batangueños as a people than the exaggerated and derogatory ‘ala eh’ ever will be.

03 September 2014

Philippine Azkals Rip Chinese-Taipei in Rain-Interrupted Peace Cup Match

Photo captured from the AFC Hub
on Youtube.
What is it about short football tournaments at the Rizal Memorial Stadium that they seem to attract thunderstorms and torrential rains like sugar does ants? There was almost an air of inevitability when the skies opened up just before second half kick-off in the 2014 Philippine Peace Cup match between the Azkals and Chinese-Taipei; and for both teams to be called in for a lengthy interruption with roughly half an hour remaining in the match.

So long, as a matter of fact, that ABS-CBN Sports+Action was able to insert and finish the entire 9 o’clock news before the match was resumed. Not to mention give Azkals fans a chance to sneak a peek at how Gilas was doing against Puerto Rico in the World Cup.

A lot of good the interruption did for the Azkals, however, as it allowed the team to regain focus after a less than assured start to the second half.

30 August 2014

Whether You’re from Batangas or Not, Here are Points to Ponder about the ‘Ala Eh’

Photo captured from video on
The Batangueño Stereotype

So yet again, Kuya Kim Atienza uttered something that gnawed at my being a proud son of the great province of Batangas. In last Thursday’s episode of the noontime variety show “It’s Showtime,” Kuya Kim gave his customary piece of trivia after the performance of a dance troupe from the Municipality of Malvar here in Batangas.

“Madlang people, ang ating pong mga kalahok ay mulâ sa Malvar, Batangas. Ang Batangas pô ay galing sa salitang ‘batangan,’ isang urî ng bangkâ na umiikot doon sa Taal Lake. Saan naman galing ang salitang ‘ala eh’ na kadalasang ginagamit pô ng mga Batangueño? Mga salitang Tagalog na ‘walâ eh.’ Ibig sabihin, wala pong problema, easy-easy lang.”

That bit about the name Batangas coming from ‘batangan’ is, perhaps, something even a snotty elementary kid in this province knows about. Wikipedia says that the batangan was a type of raft, something that I cannot vouch for. In fact, when we were school kids, the general belief was that the batangan was a wooden part of a house.

27 August 2014

The Bomb Threat at UP Baguio and Other Schools in 2014

Photo credit:  TBC @TheBromanceCrew on Twitter.

The text string UPBaguio was trending on Twitter this afternoon, so I followed the link to see what the fuss was all about. There was apparently a bomb threat in the morning at the university as far as I could surmise from the tweets that the Twitter search yielded.

I went to Google to see if there was any substance to the tweets that I had read. In no time at all, several local news sites confirmed that there was, indeed, disruption to classes at the university due to a bomb threat.

Since I was already at Google, I decided to do some more searching on the subject of bomb threats in Philippine schools. Consider the following:

24 August 2014

PBB Voting Theories and Daniel Matsunaga as Big Winner

The main talking point, of course, of the PBB All In Big Night last night was that the Big Winner was a half-Brazilian half-Japanese model by the name of Daniel Matsunaga. The purists will protest, needless to say, that the ‘P’ in PBB, after all, is ‘Pinoy’ – and Matsunaga’s claim to being Pinoy is limited to a five-year residence, broken Tagalog and a self-proclaimed Pinoy heart.

Personally, I do not really mind. This is showbiz, after all. Essentially, Pinoy Big Brother in whatever incarnation it hits television screens nationwide is a platform for discovering new talents as well as a numbers-based tool for gathering information about a personality’s star potential.

Thus, I am more fascinated by the voting trends and how these remain constant or fluctuate on a week-by-week basis.