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 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.

22 August 2014

Ramon Bautista’s Hipon Joke and Kris Aquino’s Hilarious Slip

You have got to be not from hereabouts if you have not heard that comedian Ramon Bautista ran afoul of Davao City’s officialdom after his less than tasteful hipon joke during the Kadayawan Festival.

In a nutshell, Bautista was supposed to have said, “Maraming hipon sa Davao!” Obviously, it was intended as a joke. However, city officials had taken offence and declared Bautista persona non grata.

This despite the fact that he had gone back onstage to apologise to the crowd and that he did so again via social media.

18 August 2014

Why Batangas’ Joshua Garcia was Evicted from the PBB Last Night

So last night, Batangas’ lone entry to the 2014 Pinoy Big Brother All In was finally evicted. Joshua Garcia, who is from the municipality of Bauan, had negative points when the Vote to Save and Vote to Evict results were summed up.

In a manner of speaking, the 16-year old’s eviction was particularly cruel. When the back-to-back-to-back evictions were held a fortnight ago, Joshua was one of only three housemates left inside the PBB House.

It initially looked as though the three – all teens – were already in the Big Four. However, all three showed maturity beyond their years in refusing to believe that they were because there was no formal announcement made to that effect.

14 August 2014

Live in Lipa? Here’s Something You Should Know but Probably Don’t

Before asking the audience for their comments about the performance of one contestant from Lipa City in an “It’s Showtime” segment, Kuya Kim Atienza gave a bit of trivia about why the city is named the way it is.

And he went on to say that Lipa is named after a tree which comes from a family of plants that can cause itchiness. He went on to cite two varieties of the tree, the lipang aso and lipang kabayo, and gave the family of plants’ scientific name.

Too geeky at the time to remember, but then there is always Wikipedia.

13 August 2014

DLSL Alumnus Great Advert for School and City in “It’s Showtime!” Segment

What is it about the noontime show “It’s Showtime” that it is becoming a regular port of call by good looking gentlemen from Lipa? I was not talking about myself, though. Wink.

Albeit, it must be the air. Second wink.

There was this ‘magtatatak’ (shirt printer) named Ajay Cabrera who won last week in the Gandang Lalake segment of the show, in the process giving Vice Ganda an impromptu lesson in how to pronounce a couple of Batangueño words the authentic way.

07 August 2014

Dooley to Schröck & Company: Call Me Maybe

Hey I just met you
And this is crazy
But here's my number
So call me maybe

I am so sorry! I just could not resist the lyrics of that song. The current hot issue hogging the attention of the Filipino football community has all the hallmarks of a family spat.

On the one hand, a small group of European-based players feeling aggrieved after having been omitted from the Philippine Peace Cup squad and turning to social media to air their gripes.

On the other hand, a coach who finally got to explain his side via a press conference held yesterday, a video of which is conveniently available over the Internet.

Showtime Contestant from Lipa Teaches Vice Batangueño Pronunciation

Comedian Vice Ganda, who is half-Batangueño, got an impromptu lesson in how to pronounce a couple of Tagalog words the Batangueño way from a young contestant from Lipa City in one segment of the noontime ABS-CBN show “It’s Showtime” earlier today.

For the benefit of those who do not get to watch the show, there is this segment called the “Gandang Lalake.” It is basically a male pageant but one that does not seek to glorify good looks and talents alone.

Instead, it also seeks to highlight the importance of a man having a job.

I do not really watch this segment because I find its premise stupid enough; but I was cleaning up after a very late lunch and had the television on. When the second contestant was announced as from Lipa – where I live – my attention was naturally captivated.

04 August 2014

No Sleep Lost Over Schröck

You are probably coming across this after already having seen the statement on the ‘official’ Facebook page of Stephan Schröck explaining the reason why he is quitting the Philippine national football team.

It is easy enough for any Tom, Dick or Harry to make a Facebook page and make statements on behalf of anybody; but assuming that the page is indeed official and that Schröck did indeed make that statement, I wish that he did not.

In the purported statement, Schröck says that he will no longer represent the Philippines as long as Thomas Dooley is coach; but does not cite any specific reason. In the same breath, the statement is supposedly being made because of certain accusations; albeit by whom and of what the statement does not elaborate.